Progress for Google’s self driving car is speeding up

Photo rcourtesy of: commons.wikimedia.org

Photo rcourtesy of: commons.wikimedia.org

By Eileen Gazzola, Contributing Writer

If you have not yet heard, the self- driving car, that is known to inevitably take over the roads, is under construction for the future. This project is being conducted by Google and has been advancing and improving each month since 2009.

This new technology has the capacity to alter the economy in profound ways. Insurance policies, ticket revenue, and parking all are affected by self- driving automobiles and will alter our economy in new and interesting ways. Also, the advancement of self- driving cars has the potential to affect many aspects of the local and federal government.

Insurance is a top concern when we consider switching drivers from humans to robots. When self- driving cars become a regular means of transportation, insurance will have to consider the fact that these will be much safer (after extensive research and improvement). Due to the fact that self- driven cars would be made to operate at the safest level, risks hypothetically should be lessened.

According to research by consulting firm McKinsey & Co., automated cars could save up to 300,000 lives in the U.S. each decade. This would cause insurance rates to be lowered and people would be automatically in a safer environment.

The U.S. government’s think tank, RAND, imagines that insurance will shift from state regulated insurance protecting drivers to federal law protected manufacturers. This would be to ensure any glitches and malfunctions of the technology.

However, until the majority of people are driving self- driven cars, there could be an interesting mix between robot and human drivers, and subsequently a mix of insurance policies and coverage’s.

Although the public as a whole would be safer, with an economic viewpoint there are implications to consider. Revenue from tickets such as parking, speeding, red- light running, and drunk driving provides the government with a lot of money.

Contrary to humans, self- driving cars will not speed, park in areas they’re not supposed to, or drive drunk. Besides the exceptions of malfunctions and glitches, self- driving cars are not capable of consciously making bad decisions. This is an area of concern for the future of the government’s revenue.

For example, speeding tickets alone garner $6.2 billion into city, county, and state treasuries every year. If we consider the return from all tickets, one will realize that it would be detrimental to the government if those funds were cut drastically. However, there are other positive aspects to consider.

An important positive implication of self- driving cars is parking. Consider this: a person can take their car to work, send their car home, and then have it pick them up when they call for it. This could save people time searching for parking spots, or walking far distances to park and fetch their car. In addition, an individual can use time productively while being driven.

The self- driving vehicle has the potential to affect many aspects of the economy and overall wellbeing of the community. Keep an eye out for the monthly report Google releases that includes information about the latest improvements.

As of September 30, 2015, the latest report communicated their test runs for preparing for rare situations on the road. Each week the prototype gains 10,000 to 15,000 miles of real-world driving experience.

It will be a few more years of improving, testing, and experimenting, but the speedometer reads fast for progress.

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Author: Web Editor

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