It is no secret that autonomous driving is rapidly becoming the way of the future. Amazon recently had its first test drive of the Zoox robotaxi, and it was a major success, so many are wondering if this will become the norm down the road.
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As part of the 2023 International CES Convention that took place in January, the Indy Autonomous Challenge made its return to showcase some of the fastest autonomous race cars in the world.
Pushing the boundaries of head-to-head AI racing
The Indy Autonomous Challenge had its tournament aiming to push the boundaries of head-to-head autonomous racing and showcase the future of autonomous mobility at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
It featured nine teams from 17 universities spanning six different countries seeking to break autonomous racing world records. In the end, it was team PoliMOVE from Polytechnic University of Milan that ended up winning the whole thing.
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PoliMOVE reached a maximum speed of 180 mph, a new autonomous speed world record for a racetrack. The Indy Autonomous Challenge is hoping to continue serving as a platform for students who wish to excel in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. The autonomous racing group wants “to increase safety and performance in motorsports and across all modes of commercial transportation.”
What are the benefits of autonomous driving?
Proponents have a list of benefits from autonomous driving, which explains why they are being so rapidly accepted. One benefit is that they are a huge help to the environment.
Many vehicles are being specifically designed to be more environmentally sustainable, and one model called the Aero is even being built with high-efficiency particulate-absorbing filters that clear pollution from the air while they are on the road.
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Another great benefit is that it could help shipping industries because they will not have to rely on human drivers working certain shifts. An autonomous vehicle can work around the clock while being monitored by teams from thousands of miles away. Plus, the removal of heavy road freight transport vehicles that use diesel gas will majorly help the environment as well.
There are even benefits when it comes to race car driving. The sport has always been a dangerous one for the drivers who get behind the wheel.
However, autonomous vehicles would allow race car driving fans to still enjoy the sport as these vehicles can drive potentially faster, better and more safely than any professional human driver. Those professional drivers will still be able to use the software to control their race cars in a race.
Will this take jobs away from human drivers?
Although we may see fewer human driving jobs in the future, humans will still be needed to monitor and control these autonomous vehicles. This could ultimately create more jobs for people in the STEM world, which refers to four educational subject disciplines: science, technology, engineering and math.
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It could also encourage more young people to take up an interest in the field, like those students working for the Indy Autonomous Challenge.
So, yes, AI vehicles may very well be replacing human drivers. I just can’t imagine enjoying a visit to the racetrack without the race car stars we know and love.
Check out our story about Amazon’s first self-driving vehicle by heading over to CyberGuy.com and typing in “Amazon’s self-driving car” by clicking the magnifying glass at the top.
How do you feel about autonomous vehicles replacing human drivers? We want to know your thoughts.
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