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Self Driving Motohomes - A thing of the near future?

Posted on 31/12/2015 12:51 PM

Opinion: As I passed under the futuristic looking tollgate on Tauranga's new Eastern Link motorway i thought to myself ‘wow it’s amazing how much more noticeable it is that robots and machines are intruding into our lives! 
For some people robots could mean job losses, take truck drivers or pizza delivery boys for example who are faced with the driverless vehicles of the future...
Everyone knows the age of the self driving vehicle is coming and possibly within the next decade!... And no doubt there will be self driving campervans too?

What will a Self Driving Motorhome look like?

Imagine what the next generation motorhome will look like? Designers will have a ball revolutionising the new look of vehicles. The absence of a steering wheel and/or a gear stick will mean recreating a new space especially in the drivers area.

Fully revolving drivers seats and no more need to watch traffic on the road the driver can now spend more time taking in scenery, taking a long nap, or spending more time with the family playing a board game or doing the general camp duties all whilst on the road!

What are some of the advantages of a SDV (self driving vehicle)?

Maximise your time! Owning a SDV would mean staying one step ahead of your travel plans! By the time you arrive at your destination you’re feed, have the washing done, the beds made and you’ve had time to plan your itinerary, check maps, buy tickets in advance, prepare the daybags with picnic lunch and apply the sunscreen so that, as soon as you arrive, you’re ready to explore! Nothing is holding you back. You’ve economised on a maximum of precious travel time and it’s all thanks to your self driving motorhome easing it’s way across New Zealand or Australia or wherever you are travelling.

Less accidents, less congestion! Because self-driving cars are rarely involved in accidents (there hasn’t been one recorded yet), and can communicate with each other, they would eliminate the need for traffic signals and ease traffic congestion and if you have trouble parking your motorhome,  Don’t worry anymore! SDV’s incredibly complicated technology makes parking a breeze. The on board computer make hundreds of calculations a second including how far you are from objects, current speed, behaviour of other cars, and location on the globe.

It seems like there are so many reasons why a SDV would enhance your driving experience surely, one day, everyone would want to own one right?  But what are the downsides of a driverless vehicle?  As i dug a bit more into the subject I found that this technology (like many others) comes with a cost. The first cost, of course, will be the cost itself. The initial price of a SDV will be unaffordable for most but as technology grows cheaper the longer it is available this will change

What are some of the disadvantages of a SDV (self driving vehicle)?

Potential for technology to go wrong. SDV’s use a complex overhead laser guidance system combines with real time satellite data to expertly guide the car under any condition. But there is possibility for the programming that runs the cars to be updated by the car company. We all know how reliable updates can be. There could be  faulty code and errors causing potentially accidents with other self-driving (or non self-driving) vehicules

Loss of privacy! Perhaps the biggest drawback would be the loss of privacy. For a lot of people the chance to travel in a motorhome means freedom and a break away from all the commercialism and rat race but this won’t be the case with SDVS.  Using a self-driving motorhome means a third party would have the opportunity to track your movements. While many companies will likely avoid this due to consumer backlash, a massive loss of privacy still exists. Because your vehicle would be receiving or communicating with data centres, your location would be potentially accessible to people or organizations who could hack into the network and/or bombard you with advertising and promotions for each area you travel to. What a horrible thought...

Conclusion

With car companies racing to stay ahead of new self drive technology It seems inevitable that we will each be driving one before too long. It may sound scary and unrealistic now but, when we cast our minds back, so it was with portable cell phones all those years ago. Now we all own a phone that not only calls people but also asks as a mini computer in the pocket! What seemed like an incredibly futuristic idea at the time is just the norm now and so it will be with self drive vehicules. When we are finally driving them we will wonder how we ever survived without them and there will always be that something new. An invention even more futuristic, making our lives easier, just around the corner!

What do you think? Have your say on our facebook page. We welcome all your thoughts and opinions:)

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