Once that only seemed like a Star Track, Star Wars sci-fi clip of a movie keeps coming to life every day. With the monster tech companies partnered by the leading auto makers self driving vehicles seem to be the way of the future. The biggest questions is Who's Driving? Self-driving vehicles are another technology that has great potential and is rapidly changing. A self-driving or autonomous vehicle is one that can drive itself with no human intervention. The human in the vehicle can read, surf the Internet or watch television. It would be a boon to the disabled, as they could freely move around without having to depend on others for rides.
There are thoughts of autonomous taxis or ride-sharing vehicles where the potential passenger simply calls for a car and an empty car arrives at home and takes whomever to wherever the desired location is. Uber is seriously looking into obtaining autonomous vehicles. Advantages of this are a tremendous reductions in accidents, as human error is responsible for 90 percent of all auto accidents.
While many hail this technology, there are concerns. Proposed legislation from the California Department of Motor Vehicles still requires a licensed driver be at the wheel. If a passenger needs to take over for the car, what is the time delay, especially if the passenger is engaged in other behavior? Who is liable when the autonomous vehicle has an accident? Is it the passenger or the manufacturer of the vehicle?
With Accidents drastically reduced, what does this do to your auto insurance? With a combination of autonomous vehicles will people even own vehicles that need insuring? Can the vehicles be hacked and then directed to go to a particular location or cause accidents at rush hour? There are many advantages, but also a number of concerns that have not been sorted out yet.
Many manufacturers are working on the technology, so this is not an "if" question, but more of a "when" question. While it is expected to be several years after autonomous vehicles are available before the fleet of cars on the road is predominately autonomous, that day is expected to happen.
The good things that can happen with all this technology is maybe families will be able to just have one car. Think about how much time the car sits when you are at work. The car can run the kids to where they need to go, pick them up from school, drop them off at a friends home. Of coarse with all the good things that happen things tend to be abused. Let us know your thoughts.
Bobby Bates Sterling Peaks Insurance 529 25 1/2 Rd Suite B111 Grand Junction, CO 81505.
SPI Reflections Blog
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