Would You Buy a Self-Driving Vehicle?

It’s still a very futuristic image: cars, trucks, boats, even planes with no-one in the driver seat, well, no humans at least. The future is just about now. Actually, the future has been around in a real way since the late 1980s. But is this something that should make us excited to see what’s coming or a technology we should avoid?

They Will Eliminate Error (Almost)


Image via Flickr by benjie_castillo

The use of robots and electronics obviously eliminates the human error that results in a large percentage of traffic accidents. But can we fully rely on a machine to drive us safely? Tesla’s famous move to include the necessary hardware to make their cars fully self-driving would be included in all their cars, with a suggestion by the CEO that they would be entirely self-sufficient by 2019. Here we are just one year away, and they’ve had to admit that the technology is just not advanced enough yet to be completely self-driving.

They Will Ease Parking

We’ve all driven round and round the big city parking lot making all kinds of desperate pleas for a spot to become available. What if self-driving cars could alleviate the problem altogether? The passenger (i.e., you) could jump out and go about your business as old faithful drives around the block a few times, only to show up again when you’re ready to leave.

They’re Not Going to be Cheap

It’s pretty expensive to have all this space-age technology in the prototype cars. Sure, as a new technology becomes less new, the price drops and more and more people are able to get involved, but the price of self-driving cars, while not yet released, will be astronomical to start. So, you’d better be prepared to add a good amount of years to the first release date to make buying one a viable option.

They Look Cool

Sure this one is a little childish, but just a short moment perusing the Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion and its features will make the kid in you come out again. This car is so cool, its makers even refuse to call it a ‘concept car’, instead referring to it as a ‘research vehicle.’ With a sleek exterior design that you just know is going to end up in a Bond movie and powered purely by electric power and a hydrogen fuel cell; this car takes self-driving cars to the next level.

Instead of the focus being on proving a car can be fully autonomous, it takes this as assumed knowledge and adds a bunch of design features, like an interior that is more reminiscent of a lounge than a car, to make it clear that this is something you need in your life.

So, while the futuristic idea of a car that drives itself is a novelty and certainly appealing, can we ever completely trust a machine to react and keep us safe on the roads? Only time will tell.