The ability to get into a car, tell it where you want to go, and it automatically takes you there has always been something you would only expect to see in science fiction movies. Thanks to technology and Google, this can be a reality sooner than you may think. We are getting closer and closer each day to speaking your destination into your car’s interface, and it will take you there.
Currently, the building blocks of driverless cars are on the road. First, you could purchase a car that would let you know if you were about to hit something. Today, you can drive a car that will stop for you if you don’t hit the brakes fast enough. You can also purchase a car that will size up a parking space and move into it. All you need to do is press the accelerator and the brakes. Soon, there will be cars available that will do all of the driving for you. When this happens, it can change your life.
Your Vehicle Will Be Made Differently
Because accidents are caused by the drivers, car manufacturers make them with heavy steel and up to 8 airbags. When cars start doing all of the driving, accidents will be very rare. Because of this, your car won’t need all of the safety systems that most cars today have.
No More Searching for a Parking Space
When you go out, you will not need to search for a nearby parking space. You won’t even need to pay for parking anymore. You can have your car drop you off right at the door, and send it miles away to be parked. When you are ready to head home, you can call your car to come pick you up. This is huge for people who work and live in big cities, and spend hundreds, even thousands of dollars on parking every year.
Less Need to Fly
If you are planning a trip from Boston to Florida, you won’t need to worry about purchasing an expensive plane ticket. You can enter your destination, and lay back and take a nap. By the time you wake up, you will be at your destination.
Driving Will Be Much Safer
When you are in your car, you will be much safer than you are today. You won’t need to worry about drunk drivers on the road because cars cannot get drunk. You also won’t need to worry about drivers who take unnecessary risks, because self-driving cars won’t be programmed to do this.
Physically Challenged People and Seniors Can Still Get Around
Older people will still be able to drive much longer into their lives, even when their eyesight goes down or they have other disabilities. The same goes for physically challenged people who now have to invest in expensive and sophisticated driving aids to be mounted into their cars. This would no longer be required; even blind people will be able to drive.
Roads Will Be Smaller
Roads will take less space as self-driving cars don’t need a much smaller safety buffer on the side. Road infrastructure will, therefore, be simpler and more ecologically integrated
Traffic Will Be Optimised
As cars will communicate their position with other cars, they will be able to optimise the space between them and thus occupy the roads more efficiently. Traffic will be much more fluent at constant speeds and with no accidents occurring.
Cities Looking More Attractive
As there will be no need for parking spaces in city centres, this means a huge change in the outlook of urban infrastructure. Shopping malls, restaurants, movie theaters, sporting arenas, airports etc will no longer have spaces for cars built-in. Cars will just park outside of the city center in huge parking areas, waiting for you to call them back.
Cheaper Taxi Rides
If you take a cab in downtown Manhattan, you can expect to spend between $4 and $6 per mile. When taxis switch over to being self-driving cars, there will be no need for a cab driver to be paid. According to a recent study, a fleet of about 9,000 driver-less taxis could serve all of Manhattan for about $.40 per mile. This will be a huge benefit for people who rely on a taxi to get around every day.
Cheaper Insurance Bills
Before eventually becoming mandatory, self-driving cars will initially have cheaper insurance rates than traditional cars. This incentive will in time speed up the acceptance rate of self-driving cars.