Have you even heard about this? It’s not a new thing – a factoid at the top tells us that the General Motors Futurama exhibit at New York City’s 1939 World’s Fair featured a driverless electric car. It was controlled by radio and powered by circuits embedded in the roadway.
Now they tell us that Google has been testing vehicles equipped with driverless navigation systems, and that the cars tested have driven 1000 miles without human intervention and another 140,000 miles with a little bit of human intervention. Incidentally, 140,000 miles equates to driving around the globe 5.6 times. That’s a lot of driverless (or almost driverless) driving. Nevada is on board with this, having recently passed legislation removing legal barriers around driverless technology.
They state the fact that 93% of all automobile crashes are caused by driver error, be it intoxication, texting while driving, etc. Of all the Google driverless miles that have been driven, there have only been 2 crashes, and both times a human was behind the wheel.
Think of All Those Books You Can Read
“40 minutes of drive time becomes 40 minutes of ‘do something else while your car drives you where you need to go’ time.”
When you think about the fact that the average car is immobile for 96% of its lifetime (sort of like people), a driverless car can increase efficiency. Your car can be doing something while you’re doing something else. The examples given are both about sending your car to take your kid someplace or pick your kid up from someplace. How do you feel about that?
There are 232,300 taxi drivers and chauffeurs in this country. AND there are 647,500 bus drivers, 70% of whom work in school districts. But then, would you put your kid on a driverless bus? Who tells them to sit down?
Lost State Revenue
I’ll just quote their example directly. “If each of California’s 22.6 million licensed drivers opted to get a $25 ID card instead of a $31 license renewal, the state would loose $135,943,728.” Yeesh.
10,228 people died from drinking and driving-related accidents in 2010. Those lives could have been saved if nobody was driving, and the cars drove themselves, right? 112 million people drive drunk every year.
When the car drives you, it can just drop you off wherever you are going, so you don’t have to park. You just program the car to come get you. In New York City, for example, you could save $10,000 per year on parking costs.
This is a really good-looking infographic. Seriously. I have no criticism.
I’d give it a + but I’m afraid of technological advances like this. What if the cars turned against us? Kidding….