Implementation of self-driving cars: Are we ready?

January 17 2016, Marie-Andrée Boisvert

Implementation of self-driving cars: Are we ready?
Behind the scenes of the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, the largest high-tech global event, much of the talk was about driverless cars.

Behind the scenes of the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, the largest high-tech global event, much of the talk was about driverless cars. Would you be willing to leave your car alone, along with your children in daycare or in school? Just as with the advent of the telephone and the Internet, it would seem that autonomous cars are the next big revolution in how we live our daily lives.

The technology exists and self-driving  vehicles are already in operation, at least currently on tracks and test tracks. Although they could in principle be put into operation tomorrow, it’s society, experts say, that wouldn’t be ready. At the legislative level, one wonders what would happen to legal liability in the event of accidents. There would be no driver, making it hard to find a culprit: Would it be the automotive manufacturer, the company that designed the autonomous driving system or the car owner?

Would you be willing to let a machine control your driving? It would mean no more driving pleasure or adrenaline rush for the most daring drivers. In short, the advent of self-driving  cars could change the automotive experience for some 50 years. They might also cause the taxi industry to disappear, and cars would no longer have VOR drivers.

At the same time, the driverless car is full of promise. No more accidents and traffic jams, and the advent of increased speed limits. They’d also mean greener travel and fewer vehicles on the road, along with the disappearance of the police road check. The entire automobile insurance sector would have no reason to exist. In short, it would result in significant savings for the consumer!

While many questions remain unanswered, it’s clear that political power seems to follow the industry. This week President Barack Obama announced an ambitious $4 billion plan over 10 years to accelerate the development of an infrastructure and support of pilot programs to test these vehicle systems in dedicated corridors across the United States.

We may or may not go the driverless route. Your next car may perhaps, who knows, be autonomous.