Think You Aren’t Sharing the Road with Self-Driving Cars? Think Again.
A few years ago,
self-driving cars were essentially science fiction. Today, they’re a real thing…
and they’re already on the roads.
In fact, you might not realize just how
here-and-now they really are. These fast facts will give you a sense of where driverless
cars currently stand.
1. They Take Cross-Country Road Trips… On Their Own.
Maybe, just maybe, a car will drive itself across the country one day.
No, wait — that already happened. Believe it or not, an Audi SUV
drove itself from New York to San Francisco in 2015, logging 3,4000 miles
along the way.
2. You Can Buy One.
As of 2017, driverless cars are now entering the commercial market. That
means drivers like you can go out and buy one.
hundreds (if not thousands) of self-driving cars are expected to fall into consumer
hands around the world this year, though many places have strict rules
about where they can operate — at least for now.
3. The Government’s On Their Side.
The previous U.S. presidential administration authorized some $4 billion
in federal funding for driverless car technology testing. The government’s
hope is that, as these technologies improve, collisions and traffic fatalities
will ultimately decline. Of course, that’s still a subject for debate.
4. Snow’s a Problem.
Last year, internal testing at Volvo revealed that snowflakes can
completely incapacitate driverless cars’ sensors. Given that snow falls with some regularity
in a significant portion of the country, that’s a big problem. Still,
automakers think they have a solution in sight.
5. There’s Already Been a Fatality.
Since their inception, driverless cars have caused a series of auto accidents,
though they were rarely serious. Last year, however, several significant
crashes — including one that caused a human fatality — sent
shivers down the public’s spines.
New technologies are always imperfect. Driverless car technology will
undoubtedly improve. For now, though, big question marks remain.
We Aren’t There Yet
You probably aren’t sharing the lane with a whole line of self-driving cars
yet, but don’t underestimate how close we could be to that new reality.
As Springfield car accident lawyers, we want to see our entire community
get safer on the roads. We’re hopeful that these new vehicles will
ultimately achieve that goal. Until then, let’s all keep a cautious
eye on the roads.