Self-driving cars aren’t too far down the road. While the concept of them may seem far off in the future, the reality is that they are closer than we may think. Google and Tesla have already begun prototyping vehicles. They aren’t 100% perfect and have many obstacles to still overcome (weather, object/pedestrian detection, etc.) but you can see the potential.
But why should you care? It’s pretty simple.
Safety– First, there’s the distractions factor – texting, eating, music, or other inside-the-car influences can and do impact driving. Automation can minimize or even eliminate issues.
Second, we’re human and prone to road rage. Not everyone acts on it, but everyone has felt it at one point or another. Taking the human factor out of car control limits this and helps make the world a better, safer place.
Because self-driving cars are programmed to consider driving conditions, speed, and other factors that can cause accidents, this is a great tool to help in reducing accidents.
Inner Peace – Driving can be stressful, especially in metropolitan areas with heavy traffic congestion. With self-driving cars, you become the passenger allowing you to relax and get to your destination refreshed and ready for action.
Let’s also not discount the cool factor. Since the days of Knight Rider, people have dreamed of having people have dreamed of having their own K.I.T.T. (Bonus points if you can remember what that stood for without having to search Google) to drive them wherever they wanted to go.
The mass adoption of self-driving cars will be instrumental to massive change in our society. While it probably won’t mirror the lifestyle you see in The Jetsons and we won’t have personal jetpacks, this is definitely a step (or a drive) in the right direction.