Thursday, August 23, 2012

Will Self-Driving Cars Really Be the Norm?

Can you imagine driving down the freeway in the driver's seat reading your Kindle or catching up with your friends latest posts on Facebook, without the worry of getting into a collision? It seems strange, but self-driving cars could make that possible much sooner than we ever imagined.


According to this recent report published by KPMG and the Center for Automotive Research, the auto industry is on the cusp of revolutionary change, and the revolution will be characterized by the introduction of self-driving vehicles. It sounds far fetched, but industry leaders envision a fully self-driving vehicle as early as 2025.

The KPMG report suggests that the marketplace will not only accept self-driving cars, but will be the "engine pulling the industry forward." However, I am not convinced. As a consumer, I can't say that I would fully trust my life to a "driving computer" no matter how great the technology. Humans are not perfect, but we like to make decisions for ourselves. I also think there's a lot to say for driving because you enjoy it. Nobody likes being stuck in rush-hour traffic, but I'd bet a lot of people enjoy driving down the open road. Not to mention that the cost of these types of technologies may far exceed what many people would be willing to pay. Perhaps things may change down the road, but I think it's going to be a long time before your average person will be purchasing a fully self-driving car.

I would welcome autonomous driving technologies, but I can't imagine sitting back and reading the newspaper while my car makes all the decisions. I agree with Tom Baloga, BMW's U.S. vice president of engineering, in that "We will always be the ultimate driving machine."

What do you think?



5 comments:

  1. The cost of training is negligible as compared to its benefits and savings. By preventing accidents, you save on costly repairs for your vehicles, and most importantly, you save a human life, and life is priceless!

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  2. "I can't say that I would fully trust my life to a "driving computer" no matter how great the technology. "

    Technology can always fail. It's not a life or death situation if your computer crashes, but what if you are taking a nap and your self driving car system goes haywire?

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