The future is bright and automated. Google is working on a computerized, intelligent car that drives its passengers, rather than people driving it. California governor Jerry Brown just passed a law allowing autonomous cars to be tested and operated on the public roads of his state. Here are four implications Google Car will have on the future of motorists and their travels.
Level of Autonomy
Some people can become very uneasy by the thought of a machine controlling their commute each day. It doesn’t look like we’ll be at the mercy of robots right away – some car companies are looking at the slow integration of automatic functions into their vehicles, like slowing down based on proximity to other cars. The plans for Google’s driver-free cars seem to include optional human input. However, the automatic features can help people navigate, incorporate safety fail-safes, and use gas more efficiently. Eventually, automated cars may be able to communicate with other automated cars, so drivers don’t need to worry too much about the actions of potential reckless drivers.
Fewer Accidents, Fewer Deaths
One of the ultimate goals of removing human fallibility from driving is the reduction of accidents. The statistics for car accidents and deaths are extraordinarily high in the US, and Google hopes that a computerized system can be safer than a person driving. Computers are not succeptible to health issues, alcohol, or distractions that can lead to impaired driving.
Better GPS Integration
Navigation today still requires human input for people to arrive at a destination. Whether a person uses a phone or voice-guided GPS system like Tom Tom, a person still needs to operate the vehicle along a preset path. Computerized systems like the Google Car can intelligently examine traffic trends, blocks, and detours to find the most time-saving and efficient way to navigate its passengers.
Different Approach for Automobile Costs
Insurance and gas are the two expenses that can really take a toll on car owners.
Cheap car insurance may be easier to find as companies incorporate more automated systems into their builds. Having a more dependable car can significantly reduce accident incidents and keep insurance rates low. As auto systems evolve, safer features can lead to lower insurance quotes and fewer claims that need to be filed.
Gas consumption can be drastically reduced by a car that drives more efficiently. If Google is able to create a car that navigates better, consumers may also see their gas costs go down.
The landscape of driving is changing dramatically, with potentially time and life-saving technologies. Keeping in touch with human input while enhancing a commuter’s experience is what Google ultimately plans to do with its autonomous cars.
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