Driverless cars have been the topic of science fiction editorials and movies ever since the first automobiles appeared. As with any new technology, we like to dream up the limits of it and capture our wildest fantasies through pop culture. The 1950’s and 60’s TV and cinema opened the floodgates for futuristic predictions, going as far as describing the psychological effects of rapid technological change (see Futureshock). Today, however, the new generations are used to the fast paced technology industry and can better conceive rapid changes within one’s lifetime. And let’s face it, out of the hundreds of far fetched tech ideas, the driverless car seems to be the most feasible one. Here’s why.
The technology is ready.
Most of the technology used in the development of self driving cars has been used for decades. GPS, radars, cameras, robotic inputs and other sensors have been used by other industries and it’s already been packaged into promising models that show the technical aspects of autonomous cars. Also, car manufacturers are exploring different algorithms that will better address the needs of these vehicles. Most of today challenges lay on the legality of the matter, as states across the U.S. are not ready to deal with the big changes self driving vehicles might bring.
The benefits are enormous.
Having driverless cars on the roads has many positive implications. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, most car crashes are caused by human errors, so taking the humans out of the equation should dramatically reduce the number of accidents. Also, computer controlled cars would allow for cars to drive closer to each other and at higher speeds, so traffic jams would be a thing of the past. In addition, passengers (let’s not call them drivers anymore) that would be otherwise unable to drive could hop on the car and just go. This last benefit could have a great impact in the lives of handicap individuals as it would allow better access to cars.
Just like automobiles changed society as a whole when they were first introduced, self driving cars will have a deep impact in our world. Cars will become more about the things you can do while commuting and about comfort
What are your thoughts on self driving cars? Stay tuned for the next Ronnielogues as we will present the potential negative implications of these wonder machines.
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