To Drive or Self-Drive, That Is The Question

15 Aug

To Drive or Self-Drive, That Is The Question

Driverless car and autonomous driving concept and safety system symbol as a road with cars and one vehicle with human hands and arms waving up to the sky as a metaphor for hands free autopilot.

Development of driverless cars is all the rage and is being touted as the way of the future, but are American’s really ready to turn the driving over to a computerized system?

The answer may be yes. Think back to your childhood days when you were peddling your bike down the street and threw your hands in the air, all the while shouting “Look mom, no hands.” Did that simple action foreshadow where driving is headed in the U.S.?

It may have. CNBC recently shared that Americans are itching to buy and ride in self-driving cars. The only rub seems to be who they want behind the brains of the vehicles of the future.

A recent survey by AlixPartners suggests that 41 percent of respondents would prefer that the brainiacs in Silicone Valley have the honors. Coming in second place with 26 percent were Japanese automakers. The big U.S. automakers garnered 17 percent confidence.

While you may feel badly for the U.S. automakers, don’t. According to the very same survey indicating that Silicone Valley would be the more trusted source of the brains of these cars, respondents felt most confident in U.S. automakers building the cars.

At present, it seems that Google and Tesla are on the front line of “autonomous-drive technology,” according to a representative of AlixPartners. Both companies seem to be winning the public relations war for awareness of their efforts.

In the spirit of seeing both sides of an issue, we should note there are other studies, such as one done by the University of Michigan, which suggest that American drivers aren’t totally comfortable with the concept yet. In that study, 46 percent of U.S. drivers surveyed said they preferred no self-driving.

Wherever you fall on the scale, there are many reported benefits of self-driving cars:

  • Lives saved – 33,000 are reportedly lost to fatal car crashes annually
  • Decreased insurance and healthcare costs – that’s in the billions; yep, with a B
  • Time to accomplish other things than simply driving – savings that could be as much as $99 billion a year depending on what value is put to that time
  • No distracted driving – a computer has single focus that human drivers don’t have
  • Reduced commute times – through improved traffic conditions and congestion
  • Freedom for disenfranchised drivers – the elderly and individuals with disabilities could now have their own transportation

As this issue continues to be debated, know that we here at Peninsula Auto Body are following the discussions.

In the meantime, should you find yourself in need of collision repair services resulting from a single or double-driver crash in the Bay Area, give us a call. We’ll be here to get you back on the road as good as new.

Peninsula Auto Body
1430 San Mateo Ave.

South San Francisco, CA 94080
Mon – Fri 7:30 am – 5:30 pm
Saturday – 8 am – 12 pm

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