How Self Driving Cars Will Change Everything
Companies like Uber and Lyft have already capitalized on the notion that not everyone needs a car, but everyone does need to go somewhere, at some point. With mobile technology and social networking values, these companies, and others, have begun the trend of sharing vehicles among users that are willing to carpool with strangers, and take them to where they need to go, all for a little extra cash at the end of the day. It hasn’t always been a great success, and there have been numerous challenges from both questionable drivers and passengers and from government agencies and unions that want to protect the jobs of professional cab drivers, but they all pale in comparison to the paradigm shift that self-driving cars will introduce in the near future.
A Safer Road, Courtesy of Computers
Here are some of the statistics on road accidents caused by humans:
- 1.3 million Die every year from a traffic accident, or about 3,287 every day. Car accidents are a major contributor to deaths in developed nations, outpacing war, smoking, and murders, combined. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for the 15-29 demographic, and the second leading for those younger than 15.
- 20 to 50 million will be injured or disabled as well, a figure that also outranks other sources of physical injuries.
- Accidents cost over a half a trillion USD globally every year. Most accidents occur in middle or low income areas, but the entire world shares the costs of these accidents, and while their numbers have diminished, the amount is nevertheless staggering.
The need for driverless cars isn’t just one of technological curiosity and development; humans are responsible for incredible amounts of death, suffering, and monetary costs every year through slight accidents or errors in judgment that are based on the limited data set that you can take in as you’re driving on the road, as compared to what a computer may be able to process with numerous sensors and cameras.
Another, Underappreciated Effect
Another aspect that has gone overlooked until very recently is the impact that driverless vehicles could have on truck delivery services; with millions of truck drivers around the world operating on a daily basis, it’s actually a considerable part of any nation’s economy, and it could be greatly improved by self-driving trucks that aren’t vulnerable to sleep deprivation or errors in judgment.
Driverless delivery trucks could not only change the way that consumer goods are currently being transported to market, but it could also have a great impact on national mailing services as well, all of which could be properly aligned and guided by GPS systems, motion cameras, proximity sensors, and more. Safer delivery vehicles alone could help to cut down on the considerable amount of traffic accidents every year, but it’s just one part of how driverless vehicles, and the emerging “Internet of Things,” could change the world for the better.