Technology

Driverless cars reach a milestone, Zoox and Kroger become first companies to use it for business

Driverless car

Driverless cars have a fascination attached to it. The whole world is looking at that technology and waiting for it to totally develop so that we can let machines take us everywhere and anywhere. The driverless technology is advancing at a rapid pace. It has been in the pipeline for too long and the idea has been waiting for technology to catch up fast so that it can be implemented.

The testing of driverless cars has increased in a lot of countries around the world. The number of governments approving the testing of such cars is more than before and it is being accepted all around the world in the countries where traffic is disciplined. The autonomous cars still require a great deal of experience before really coming into this world completely. However, there are cities which are taking efforts.

Paris, in 2017, allowed some companies to test their driverless cars. They provided special lanes for the same which were going to be connected to the rails. The reason behind this was to start driverless buses in the city of romance. There are developments in that sector but a complete overhaul of the current system is yet to happen as it will require cent percent precision in everything.

Boston in the same year as Paris was open to this kind of technology. The United States of America has always been at the forefront of this technology with Tesla carrying the baton and numerous startups following it in different ways. The US has adopted this technology brilliantly as there are innovative ways which have been accepted in different states.

However, everything came to a standstill in March of 2018. There were two back to back fatal accidents that took place because of driverless cars. One incident involved the car knocking over a pedestrian while the other incident was on a highway where the car hit a divider and the passenger’s life was taken away. This made every driverless car companies introspect and increase the safety features.

That said, some of the companies did not falter. There are certain startups and companies which have adopted this technology to actually run a business. Zoox, which is a transport company has been permitted by the California Public Utilities Commission to use driverless cars. The major news is that it will transport actual people in them and will not charge. Zoox has been asked to submit the user reports to the CPUC in order to improve this.

There are more than 60 companies which have been granted the permit to test their vehicles in California but Zoox is the first one to transport people in them. However, this news is a bit of bummer as there will be a safety driver in the car as the tech is not yet fully developed. The driver is not supposed to charge people at any cost.  All the cars involved with Zoox will be electric and run the latest tech available in driverless cars.

Zoox, however, is not the only company. Kroger, a delivery company, is making use of autonomous cars to deliver groceries in the state of Arizona. The company is not developing the cars but has shaken hands with Nuro, a self-driving car startup based in Silicon Valley. The customers can use this service to order groceries. They can order it for the same day or for the day after and it will be delivered to them through a driverless car.

This is interesting for the customers as this saves time but also the curiosity of self-driven cars can be satisfied. Kroger won’t charge anything more or less than $5.95 fee. The service is only available in Scottsdale, Arizona for now but will expand with to different states and cities with time.

– Unmesh Phule

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