By Robert Otten
The nearest and biggest change in technology is coming right now in the automobile industry. The use of fully autonomous vehicles is already available to us, but there are still current legal ramifications surrounding their commercial use. When the government makes this technology legal, however, the societal and economic effects will be remarkable.
The impact that fully integrated self-driving cars would have on society is unfathomable. Distracted driving would be eliminated since there is no need for human interaction with self-driving enabled in your vehicle. Fully autonomous vehicles would put an end to car accidents because it would no longer matter whether or not the person behind the wheel is suitable to drive.
Self driving cars help reduce the chance for human error, and could reduce traffic fatalities by 90 percent, according to USA Today. This can greatly reduce health care costs related to driving accidents.
It would also greatly diminish, if not entirely eliminate, traffic, according to PC Magazine. If every single car had self-driving capabilities, traffic would flow much more smoothly since cars would all be travelling at the same rate of speed. This would allow for more cars on the road because there wouldn’t be any slow drivers, which often prevent a smooth flow of cars. Transportation would become swift and painless.
Another major impact that fully autonomous vehicles would have on society would be the additional time gained everyday if people no longer had to drive themselves to work. They could spend that time being productive or catching up on sleep.
People would be able to have the car travel all night if necessary and wake up at their destination, full of energy. That is not possible without fully autonomous vehicles. Driving can make people exhausted even after only a few hours behind the wheel.
The impact that self-driving cars would have on the economy would be extraordinary. Electric cars are the way of the future, and they go hand-in-hand with self-driving. With electric cars now becoming more affordable to a broader audience, gas-powered cars may become obsolete.
Electric cars also have their own benefits. Similarly to how Netflix made Blockbuster outdated, gas stations will also become obsolete. Now that we are in the 21st century we must move away from combustion engines and only use renewable energy to power our cars. Charging stations will eventually be as common as the amount of gas stations there are now.
The argument has been made by sources like WIRED Magazine that the use of only self-driving vehicles will eliminate thousands of jobs such as semi truck drivers. Although this is likely true, it is still a better option. Saving thousands of lives every year vastly outweighs the loss of losing jobs.
The convenience of self-driving electric vehicles is what will make them continuously grow. People always want the easiest and quickest way to do things.
In the future, it is possible that I may not need to own a vehicle. If everyone uses driverless vehicles, owning a car seems to be pointless or not even possible. Companies like Uber and Lyft will begin to dominate transportation. A car will be sent to wherever you are and you will be picked up at your location.
Over the next few years, electric cars will become increasingly common and the government should be ready to help fight against the negative impact they might have, according to the Los Angeles Times. The convenience of self-driving electric vehicles is obvious — the copious advantages speak for themselves. This new technology will forever change the way that we use transportation.
Students share opinions around campus
“Would you ride in a self-driving car?”
“Yeah, I would. They seem safe.”
“No. Technology is always flawed and a car can’t respond if something goes wrong within.”