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Many people wonder when the future will come, but what they do not know is that we are living in the future already. Most people do not know that Google is doing a project involving driverless cars, and they are being tested in California. Out of all the test drives, the driverless car has done, it only crashed once and that was when a human was driving it. Driverless cars will outgrow regular cars, but are people willing to their freedom taken away? Google’s robo-car initializes the end of driving and a new stage of technology. The big problem is if people are ready for this change. There are many controversial factors that make people doubt about the new car. This will strip the freedom of people, as many people view their cars as a symbol of freedom. Besides the car’s flaws, driverless cars can do almost everything a human can and it will also do a better job. Not only does it have excellent performance, it would also be beneficial to the environment.
Like Neil Armstrong once said, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Technology keeps advancing every day and Google’s robo-car is that small step to open up a whole new world. Safety is the main purpose behind driverless cars which will benefit not only the people but also the environment in so many ways. The two main factors that Google has focused on their car are helping people their save time and their life. Google cars can reduce commute time by 90%, and traffic accidents by 90% (Mui, Part 1). Driverless cars will save people time and energy mainly on the fact that these cars will communicate with each other. By allowing the cars to communicate with each other they can now go faster speeds tailgating each other and never crashing, unlike humans which most of the accidents are, tailgating, because they were driving too fast and too close to be able to stop in time.
Driverless cars will never get stuck in traffic jam like how people do daily in the mornings and get late to work, instead the driverless car will choose the most efficient route allowing people to save time. The traffic flow will be incredible. Not only will it save time while driving but people can save a huge amount of time. People won’t have to worry about getting distracted anymore, therefore they can do work, homework, eat watch television, exercise, sleep, etc. It doesn’t stop there, now people can get a head start doing holiday shopping or in general shopping. Instead of spending hours trying to find a parking since the car can park itself. With Google’s driverless car, people will be able to accomplish more things in their day than before since they can’t do all those things will driving with two hands. The beauty of driverless cars saving time is that they will use the least amount of gas possible.
Will Oremus, a staff writer in Slate magazine, stated, “Google’s driverless car gets most of the hype.” One of the reasons is because the car will benefit the environment unlike regular cars. The driverless car’s ability to choose quick routes will release less gas into the air than a regular car. Releasing less gas will help save the environment from global warming and it will also save natural resources. Global warming wasn’t that serious but, it’s become a huge problem as cars kept releasing more and more gasses into the atmosphere. Regular cars daily burn fuel from the engine so the car could get horsepower, but all that is not doing good to the atmosphere. Having driverless cars burn less fuel, but apply the same horsepower as a regular car, will help protect the ozone layer which is what the Earth needs. Regular cars use more fuel, therefore they need more natural resources but, the world is running out of natural resources. People are going to war for them which causes the destruction of entire countries and most importantly the natural environment. If the natural environment gets wiped out, so does the human race. Therefore, the conservation of natural resources driverless cars offer helps out the environment, also the world overall.
Driverless cars will save lives which is probably the best news anyone driving one would want to hear. In the article “States Take the Wheel on Driverless Cars” Maggie Clark states, “Google estimates that self-driving cars could reduce the annual 30,000 road fatalities and 2 million injuries in the United States. . .” What’s better than knowing you can drive home after that football game where you spend the whole time drinking with your buddies? Many people, not only in the United States but worldwide, drink and the fatalities for drunk driving is high but that will all change with Google’s car. There are also many other reasons for fatalities that aren’t drunk driving, for example, speeding or getting distracted, but those possibilities won’t exist anymore because the car will do all the work. Car accidents are not caused by machine, but by human error and driverless cars can prevent that, all people will have to do is sit back and enjoy the ride; if they let the car do its work then they’ll stay alive.
Although Google’s driverless car is designed topnotch to match perfection, there are controversial topics that still hold the car’s release to the public. Google’s car doesn’t have technological problems, instead it has liability and regulations problems (Worstall, par. 1). Liability won’t be hard to figure and sort out. Driverless cars will have less accidents which for insurance companies it will be a plus since the cars are safer. With less risk and insurance companies charging people the same price, it will be good for them. So liability won’t really be a problem unlike its regulation problems. Some policy makers and communities aren’t quite sure about driverless cars being released this early because they are concerned about economic development. A few groups are trying to slow the project down, like various taxi commissions because the driverless car will out compete them. There are other laws that cause complications like the state laws that require that cars have drivers, and that the driver must be able to control their car (Deaton, par. 3).
This requirement will probably be altered a bit if a human can intervene with the driverless car’s operation, but that will take some time to happen. Some states, like New York, prohibit cars to steer, brake, or accelerate by themselves. In New York, a driver must never let go of the wheel, at all times they must have at least one hand on the wheel. While other states like California, Nevada, and Florida allowed driverless cars to be tested out on the road. There are states that won’t allow it and some that are already allowing at least the testing of driverless cars, but throughout the whole nation, the legal use of driverless cars could take many years. The regulations are the problem because Google is still experimenting with driverless cars and it will take time for the government to get comfortable with the car’s safety and make it legal. Google is worried because it’s not just Google building driverless cars. There are other car companies like Toyota and Audi which are also working on driverless cars.
