While autonomous vehicles have long been popular fodder for science fiction, their emergence on US roadways is quickly evolving into an inevitable reality. It does not take too much imagination to see that these vehicles have the potential to revolutionize transportation as we know it. Google, Volvo, Uber, Tesla, Ford, General Motors, Lyft, and Apple are just a few of the industry giants that have begun investing in the race to create autonomous cars.
With so many unknowns about the technology, many are wary of these developments and their consequences. These cars entering US roads will also affect any number of very large institutions unaccustomed to such transformative upheaval. Setting aside fears of robot cars going rogue, many significant questions still remain that are unlikely to have concrete answers any time soon. For instance, how will the insurance markets be affected? How will this affect policing? What happens if a car’s computer system glitches? Will these cars be susceptible to hacking? How will motor vehicle safety standards adapt?
However, one item that is known is the fact that many humans are terribly dangerous behind the wheel. According to the Google Self-Driving Car Project, 94% of accidents in the US involve human error; early returns for Google’s self-driving technology have been much more positive. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, has go so far as to offer his belief that computer-driven cars will be so safe that human-driven cars may become outlawed for being too dangerous.
What do you think: Should we be excited for self-driving vehicles? Vote and leave a comment below.
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