Well yes, clearly. Given the massive number of people who insist on driving while distracted, drunk, under the influence of something-or-other, without a license, without insurance, in a car that is not road worthy.. (just select your own indiscretion). Yes, it’s time for autonomous cars. However, that utopia may be as much as 100 years away or 4 – 5 generations.
If we could throw a switch and all cars on the road would be autonomous tomorrow, would we be better off?
Let’s break it down and look at what we might reasonably expect in the next decade given the number of legacy vehicles on the road.
One scenario is SAVE, Semi-Autonomous Vehicle Entity. With SAVE technology, a driver would simply not be able to have an accident. SAVE’s active sensor systems would prevent bumper bashing, driving over the speed-limit, driving without a license/insurance, driving an unsafe vehicle, driving while intoxicated, driving a stolen car, dangerous lane changing, running a red light or stop sign, etc.
SAVE works by combining legislation and technology, in-car sensors, bio-metrics and smartphone apps. By connecting you smartphone app to your car and also the DMV and insurance company, you simply would not be able to drive an unlicensed or uninsured car.
Would the ACLU have a field day? Probably. But what are the alternatives?
We’ve reach a critical mass on our roads where the few sane and capable drivers are outnumbered by the incapable, where speeding and show-boating is all too common and where teenage vehicle mortality is higher than ever.
What have we had in the way of road safety since the invention on the car? Well, seat belts, airbags, frontal impact zones and ABS – that’s right, the astute among you will realize all these devices are designed to protect you once you’ve had and accident (with the exception of ABS). What we need is a massive overhaul of accident prevention technology.
Roll on 2100.