The idea of cars driving themselves used to be considered a science fiction. Many never thought that a time will come when a car indeed could cruise around cities. But that is now a genuine possibility.
Uber’s first batch of driverless taxis was rolled out in August. At that time, the CEO, Travis Kalanick, said that there was no way we were going to escape the notion of self driven cars. As at the moment, Uber is using the Uber Advanced Technologies Center located in Pittsburgh to map out the driverless technology. But Uber is not the only firm exploring this new technology. Other major technology companies that have invested in the field are Google, Apple, Toyota and Honda. All these are engaged in what can be termed as a competition to be the first to get self-driving cars to the market. As at the moment, the biggest progress has been made by Google and Tesla. Google says it currently has 1.5 million miles of self-driving, while Tesla says it has about 140 million miles.
But why should people demand for self-driving cars? Have citizens been yearning for something silently?
Most experts explain that with driverless cars, there are a number of benefits in terms of traffic, safety and fuel consumption to be enjoyed. The Eno Centre for Transportation carried out a study in the United States. Its findings were that if 90 percent of cars on US roads were autonomous, the country would experience a decline in accidents from 6 million to 1.3 million. Similarly, auto-related deaths would decline all the way to 11,300 from 33,000. It is thus obvious that many people desire safety over everything.
The autonomous vehicles custodians add that people get to enjoy additional free time that is clearly desirable. But does that mean we need driverless cars? The effect that this will have on our day-to-day life should be keenly considered. It is apparent that we have to be concerned in one way after we have given up control of the wheel. We will lose not only the right to drive but also thousands of jobs.
Do not begin to fear automation even before it becomes a reality. Judging by history, we should have learned that embracing change is not an option despite jobs being replaced with each invention. A lot of faith is most definitely needed for us to give up control, but the future generations will look at this and wonder why we did not give it a shot early enough.