Driverless Cars: Is the Future Near?
Saturday, July 1, 2017
We all know about the technological breakthroughs that the auto industry has already made in terms of driverless cars through Tesla, Google, and company. We’ve all heard how these self-driving cars are going to disrupt entire industries and city landscapes while simultaneously changing the course of the world. But how long exactly will it take before this vision becomes a full-blown reality where self-driving cars reign supreme? Probably longer than you think.
First things first: technology. Yes, great advancements have already been made, and it looks like a lot of fundamental technical problems have been solved. But when it comes to dealing with our cities’ infrastructures, much consideration still needs to be put into how these cars will deal with the ever-changing reality of traffic, windy roads, and hazardous situations that seem to present themselves at the most unfortunate times.
Secondly, legislation will always be a hurdle no matter what industry we’re talking about. In theory self-driving cars will always be safer than manual cars due to driver/human error. The challenge manufacturers will have is proving this theory. For example, data reveals that for every million miles driven there is 1.25 deaths. In order to prove that driverless cars are safer, manufacturers will need to improve on that number which will require millions of miles to be driven. With recent breakthroughs by Google, generating this kind of data won’t take forever, but the political process involved in getting something like this through legislation just might.
Lastly, no matter how good or revolutionary a product may be, it’s always up to the consumer to purchase it. Many people with tight funds and a good-working vehicle aren’t going to rush out and spend a bunch of money on an autonomous car. According to consumer data, five percent of cars are replaced on a yearly basis. With this trend, even if every new car purchased was self-driving, it would still take 20 years for everything to driverless.
Even though self-driving cars aren’t right around the corner, it’s still a very fascinating topic that will absolutely change the way we go about our daily lives in the future.
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