Who wants to drive back from a weekend in Las Vegas with an unforgivable hangover? The answer: No one. We are closer than ever to making that happen— literally traveling by car with no one behind the wheel, and Nevada is the first state that’s open to it, as Nevada currently offers “non-driver’s licenses” for autonomous vehicles.
By next February self-driving cars will be available to consumers. The vehicle pioneering this event will likely be the Volkswagen Passat, which has already journeyed over 10,000 miles— 6,500 of which were across the state of Nevada.
Autonomous vehicles are commonplace in military settings because these vehicles have become the manner in which the U.S. Navy and other military services are leaning towards for methods of modern war. The reason? The U.S. Navy started to rely on Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USV) during the Afghanistan war was to assess the situation from a safe distance to determine if violence was necessary.
This line of thinking was parallel to Google’s (News - Alert) when the company test-drove a fleet of unmanned cars back vehicles in 2010. But the New York Times reported that the 200,000 miles of test-driving might all have been in vain because somebody must be liable in the slim chance that an accident occurs.
Another reason for unmanned vehicles as justified by the military and subsequently everyone else is that they are more cost-effective. Computers make fewer mistakes, so insurance companies would have to adjust their rates accordingly.
William Browning of Yahoo reports that Google is not giving up on its dreams to take part in the future of transportation, and the company strongly supports their argument that unmanned cars will reduce traffic accidents and save millions of lives. And since Google is based out of California, the state would like to rival Nevada’s legislation. Other states that are considering autonomous vehicles are Arizona, Florida, Hawaii and Oklahoma.
Edited by Jennifer Russell