Skip to Main Content

Student Research Guide WQ24/ Electric and Self-driving Cars

Student Research Guide for Library 201/ Melina Shepard

What is this Guide for?


Progression of Autonomous Vehicles

 This is a student created research guide for English 102 & Library 201 Learning community


This guide presents information on the progression of autonomous vehicles and if they will become better and more accurate than a human operated vehicle. 

 The research thesis of this guide is "Autonomous vehicles are a big step ahead in technology; these vehicles will be safer than human operated vehicles and cause less accidents."

 The research questions addresses in this guide are:

  1.  When were autonomous vehicles created?
  2. Do autonomous vehicles or human operated vehicles have less accidents?
  3.  Is the public ready for autonomous vehicles?





 It’s 2024 and we are experiencing the beginning of autonomous vehicles now. This is new and different. Putting self-driving cars on the road is a very complex task. There are different levels of autonomous vehicles as well as fully driverless cars on the road. At the same time there are vehicles on the road that are fully controlled by a human. Companies producing these vehicles have done millions of miles worth of testing and will continue to do so. Many believe that once all vehicles on the road are autonomous there will be a huge decrease in car accidents. 

This website is to show how these vehicles will make positive changes in our future. History, safety, public perception, testing results are all topics mentioned in this website to get a better understanding of this new technology. 

The methodology used was a search of all svc databases, google scholar, statistica, government and news websites. 10 online documents were compiled and annotated. 

The results of this research come to prove that autonomous vehicles are approaching the accuracy of human driving and will likely surpass it in the near future. These vehicles will cause less accidents based on the fact that they will never be drunk, distracted, tired or angry. These vehicles will also decrease greenhouse gas emissions and free up time. This website goes into the depths of the safety features and sensors on these vehicles. It also explains the public's perception on these vehicles, whether they support this new technology or not. 

Implications would be that designers and engineers will need more testing time with these vehicles before we can safely say they drive better than the average human.

Background Information

The first autonomous vehicle was created in 1977 at the Tsubuka Mechanical Engineering Laboratory. Since then researchers and engineers have been progressing towards Level 5 autonomous vehicles. Today we have different levels of autonomous vehicles on the road ranging from level 0 to level 4. At the moment autonomous vehicles and humans have about the same driving accuracy. It is believed that once these vehicles are common that traffic accidents will decrease drastically. Autonomous vehicles shall reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well. It is believed that these vehicles will create a positive impact on society. 

Video, Graph, or Image

This image shows an idea of how an autonomous vehicles sensors and cameras work. It's showing how autonomous vehicles have sensors for objects, lights, pedestrians and other vehicles. 


Aurich Lawson | Getty Images  “Autonomous Vehicle Scan” Access Date: 3/10/24 []


The video below shows what a ride in Waymo driverless vehicle is like. He explains how the app works such as unlocking the vehicle. He records his experience throughout the ride. He also shows how the vehicle drives itself and the screen it provides him to show where the vehicle is and the objects surrounding the vehicle.

Source Citation

Unbox Therapy (2024) “Waymo…The Real Driverless Car Has Arrived” YouTube. Access Date: 3/10/24 []


All Content CC-BY.