Self-driving cars are no longer a funny idea

Last week I saw a funny video about Google’s self-driving car project. At the first glimpse it definitely doesn’t look like a real car you would use. Rather like one of the cartoons from my childhood. Such car might have occurred at “Captain Future”. But then I looked at the whole video.



Suddenly I reminded an old saying I learned in my schooldays:

Unfortunately you cannot buy holes, so one must then buy a drill you rarely need!

For a century that was the same for cars and when I had to ride from home to work: Instead of a trip I must buy a car. Using the public transport I need even longer than walking for the few kilometers from my home to the office. I cannot even do something useful while I’m driving. And after our company will have moved to Augsburg, the drive won’t be 15 minutes anymore but one hour useless holding the steering wheel.

This service offered by a kind of “Google-Car” would finally present a real solution to my dilemma. You “order” the transport and after you arrive, this car takes another customer.

Once self-driving cars are widely accepted, I am looking forward to slumber or read a book. And this while the car (not mine) gets me from my home to work in the morning and in the evening.

But until the whole thing works we will certainly have to see some further developments in the computing platforms used in these vehicles. Such technology like a LIDAR scanner on the roof of the car must be for sure implemented differently. I’m really excited that Kontron participates in this fascinating development, at least indirectly. For high-performance motherboards are currently still delivered by us. But they’re not really intended for use in automotive temperature range up to now. And furthermore all the CPUs which are available in the market and defined for extended temperature are still too slow by at least a magnitude.  Here’s still much to develop for the computer engineers. And I’m really excited to see the further developments and hope that we can be a part of this future.

If you are excited like me on self-driving cars please share with me your point of view. For me self-driving cars could replace my car. Do you think self-driving cars will replace privately owned cars or offer more a kind of taxi service? How do you think we can overcome the peak need at the beginning and the end of working hours?

Thank you!

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