Rock Talk

Would You Trust a Self-Driving Car?

Last updated on May 16, 2017 at 02:42 pm

When Henry Ford first put the Model T into production, do you think he ever envisioned not needing the driver? That is just what a host of car manufacturers and technology companies have been working on for the better part of two decades.

Even as little as ten years ago, the driverless car seemed like the stuff of science fiction movies. Now with advancements in GPS, computer processors, dynamic vision, and artificial intelligence, the driverless car may be here sooner than you think.

With all this technology in the works, the question that many folks are asking is not could we have driverless cars, but should we? A Harris Poll earlier this year found only 12 percent of Americans would not be worried turning over driving duties to their car.

Still, the potential safety benefits of autonomous driving are hard to ignore. Imagine the elimination of drunk driving, distracted driving, drowsy driving, and other dangerous driving behavior responsible for thousands of accidents each year. Even careful drivers can sometimes experience accidents, but driverless technology can proactively detect otherwise unavoidable collisions.

Another potential benefit is mobility for seniors. According to AgingStats.gov, the number of people age 65 and over will grow to 20% of the American population by 2030. The safety of self-driving technology could allow seniors to continue to travel independently late in life.

If you’re still not convinced self-driving cars are worthy of development, consider the savings. Fewer accidents mean fewer repair bills and medical bills. Ultimately, we could see a dramatic decrease in insurance premiums.

So will self-driving cars take over our roads anytime soon? Google’s announcement that its self-driving vehicles have logged nearly 700,000 autonomous miles is promising, but they admit, “We still have lots of problems to solve.” If and when driverless vehicles will become ready for the marketplace is anybody’s guess, but we applaud any technology promoting safety on our roads.

6 thoughts on “Would You Trust a Self-Driving Car?

  1. As a senior person , would welcome a driverless car. Just think of the benefits for people with medical or physical disabilities. Endless possibilities.

  2. With drivers getting more and more aggressive, speeding on a regular basis, disregarding speed limits, stops signs, etc. and being less and less courteous or considerate, I would welcome taking the driving away from them and allowing a computerized vehicle to do the driving. Also, as a baby boomer, I would appreciate using technology to drive me around when my reflexes and judgement start to diminish.

  3. Even though I enjoy driving and always have, I’m ready to hand it over to a computer. I’ve almost dozed off several times while driving long distances, and it scared the dickens out of me.

    The truly autonomous cars like the new one from Google (no steering wheel, accelerator, etc.) will change everything for the better, though I’m sure it will take a few years to work through the bugs.

  4. Would welcome the idea of some type of speed control, especially with semi trucks which fly down our major highways, but I do not think I would like to turn over direction or brakes to a computer.

  5. I am emphatically NOT in favor of supinely relinquishing my honed driving skills, in short the everyday gambling with the safety of my life and limb and that of my spouse for which I claim sole responsibility, on the whim of a man-made machine; a computer, no matter how sophisticated and utterly foolproof it is claimed to be by the media, its adherents, honey-mouthed salesmen and unscrupulous racetrack touts. A computer, subject to the usual unexplained breakdowns and power glitches, reduced electronic capabilities due to prevailing lightning storm interferences, not to mention the sudden unlawful commandeering initiatives of rogue agencies from our Capitol, whose purposes and functions, while hidden from the news media, are anything but friendly in our behalf!

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