A few weeks ago, California became the second state behind Nevada to legalize driverless cars.
While this has virtually no present day effect, in the future, car manufacturers who plan on integrating this technology into their products will depend on this law.
And the fact that two very large states are willing to plan for the future is great for the tech industry as a whole.
Currently, our best hope as consumers to one day purchase an automatic car rests with Google Inc, who have been street testing their small fleet of driverless cars for the past year in Nevada.
They’ve logged nearly 300,000+ miles of automatic driving, and have posted some impressive video footage of the cars in action. A few other companies and universities, such as MIT, have also joined the competition to bring smart cars to the masses.
Experts in the industry as well as the general public agree that the auto business is well overdue for an overhaul, and placing robotic cars on the streets would be a large move towards accomplishing just that. Aside from the numerous driver benefits provided by computerized vehicles, many areas of society would also prosper, including tech manufacturers.
It’s been theorized that the fatal car accident rate would dramatically decrease into nonexistence, along with the dangers associated with speeding, reckless behaviour, and drunk driving. Imagine a vehicle advanced enough for your child to hop in and drive home after school, or a car that allows you to sleep behind the wheel during long trips.
Even the blind and visually impaired could carry a driver’s license, opening up a world of possibilities and scenarios that society has never been capable of before. This sort of innovation has long been imagined and portrayed in films, novels, and comic books, but science fiction has always been eons ahead of reality.
Thanks to Google Inc, we may yet see the two overlap in a few short years. Prototypes are predicted to appear before the end of this decade, and mass production will take place soon after.
It’s anybody’s guess as to what sort of pricing we can expect, and as is the case with most new technology, widespread implementation will take some time.
But it’s coming, and it will change our lives for the better.
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