How Far Are We From Driverless Cars?

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We’ve all seen movies that are set in the future and the crazy inventions that are present. From robots to flying cars, everyone has crazy ideas about what the future might hold. However, some of those ideas may not be that crazy. Fully autonomous cars have long been sought as a piece of future tech, and it appears that they may be on the horizon. Driverless cars would forever alter our way of life, especially if they were available to the masses. So how far are we from driverless cars, and what exactly does a future with driverless cars in it look like?

How Close Are We?

The idea of a driverless car may seem futuristic and as outlandish as a flying car, but in reality our technology is relatively close. Although there’s no specific timetable for when driverless cars can be mass produced, billions of dollars are already being spent by the biggest automotive companies in order to produce these cars. In fact, tests have already begun and driverless cars have already hit the road. It is no longer a question of if we will have driverless cars, but rather when. Fortunately for us the answer to that question seems to be very soon. Perhaps it’s time to stop worrying about the size of your home and “how much mortgage can I afford”, and start saving for a new autonomous vehicle.  

What The Future Holds

Driverless cars open up a large amount of possibilities in various industries. For example, companies like Uber and Lyft can be completely retooled to include fleets of autonomous vehicles. Now there would be no need for the middle man, a customer can simply put in their location, and a driverless vehicle will pick them up. This could also revolutionize the food and restaurant industry, as it could allow for delivery vehicles, effectively eliminating the need for a delivery man. Finally, public transportation could be revolutionized as well. If driverless busses become possible as well, then public transportation could become a lot more efficient in crowded cities.

Problems That Will Arise

As of right now, autonomous cars bring about a whole slew of problems. For example, after driverless cars will there even be a need to learn how to drive? Will there be a way to revert back to manual controls? Driverless cars also bring about a lot of legal questions as well. For example, if there is an accident, who is responsible for damages? This is especially complicated if a manuel mode is implemented into the car. Is the driver responsible for not recognizing the situation and taking control, or is the manufacturer of the car responsible for damages due to the car’s faulty A.I? Finally, some moral and philosophical issues can arise from driverless cars. One of philosophy’s most hotly contested thought experiments is the trolley problem. How would an autonomous vehicle respond when it is faced with a decision like that, and how would you even decide if its the correct decision? A lot of problems need to be addressed before driverless cars can hit the open market.

Tom Parillo

Tom Parillo

I am interested in all things technology, especially automation, robotics and tech that helps change how society will live in the future.
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