What is Google’s self driving car?, 494 words essay example
What is Googles selfdriving car?
In 2009 Google launched a very ambitious project to build a fully automatic and electric car. A project that will not only change the way we perceived cars in the last century, but our future life style as well.
When the project started, the plan was to manufacture 100 vehicles by the end of 2015. But in an interview with the California Public Utilities Commission, Sarah Hunter, head of policy for GoogleX, said Were making a few hundred of them. Were making them to enable our team to learn how to actually build a selfdriving vehicle from the ground up.
In fact, by September 2015 several of those vehicles were hitting the roads outside California for testing purposes where legislation was amended in order to establish a regulatory framework for this new generation of vehicles. As of November 2015, three other states have allowed the circulation of selfdriving cars on their roads (Nevada, Florida and Michigan), and The Guardian revealed that Google had set up its own car company called Google Auto as part of its plan to produce this car in massive quantities.
The idea is basically, to produce a car that runs on electricity, without a steering wheel, brake or accelerating pedals, with a go button, a slowdown button and stop pretty quickly button. All the passenger has to do is to get in and say into the microphone, take me to some place safely, and the car does the entire journey. The car requires detailed maps of the roads with centimeter accuracy. Google limited the speed of these first prototypes to 25MPH in order to avoid high testing costs caused by potential crashes.
What will be the price of Googles selfdriving car? Will people be able to afford it?
Before discussing the price of Googles driverless car, it is essential to understand its cost structure. The car is remarkably tiny compared to the usual cars that we know. This means much lower raw material cost for each unit. However, the car uses LIDaR (Light Detection and Ranging), a device that is able to collect more than a million data points about its surroundings every second. This device costs around $8,000. Additionally, there is a highly sophisticated computer empowered by a state of the art software which processes detailed maps of the roads and is also able to respond to any unexpected eventuality. The software is considered to be a fixed cost (Sunk cost) because it is already incurred even if the project fails.
Up to now there is no telling how much Google spent in the development of this vehicle. Nonetheless, it is obvious that costs are extremely high knowing that Google built a new research facility Google X to develop it and set up a standalone company Google Auto for the same purpose.
With that being said, we can say that, in the short run, the average and marginal costs of Googles car will be very high considering the high d
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