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Autonomous vehicles (AV) are operated by a range of technologies including millimetre-wave radars, cameras, ultrasonic sensors, lidar scanners, GPS technology, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity, and proprietary algorithms. These work together seamlessly to perform the entire dynamic driving task in all situations and conditions throughout an entire journey.
The potential impact of autonomous vehicles is nothing short of revolutionary. Wide-scale adoption will lead to unprecedented economic, social and environmental change. For the public, the independence and freedom of personal travel will be available to almost everyone – youth, seniors and the physically, mentally and visually impaired. The expected reduction of road congestion would bring wide-ranging work and personal benefits. The gains from a drop in vehicle accidents and deaths are obvious.
The widespread commercial realization of AVs in the immediate future is hindered by technical constraints, legislative wariness, infrastructure barriers, unpredictable consumer acceptance and cost of development. Consequently, the production of AVs will require a full transformation of automotive operations and their support ecosystem.