INTRO: Look, I like driving more than most people, but I know when the jig is up. Self-driving
cars are inevitable. They eliminate the most commonly defective component in cars today:
You and me.
I�m B.C. with the Top 5 reasons for autonomous cars, according to the ills they cure.
5 - Drunk Driving: The autonomous car is the only designated driver who actually likes
nursing a club soda, metaphorically speaking. Unlike the law enforcement model, they could
theoretically neutralize 100% of drunk driving. But I put this one down at #5 because most
future visions still expect a licensed driver responsible for the autonomous car at all times,
and that doesn�t mean a drunk one.
4 - Productivity. You waste, on average, an hour of your life every weekday babysitting a
steering wheel and set of pedals. What if you were productive during that ride to and from
work time each day -- I mean, it�s what the rich guys do. Maybe you could leave hour earlier.
Now I have your attention.
3 - Traffic. Fewer cars or more roads; the age old suburban argument. How about neither.
Autonomous cars easily pack more cars on the same roads since they have way faster
reactions than you and know what other cars are going to do before they do it. Plus, being
connected they can be assigned distributed routes at rush hour instead of us all jamming the
same place at the same time.
2 - Fuel Economy: As a component of fuel economy, you suck. Accelerating too hard,
braking too late and taking dumb routes. Autonomous cars can modulate their dynamics
based on traffic flow, signal prediction, terrain contour, wind conditions, optimal routing and a
bunch of things you�ve never even thought of to optimize fuel economy and maybe even
achieve that EPA number for a change.
1 - Accidents. Let�s face it, most driving is about as interesting as doing dishes. And a
driver�s license is about as hard to get as the common cold. It all adds up to millions of lousy
drivers who aren�t even doing that consistently. Autonomous cars take the wetware - you and
me - out from in between the hardware and software, moving traffic accidents out of the daily
fabric of life. That�s a big one.