Throughout history, many inventions have made a significant difference to the world for better or worse. The atomic bomb, automobile and penicillin are some of the many inventions that have altered the course of human kind. As technology advances, so do the inventions. One goal of many car manufacturers is to create a safer car in the hopes to reduce the damage of car accidents. But what if they could create a car that could prevent accidents in the first place? Many New Orleans residents may have heard of the driverless car.
What may seem like science fiction is actually being tested for commercial use. The driverless car has been the main focus for several companies including Google. Imagine enjoying a nap on the way to work while the car drives itself or picking someone up from the airport without leaving home; the possibilities are endless. But perhaps the number one advantage of a driverless car is the reduced amount of car accidents every year.
Since 90 percent of all traffic accidents are caused by human error, what would happen if human error was removed? With the driverless car there would be much less drunk driving, reckless driving and distracted driving. The cars developed by Google can park themselves, avoid collisions with other vehicles and keep a safe following distance. However, Google is always trying to improve their product. As of now, the cars cannot negotiate adverse weather conditions, follow traffic lights and signs or identify people walking on the streets or sidewalks. Other questions regarding liability should one of these cars cause an accident have yet to be answered. Google has tested over 50,000 miles of the driverless car without human intervention. Google plans to make the driverless car available to the public by 2018. Wired magazine predicted that most U.S. citizens would not even need a driver's license by 2040.
Although not yet ready for production, the driverless car still has a long way to go before it is used by most New Orleans residents. Until it is perfected, the world is stuck with driver cars and all the human error that goes with it.
Source: PBS.org, "Are We Ready For Driverless Cars?" Ibrahim Balkhy, May 9, 2013