It’s crazy to think in a matter of years everyone will be able to drive. You’ll no longer need babysitters or time off work to run your kids to soccer, Grandma and Grandpa will be able to go to the store on their own, drunk driving will be eliminated, disabled people will be able to be more independent— autonomous cars will make our society more autonomous.
It will be difficult however, just google “Forecast for autonomous vehicles,” “Implementing self driving cars,” or “When will I own a robocar” and every link will give you a different answer. Some people think level 3 and 4 autonomous cars will be on the road in 10 years, others predict 30 or more. Regardless of time, they’re coming and with it a lot of change.
We may need to rebuild entire infrastructures, change countless laws, change our own mindsets on the issues. Our expectations will evolve, we may no longer own cars, just subscribe to a monthly Uber account. In time, even manually operated automatic transmissions will seem vintage and “hipster.” Our environment may take a larger hit, or improve. Vehicular manslaughter will decrease.
It’s a multi-faceted issue. It’s a step towards worlds like Wall-e and Black Mirror. But it will take time and it will be difficult.
Our series explaining the difficulties of self driving cars is at an end, but trust me, we will keep up with this and continue to write on the issues, improvements, and legislative changes towards self driving vehicles.
A graduate of George Washington University of National Law Center, Thomas J. Curcio is an author, speaker, and personal injury attorney. He has been named one of DC Best Lawyers Personal Injury Litigation and co-author of “Evidence for the Trial Lawyer." His experience includes the successful representation of injured passengers of the 2009 WMATA (DC Metro) Fort Trotten train crash.