The day of the driverless car is upon us. It is no longer ambitious thinking by a writer in Popular Science; the technology is alive and well and thriving at auto manufacturers, and not just Tesla or Google. Companies like Ford are already testing and working with prototypes.
For those us who are infected with the American love affair with the automobile, we remember our first day behind the wheel. Although not all of us sped cross country like Jack Kerouac, we were thrilled by the possibility.
Try to imagine the USA landscape with driverless cars:
Will it be safer (no more boneheaded moves by that so-and-so driver)?
- More efficient driving will help save us at the pump.
- We will summon our car from the parking spot with a tap on the smart phone.
- Chatting will be easier, so will texting and tweeting, but is that a good thing?
- DWI could be a thing of the past…
- Driver age will become an issue. If you are not behind the wheel, what says a 12 year old could not make the solo trip to the grocery store?
- This may all affect insurance rates, and “high risk” drivers may be a rarity.
Driverless cars could driver closer to others, lanes could be narrower, and intersection collisions could be long lost fables.
What about Insurance?
If a computer drives your car, are you still liable for the operation of the vehicle? In theory, it should result in less accidents, less injury, less death… and that’s a good thing. Could it be that the driverless car will actually cost LESS to insure than your current day, grip the wheel, pedal to the metal version? Perhaps. We all welcome a safer road to travel.
It’s a fascinating topic, one that will permeate our conversations in the very near future.
Whatever the result, those of us who drive in 2016 will always be able to tell generations after us that WE drove the car, and it was exhilarating,… most of the time.
Drive safe, be safe… we’re all counting on you.