Technology companies and auto companies are currently working closely with government regulators around the world to see who can be the first to bring the first fully self-driving car to market. They will change the world we know in a number of unexpected ways.
In This Post:
They Will Make Things Worse before They Get Better
A recent study carried out by the Department for Transport in the UK found that driverless cars are likely to initially worsen traffic problems as they will use higher levels of caution than conventional vehicles. Only when the number of fully autonomous vehicles reaches between half and three quarters of cars on the road will the situation improve.
The Elderly Will Be Able to Remain Mobile
With fading eyesight and slowing reflexes, it makes sense that we eventually lose the ability to safely control a vehicle as we age and have to surrender our license. However, the advent of self-driving cars means these restrictions will no longer apply and the elderly will have the freedom to travel where they choose whenever they choose.
According to the Institute for Highway Safety, the number of citizens aged 70 and over is expected to increase by more than 20 million between now and 2030. Around 16 million of those currently aged 65 and over live in communities with poor or nonexistent public transportation and that number is expected to continue to rise. Although services such as Uber and Lyft provide one alternative to car ownership, they aren’t always available outside urban areas.
They Will Eventually Make the Roads Safer
Human error is currently responsible for at least nine out of ten motor vehicle accidents. More than 4.6 million such accidents took place in 2016 resulting in the deaths of 40,200 people – an increase of 7 per cent on the previous year. However, autonomous cars are intended to make the roads safer, with an eventual 90 per cent reduction in accidents, but the full effect of this won’t be seen for many, many years.
In the meantime, whether you’re involved in an accident with a self-driving vehicle or a conventional one, you’ll need professional representation. Although you may think you’re adequately covered by your insurance company, they may not always be willing to pay the maximum amount. A well-established firm of personal injury lawyers, such as Babcock Partners, will ensure you get every penny of the compensation that you deserve.
Parking Will No Longer Be an Issue
Once your car has dropped you off outside your destination, there is no need for it to sit around waiting for you to return and clogging up the city streets. Instead, your vehicle could head off to a designated parking area in a less congested part of town and return only when you need it. Others have suggested that such vehicles could even earn money for their owners during such down time. Cars currently spend around 95 per cent of their time parked. In the future, autonomous vehicles could use this time more productively, providing a taxi-like service to others until you need the vehicle yourself again.
Image Credit: Wikimedia