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The Future of Driverless Cars

Posted on: September 6, 2013 by Platinum Direct

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Who would have guessed that the 1990 box office smash, Total Recall, would be so accurate about the future of driverless cars, when Schwarzenegger jumped into the back of a cab driven by a robot? Indeed, driverless cars and taxis are closer to a reality than you might think.

Last week, the Indian Express reported that Google is planning to create a fleet of driverless ‘robo-taxis’ to pick up and drop off passengers. The tech giant’s revolutionary concept for cars operated by computers would apparently improve safety by slashing the number of accidents caused by human error. It’s an idea that is already starting to gain traction. Transportation giant, Uber, recently announced a plan to buy 2,500 driverless cars from Google to use as part of its local transportation service; while car manufacturers such as Audi, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz are hot on Google’s heels with their own driverless car projects.

Driverless cars
Photo by: ARG_Flikr

But are driverless cars really the best way forward? Here are three things that would disappear when looking into the future of driverless cars:

No more drivers

Private drivers will no longer have to worry about getting a license or learning the technical skills of driving. Young children could possibly ride in the car on their own, as could the groceries. However, there is also a dark side, namely for the thousands of professional drivers such as truckies, cabbies and couriers, whose jobs could be on the line as fleets become driverless.

No more Accidents

According to the Department of Infrastructure and Transport, motor vehicles killed an estimated 5,500 people in Australia between 2008 and 2011. Statistically, air travel is far safer, with only a few hundred deaths recorded globally. Indeed, with driverless cars, major accidents caused by texting, drunk driving and speeding could no longer be an issue. That said, the technology is not 100% accident proof and if there is an accident, it will be difficult to determine who is at fault? The car owner, the software manufacturer or the car manufacturer?

No more traffic and parking fines

Say goodbye to the traffic ticket. Driverless cars programed not to exceed the speed limit are unlikely to be caught by a speed camera or red light camera allowing the local police to redirect their resources to more pressing criminal activity. In addition, a driverless car has no need to park itself when on round trips meaning local councils everywhere will be scrambling to find another source of revenue from the millions of parking tickets they dish out every year.

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