Self Driving Cars Are Taking Over California Campuses
Thanks to a fresh startup company self driving cars are now being introduced to California college campuses. Varden Labs has figured out a way to get around the red tape & make self driving cars available to the public. Reduced prices of key technology are making self driving cars an affordable option for small companies. They are already becoming a reality on campuses across California. This new wave of self driving cars is jumpstarting the public’s interest in the incredible potential for this new genre of cars.
The Race to Develop Self Driving Cars is Going Full Throttle
Right now Varden Labs founder Brandon Moak is cruising around college campuses around California in a self driving car. He is showcasing the brilliant sensory powers of the car. Last year he & a daring group of friends dropped out of the University of Waterloo to start Varden Labs. The company operates out of a rented house in San Jose. They use a 3D printer to create auto parts & are able to create small self driving vehicles for next to nothing.
Now they are returning to Universities across California, but this time they are riding in style. They are cruising around campuses giving undergrads rides to class in their new prototype. For now they are only allowed to do missions inside the campus. In the US self driving cares aren’t legal on most roads & only one insurance provider provides a self driving package. But as the idea gets more accepted David Moak envisions leaving the schools & hitting the street. However, staying on campus does have its perks.
“It means we have a lot less regulations to deal with,” said Alex Rodrigues. “It means we’re a lot safer. That allows us to get going a lot faster than your average self-driving company.”
Another key development allowing this to happen is Velodyne’s bold price slash of their infamous lidar sensors. These sensors map out their surroundings by sending out laser beams. This is essential for self driving cars, which makes it the cornerstone of the technology behind this booming industry. The sensors used to cost $80,000, but now they are available for $8,000. This shocking price drop is opening up doors for more people to get in on the action by allowing small startups to get their hands on this coveted piece of technology.
It’s no secret that self driving cars are the future of public transportation. All eyes are on this groundbreaking technology. General Motors just announced their acquisition of Cruise Automation for a shocking $1 billion. Cruise Autormation sells self driving conversion kits to people who want more than just cruise control on the highway. Powerhouse Andreesen Horowitze also invested in the startup Comma. Comma is brilliant company that’s diving headfirst into this lucrative industry. It was founded by George Hotz, the man who made headlines when his Acura drive itself around the Bay Area. Varden Labs is also getting a piece of the action with their backing of Silicon Vallegy startup incubator Y-Combinator.
This flood of investment is no accident, major companies see this is the next big development. For too long we have put ourselves at risk by allowing humans drive. While this may seem silly, 1.3 million people die in road crashes each year. As humans we naturally make mistakes, which is a huge deal when you are driving a heavy pieces of machinery at high speeds. Those 3,287 deaths a day are a gruesome reminder that change is needed. It’s also the next technological bonanza, which is fueling a flood of corporate investment. Self driving cars is a wild dream that’s quickly becoming a reality.