7 Eye-Opening Truths About Driverless Cars

Photo (cc) by -mtnoxx-

Can’t wait to be a passenger in a car that drives itself while you talk on the phone, text or enjoy the view out your windshield?

Media reports might lead you to believe that driverless cars are right around the corner. But in truth, several obstacles block the path to a driverless future.

Here are seven truths about driverless cars that might surprise you:

1. The technology is years away from reality

Most of the technology to build the cars is available, but much of the computer infrastructure needed to put them on the road is not. Experts predict it will be anywhere from five to 15 years before you see a swarm of driverless cars.

2. The prices — at least to start — may be astronomical

Driverless technology currently adds $70,000 to $100,000 to the cost of a vehicle, according to the Washington Post. These costs could be reduced to $3,000 once driverless cars are mass produced, the Post reports.

3. Laws surrounding driverless cars are murky

Several states have passed laws permitting driverless cars on their roads.

But even those regulations are moving targets, as they are constantly being amended, according to Automated Driving: Legislative and Regulatory Action, a wiki maintained by experts at Stanford University in California.

Fog also envelops federal laws and regulations. Texas A&M Law Review found that “current law probably does not prohibit automated vehicles, but may nonetheless discourage their introduction or complicate their operation.”

4. Liability issues remain unsettled

Who is responsible when an automated car gets into an accident, either with another driverless vehicle or a human driver? The New York Times says the vehicle’s manufacturer would likely be held liable for a serious crash.

In a study titled “Products Liability and Driverless Cars,” the Brookings Institute concurred: “Autonomous vehicles will shift the responsibility for avoiding accidents from the driver to the vehicle manufacturer.”

However, Michigan, Florida and the District of Columbia have laws that protect manufacturers from liability if third-party changes to an autonomous vehicle create defects that lead to accidents, according to Brookings.

5. Drivers may be reluctant to let go of the wheel

Americans love to drive and “have always put their cars on pedestals, admiring and pampering them,” according to MTN’s “7 Bizarre Driverless Car Predictions.”

For those who have a nearly romantic relationship with their vehicle, the thrill is likely gone when they enter a driverless car. What’s the point of a driverless Ferrari?

6. Driverless cars will create winners and losers

Once all the kinks are worked out of the system — and the technology has advanced to the point that you don’t need a licensed driver to monitor the vehicle — winners are likely to be the disabled, the elderly, the blind and those too young to drive. These people will gain mobility thanks to driverless cars, according to the Washington Post.

The losers are likely to include cab drivers, truck drivers and bus drivers. If crash rates drop, body shops, insurance companies, chiropractors and emergency rooms also will lose out.

7. The technology may not gain people’s trust easily

This may be the most important question of all: Will people trust and embrace driverless technology?

In a 2014 survey by the Pew Research Center, half the people said they wouldn’t trust computer sensors to maintain all driving functions.

A large percentage of college graduates — 59 percent — said they would like to try a driverless car.

On the other hand, 62 percent of people with a high school diploma or less said they would not like to try a driverless car.

A slight majority of urban (52 percent) and suburban (51 percent) residents said they are interested in driverless cars. But only 36 percent of people in rural areas said they’d like to try them.

Like this story? SHARE it with your friends on Facebook.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
7 Surprising Advantages of Downsizing as a Retiree
7 Surprising Advantages of Downsizing as a Retiree

Downsizing your home offers many benefits, including some you may not have anticipated.

Retirees Can Dodge Taxes on These 9 Types of Income
Retirees Can Dodge Taxes on These 9 Types of Income

There are lots of things Uncle Sam can’t touch — so long as you play by the rules.

How to Buy a Refrigerator, Step by Step
How to Buy a Refrigerator, Step by Step

Here’s how I got the perfect appliance at the perfect price.

The 9 Best Home Insurers for Customer Satisfaction
The 9 Best Home Insurers for Customer Satisfaction

These are the only homeowners insurance companies to earn above-average scores for customer satisfaction.

What Brand Makes the Best Rechargeable AA Batteries?
What Brand Makes the Best Rechargeable AA Batteries?

The best battery depends on what you need it for and how big your budget is. Here’s how to find the cheapest brand that will do the job you need.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy
10 Things Frugal People Never Buy

If you’re a true tightwad, the mere thought of spending money on these items gives you the willies.

10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making
10 Useless Purchases You Need to Stop Making

You might as well flush your money down the loo if you spend it on these things.

7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now
7 Social Security Rules Everyone Should Know by Now

Confusion over Social Security is a shame, considering how many of us will need this money badly.

9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco
9 Shopping Mistakes to Avoid at Costco

Are you missing out on serious savings at your favorite warehouse club?

Why Your Next Stimulus Check Might Be Bigger Than You Expect
Why Your Next Stimulus Check Might Be Bigger Than You Expect

Your third coronavirus payment will be the biggest yet — and possibly even bigger than you realize.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

They don’t make coffee makers like this anymore.

13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now
13 Amazon Purchases We Are Loving Right Now

These practical products make everyday life a little easier.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021
14 Things You Should Stop Buying in 2021

These convenient household products come with hidden costs that you might not have considered.

Is Writing a Check Still Safe?
Is Writing a Check Still Safe?

Every time you pay by check, you hand your bank account numbers to a stranger.

6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers
6 Ways to Protect Your Retirement Accounts From Hackers

Imagine having $245,000 stolen from your retirement account — and not being reimbursed.

8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today
8 Things You Should Replace to Improve Your Life Today

Being frugal isn’t smart if you put off replacing these items.

This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.
This Is the Most Dependable Car Brand in the U.S.

This brand’s vehicles are least likely to give drivers repair headaches, according to J.D. Power.

7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking
7 Social Security Benefits You May Be Overlooking

There’s more to Social Security than retirement benefits.

The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners
The 6 Best Investing Apps for Beginners

If you’re looking to ease into investing in the coronavirus economy with just a little money, check out these easy-to-use tools.

7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know
7 Hidden Sections of Amazon Every Shopper Should Know

These little-known departments of Amazon are gold mines for deal-seekers and impulse shoppers alike.

7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook
7 Income Tax Breaks That Retirees Often Overlook

Did you realize all these tax credits and deductions exist — or that they apply to retirees?

7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best
Homeowners Say These 2 Kitchen Appliance Brands Are Best

One brand takes five of the top honors, while another ranks highest in three categories.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.