How Self-driving Cars Will Transform The World

Nov 23, 2017 by

While it’s easy to take automobiles for granted today, very few people actually realize how much they changed the world. To say the least, cars created mobility on a scale that hadn’t been witnessed before the dawn of the 20th Century. As gaps between geographical communities started to diminish, social and living habits changed tremendously. And with driverless vehicles now nearing the live phase, it’s safe to say that modern society is in for another dramatic transformation.

 

The Time is right

More and more car manufacturers are now showcasing their autonomous automobile technology, with some aiming to incorporate the functionality into upcoming models. While not much about these technologies has shifted from what one could see at the demos of the early 2000s, a lot has actually changed beneath the surface. In fact, industry experts state that fully autonomous cars could hit the market by 2020.

Why So Soon?

Although skeptics will claim that many obstacles currently stand in the way of driverless cars, mass adoption will kick off sooner than most people think. This is mostly due to the lack of capital costs. With other revolutionary technologies, adoption tends to be slow, since the majority of consumers take time to get to a purchase point. In future, however, there will be very little incentive to actually own a vehicle. This is because driverless cars have the potential to improve transportation in many ways, such as:

-Enhanced road safety: It’s been estimated that over 50% of all car crashes are caused by human error. Self-driving automobiles have the potential to eliminate this factor completely, as long as they’re properly equipped.

-Better mobility for everyone: Individuals who can’t drive are often forced to rely on public transportation, which can be quite unreliable. With autonomous cars, everyone (think young children, disabled individuals, or those who can’t drive for any reason) will enjoy the benefits of improved mobility.

-More free time for motorists: With your car taking care of the driving, you’ll be free to make the most of the time you spend travelling. Furthermore, traffic congestion will be eliminated when driverless cars become the norm, which means it will take people less time to travel.

-Motoring will become more sustainable: Since driverless cars are designed to optimize efficiency when in motion, they will boost fuel efficiency and cut down on carbon emissions by a significant margin.

Like with everything else, there’s a handful of pros and cons of self-driving cars. So despite the wealth of opportunities they present, autonomous vehicles have a few drawbacks, including:

-The potential to be hacked: Electronic devices are vulnerable to attacks from hackers, and driverless cars are no different. And should such a vehicle be hacked, passengers won’t have much of a chance to correct any errors.

-They rely on sensors: Sensors placed all around the car are what feed the central control unit with vital data. So what happens when one or more sensors breaks down? Does the car proceed with the journey, or will the passengers have to find an alternative?

Still, experts believe that most of these concerns will be eliminated with better analysis and experience. And as vehicle manufacturers continue to perfect their creations, the rest of the world needs to get ready. As such, local and national authorities will have to overhaul existing infrastructure to make it friendlier towards self-driving cars.

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