The first truly autonomous car was developed in 1984 at Carnegie Mellon University. There are many companies who have worked on creating a fully autonomous and safe vehicle. The first autonomous vehicle was allowed on a public roadway with other vehicles in 2013. Since 2015, five States have allowed for autonomous vehicles to be tested on their public roadways. These States include California, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, and Virginia. Washington D.C. has also allowed testing on public roads (Ramsey, J., 2015). Autonomous cars have only been tested on normal roadways in good conditions, with the exception of Ford, which has been testing on snow-covered roads.
Autonomous vehicles have the potential to make our roadways virtually free of accidents and can prevent deaths or serious bodily harm (Ramsey, M., 2015). There will be no more accidents due to human error and these vehicles can allow people with disabilities to get around more easily. People with narcolepsy, epilepsy, or diabetes will be safer as they may have medical problems while driving, but with autonomous cars, they won't be in control of the vehicle and the vehicle can drive its self safely. These new vehicles will also help us reduce traffic and keep traffic moving as they will talk to each other via a network. The vehicles will know how to get to their destination as quickly as possible and without causing traffic issues.
The autonomous vehicle will be society's solution to traffic problems, traffic accidents, and the always unfortunate, traffic deaths (Ramsey, 2015). Obviously the autonomous car raises some issues as to how people will react to not having control when in their vehicle. This is something that needs to be addressed by society and cannot be addressed until autonomous vehicles are actually produced for public use. As of right now, you cannot simply go out and buy an autonomous vehicle. This will most likely be the case for many years to come until all of the kinks are worked out.
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