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Are Self-Driving Cars Very Far Away?

There are always new ideas and new technology coming along when it comes to cars that are supposed to make them safer to drive, more fuel-efficient and more enjoyable and luxurious for the driver. The last twenty-five years or so for the car business has seen a great deal of innovation and the car companies are always promising that there are more great things to come. The latest breakthrough on the horizon is the idea of the driverless car. It is likely something you may have seen in cartoons or science fiction movies for years and never really thought it would come true, but are self-driving cars really that far away?

The Cars are Closer than You Think

A number of companies, both technology and in the automotive industry, have been working on the idea of the driverless car for a number of years. It was back in 2013 that Google, Texas Instruments and Toyota appeared together and said they were working on a driverless car that relied solely on technology to take the controls as it guided passengers to their destinations. In the past where it always seemed like the technology was decades away no matter when you looked into it, the reality is that companies are much closer to actually implementing the driverless car and it may only be about five years away, giving real promise to the possibility of seeing vehicles such as this on the road someday soon.

The Benefits of the Self-Driving Car

There are a number benefits that are cited by manufacturers for the self-driving car. First, the cars have been designed to be more aerodynamic and much more fuel-efficient, cutting back on overall fuel consumption. Some are even hybrid versions or electric versions, using very little or no fuel at all to operate. The cars are also less likely to get into an accident, increasing overall safety on the roads. Since many accidents are the cause of human error where the driver may not be paying close attention to the road, a driverless car would eliminate this as a factor. The cars also allow a greater possibility for those that may have physical disabilities or impairments to learning to drive or driving at all to have the ability to get in a car and go someplace. The cars will also make better use of overall road space with more of them on the road, creating fewer traffic issues.

Of course there are still obstacles to the technology being implemented any time soon. Most states in the United States actually have laws on the books that require a licensed driver to be behind the wheel of a car on the road, so laws would have to be amended to allow for this to be widespread. There are also issues of driver responsibility and the overall cost of the vehicle that still need to be worked out, but the fact remains that the technology has improved enough where there is a real possibility for self-driving cars in the near future.