Automobile analysts around the world are touting the upcoming advancements of self-driving cars, but the realism of widespread availability is questionable. Because current transportation systems are not designed to accommodate these automated vehicles, consumer expectations might need to be tapered until laws change to facilitate infrastructure upgrades. Nissan openly hopes to deliver the very first line of self-driving cars to the public in 2020, but there are extensive obstacles for the company to overcome in the meantime. As it stands, this innovative revolution will likely be subjected to multiple political and economic delays before people have access to this transformative driving capacity.
The Current Status Quo
The fundamental mechanics of vehicular operation have remained virtually unchanged for almost a century. This startling technological advancement enshrines a complete defiance of civilization’s primary tradition of travel. The collective masses are typically stubborn when it comes to sudden cultural shifts, but the effectiveness of this new method is dramatically evident. With shocking convenience, self-driving cars could enchantingly persuade the public overnight; as a result, the media has limited widespread awareness of this brilliant stride in vehicular engineering.
Lobbyists and Legislators
Since less input is required from the operator of a self-driving care, licensing could be streamlined. The policies could subsequently be eased, and these lax regulations would allow more drivers on the road, which would mandate a nation-wide expansion in infrastructure. Naturally, legislators will want to slow down this expensive shift, so they will concoct unnecessary roadblocks under the guise of imposing accountability. With partisan gridlocks at an all-time high, an agreement might be impossible to find, and these inspirational vehicles could be banned until a consensus is reached. With their vested financial interests previously established, lobbyists could fund any effort to derail the 2020 expectancy date for self-driving vehicles.
Mandate Overhaul of Car Insurance Systems
Liability would be redefined to put the onus of blame for accidents on manufacturers. The wide scale exoneration of drivers would devastate the profits of insurance companies and car makers alike. These two massive industries are bound to apply substantial political leverage to hinder the availability of self-driving cars.
Furthermore, the presence of automatic machine propulsion entails consequential glitches that can potentially wreak havoc on the roads. Insurance companies do not have any clauses that designate how to handle self-driving automobiles, and this means they can easily create arbitrary rules to effectively limit their economic practicality. Unfortunately, insurers can discretely use exorbitant prices to exclude the majority of the population.
GPS systems would be granted exponential increases in duty and responsibility. A comprehensive mapping system would need to account for all cars on the road, and it would adjust collective speeds based on congestion and direction of traffic. At first, one of the primary challenges will be integrating current models onto the same streets as self-driving cars; however, all manually controlled cars will eventually become obsolete, and an automated satellite grid can then safely move all citizens around. Sadly, the up-front investment will be a major deterrent for the government.
People have a strange tendency to cling to familiarity, and the loss of ascribed roles in the car might face some unexpected resistance. Drivers that enjoy their ability to chaperone might feel a loss of social importance. Ultimately, indefinite postponements might temporarily halt self-driving cars, but the masses will fall in love with them regardless. Their growing will cannot be stopped.
Dale Terry writes about all things cars and is constantly reading and analyzing the latest news in the automobile industry. Dale can be found blogging on several websites as a regular guest contributor.
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