cars have been the talk of the town in the automotive world lately.
And for a good reason! Cars that can drive themselves have always
been reserved for science-fiction or futuristic movies. I can still
remember watching the movie Demolition Man as a kid and being struck
in awe when the cop car simply started driving on its own.
yes, autonomous driving could take all the fun out of driving a
vehicle but, ain’t driving to go to work already boring? The benefits
of having an autonomous car could greatly outshine the disadvantages
and hassle of everyday driving and put a ton more money in your
pockets. Let me explain myself.
No more accidents
According to DriveTech, a company that offers driving risk assessment in the UK, the percentage of crashes directly related to some type of driver error was thought to be as high as 94%!
Most car accidents are caused by distractions and honest mistakes from the drivers. Whether it’s texting, talking on the phone, talking to one of the passengers, kids in the car screaming, admiring the view, there’s a ton of reason to be distracted behind the wheel. According to a study from the National Academy of Science of the USA, more than 70% of the accidents involved some type of error, 8% involved a distraction, and 54% involved both.
Autonomous cars aren’t distracted and because they can think a lot quicker, they also make fewer errors than humans. Just think of when you play chess against a computer. If you set the difficulty level to expert, you have very little chances of winning since the computer can think of all the possible moves he can do to counter you and decide which move will give him the best chances 3, 4, 5, turns ahead. And that’s only for a basic computer game. Autonomous driving
No more tickets
If you are a
petrolhead like me, you probably had your fair share of driving
tickets in your life too. Letting your car drive for you could be a
great way to avoid that. Yes, driving while following speed limits is
a little less fun but it’s a lot better for your wallet and, even
more importantly, for your health. Everybody knows that driving
slower is also safer so I won’t say it again. But, since autonomous
cars have a quicker reaction time and can easily calculate the
correct braking distance needed to avoid the risk of crashing at high
speed, speed limits on the roads could also be raised higher.
a dream world full of autonomous vehicles, there would be no slower
people driving in the left lane anymore. Everybody would be driving
at the same speed. Speed limits could be raised and then everybody
would be “speeding” safely and without the fear of seeing
those flashing lights in your back glass.
Always have a designated driver on hand
arrival of self-driving cars, even drun driving could be a thing of
the past. Everybody could go to a bar, get piss drunk, and have their
car bring them safely home after the night. No more leaving the bar
early because public transportation stops at 11 pm. No more taxi
rides back home that cost the same amount you spent on beer that
night. No more fear of being the designated driver on the next night
out with your friends.
Lower taxi fares
Even if you don’t own a car yourself, going back home after the night would be a lot cheaper. Why? Because the operational cost of owning a taxi company could be greatly reduced by having an all autonomous-driving fleet. The owner would only have to maintain the cars and put fuel in them, saving on drivers salary and all other fees that come with having employees.
Yes, taxi driver would be a job of the past but so is milkman and lamplighter. Things change and often for the best.
More productive commute time
I’m a pretty
busy man and so are you. Everybody is busy these days. And one thing
I hate is having to lose all that time in my daily commute. If we all
had autonomous cars, this lost time could be used for more productive
things. For example, if I had a self-driving car, I could be writing
this post on my laptop on my way to work instead of having to wait
until I get back home. You could eat or sleep on your way to work.
Even waste the time gained by surfing Facebook if you want. Anything
else than just watching ahead and trying not to kill someone until
you get out of the traffic jam.
Lower cost of almost everything
Obviously, fewer crashes on the road would mean lower insurance and healthcare costs. But even more importantly, the cost of almost everything would be brought lower. One of the most important parts of the manufacturing cost of almost everything is shipping. Having self-driving means of transportation as a whole would make shipping a lot cheaper.
Just think about the manufacturing process of any typical car. Most parts and accessories like seats, dashboards, clusters to windows, trims, and tires are made by specialized manufacturers and then shipped to the production plant to be assembled on the car. Some parts even have to cross the same border numerous times before they are completed. For example, the metal coming from Argentina to make resistors in Mexico will be shipped to Canada to make electronic boards. These boards will then be shipped to the US to be installed in a PCM. But the software itself is made in Canada so the PCM is shipped back up north, programmed and then shipped back to the US. The same PCM would have to travel back and forth across the border multiple times before it arrives at the US factory to be installed on the vehicle. That’s a lot of shipping money thrown to the garbage.
The same thing happens with food. A strawberry grown in California is imported into Canada to bake a fruit cake and then shipped to Europe to be sold in a grocery store.
Removing the driver from the equation would not only lower the cost of physically driving the truck but would also lower insurance and maintenance costs. And so it is for all other means of transportation like buses, cargo boats and so on.
All the good
reasons in the world won’t help get rid of the apparent irrational
fear that people seem to have about self-driving vehicles. I think
that only time will. But hey, before you make up your mind, I
strongly suggest you try one for yourself. I had my doubts too at
first. Until I tried a Tesla equipped with the self-driving system.
Honestly, it was the most freaky thing I did lately. But after a
while, not having to hold the steering wheel really made me feel like
I was living in the future.
And it worked really great!
It may not be perfect yet but so is every new technology.
First computers were shit. First electric vehicles were too. But now,
awesome, fast and reliable computers and EV are part of our everyday
lives. We simply need to give it some time and getting used to and
everything will work out fine.
We now live in the future.
Why not get used to it and try to make the best of it?