A recent statistic released by Google involving their driverless cars has sent everyone into a frenzy, as it very well should. Over the past few years, the driverless cars have collectively driven nearly 1,000,000 miles, with only 11 accidents. Many news outlets focused on the fact that the car has been involved in 11 accidents, totally ignoring the fact that no one was injured or that the car wasn't even the cause of the accidents. Just for a sense of understanding how far 1,000,000 miles is, that would be like driving around the Earth 126 times. Then adding the miniscule number of only about 11 accidents to the insanity of that accomplishment is frightening because of how jaw dropping that is.
At this point, I am willing to accept the future considering Google has made it abundantly clear that they're dragging it to the present right now. Sure, there'll be some issues with efficiency, design, or functionality to begin with. Some people hear this and cringe because "if my car has a glitch, it could end with me dying." What those people don't realize is that every product goes through some sort of tweaking and recall process at some point. Over the past two decades there have been more than enough massive recall on cars due to mechanical issues ranging from gas pedals getting stuck to faulty airbags. Considering the fact that Google has spent all the time and effort making sure the cars work before making them widely available, which will happen at some point, shows how much faith should be placed in the driverless cars. Ignoring the fear of the driverless car not working and crashing, what other downsides are there?
Some drives may take longer than with a human-operated car, but that's only because the driverless car will actually be following the speed limit. Other than that, I can't really think of any downsides that the driverless car has. Driverless cars mean you can do something while going somewhere (work, texting, watching a show), sleep, or just talk with the other people in the car and not have to worry about focusing on the road. Driverless cars will solve the epidemic of phone-use while driving, which in turn will massively decrease the number of fatal crashes.
The only thing stopping driverless cars from making the world a better place is us, or our society to be more exact. People are so scared of a change of this magnitude due to how entirely different this idea is compared to what we have now. It's a little frightening just thinking about how futuristic the idea of a driverless car is, but then again just look at all that we have already. In my opinion, it's the next step in the right direction.
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