Recently, there was an article about driver-less cars on Yahoo. it was quite interesting, dealing with both facts and possibilities as to what it could mean. The article talked about how laws might have to be rewritten, insurance rates and accident rates would go down, and how there would be a “transition” from the cars we now have to the driver-less variety. So, what are some of the issues and what are some of the facts?
How close are we to having driver-less cars become commonplace? They are being developed now, and Google actually has a working model, but they are still in their infancy. Most likely, the first ones that are made available to the public will be very expensive, as is usually the case with any new technology. And like the newest technology, they will have the least features and most bugs. As to how far away the first generation of widely produced and seen models are, some articles on the subject say that it could be in as little as ten years’ time. But a lot of hurdles will need to be overcome, and they are not just about the technology.
Even if the first models available for public purchase make an excellent debut, many, many people will be reluctant to trust a vehicle to drive itself. I once read an article that said that the biggest reason that people fear flying is that they know that they have so little control if anything goes wrong. At least in a car, despite it being far less safe than flying, people feel that they are in control. People will perceive having less control being in a car that drives itself, and will be reluctant to trust driver-less cars. Of course, it depends how the technology is introduced. If gradually, with only a few functions being taken over by each progressive car model, then more people will get used to the idea of the fully driver-less car. However, even then, actually giving up the wheel itself will make many people reluctant.
Then there are other issues and questions.
Will a driver-less car really, really, be able to avoid an accident or be able to tell if a route has construction or some other obstacle ahead of time?
Can it predict, during the transition time from driver required to driver-less cars, what the driver of a driver required car will do?
And of course, “Can we now text, since we won’t be ‘driving'”
Then, there are those who just like the idea of driving themselves. In a world where there are only driver-less cars, you won’t be able to take those winding roads the way you want to, for instance. And, that rite of passage of getting your first license may become history.
On the plus side, there’d be fewer illegal drag races, and drunk driving would be far less of a problem, hopefully leading to greatly reduced insurance rates.
And possibly, people who, today, cannot, or will not, drive, may have more transportation options on the table, since, you may no longer need a driver’s license.
To get some picture of the myths and facts of driver-less cars at this time, November, 2014, go to http://www.techrepublic.com/article/8-truths-and-myths-of-driverless-cars/
If driver-less cars become a reality, it could mean some really big changes down the road, so to speak.
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