Watch for first driverless car

Just as the horse-and-buggy changed the mode of transportation, driverless cars are set to change our lives dramatically in the coming decades.
We already have witnessed the self-parking vehicle. And Google has pioneered a fleet of cars that currently are travelling hundreds of thousands of miles to prove they are safe on the road.
The future will offer huge potential savings to people and the trucking industry. Just sit back and enjoy your drive.
What would it feel like to travel in a vehicle facing each other or watching a video while you are being transported to Thunder Bay or Winnipeg? You can catch your 40 winks and still travel 50 km down the road, oblivious to everything happening around you.
One of the first results from all that driverless vehicle testing is that driverless cars are far safer on the roads than human-driven ones. In the U.S. in 2009, some 33,308 people were killed and 2.2 million injured, costing in excess of $299.5 billion.
Google has estimated that a self-driving car will save almost 30,000 lives and nearly two million in car injuries, resulting in savings of almost $300 billion.
Those savings will reduce insurance costs, as well as burdens in hospitals and care facilities.
The other major saving will be found in large cities, where commute times will be cut by reducing congestion and wasted fuel. Car-sharing will take the place of ownership.
Shared driverless fleets will reduce trip times and annual operating costs for people living in suburbia.
Last week in the Globe and Mail, a headline read “Will driverless cars lead us down a jobless road?”
It is an interesting question. If electronics and GPS can be more accurate and react to problems faster than humans, the world will adopt driverless vehicles.
It is estimated that truck drivers and taxi drivers will become a thing of the past. Just by stepping into a waiting car, a robot voice will ask you where you want to go and then will whisk you off to your destination.
It may sound farfetched but robot-mining vehicles already are working underground. How long will it be before long-distance trucks go driverless, being able to be on the road almost around the clock?
It is the future. Britain, for instance, is about to begin a trial of driverless vehicles next year.
Car crashes will diminish, cutting into parts suppliers and repair shop work. Fines will decrease for government as vehicles will be following the rules of the road.
How long will it be before Ontario begins a trial of vehicles? Some might argue it could never happen due to snow and freezing ice on vehicles, limiting their electronic sensors and eyes, but engineering will overcome those obstacles.
You even could hop into your vehicle at 10 p.m. and travel hundreds of kilometres while you slept, awakening fresh in the morning.
New jobs will flourish developing programs for these vehicles and servicing them. They will offset some of the lost jobs that currently exist.
The future is beginning. Watch for your first driverless car.

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