Rumors have been swirling for several months about the release of Google’s self-driving cars. Many consumers are just as excited as they are nervous at the concept of a driverless car. Florida residents, though, may be among the first to see these cars on the roads.
Florida is one of three states that have been targeted by Google’s campaign to regulate their cars. Many are worried, though. Are these self-driving cars safe or could they cause more car accidents without a human in control?
The anticipation of the car has understandably been met with skepticism about the safety of cars that are not controlled by humans. However, there have only been two reported accidents involving a Google car. In both instances, the car accident was due to human error.
Nevada, California and Florida policymakers have been given free rides in the driverless cars to showcase the safety and capabilities of the vehicles. Recently, Nevada was the first state to issue a license for the car. After a thorough test on highways and in crowded neighborhoods, it was deemed fit for the road. Since then, Google has reportedly spent $5 million in legislative lobbying and are expanding their test rides to other states.
If the facts are consistent and correct, Google’s car may be the safest on the roads. If the technology is able to draw enough acceptance by the public, the vehicles may be a common sight on Florida roads sooner than later. Whether or not the rate of car accidents due to drunk or distracted drivers will decrease as a result of driverless cars remains to be seen. For many people, however, the possibilities are very exciting.
Source: Wired, “Google Goes to Washington to Lobby for Self-Driving Cars,” Doug Newcomb, May 15, 2012