Anyone who has watched futuristic movies made during the 1960s and 1970s was probably hoping to see flying cars by now. While vehicles cannot yet do this, they can drive themselves. In 2015, Google announced its latest innovation – self-driving cars. The technology has caught the attention of drivers around the globe, leading them to ask just how safe these self-driving cars truly are.
Google put these vehicles to the test over 1.8-million miles. The safety reports of their cars compared their autonomous vehicles to those that are driven by a human. The accident reports revealed that there were only 13 minor accidents in the entire test distance. Many of these accidents were caused by another driver hitting the vehicle. However not one of these vehicles that was hit was one that was self driven. It’s important to understand that the driving tests are designed to give Google transparency. There’s lots more driving test guides here.
Once upon a time, individuals can wait to get behind the wheel of a car. Today, drivers are more distracted than ever. Each day in the United States there are thousands of motor vehicle accidents that happen simply because the driver takes their eyes off the road to answer a phone call, respond to text messages, or even change the station on the radio. Although many automotive manufacturers have gone through great lengths to provide additional safety features that allow their cars to be safer regardless of what the drivers doing, they are still not fully preventing the great number of accidents that happen each day. Self driving cars create a unique advantage where the technology greatly decreases human error. Some of the benefits include not only less accidents but also decreased insurance premiums and the ability to save lives.
There are some people that wonder if self-driven vehicles will actually take over manual vehicles altogether. As far as this is concerned, it will never happen in the lifetime of any person today. The time it would take to phase out manually driven vehicles would be substantial. Although there are number of benefits that, with the autonomous models, there are still many factors that have not been considered yet. For example, what happens when the technology fails? Other questions have been posed about the ability for hackers to hack into the vehicles and commit crimes without being inside the vehicle. The full range of possibilities of what could happen – good and bad – are still being compiled.
As of right now autonomous vehicles are simply something that we get to enjoy from afar. The current technology is rather expensive to produce which means that mass production of vehicles for consumer use is not in the immediate future. Additionally, more safety testing regulations will need to be completed as well as government approval before these can be bought by everyday consumers. Although the question has been posed of whether it is likely the government will ban manually driven cars in their entirety, someday, it is not a concern for this generation or even the next.