Autonomous Systems: Today and Tomorrow


Most people don’t realise how far we have entered the world of autonomous systems already. Thanks to AI algorithms, objects can move voluntarily, without men’s intervention. That includes vehicles, drones and robots, to name only a few. In this article, we will recap what these systems can achieve now and how they should grow in the future.

What Are the Current Main Autonomous Systems Available on the Market?

When a research company such as Gartner indicates that autonomous systems will represent the main technological development of the future, it brings to light how important this market is, and how it will grow in the years to come.

In fact, they will insert themselves in a broad variety of sectors, which includes security, retail and transportation. Gartner indicates that it should attain a much higher level of presence in our societies, within the next five years. Although there are many types of autonomous devices already available, there are three main groups, which we will now develop more significantly: Drones, transportation (cars, trains and ships) and robots.

Autonomous Drones By now, everyone has heard about delivery drones that can bring orders right to your doorstep. Although they are not widely employed yet, they certainly are already flying in the sky and performing their job. We see them in emergency situations, or in cases where a delivery needs to be made to a location that is hard to reach.

We have equally witnessed the other side of autonomous drones in the war in Ukraine, as Russia used Iranian drones to attack its opponent, while the other party did the same, later on, on Russian soil. Although it is probable that autonomous drones will be used again by armies around the world, the other services they will render society will certainly be more significant and positive.

The autonomous drones can see and hear, in order to know where they are going and which decision they should make, thanks to AI algorithms. The AI enables the drone to gain knowledge through a collection of data that was not possible before, simply through human gathering.

It enables them to learn, so that in time their action will be even greater than what we intended it to be, in the first place. These drones are not uniquely capable of flying outside as they can also enter into homes, go underground (like in a mine) and even move underwater, in some cases.

Autonomous Transportation

Autonomous transportation all started with Tesla, or maybe it was Google’s research that led to the first autonomous vehicles. One way or another, it has arrived. And now, the industry of autonomous cars will grow over the next decade and change the way we move from one city to another, forever.

The considerable advantage of autonomous vehicles is that it will prevent many accidents, which are caused by humans. A significant number of vehicles already have their own braking system when they are getting close to another car or an object, in order to stop their trajectory. They will move on to full autonomy, whenever we will have adapted the roads fully to them, through the use of sensors.

But cars are not the only autonomous transportation mode being worked on. Trains and boats are also being prepared, in order to be able to move freely by themselves.

Again, this is merely possible through the use of AI algorithms, that turns these inanimate objects into “thinking” ones, so they can take in consideration all that is happening around them, in order to make the right choice of movement. It is a simple fact that the AI can analyse a situation much faster than a human brain, and make decisions quicker, as well.

Autonomous Robots Robots have been a part of our lives for many years, already. But the truth is, we have only just seen the tip of the iceberg, in this sector.

They are predominantly used in manufacturing plants right now, where they collaborate with humans, in order to render their lives safer and take away the hardest part of the work, which can cause them bodily harm. But they have also found their way in society. We have observed some being used as delivery tools, just like the drones that we mentioned before. Others serve the law, roaming the streets and making sure no one is walking about during lockdowns, while others check on strange packages that are left in public areas, that could be filled with explosives.

However, what is bound to affect us the most in the years to come, is the presence of robots that will look like us. Science-fiction has predicted their arrival at some point in the future, and now, Elon Musk’s company is making this “dream” come true, slowly but surely.

They will come to replace humans in tasks that can harm them or are too repetitive in nature. It can go from cleaning the house to erecting a new one. How they will integrate in society is another point entirely. That is why we will now enter into the question of “Who will autonomous systems benefit, and what will their impact be on human life, in general?”.

Who Will Benefit from Autonomous Systems in the Future?

It is quite tempting to say that everyone will benefit from autonomous systems, at one point or another. After all, they will deliver a global impact that should preserve lives in many different ways. On roads, they will prevent accidents, and in manufactures, workers won’t be placed at risk anymore, while being offered jobs that are safer for them.

Those who will benefit the most will be industrialists. They will be offered a new kind of labour force that will ultimately cost less. Most importantly the machines will not complain and ask for a raise after performing a few months. This may seem like it will be to the detriment of humans, but it should not be so, as society will need to adapt accordingly by finding ways to make people’s lives better.

How Society Will Be Impacted by the Growth of Autonomous Systems

The adaptation that we just mentioned in the previous paragraph will indeed be the most significant result created by the arrival of autonomous systems in our lives. They will push boundaries and help redefine human’s role in society, as they offer us more free time. This will have to come with radical political changes translated into new labour laws.

It will help reduce costs for governments. Healthcare should see profound changes, and access to education will become considerably easier for everyone. Also, transportation will become more reliable. All these elements, and many more, will deliver a profound impact on how we live our lives, daily.

If we look at it globally, there can be no doubt that autonomous systems represent a substantial advance for humans, now and even more so for the future. That is as long as we don’t intend to use it to annihilate each other, as we are seeing in the case of the current war in Ukraine.

But we can learn from our mistakes. And so, tomorrow should be better than today, thanks to the variety of autonomous objects that will enter into our lives, making it a safer and a more satisfying one, with more time on our hands.