autonomous cars

Until recently, self-driving cars seemed like science fiction, but technological advances mean they’ll be with us sooner than imagined, bringing many benefits. What are you looking forward to the most about letting your car do the driving?

Autonomous vehicles — cars that do not depend on humans to drive them — are just around the corner.

In an August 2016 article, CB Insights reports that 33 corporations are at work creating autonomous vehicles. Many cities, states, and countries, including the United States, Germany, and China, are testing them or otherwise considering their future use.

Legislators are preparing to write laws to cover self-driving cars, and manufacturers are gearing up and counting down the years until they will begin selling them in the marketplace.

Advocates for self-driving vehicles say the cars will make the roads safer by far. Safety is not the only benefit they may bring. Here’s a list of some of the benefits of autonomous autos, especially when all vehicles on the road are self-driving:

  1. You’ll Be Able to Use Your Device: You’ll be able text to your heart’s delight if the car is doing the driving for you. And if you have a hankering to web surf or watch streaming videos, no problem!
  2. No More Snoozing at the Wheel: If you are commuting to work (or driving a truck or bus) and feel sleepy, you can be confident you won’t cause an accident because self-driving cars don’t need Z’s.
  3. No Driving Under the Influence: If you’ve had too much to drink or smoke, your car will be your designated driver (and won’t develop a martyr complex if asked more than once). Recreational marijuana may be legal in Colorado, but driving while stoned isn’t.
  4. Safe Driving With Children and Pets: When driving with children and pets, the chance of a dangerous distraction is high. But autonomous vehicles will allow for as much interaction as desired.
  5. Increased Productivity: Driverless commuting means you’ll be able to work on projects on the way to and from work.
  6. No More Concerns About Driving While Medicated: People whose driving skills may be affected by prescribed or over-the-counter medications won’t have to worry about this any more.
  7. Autonomy for the Elderly and Disabled: When you’re used to being able to drive yourself around, handing over the car keys can be an emotional blow as well as a major inconvenience. Self-driving vehicles will be able to restore a sense of independence.
  8. You’ll Be Able to Enjoy the View: If you like to admire the scenery — and who doesn’t here in Colorado — go ahead, enjoy the view! You no longer will need to keep your eyes on the road.
  9. You Won’t Get Hemmed In: Driverless cars will leave enough distance between you and the car ahead to give plenty of time to stop in case of an emergency. When all cars are driverless, researchers envision communication between vehicles to leave enough space front and back to prevent chain-reaction accidents.
  10. No More Worries About Speeders and Reckless Drivers: One day driverless vehicles will be connected with the infrastructure, and will drive at the safest speeds and stop when signs tell them to. And because they won’t be going over the speed limit, all vehicles on the road will be safer.

Even just a few years ago, self-driving cars seemed like something from a science fiction movie. But technological advances have been coming in leaps and bounds. What are you looking forward to most about letting your car do the driving?

Image by cheskyw/123RF.

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