When you think of self-driving vehicles, you may imagine something that is a possibility but not in your lifetime. Well, autonomous cars may not be as futuristic as you think. More and more companies are considering the use of self-driving vehicles, and some have already adopted the technology.

Current State

Even today’s newer car models have some form of self-driving technology integrated into their systems. Cars that are able to brake automatically if the driver is distracted or those that prevent lane departure are all minute levels of self-driving technology. Tesla cars’ self-driving technology is so advanced that the vehicle can park itself as well.

Safety

When most people think of self-driving cars, they typically imagine the technology being used by major corporations. However, allowing this technology to be accessible to the general public can help to improve road safety. This is because the self-driving vehicle does not get distracted or sleepy as a person might. Also, with all of the sensors and cameras the technology uses, it is more likely that a self-driving car can avoid most accidents.

Cost Savings

Companies would no longer have to hire drivers to deliver goods to their customers. Not only would the use of driverless cars mean lower costs for suppliers, but that could also mean lower shipping charges for you as well. Of course, along with cutting costs, this technology would allow products to arrive faster since a driverless vehicle doesn’t need to stop for sleep. These cost reductions could also trickle down into food prices if the technology is used by grocery stores and food delivery companies. The price of car insurance would probably decrease dramatically as well since a driverless vehicle is less of a liability than a human-operated car.

Problems on the Horizon

While there are definitely many reasons why driverless cars would be a great asset, there are also some legitimate concerns regarding its technology. Everyone wants to save money, but at what social loss? Implementing driverless technology, while great for the company and customer, can mean countless people without jobs. The schooling and long hours invested in their driving careers could all go down the drain for truckers. While utilizing the technology on a small scale may not have a significant impact, the mass use of driverless vehicles could be devastating to society. There are even ethical problems that people will have to address. With computer hacking being a real issue, what happens if the systems are hacked? How is the public protected, and what does this mean for the cost of insurance? There are many questions that should be answered and hypothetical problems that need real solutions before the technology can truly move forward.

Regardless of whether or not you are in favor of driverless cars, the fact of the matter is that the technology is already in the works, and it will most surely become a reality. How soon that reality will come to fruition is anyone’s guess. While there are some negatives associated with driverless cars, there are definitely lots of positives as well. Nevertheless, self-driving vehicles are definitely a part of the future.