Five Things You Need to Know About Self-Driving Cars Before They Hit the Road en Masse - Los Angeles Post-ExaminerLos Angeles Post-Examiner

Five Things You Need to Know About Self-Driving Cars Before They Hit the Road en Masse

For the time being, the majority of us are still driving our own cars. That means getting your license still requires preparing with a practice permit test, taking a driving class, and practicing driving a vehicle. However, all that is set to change in the near future.

You can’t turn on the news without hearing something about self-driving cars, but that doesn’t mean you actually know anything about them!

The news can make self-driving cars seem like futuristic technology that is going to take all of our jobs, but the truth is self-driving cars aren’t scary, and they will likely make your life better.

Here are a few things you need to know about self-driving cars before you start seeing them everywhere.

Your Car Probably Already Has Some Self-Driving Features

Self-driving cars sound futuristic, but they aren’t as futuristic as you think. That’s because the car in your driveway likely already has some self-driving features. You just don’t realize that’s what they are.

A few examples of these self-driving features include:

  • Adaptive cruise control can adjust your vehicle’s speed based on the speed of the vehicles in front of you.
  • Automatic forward-collision braking can detect the possibility of a collision and apply the brakes automatically.
  • Automatic parking enables you to weasel into any parking spot by automatically steering it, even in parallel parking situations.
  • Lane assist automatically ensures you don’t drive outside your lane when driving.

Self-Driving Cars Are Already on the Road

Not only are you probably already driving a car that contains self-driving features, but you may also have even seen a few on the road. Self-driving cars are no longer a futuristic idea. They can easily be found in some cities across the United States.

For example, if you’re in Las Vegas, an autonomous vehicle could show up if you request a ride with Lyft. Autonomous vehicles have completed more than 30,000 trips in Sin City since 2018.

A unique example is a small vehicle called the R1 from Nuro. These cars zip around Scottsdale, AZ delivering groceries instead of passengers.

Additional vehicles can be found in California, Washington, D.C., Texas, and more. There are even programs in Canada and Singapore that are testing self-driving cars.

You Won’t Just See Self-Driving Cars on the Road

When people think of self-driving cars, they think of cars, obviously! But, this technology is poised to do a lot more than transform the family vehicle.

Automatic vehicle technology is going to shake up a lot of industries, and that includes industries that rely on transportation. In the future, in addition to seeing personal self-driving cars on the road, you’ll likely see self-driving public transportation, self-driving semis, and even self-driving rescue and emergency service vehicles.

The revolution won’t stop there! GPS and sensor technology is already being applied to farming tractors, mining trucks, and more, so you can expect self-driving equipment in nearly every industry in the not-too-distant future.

They Are Exceptionally Safe

There has been some question about the safety of self-driving cars. Any accident makes the news and causes distrust among viewers.

However, it’s important to note that the facts show self-driving cars are no less safe than traditional vehicles. As a matter of fact, they are actually better at obeying traffic laws, and they don’t engage in risky behaviors like texting and driving or drunk driving, so they are poised to be even safer.

It is important to keep in mind that you can’t prevent every accident, even with self-driving cars, but they can greatly reduce accidents on the road.

You’ll Save Big with an Economy Powered by Self-Driving Cars

With all the scary talk about how many people will lose their jobs, it’s important to also think about the benefits of the self-driving car revolution. One of them being the fact that they will save you money!

Chances are, your insurance premiums will go down, you won’t get any more tickets, and you may discover that your family only needs one vehicle.

Residents in cities that develop rideshare programs will save even more. When you can summon a vehicle to your house at any time, there’s no need to own one, maintain it, or pay insurance on it.

Self-driving cars may sound scary at first, but the truth is, they are poised to make all of our lives better. Just imagine what you can do with all the money you’ll save on owning a vehicle, and imagine all the things you could do in the car if you aren’t stuck driving it!


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