Fascinating (and very short) article by Elliot Hannon for Slate.com regarding a move by the European Union to, and I quote, “introduce a new law requiring cars to come fitted with technology that would keep drivers from going over the speed limit.”
You can read the entire article here:
The other day I was watching a panel of reporters on TV (I believe the show was Chris Hayes on MSNBC) and they were talking about self-driving cars. The panel noted the technology to make self-driving cars existed already, and the only thing keeping self-driving cars from becoming a reality were issues regarding the law and insurance.
Mr. Hayes noted that the mortality/accident rates for air and rail travel were almost non-existent compared to the same for automobile travel, and that it is strange we as consumers aren’t more alarmed by this. He stated, quite rightly I felt, if the same mortality rates were present in air travel as they were in automobile travel, no one would use an airplane.
The article above notes that the European Union is being proactive in trying to lessen the mortality/accident rates on the road and that by having technology in a car that stops drivers from speeding those rates are bound to drop. I agree with this as well, but feel that if we go to completely driver-less cars, the rate will drop even more.
Granted, there will be people who want to keep driving on their own, just as surely as there will be a large contingent of people who will be only too happy to let a computer focus on their morning and evening commute while they engage in any number of things with their now free time, from reading the paper to watching a movie to checking their email/texts.
I suspect driver-less tech will slowly work its way into the big cities and will not only reduce the rates of mortality/accidents but also significantly reduce traffic jams and the rush hour commute. By the above action, the European Union is essentially taking the first step toward driver-less tech by implementing their system to keep drivers from speeding.
On the other hand, the book writer in me can’t help but think of the possible scenarios where a computer driven car might be a very big danger. Perhaps I should keep those scenarios to myself…there’s always the next book to write! 😉
We live in interesting times!