According to an IIHS survey, there were about 8,000 fewer driver deaths in 2012 than there would have been if vehicles had remained the same since 1985. Yet, according to the Barnes Firm, a legal team that specializes in personal injury, motor vehicle accidents remain one of the leading causes of death (you can learn more here: https://www.thebarnesfirm.com/contact-us/oakland-personal-injury-lawyers/oakland-car-accident-attorneys/).
Safety standards for cars have come a long way since the days of the Goonies. Self-driving vehicles, often called AVs or autonomous vehicles, are here. Teslas are just the start of it. Odds are, your kids will soon be behind the wheel of a self-driving vehicle. Teslas are the first crop of a new gen that will presumably be long, fertile, and myriad.
Although widespread public acceptance of these kinds of cars may seem inevitable, you personally will still be able to choose whether to buy an AV for you or your child. (You’ll probably have to come to grips with the fact that they will end up riding them on Uber though.)
They Can Prevent Tragedies
As nice as it would be for us to live in a world where nobody drinks and drives, we can’t control how others decide to operate their vehicles. Luckily, modern engineers and entrepreneurs can offer AVs as a solution to this omnipresent problem in society. Some tech blogs even speculate that in the future most people will not have any need for drivers licenses.
You have probably heard this before. Machines are generally better than humans at doing a task, but can only perform well within that extremely narrow scope. Driving might seem complicated—well no, actually. It doesn’t really seem all that complicated if you consider that software doesn’t get distracted by texts, booze, or crying kids.
They Let You Multitask
There’s a reason why personal development is a booming industry worldwide. People today are under a lot of pressure to keep up or shut up. The way the market has transformed in the past two decades has given rise to a whole stable of new tropes and archetypes. Among these are the loud-and-passionate personal trainer, the marathon coder, and the pajama day trader. AVs spell the end of distracted driving and the beginning of the mobile office for those who choose this fast-paced lifestyle.
Technology has accelerated so fast these past few years that it really feels like we should pump the breaks. Speaking of brakes …
They Offer Less Control
Psychologically speaking, that’s a biggie for human beings. Most of what we do every day is done in an attempt to create a sense of control over our lives. Does this mean that AVs will further separate us from the control over our own fates that we feel as kids? Time will tell.
These vehicles may be safer and more efficient, but if the cost is learning how to take our lives into our own hands then we may be in for a bumpy road. Assuming responsibility for our freely made decisions, even if they are stupid ones, is what separates the children from the adults. What does it mean for generations and generations of people to no longer make choices that matter on the road?
They Could Decrease Jobs
Now this one I am skeptical of, but it is a common argument. The fear is understandable, but you could look to the 2017 documentary by Vice, The Third Industrial Revolution to get a sense of where replacement jobs will sprout for the inevitable loss that comes with technological progress.
This documentary/lecture frames the short-term loss of jobs as an inevitable and ultimately positive symptom of a larger-picture phenomenon that will raise as many just as many new jobs. Main points he touches on are the sharing economy, retrofitting, and AVs.
The Future is here, and soon our kids will be driving it.