The other day, Ilon Mask revealed the mystery of the millennium camera over the rearview mirror of the Tesla Model 3. And although the main purpose of any camera is to shoot what is happening around, some details have become clear. So, the camera will keep an eye on the interior of the car while it is working on autopilot or rented out until the owner needs it (Mask thinks that this way it will be possible to “beat back” part of the price when buying a car). Another function of the camera is to identify the driver (if there are more than one) and automatically adjust all systems to fit a specific person. From seats and mirrors to climate system settings. The development of Tesla goes seven-mile, autopilot is actively used on the roads, and the car itself knows how to come to the entrance to the mall from a parking lot nearby. This is already a reality that we read about as fantastic some 5-10 years ago. But I assure you, a little more time will pass and robotization will become as common as using a phone to pay at the cash desk in a supermarket. Especially since the current situation in the world has a lot to do with it.
What is folk carsharing
What is an ordinary karshering – we all know very well, the good in our country it develops seven-mile steps. But the concept of people’s karshering is much less well known. Its essence is that the owner of the car can share it in those days when he does not need it. Such a lease is given for at least 1 day, so that you can take the car and return it to the place no later than the time when the owner needs it (but more often and more profitable to rent it for a longer period, for example, while you are sick or on vacation). Of course, the owner will be rewarded for this. You can share not only a car, but also a scooter, scooter or bicycle. The main thing is to bring it back. Today, such shoring is quite actively developing in Europe.
Interesting fact: the owner of Tesla will be able to adjust the rental parameters in automatic mode, setting the time when he is in the office or resting after it. And in the future, the car will be able to return to the owner itself at a certain time. Fantastic? Almost none.
But in order to start renting out your car, you need to do something with it. Sign the contract, equip it with the necessary electronics (to open it from the phone, for example), perhaps show the car to a service company that will act as an intermediary, etc. Moreover, it will be necessary to somehow describe visible and hidden damage, if there are any, and in case of appearance of new ones – it is necessary to find the guilty person and to collect the cost of repair and so on. Maybe that’s why there hasn’t been a people’s shering boom yet, who knows.
But Ilon Mask has already taken all that into account. In fact, his Tesla is a ready-made device that you can share with others. It’s so packed with electronics that it’s easy to give anyone who’s paid a day’s rent access to the salon. The mask can release an app that looks like a normal cartwheeling quite quickly, but inside it we’ll only see Tesla and only those whose owners have agreed to rent out their cars. Also, the presence of cameras around the circle and inside the cabin eliminates damage to the car, and all sorts of sensors will track blows or hidden damage that occurred during the rental period. Agree when you can rent out your car at the touch of a button and you are sure of its safety – many people will agree to it.
How safe are cars with autopilot?
Back in 2018, Tesla published its first statistics on the safety of its own cars, comparing its figures with the national average (USA). At that time, the figures showed that their cars (without autopilot) get into accidents 2 times less often than others. At work of autopilot the number of accidents was reduced twice more. Since then, a lot of water has passed away and the quality of autopilots has greatly improved. The key feature of such systems is that algorithms are constantly updated and Tesla cars just get new firmware (almost like your iPhone) with new functions.
The issue of safety when using autopilot is, in my opinion, the most important one. If a few years ago its precise operation required correct road markings, clean roads, GOST-compliant road signs, etc., then today all this has taken a back seat. Cars have found “computer vision” and just assess the road situation around them. In addition to that, autopilots use machine training to the full extent and become smarter and smarter every day. Given that Tesla cars are always online, engineers and developers receive a huge amount of information, which is then analyzed with the help of artificial intelligence and later becomes part of the algorithm. The day is not far off when the cars will start to “communicate” with each other, warning in advance about maneuver, stop, difficult road situations, etc., so that the car behind you is ready in advance for the necessary actions. In terms of technology – nothing is difficult anymore, everything is implemented. You just need to put everything together. It’s like a puzzle.
And what about the notorious human factor? With autopilots, it is simply absent, because there is no human being. Autopilot will not start at traffic lights to disperse, will not “punish” the neighboring driver, who accidentally or intentionally cut it off, will not fall asleep, will not sit drunk behind the wheel, will not be distracted by a text or will not quarrel with his mother-in-law all the way, thus irritating and losing concentration. All these factors, often, are the cause of the accident. In case of technical malfunction, the autopilot can decide on emergency braking or quiet parking with an “accident” on the side of the road. In the case of a person, it is much harder to do so, because while driving, we do not have information about all the parts of the car that can break down.
Who will be responsible for autopilot errors?
But there will be no mistakes either. The question is only in statistics, no matter how rude it may sound. If modern autopilots will allow reducing the number of accidents by 5 times and the number of deaths as a result of them by 10, then who will refuse it? I don’t even mean you or me personally, but at the state level. But what would happen if people died in an autopilot accident? There must always be a guilty one, right? In case of gross violation of traffic rules by a pedestrian, who jumped under the wheels of a car sharply, there are no questions, the fault itself. But what if there was a malfunction inside the autopilot or one of many sensors did not work? Who would be responsible for a human life? The question is, in fact, very difficult. It is possible to carry out a lot of examinations, to find out the specific reason and it will appear that during the TO the master has badly fixed the sensor. Then you can dump all the bumps and make him answer. Well, let’s say.
And if it turns out that the car was technically faultless and the autopilot made a wrong decision? Or the situation was so unconventional that the automatics simply did not find the optimal solution in a short time? In this case, to judge the company? Engineers? Designers? It’s possible. But the autopilot reduced mortality by 10 times (for example) and potentially saved many lives. What do we do with that? What about autopilots in planes? They can be wrong, too, which has fatal consequences. What do we close Boeing or Airbus now? I don’t think so.
In the end, I come to a rather unpleasant, but truthful conclusion. It’s all about statistics. If the introduction of the autopilot reduces the mortality rate on the roads by several times, then you have to take it as a fact and not try to put sticks in the wheels. Of course, in each case it is necessary to understand what led to death, but it should not stop the process of improvement and distribution of autopilots.
Automated delivery of goods
Today, such large companies as Apple, Google, Amazon, Yandex and many others would be happy to abandon the usual use of human labor in favor of autopilots. In fact, we are already beginning to see this process. Not only Tesla is working on autopilot, but also Apple (according to rumors) and Yandex (they even showed it). Why would Amazon make delivery with human help when they can send the same product automatically? And why would Apple pay for DHL when it can all be done by autopilot? It’s all in a circle. Food delivery, food delivery, taxi delivery, anything. The area is developing so rapidly that when we wake up tomorrow, we’re in the future. And in the conditions in which the whole world is now (yes, I mean the coronavirus) – this industry has received a great kick to start developing seven-mile steps. The world is changing rapidly and we will have to switch with it.
Are we ready for autopilots?
And here comes the main question: are we ready? Not me personally or you, but humanity in the general sense. After all, first of all for people it is a loss of jobs. Gradually couriers, freight forwarders, taxi drivers will disappear. Then subway and long-distance train drivers. After that, pilots of planes, etc., will be out of work. It is clear that this will happen not immediately, but gradually. Already today, Amazon delivers drones and unmanned trucks transport goods in the Scandinavian countries. We also found out what an autopilot can do. And if automation definitely makes our life easier and more comfortable for a person, what about humanity?