Ford has said that they will get driverless cars by 2025. The difference between Google’s driverless car and any other company’s driverless car is the way it was build. Toyota and Audi are making their driverless cars with a V2V (vehicle to vehicle) system. That means that cars will be able to communicate with each other and it’s supposed to prevent problems. The V2V system might seem like a wonderful thing because if a car crashes down, then it’ll warn the other cars and it can prevent accidents. There are many “benefits” to this system like the cars could communicate to tell other cars the traffic flow, allowing cars to find different routes preventing traffic jam. Even though V2V seems promising with all its offers, it still falls short. Google knew building a driverless car won’t be easy and that there will be competition, that’s why they designed their driverless car a unique way.
What Google knew was that V2V would not be the ideal system for safety because that only allows cars communicate with each other but what about when a little kid runs for his ball on the street? V2V only focuses with other cars and lacks communication with its surroundings. Google, on the other hand, has hardware experience. Knowing that comes in an advantage since they designed their car with lasers and sensors, and cameras. Google’s driverless car has lasers that get all the information about the cars surroundings, and that is then analyzed by Google’s software. The cameras and motion sensors will also detect cars, people, animals, or anything on the road. Google’s driverless car is safer than the other manufactures cars because it will communicate with both other cars and its surroundings. Google has really done its job and their driverless car will change technology, but are people ready for this change?
Many people are and say that driverless cars are a great idea and can’t wait but many people beg to differ. One of Google’s biggest fear is that people aren’t ready (Rosenbush, par. 2). People might put too much trust on driverless cars when they come out and since they’ll have barely be released, the models won’t be perfect. People may lack the instinct to gain control of the car while going 80 mph on the freeway causing problems. They will expect the computer to do everything, but it’s a new form technology so there will be obstacles the car can’t overcome at first. People’s reaction will differ from if they were driving since the start but they might be busy doing other things. Sometimes people could panic when they’ll have to take control of the wheel, and not do anything, which leaves a car not knowing what to do alone.
Without people driving, their driving skills will drop dramatically and with less knowledge of driving when the time comes to take control they won’t be comfortable. Whether people are ready or not, this technological advancement may be hard for many people to grasp. Even though driverless cars are overall better than regular cars, the change would be difficult for people. There are many reasons people may find this stage difficult, like breaking a traditional barrier that people have carried since the invention of cars. Starting as early as when cars were invented, teenagers have this tradition to get their license to be able to drive. Even today many teens can’t wait until they turn the legal age to get their license, but when driverless cars impact the community then that won’t be possible anymore (Hof, par. 2). After driverless cars get on the market and Google has fixed all their problems, there won’t be a need to get a driver’s license. It will take years to get the car to perfection where it won’t do any mistakes, but when the time does a license won’t be needed. Your grandchildren won’t be able to have that excitement you had getting your license, and that’ll make it hard for people.
What driverless cars will do is strip a piece of humans by breaking the strong tradition they had with their cars. Not only will driverless cars break the tradition of getting a license but driverless cars will also take people’s freedom away. The wonderful thing about driving is that you are in control, you have all the power. The reason many people have a car is because they control it, everything relies on them and no one else. Sometimes people need to get away from the world and driving helps them do that, it helps them relax. Just knowing that you have control over your life makes driving amazing but with driverless cars you won’t have control and people may not want that. For example, the documentary Side by Side explains the difficulty of switching from film to digital editing. Before digital editing existed, people had to edit films by literally cutting rolls of film and pasting them together in the necessary place. Once digital editing came out, almost all film editors weren’t ready for this change. They feared that if they clicked one wrong button, all the footage would be deleted unlike with editing film they knew they could never delete everything because they were familiar with and most importantly because they were in control of the situation.
Same goes with cars, people may not be ready to accept this advancement for various reasons. For example, they might not be comfortable, or they just don’t feel it’s better than before. Google’s driverless cars will cause a ripple effect on society as a whole. According to, car dealer owner, Mohsen Movaghar, “The only con. driverless cars have on most car dealerships is that they would slash hundreds of billions of dollars of annual revenue. But that problem is not just for car dealers, but also for many different entities” (Mohsen Movaghar, personal interview). Many car parts won’t be needed anymore like airbags since driverless cars won’t get in accidents. There won’t be need for other programs lie back up assistance since the car drives itself. Auto insurance will suffer because without accidents people won’t need auto insurance.
All these aspects will affect car dealerships and will make them lose money. Hospitals will be affected because driverless cars will reduce car crashed, therefore, less patients will stay in the emergency room overnight causing hospitals to lose money. The cameras and sensors will make lawyers lose many clients because in accidents the camera will capture whose fault it was. The government will lose money since driverless cars will obey the law, therefore, there are less fines. Although it will cause a ripple effect, the invention of Google’s driverless car is too great to let it slip. The end of driving is coming to an end whether people want to accept it or not. Time keeps passing and technology also keeps advancing at a rapid pace.
Google’s driverless car will go out into the world to make a change, hopefully for the better. People will learn how to adapt to driverless cars and many more car producers will start making driverless cars. The environment will get cleaner, we’ll have clean air, less pollution, and more natural resources. There will be less deaths in the world and people will now be able to enjoy their life to the fullest. There will be less regrets, driverless cars will make the world more peaceful. Google will not let this golden chance pass by, they will seize the opportunity. Driverless cars will be the main component towards the utopia everyone dreamed of living in.
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