With car technology growing, the possibility of your car driving you to work is nearing. There has been talk of driverless cars for years; however, with innovations in GPS, sensors, and intuitive software controlling cars, the possibility of no longer controlling your car is very real. Google has already received the patent on technology that uses a bar code style indicator on the road to tell the car exactly where it is and allow it to take control. In tests the car was able to reach speeds of up to 40mph and navigate the course perfectly.
The Technology of Driverless Cars:
Google’s indicators are just one type of technology that manufacturers are looking at for making your car fully automated. Others are looking at sensors that will be installed along the roadways, GPS navigation, and even cameras and sensors to make the car drive its self. Each of these technologies are in being developed and tested, and may soon find its way onto the streets.
New systems have already been developed to predict collisions, automatically brake in order to avoid accidents and even communicate with other cars. For driverless cars this technology can help keep cars in their own lanes, avoid crashing into each other and keep a steady flow of traffic. By determining the best route, these cars will even be able to save on fuel cost and commute times.
Many of the traffic problems that are experienced are driver created. With so many different driving habits, driver health conditions, and experience levels, the roads can be dangerous. With driverless cars, each car will operate the same, drive the same, mind the speed limits, and keep the roads organized and efficient.
Expected Uses of Driverless Cars:
According to conducted studies, the average car sits parked 90% of the time. This means the average car is only used 10% of the time it is owned. With such little use, it almost seems costly to spend as much money as we do on owning a car.
The future of driverless cars may eliminate the need for owning your own vehicle and in turn reduce the amount of cars on the road. A car that can be driven its self would open up more possibilities for car sharing and rental. When you need to go somewhere, you can simply order the car to you. Much like a driverless cab ride, the car will come to your home and allow you to use it. You can keep the car waiting if it is just a trip to the grocery store or send it away if you are going to be at work for hours.
As you are getting ready to leave work, you can simply put in an order for a car to be waiting. This will create new services that will own fleets of driverless cars that will be at your beckoned call. Along with reducing the cost of owning a car, it will also allow for one car to be used by multiple users, in turn reducing traffic and emissions.
Legal Issues Currently Being Viewed:
Nevada has already passed laws and provisions for autonomous cars, which will make testing of these cars possible in the near future. However, there are many other legal factors that must be looked at before the streets and the government is ready to fully endorse the driverless cars.
A few of these factors are the role of the owners/passenger, legal responsibility if the car does crash, and the use of these cars. For instance, without the need for the driver to actually drive the car, will a driver’s license be needed, will a child be able to use a car since they won’t be driving it, and is it really worthwhile to allow the car owner to be sleeping in the car, inebriated, or completely distracted and not paying attention to what the car is doing? Insurance requirements will also be looked at as many insurance rates are based on the individual who owns the car. With cars driving themselves, the reduction in accidents, and no driver responsibility, will car insurance rates fall?
All of these questions are being closely considered along with the consideration of those drivers who are operating their own cars sharing the road with autonomous cars. With the technology so close to being ready for implementation, it is expected that the first line of autonomous cars will be on car lots within 5-10 years.
Sandy Landsford is a financial advisor who blogs for carinsurance.org.uk, a site offering low price car insurance quotes.