Julien A. Carsky
Looking Forward to Futuristic Innovations
One major technological innovation that I can see becoming a relatively common method of transportation within the next 15-20 years, will be autonomous, self-driving cars. According to the Centers for Disease Control, fatalities resulting from traffic collisions impact approximately 33,000 people annually (1). Moreover, it is clear that the overwhelming majority of auto-accidents are caused by human error, and that by using self-driving cars, we are able to put our lives in the hand of computers. As absurd as this may sound, computers are less prone to making errors. Humans, on the other hand, are responsible for 81% of crashes, according to State Tech Magazine (2). Other benefits of self-driving cars include a decrease in accidents due to drunk driving, as well a decrease in the need for police officers to control traffic. Global society will also be affected in various negative ways, but most significantly as it relates to driver employment.
Self-driving cars will affect several aspects of our lives including our safety, finances, and potentially our jobs. Because self-driving cars are expected to reduce the frequency of injuries and deaths associated with car accidents and car accidents are one of the most common causes of death, our society will be able to live with less anxiety about the dangers of our daily commutes. Road rage, parking wars, and time spent in traffic will also be reduced, subsequently removing a common negative aspect in our lives. Reduction of accidents will also benefit our economy. FastCompany predicts that reduced health care costs will save the US government about $190 billion per year (3). Self-driving cars will easily maintain traffic flow, allowing people to be on time wherever they are headed. An extra thirty minutes saved in commuting to work is great for employers and employees, who now have more time to be productive. These changes may not be great for everybody, though. Delivery drivers and taxicab drivers may suffer if their jobs are replaced by automated vehicles. For most, I predict the positive changes will be bountiful.