You may have heard about the potential that driverless vehicles could have for both individuals and society as a whole. Autonomous vehicles could make it easier for those who are blind or disabled to regain their independence. Autonomous trucks could make deliveries at all hours to homes and businesses across the nation. Let’s look at why it is reasonable to assume that such technology will be widely adopted in the coming years.
The Technology is Almost There
Automatic braking, lane-assist and other features already exist in most new cars on the roads. These features work by using cameras, sensors and other technology that will continue to get better and evolve over time. However, this technology can be of limited value during times of inclement weather or when another vehicle is outside of a camera or sensor’s line of sight. Furthermore, consumers will need to be educated about what their vehicles can and cannot do before additional autonomous features can be unveiled on future cars.
Legislation is Expecting It
Among those states is Florida, which recently passed legislation allowing autonomous cars. California and Arizona also have laws that allow autonomous vehicles to operate on public roads. Generally speaking, these vehicles must have a human who is ready to take control of the vehicle if something goes wrong. In California, such incidents must be reported to the state, and permit holders must also notify the state of any accidents involving their autonomous vehicles. It is expected that a federal law will be passed in the next few years that creates a uniform regulatory standard in all states.
It Can Help a Lot of People
Autonomous vehicles have the potential to help a lot of people regain their mobility and live a more active lifestyle. It can also be a help to caregivers as they may not need to drive their relatives to a medical appointment or to the store. When truly driverless vehicles enter the market, it may also end the era of private car ownership. This may help individuals of all ages reduce their transportation costs without limiting their lifestyles.
No one can predict when humans will completely delegate the task of driving to a computer. However, it is clear that the transition is underway and will continue over the next several years and decades. Eventually, the driverless vehicle will be as ubiquitous as smartphones or other technology that we take for granted today.
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