New technology can scare people as it presents risks and challenges. However, I have to confess that self-driving cars or autonomous vehicles is a technology that I find very exciting. We have discussed the possibility of the Internet of Thing to leave us no place to hide and autonomous vehicles are a part of this.
We’ve also mused about the fact that there is a higher probability of the government ruining autonomous vehicles. However, let us balance these positions with the benefits of self-driving cars.
One of the major benefits of autonomous vehicles is the fact that they help us save time. Time is very precious as it is something that is very limited. It is estimated that 90% of working Americans drive a car to work.
The average commute is about 25 minutes meaning that an American worker gets more than 4 hours of their life back every week! Provided they would still be in a vehicle but many have urgent, important tasks which can be done on a phone or on laptops.
This usually amounts to getting a whole year of life back during our lifetime, that you would have spent beeping the horn because you are frustrated and flipping off other commuters. Never mind the fact that many people will spend that year Facebooking.
Can reduce road accident deaths
I am aware that letting go of control is something that will scare many people out there. However, there is nothing to be scared of as automation of traffic patterns will reduce deaths caused by road accidents. Every year, 1.3 million people worldwide die from road accidents and many more are seriously injured.
I also know that some people are scared that self-driving cars may be prone to hacks. But seeing this a pressing concern, it would be bad publicity for a company’s cars to be taken over by hackers.
As of now, there is no hacker out there who has managed to hack any self-driving car in industry tests which reward any hacker who finds vulnerabilities in their systems. Also, many cars can be hacked already. It is very easy to make a murder look like an accident when humans are the ones driving.
Can help people save money
This is due to the fact that money used to be spent on insurance and cars will be freed up. Many people won’t have to buy a car as they will be able to use rideshare programs. Those who will buy cars will not have to spend a lot on insurance as the cost of insurance will be lower.
There will be no need to worry about teen drivers, elderly, drunks or distracted drivers. Just think of how this fact will remove the social problems associated with the drivers we just mentioned. There will be no debates about whether or not to take driver’s licenses at a certain age. There will also be no tweaking regulations and legislation on how to get rid of teen accidents.
Self-driving cars will enable you to text in your car, talk on the phone, enjoy your time with friends and even drink beer in your car! This is because of the fact that technology is in control. Statistics show that drunk driving claims more than 10,000 lives in America. Just imagine the number of lives that self-driving cars can save.
Reduce traffic related arrests
At times, police can pull you over when driving for almost anything including if you driving a bit too fast, if you cross the centerline if they see a taillight out, if you swerve, if you speed up for a yellow light and so on.
Autonomous vehicle reports show they will enable people to go from their own private property to the private property of a car. They will then exit onto an individual’s or business property and never give the government an opportunity to violate their rights.
In the US alone, almost 1.5 million people are arrested every year for Driving under the Influence. Just calculate how much it costs taxpayers to send these people through the court system.
Apart from those arrested for Driving Under the Influence, there are others who are arrested for being in possession of drugs during a traffic stop. Taxpayers will also have to bear the costs of sending this group through the court system.
Therefore, autonomous vehicles will solve this problem as fewer rights will be violated and fewer illegal searches will be carried out. Police will be safer as they will not have to walk up to strangers on a regular basis. On the other hand, people will also be safer as they will not have to worry about being shot by police because they were not able to show their hands for a split second.
Therefore, this will get rid of the dangerous interactions between citizens and the police. Autonomous vehicles can change the cultural acceptance of being questioned, stopped and searched by officers for no valid reason.