Self-driving cars used to be the stuff of science fiction fantasy.
General Motors summed it up best in the 1939 New York’s Fair with their Futurama Display. The rendering featured a family sitting in a car facing each other and playing a board game, while the car drove itself. This futuristic image awed everyone who saw it and provided a glimpse of what the future could look like.
Fast forward to today and the first ever DARPA challenge in 2007 – self-driving cars have arrived.
We have companies such as Waymo, udelv, Nuro, Uber, and a host of others investing in the technology. Waymo has even said that its driverless vehicles are clocking in at 5 million miles and counting. Udelv, on the other hand, focuses on self-service delivery using driverless cars.
The Benefits of Having Self-Driving Vehicles
The main goal of developing a car that drives itself is to take human drivers out of the equation. A vehicle powered by a computer has plenty of obvious benefits:
- Self-driving makes travel safer because the machines can talk to each other on the road and avoid accidents.
- Since computers are in charge of all vehicle movement and re-routing, traffic will be non-existent.
- It eliminates human error and unpredictability that often cause road mishaps.
- The efficiency and computing power of self-driving cars enable faster speeds of up to 200 mph.
- The stress associated with driving long distances and sitting in traffic is no longer a factor.
Self-Driving Cars Will Affect Us All
When self-driving cars finally roll out, everyone will reap the benefits. Since no one will be driving anymore, no one needs to buy an expensive car. Used car sales will also be non-existent – no one needs to search a VIN number anymore.
There will be no more expensive maintenance costs, insurance, and car registration. Why? Because the companies that own these self-driving cars will take care of it. The burden of owning, maintaining, and driving a car would no longer be a financial black hole.
The transportation costs for families and individuals will be cheaper because all you need to do is order a pod like you would order an Uber.
Self-Driving Cars: What it Means for Businesses
Businesses will also benefit a lot when self-driving cars finally make their way to everyday life. In the U.S., the average commute is 25 minutes each way. Almost 90% of Americans drive themselves to work and suffer the consequences of spending nearly an hour in the car.
Since employees are no longer stuck in traffic, tired, and stressed out from driving, employers get the best version of their workers. Workers now come to work relaxed and happy. Employees can also spend a little more time working on a project or collaborating with each other inside a self-driving car.
Driverless Cars and Business Travel
By using self-driving cars, businesses will find it easier and cheaper to send their staff to cross-country conferences. Imagine not having to go through booking a flight, going to the airport, passing security, checking-in, waiting, and boarding a plane.
With driverless cars, all you need to do is get in, relax, read a book, sleep, and wait until you reach your destination. Easy like a Sunday morning. Plus, traveling at 200 mph can get you there faster than ever before.
Self-driving cars are the future of travel and thanks to the efforts of tech companies, they’re already here. Going driverless solves a lot of the pressing problems we face today, such as traffic, road accidents and over-production of cars. With self-driving cars, we will be using fewer resources and making less of a footprint every time we travel.
Patrick Peterson is a writer/editor at AutoDetective. Born and raised in the automotive world. He’s a passionate writer who crafts exquisite content pieces about everything related to cars and bikes.