Current challenges in autonomous driving
Nowadays the automotive industry makes a quantum shift to a future, where the driver will have smaller and smaller role in driving his or her vehicle ending up being totally excluded. In this paper, we have investigated the different levels of driving automatization, the prospective effects of these new technologies on the environment and traffic safety, the importance of regulations and their current state, the moral aspects of introducing these technologies and the possible scenarios of deploying the autonomous vehicles. We have found that the self-driving technologies are facing many challenges: a) They must make decisions faster in very diverse conditions which can include many moral dilemmas as well; b) They have an important potential in reducing the environmental pollution by optimizing their routes, driving styles by communicating with other vehicles, infrastructures and their environment; c) There is a considerable gap between the self-drive technology level and the current regulations; fortunately, this gap shows a continuously decreasing trend; d) In case of many types of imminent accidents management there are many concerns about the ability of making the right decision. Considering that this field has an extraordinary speed of development, our study is up to date at the submission deadline. Self-driving technologies become increasingly sophisticated and technically accessible, and in some cases, they can be deployed for commercial vehicles as well. According to the current stage of research and development, it is still unclear how the self-driving technologies will be able to handle extreme and unexpected events including their moral aspects. Since most of the traffic accidents are caused by human error or omission, it is expected that the emergence of the autonomous technologies will reduce these accidents in their number and gravity, but the very few currently available test results have not been able to scientifically underpin this issue yet. The increasing trend in automation of vehicles will radically change the composition of car industry players, as mechatronics will not only be a complementary part of the automobile industry but an indispensable part of it. There is a reasonable expectation that automated cars will perform the same or better in all respects than their conventional counterparts. However, it seems that the current regulations do not keep up with the development of technology and sometimes hinder the development and testing of autonomous technologies.