Will the Roads of the Future Be Populated by Self-Driving Cars?

TeslaFascination with fast cars and shaving a tenth of a second off a quarter mile is a passion for millions of car owners. Surveying the open road from behind the wheel of a family sedan during a summer vacation makes a million more drivers sublimely happy and content. Will cars that drive themselves give car owners the same enjoyment?


Whether it’s known as an “autonomous car” or a “robotic car,” a vehicle that doesn’t need input from the driver to get from point A to point B seems like something out of a science fiction movie, but self-driving features are already a part of many vehicles on the road. Tons of young car owners emerge from driving school without the ability to parallel park. To conquer this problem, car manufacturers developed technology to make the cars accomplish this feat without the driver’s help.


Right now, major manufacturers like GM estimate that completely autonomous vehicles will be on the road by 2020, but will appear only on special roads built for those automobiles. General Motors Co. offers assurances that drivers won’t be freed of the responsibility of keeping an eye on the road while the car is in motion.


Other vehicle manufacturers agree that autonomous cars are the way of the future, with landmark electric vehicle company Tesla boasting a much sooner arrival date for a self-driving vehicle. The company has already done the impossible by creating an entirely electric vehicle that can travel hundreds of miles. The Tesla Model S is also touted as the fastest production car in its class in the United States.


It’s no surprise that automobile owners who love driving aren’t warming up to the idea of a self-driven car. Teenagers dream for years about getting behind the wheel for the first time and stepping on the gas pedal. In a recent survey, less than 20 percent of drivers said they’d buy a self-driving car.


It seems that nobody cares that a vehicle that drives itself might be safer on the road. Although opinions might change in the future, drivers today want to put the pedal to the metal and travel the roads in full control of their steering wheel.