Stop being scared of driverless cars
Monday in Trenton, lawmakers heard many hours of testimony on developing and regulating autonomous vehicles. You know, that creepy sci-fi thing; cars that drive themselves? It ended with a measure advancing to create a task force to study the vehicles.
Last year, 624 lives ended on Garden State roads. Combine that with the statistic from the U.S. Department of Transportation that 94% of all traffic accidents are caused by human error. As afraid as some people are of computers operating your car for you, it's important to recognize that a computer makes far fewer mistakes than a human being. So it's practical to see hundreds of lives saved in Jersey just in one year, many thousands over a decade.
While everyone is focused on safety with this issue, as well they should be, my mind moves far beyond that to the issue of how it will change the world. In both good ways and bad. New Jersey municipal budgets already heavily reliant on their traffic courts will suddenly need to find money elsewhere. There won't be any tickets. Computers won't speed, won't go through stop signs, won't drive recklessly. Will already crippling property taxes go up even more? Will there be more jobs because of related burgeoning industries or fewer jobs because workers will be able to accomplish tasks while being driven to work by their cars. More work getting done could result in companies needing fewer workers.
Hitchhiking will be a thing of the past. So will those jobs dressing in some costume at the side of the road to attract people to pull in last second for a pizza special. Computers will have pre-determined routes just like when you set your GPS now and eventually they say autonomous cars may not even have steering wheels to override the system. So many crazy things to think about.
But before we get to all that, there's the immediate issue of fear. Will you be to afraid to ride in an autonomous vehicle? Will you trust your life to one? Take our poll below.
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