By: Ima Linzag
Self-driving cars--some are excited about the concept soon becoming a reality, while others are reluctant with this particular push in futuristic technology arriving in the not so distant future. Regulation changes in California may raise tensions even more with people falling within the latter category. Starting April 2nd, the Golden State will no longer require for someone to be in the driver’s seat for self-driving vehicles. The very idea will make many uncomfortable, but in its place, companies will need to have a way to control the car remotely and also communicate with fellow drivers and members of the law enforcement, in the case of accidents or any other event that goes awry.
Safety is the constant concern for those whom the idea does not sit well with. However, the director of California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, Jean Shiomoto, insists, “Safety is our top concern.” To give a little peace of mind, the state has required for companies using autonomous vehicles to report the number of times that the human seated in the car has had to interfere and take over the driving. Waymo (the self-driving car initiative from Google’s parent company, Alphabet), has had the most successful statistics.
From the end of 2016 to the end of 2017, there have only been a reported 63 incidents, or around one interference every 5,600 miles. For reference, that is approximately the distance between Dallas, Texas and Des Moines, Iowa. There is also constant progress toward improving these statistics, so fear not. The future of driving may not be as scary as you think.