How Self-Driving Cars Could Shape Our Future in 2024

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In the last few decades, there have been so many discussions about self-driving cars, the technology behind them and the potential changes that they will bring into the world. Also called an autonomous vehicle or driverless car, a self-driving car comprises several sensors that are capable of perceiving what is going on in the surroundings.

With the likes of Apple, Google, Lyft, Tesla, and Uber investing heavily in robotic cars already, it is apparent that these cars are going to be a significant part of our future. As advises, in preparation for this innovative car technology, we need to learn about the ways our future could be shaped by these cars.

Take a look at the following ways.

Private car ownership will reduce

Recent developments have suggested that top ridesharing companies will own fleets of low-cost robotic cars that people can access any time they want. These autonomous cars will be capable of operating throughout the day. As a result of this, the need to own personal cars will be reduced. Hence, the number of cars that are owned by private individuals will also become lower than we currently have. Notably, this change does not necessarily mean that privately owned vehicles will disappear, especially in rural environments that might have issues with accessing autonomous cars.

They may reduce road tragedies

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Irrational behaviors, hastiness, and driving under influence are some of the major causes of road tragedies that we witness today. These factors are typically associated with a wide range of problems that humans are passing through. Fortunately, autonomous cars are not humans. They are incapable of taking irrational and hasty actions that are associated with humans. Due to these reasons, self-driving cars may be able to reduce the road tragedies that we witness.

Nonetheless, there is a caveat to this point as there have been cases of malfunctioned autonomous cars that led to vehicle accidents. In 2008, a particular self-driving car from Uber killed someone after getting stuck on the road. After some months, a Tesla X Mode also caused the death of its driver who set it at autopilot.

As a result of hardware and software issues, self-driving cars may also have problems that can lead to road tragedies. However, we can rest assured that road accidents will reduce drastically.

Independent people will become a reality for many people

Aged people and those living with illnesses and disabilities are often unable to live independently. This is because they usually need the assistance of others when it comes to transportation. Nevertheless, the advent of self-driving cars is bound to change that. Autonomous cars could make these individuals start living the kind of life that they could only have imagined a few years ago.

Although there are paratransit transport services, they are sometimes unable to take care of the needs of these people. But autonomous cars are different because they will come with radars, cameras, lasers and other world-class technologies that are going to ensure that they make it easy for passengers to board them.

Currently, Waymo is working on integrating buttons with Braille and other important elements that can allow visually impaired individuals to utilize autonomous vehicles on their own without much hassle. Of course, there are other similar activities that are going on; hence, we can look forward to a future where many individuals can live independently through the help of self-driving cars.

Infrastructures in rural areas will change

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Whenever we are on the road in rural centers, the focus is usually on the motorists. Pedestrians and cyclists often experience difficulties while competing with motorists on the road. Well, this may experience some changes soon as self-driving cars take over our roads. This is because self-driving vehicles will ply the roads with better precisions that human-controlled cars can achieve. Hence, we may be able to give cyclists and pedestrians more space on the streets.

In addition, it will become easier and more convenient for us to cross the streets. The main reason for this is that the self-driving cars are more sensitive to the things happening on the roads than human-driven cars. Resultantly, people may have the opportunity to cross streets in designated and reasonable areas.

Another thing about infrastructures in rural centers is that we may get rid of traffics and have safer intersections. This may happen due to the ability of autonomous vehicles to avoid collisions on their own without the help of traffic lights.

Living arrangements will become different

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One of the major things people consider when finding a home is the proximity to the workplace or school. To avoid the stress that comes with driving from home to work and vice versa, a lot of people choose to stay close to where they work or school. However, autonomous cars may change the living arrangements as people can stay anywhere they want and still access their workplace or school through the assistance of self-driving cars. As the cars are moving, the passengers can sleep, read, relax or even work. So, a lot of rural areas will witness some changes as many people will move away there from the city centers.

Some traditional works can be rendered useless

Although all the ways mentioned above are positive, unemployment can be a big challenge for us to deal with as self-driving cars take over our streets. With the full implementation of autonomous cars, many drivers will become jobless as the vehicles will replace them effectively. This unemployment is an impending challenge that will need to brace up to deal with.

Similarly, many of the procedures involved in the operation of autonomous cars do not involve human input. Hence, some professionals that contribute to the free flow of transportation may also not be needed again. For instance, it has been suggested that the cars may be able to repair themselves; hence, mechanics may also be rendered jobless.

Without a doubt, self-driving cars could go a long way in shaping our future. Although these autonomous cars could have a few negative influences, the positive ones are bound to make the world a better place for everyone to live.