It's still early days when it comes to self-driving cars, which means that a lot of the focus is on how the technology will work, what potential complications could arise, and the immediate impact of such revolutionary technology. It's quite right that these concerns should dominate the conversation, as the technology remains in a crucial phase of development. But that doesn't mean we can't cast a wishful eye to the future and what it holds. How will our world change, when self-driving cars become the norm?
In an article for Entrepreneur, Suhaib Mohammed attempts to answer that question, looking at just some of the ways that a self-driving culture could change the world as we know it.
"There's no doubt that self-driving vehicles are coming and will have a tremendous impact on everything we do... To get there, we need to address technological challenges... but once we [have] tackled these obstacles, driverless cars will surely make our lives simpler, safer and smarter."
Mohammed points to several ways that self-driving cars could completely alter the driving landscape, including reduced congestion, better parking, and reduced emissions. Perhaps, even, a future where traffic collisions don't occur, period.
"... as the technology advances, self-driving cars may become the sole vehicles that always adhere to traffic rules, never get tired and remain unbiased, allowing us to move toward a zero-incident future."
There are other benefits that are perhaps not as obvious, but would be equally life-changing for many. One such benefit is the ability for driving, or at least travelling by vehicle, to become accessible to everyone. That means mobility for the elderly and for those who are prevented from driving due to disability.
While these benefits are still a long way off, the knowledge that we are heading in a direction that is safer, cleaner, and more equitable is something that we should all look forward to.
For more on what the self-driving future holds, read the original piece by Suhaib Mohammed in Entrepreneur.