Approximately 33,000 Americans are killed in automobile wrecks each year in this country according to federal statistics.
In May, the first fatality of a driver operating a self-driving car was reported. Suddenly the sky was falling. Tesla, the manufacturer of the car involved in the accident, saw its stock plummet. The anti self-driving crowd immediately jumped on the news and took to the airwaves and social media to question the safety of driverless vehicle technology. With a week, several federal agencies had already launched formal investigations into the fatal accident.
The unfortunate death, to which blame was spread evenly between the driver and the car’s technology flaw, coupled with several accidents with Google cars, is only a bump in the road for the driverless car future.
Like or not, there are too many advantages with driverless cars to let a few problems derail the industry.
Officially known as autonomous vehicles (AVs), every major automobile company and some private, start-up Silicon Valley funded companies like Tesla are engaged in a race to get their share of the self-driving car market,
Three major benefits of self-driving cars and how they will change the future are:
As the number of AVs in the road increase, there should be a large reduction in both pollution and the usage of valuable non-renewable resources. When perfected, fully electric AVs should be available to the public at lower prices than the cars now being produced. Maintenance costs should also decrease.
Another positive forecast is that commuters might be encouraged to carpool more when the vehicle operator is free to converse and interact with their passengers. This reduction of cars on the road during traffic peak hours not only reduces pollution but also reduces fuel consumption be it electric, diesel or gasoline
Law and Order
Self-driving cars could make the traffic ticket nearly distinct. The cars will be calibrated to drive within the posted speeding limits, make it impossible to run red lights and avoid other driving habits that break the automobile operating laws.
In time, the traffic cop might join the G.E. repairman as the loneliest man in the world with nothing to do.
Drunk driving, the most insidious and harmful of driving faults, would virtually disappear. You can’t get an AV drunk even if you pour Vodka into the fuel tank. Nor can will you be able to operate the car without valid insurance thanks to computer programs that will communicate with the automobile.
The bad guys will have a hard time outrunning the police when their self driving cars are programmed to obey the speed limits and traffic signs. Say goodbye to all those deadly high-speed car chases that helicopter television cameras love to follow.
The insurance industry will have to adjust their thinking about automobile insurance. With the driver seemingly not at fault when driving an AV, auto insurers might shift their business model away from the divers and focus more on insuring car manufacturers from the liabilities of technical failures of their AVs.
Accident Rates Will Decrease
Automobile accidents have a huge negative financial impact on our country today. For every one person killed in a motor-vehicle accident, 8 more are hospitalized and 100 are treated in emergency rooms. In 2012, over $212 billion was spent to repair humans and vehicles in the United States as a direct result of automobile accidents
Estimates are that it will take near thirty years before the number of driver-less cars on the road will make a large impact on the accident rate. One goal is to reduce vehicle fatalities to fall from the current second place ranking in all death from all accidents down to ninth place or lower.
Courtesy TheTopTier Digital Media