It's 2015, and technology has made incredible advancements in the past fifteen years. However, self-driving cars are in the early stages of development and testing. In the next five years, self-driving cars will most likely be released to the public and seen on the road every day.
Is this safe?
It's fair to wonder, "how will self-driving cars affect traffic and the roadways?" It's understandable to question this new technology, as it will greatly change the way we travel. Safety is a serious concern, as we haven't put our complete trust in any mode of transportation, thus far. We get from place to place by train, boat, plane, or car, all of which are operated by people.
How will self-driving cars change the roadways?
1. They can see what we cannot
Of course, we trust ourselves getting into a car and navigating from point A to point B, but trusting a machine? That's another story. Google's self-driving cars have sensors that are designed to detect objects as far as two football fields away.
2. They drive conservatively
According to Google, their self-driving cars are very cautious on the road, as many accidents happen at intersections or while we are changing lanes. The cars will have sensors that humans just do not have, and they'll be able to know exactly what is happening around the vehicle from every angle. Because of this sensitivity, these cars drive very conservatively to stay safe.
3. They will reduce the number of accidents on the road
This will apply to many different types of accidents, but especially those in which the driver was impaired in some capacity. Around 90% of accidents involve some type of human error, which would be taken out of the picture with these self-driving cars.
Self-driving cars would eliminate distracted driving, which is important but difficult to avoid these days. Many people are on the phone, eating, or thinking of other things while on the road, which is not safe. Learn more about tips to avoid distracted driving here.
4. Fewer accidents = fewer deaths
As long as human error is removed from the equation, there are bound to be fewer car accident related deaths on the road.
We will most likely not see self-driving cars fill up the roadways in the next couple of years. This revolutionary update in technology will be interesting to experience in our lifetimes, but until then, accidents will still continue to happen.