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Would we actually be driving it, or will the car drive us around? You could use your imagination to answer these questions. Or you could watch Kia Motors new advertisement for their autonomous car. The Korean automobile company, Kia, which recently launched operations in India, has released a three-minute feature film titled “Peter Returns”. Reviving the iconic characters of Peter Pan and his arch rival Captain Hook in the landscape of Neverland of 2030, Kia’s new advert cleverly showcases their futuristic concept car, KED-12.
Using the bio-metric recognition and artificial intelligence, the Kia car becomes Peter Pan’s new sidekick. Although Wendy and Tinkerbell are present on the scene, it is the autonomous car which saves the day. Hook corners Peter in true superhero fashion, the self-driving car reaches Peter at his command and disarms his rival. By its advanced features of sound focusing and smart pixel headlights, the car scares Hook away, allowing Peter Pan and Wendy to release the smart automobile technology to all the inhabitants of Neverland. Although the plot of simplistic depiction of Peter’s victory, falls short of impressing, the autonomous car steals the show. The futuristic city of Neverland, far removed from the cities of our world, especially of India, seems like an unattainable reality though. Can you imagine the car wirelessly charging while driving on Indian pot-holed roads? I certainly can’t.
Kia and many automobile companies working on Level-4 automated cars will launch in the near future. And Kia’s vision of ‘Boundless for all’ aims to make these available to the all, and not just the privileged few. With the cost of the sensors and other components being extremely high, Kia will have to figure out how to make their autonomous cars affordable to the public. Other companies, like Wayman LLC have already put their Level-4 self-driving cars into a pilot programs for testing, but these cars won’t be available to the general public to buy from their local dealership for a long time to come.
The question of who bears the responsibility in cases of accidents when the car drives itself, is being debated by legal experts. One of the major questions is how the software will be programmed to decide who to save in an unavoidable crash. Programming it to cause the “smallest damage” possible, is controversial. And reminiscent of what the misplaced egos of the bad guys do in most superhero flicks. Remember Thanos killing half the Marvel universe to save the rest for the greater good? So, would the car save the people on the street, potentially hurting the occupant? Only time will tell how this is resolved.
Until then, we can let Kia fuel our hope and imagination with their promise for the future of cars. This is what tech geeks dream of!