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.