Cars without Drivers?

Posted on by Defensive Driving | in You don't see that everyday!

I read a story this morning about Google road testing cars that steer, stop and start without a human driver.  The cars are never without a person behind the wheel, as someone needs to be monitoring the software that controls the vehicle.

I am sure the technology is years and years away from being fully developed and functional, but so far the cars have traveled over 140,000 miles up and down the West coast without an accident or traffic ticket.   Seven of the test vehicles have driven over 1,000 miles at a time without human intervention.  They even know how to find a gas station.  These cars know the speed limits, traffic patterns, road maps while using video cameras that can see 360 degrees around the vehicle at all times.

I thought about several things how these cars can change the world as we know it.  Would there be such a thing as distracted driving if you were behind the wheel, riding?  You could call and text as if you were a passenger. Because you are.  Would there be a need for discounts for auto insurance if the vehicles were 99.9% safe from accidents?  These cars are theoretically safer because they react more quickly than humans.  They don’t get sleepy, or intoxicated, or or distracted.  Would drivers need to take a defensive driving course in the future if your car was programmed for driving defensively?

Right now this in just a big experiment for Google.  But imagine the possibilities.

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