Self-driving cars have come a long way but recent reports show they still would need humans. In 2014, California passed a law that required autonomous vehicle manufacturers to submit disengagement reports. Disengagement refers to any period in which the human driver has to take manual control of the vehicle.
Several car makers have already submitted their reports covering September 2014 to November 2015. Within this period, a total of 2,894 disengagements were recorded. Google topped the record of most disengagements with a total of 341 over 424,000 miles of driving.
Google, meanwhile, explains in a statement that came with the report that their objective is not to minimize disengagements; rather, it is to gather while operating safely, as much data as possible to enable them to improve their self-driving system.
Self-Driving Cars Timeline
If we think about it, futuristic vehicles, or so we thought of them, are now here. Today’s car safety features such as adaptive cruise control and automatic braking are a proof we’re slowly getting there.
Come 2014 and 2015, autonomous vehicle manufacturers have been constantly improving and testing their technology. Google has been working on their self-driving car program for over six years now.
This year, new autopilot car models will be introduced by some car manufacturers. Tesla Cars CEO Elon Musk thinks that they’ll have complete autonomy in approximately two years.
Forbes also put together a timeline that predicted 2020 as the year for Grandma’s self-driving car. This means low-speed, partially autonomous vehicles may be permitted in controlled settings like retirement communities. In the year 2035 it is projected to be the time when driverless cars could take people anywhere they want to.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I’m curious how these self-driving cars would turn out once they’re ready for distribution. I agree that we, the drivers, are the ones most responsible for our safety and not any equipment in the car. While technology can help keep us safe, it still needs us so it can serve its purpose effectively. I still hope, though, that self-driving cars of the future will also promote mobility for differently-abled persons. Until then, make sure to always drive responsibly and keep your focus on the road.