It seems like just yesterday when the Volkswagen Beetle was the new car everyone loved and wanted. It featured something very novel for the era, an engine placed in the trunk!
Decades later, engineers thought that soon cars would be electrically powered, but few ever thought that cars would be self-driving.
Sure, the Jetson’s cartoons had levitating cars that zipped along to pick George Jetson up at home and whisk him off to work at Spacely Sprockets. In reality, few people have forecast the technology that would be available, and perhaps fewer are ready for what will happen on the roadways soon.
What do you think our cars and roadways will look like in the decades ahead? If you’re thinking that everything from highway signs, to GPS, to crash avoidance systems will aid you in your daily commute, you’re probably right. It will take sometime before we feel confident enough to read our tablet while our driverless automobile takes us to work, but we’ll see this within 10 years.
Google has just released their self-driving vehicle and they’re operating legally in some jurisdictions in the US. So these cars aren’t the future anymore, they’re here now.
Will they become very popular? They likely will be, but who knows for sure? Self-driving vehicle technology is expected to allow more cars on the road and these cars would more or less be shuttles or taxis requested on occasion. That would seemingly mean the end of car insurance along with the need for driver training and licensing. Proponents also believe that these cars will bring greater road safety.
It’s unlikely self-driving vehicles and human-driven vehicles would mix well on our roadways though especially with a call to increase highway speeds.
Even if self-driving vehicles can communicate with one another and respond perfectly in super-congested situations at high speeds, humans cannot respond that fast. One bad lane change by a human could set off a chain reaction high speed pile up of driverless cars on the 407, 404 or 401. There are only so many options for a vehicle traveling 110 to 130 kph.
Whatever consumer’s tastes dictate, we can be sure the cars of tomorrow will use technology extensively to aid safe driving.
For our lifetime however, we’ll be driving our own cars. Find out more about safety features you should choose on your next vehicle.
Have you ever wondered how insurance companies set their rates? You might lower your premiums through the cheapest cars to insure, avoiding bad driving habits, like texting and driving, and especially don’t run red lights.
Already in Israel, they have “thinking” cars that drive themselves, monitor their own performance and learn through experience.
With technology advances, cars will have more access to road conditions, and how traffic is behaving, so they may be able to foresee situations better than a human.