My recently-retired mom drives so seldom and her liability insurance (without comp/collision) alone is high enough (despite her spotless driving record) that it would be cheaper for her to Uber a few times a week instead of owning her modest used car, which also costs her in maintenance and depreciation. Her type of scenario is where I think driverless will make huge inroads (nyuk nyuk). Another one is teens costing parents 300-350 extra a month, and climbing, in insurance premiums the minute they pass the written test. Also, how about: Hey, you’ll be free to text/post/tweet while you commute!
I’m still on the fence whether I’m for or against it, but sorry Irk, I don’t see it very difficult for them to infiltrate the market at all. The hardware part of the tech will just be installed in more and more vehicles under the guise of lane-keep-assist, adaptive cruise control, emergency braking, etc and have the auto-driving gradually turned on later via software updates, like Tesla is doing. Hardware-wise their cars are fully capable of self-driving, but the software was disabled as it continues to be tweaked. I can drive over 50 miles in highway traffic without touching the steering wheel or pedals in my not-really-that-special 6 year old infiniti. It won’t navigate for me, but it steers to the center of the lane like a laser, and maintains safe distances from cars ahead and to the sides. If it had better brains it could probably be made to go point-to-point since it has the physical tools in place. Thankfully, with a button press I can turn it all off and drive free without a nanny, but it is nice to have the help on occasion. Now, having the car handle the whole trip? Again, dunno yet if it’s for me, but it’s coming.
@jester747 Yup. Driverless cars and trucks are going to be here, and they are getting here incrementally. Nervousness about them won’t stop the tech any more than the saboteurs stopped the weaving of cloth by machine rather than by hand; the replacement of horses and carriages by cars; or the replacement of handwritten mail by e-mail.
There’s a certain irony in it, too. Before cars we relied on “self-driving” vehicles (horses) that could get scared and go out of control, causing a crash. Or they could have their owner dumped on after a night at the bar, and transport him safely home “on autopilot” without human control.