The future of driving is here – we’ve already experienced our first self-driving car, created by Google, and we’ve been able to collect some interesting data from it. Since the project began in 2005, Google has successfully navigated all over the country and the team is testing a group of cars that includes Toyota Priuses, Lexus RX450hs, and an Audi TT.
But what have we learned from this autonomous project? While self-driven cars could be a big benefit to our society, they could also cause some problems. Here are the pros and cons:
According to CJ Pony Parts, there are 88 deaths in the U.S. every day that are caused by car crashes, and 81% of those are caused by human error. With autonomous cars, there would be no human drivers to make errors.
Using the research we have on the Google cars, it’s been found that they’ve driven 700,000 miles without having an accident.
It’s possible that we could save time during commutes. Because cars would be self-driven, we’d be able to raise the speed limits and get to our destinations faster.
Less Money Spent
If 10% of cars were self-driven, we could see up to $5.5 billion in economic savings. If 20% were self-driven, that number could jump up to $109.7 billion.
If a self-driven car gets into an accident, who’s responsible? The uncertainty could lead to some confusing legal issues.
Since the cars are all driven by a special software, how easy is the software to hack? And what would happen if it were hacked?
Drop in Jobs
Many jobs in major cities revolve around driving – such as taxis, buses, trolleys, and more. With autonomous cars, we’d probably see a big drop in driving jobs.
It’s been found that heavy rains can interfere with a self-driving car’s laser sensor and snowy roads can obstruct the car’s camera.
So far, only California, Nevada, Florida, Michigan, and Washington D.C. allow the testing of self-driven cars and probably won’t see any on the road for at least the next few years.
*Photo courtesy of wikipedia.org