Autonomous Vehicles

To autopilot or not to autopilot…that is the question.


Well, ladies and gentleman, we have FINALLY entered the age of self-driving/autonomous vehicles. Not quite the flying cars we had all anticipated but this is definitely a leap into the future.

There’s a lot of buzz in the news right now about autonomous vehicles and it’s definitely warranted. Let’s take a peek into some pros and cons of owning an autonomous car or even just sharing the road with them.


#1 – Safety


Now, this is one that people are currently balking at with the latest news stories. We know many people are laughing when they hear that autonomous vehicles are actually safer than human driven cars. Here’s how this rational comes about. Statistics say that 90% of accidents are caused by driver error; and (as you’ve read in our blog Distracted Driving) distracted driving causes 20-30% of those accidents. Driverless vehicles have the ability to communicate with infrastructure like traffic lights and buildings, mobile phones, other vehicles, etc. They also are equipped with sensors that aid them to “view” their surroundings.


Unfortunately, autonomous vehicle software has an actual learning curve. As we’ve seen in the news there seems to be a lot of curve left to learn! Companies like Waymo, Uber and Tesla argue that “real world experience is vital for machine learning.” But, how does this learning happen and still keep the occupants of the vehicle safe along with other drivers and pedestrians? This seems to be the big question…


#2 – Traffic Jams


Less traffic jams? Hallelujah! Like we were just discussing, autonomous vehicles have the ability to know which areas are more or less populated, which roads are congested, which lights are going to be green and when, etc. Using this technology allows the self-driving vehicle to re-route you to get where you need to go most quickly. Studies suggest that on average America spends 4.2 billion hours in traffic jams yearly. Not only does this cause an inordinate amount of toxic emissions but also…wasted time!


Can there really be one?

Well, yes! If this software can be aware of all technology surrounding it, it can also be able to patch in to your personal electronics such as your phone, computer, etc. Also, the whereabouts of your person are now going to be known at all times. Privacy is a growing concern among most citizens and this is another step in the direction of increased privacy issues aka decreased privacy.


#3 – Down Time while Driving


Many people would love extra time in their day. Instead of spending an hour, or two, or even more just driving you could accomplish other things instead. While traveling you could check emails, send texts, read, take a nap, or just be bored – which leads us to our con…


We don’t know about you but we love to drive. We love to cruise around and feel the wind in our hair. Most of all, we like the freedom to just go wherever we want, whenever we want. Autonomous vehicles take away that “freedom” component and THAT is a big con in our book.

Do you have a self-driving vehicle? Would you want one? What do you think?

Either way – we hope you travel safely and if you or your computerized driver gets into an accident, you know where to find us!

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