Technology

Self-Driving Cars Vs Driverless Cars: What’s The Difference?

Self-Driving Cars
Image source: YouTube Video Screenshot

Cars are going through a tough revolution and it’s estimated that in the next couple of decades we are going to be driving an entirely new generation of cars. Cars that used to be and still mainly are monitored by humans sitting behind a steering wheel could change with the rapid development of complex technology that will slowly start to emerge on different cars and is going to take over the various functions that were normally performed by the driver. The development of that technology directs us into the use of self-driving cars as well as driveless cars. One would think that there is no particular difference between the two, but in this article we will introduce you to self-driving cars vs driverless cars.

Nowadays, people use different terms to name these cars, such as Autonomous, Automated, Self-Driving and Driverless. Apparently, even Wikipedia has a tough time naming the two. Basically, the self-driving car is not as autonomous as the driverless. The self-driving car has an autopilot that can temporary replace the human driver at some stages of the drive. Nevertheless, a human can take over the control at any time during the drive and continue controlling the steering wheel. On the other hand, driverless cars are more advanced. They don’t have a back-up person who can take over the car, neither do they have a steering wheel to control.

The self-driving car quickly emerged from a myth to reality, especially when Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick announced that Uber would use self-driving cars, calling them “existential” for the company in order for the company to develop its own driverless car technology in the future, according to a report from Bloomberg in 2016.

Nevertheless, in terms of self-driving cars vs driverless cars, there will be a lot of years to pass before self-driving cars become adapted by everyone sitting behind the steering wheel, and even more so before the dream of driverless cars turns into reality. Many of the driverless cars today still have a driver in the front seat. The driver’s job is to teach the car how to move and control itself, which is an important first step in their development.

Self-Driving Cars Vs Driverless Cars
Image source: Mercedes-Benz

Moving on deeper to the concept of driverless cars, the concept car of Mercedes-Benz features four chairs that allow a face-to-face seat configuration inside the vehicle, which looks luxurious. Bentley’s driverless dream also features sofas and a holographic butler, while the Rolls-Royce is equipped with a two person couch with a large TV placed where the driver would normally sit.

The self-driving car, despite being controlled by autopilot, can still be used by a human driver. Nevertheless, the autopilot is capable of keeping a steady speed, staying within the lines and having an adequate following distance. Still, for now, the public can only experience the idea of self-driving cars by owning a Tesla or using a self-driving Uber car.

While there are notable differences between self-driving cars vs driverless cars there are a few things they share in common. Adaptation of the self-driving cars widely by the public is only the beginning of the evolution of driverless cars. Meanwhile, self-driving cars need to be brought to perfection and deliver major improvements. After that, driverless cars come next.

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