Self-driving Cars Coming Soon

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( — November 30, 2015) — Self-driving cars are again under review by US Federal Transportation officials and it is possible that this new type of car will be approved for general public use, although the date has not yet been specified. Only two years ago, the tone from US Department of Transportation was quite different and anti-public usage of these cars.

Since the technology is moving very fast and is taking quicker pace daily, it seems that federal policy is going to be renewed. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said last week: “I want the posture of our agency to be obviously vigilant on the safety front, but I don’t want agency to be skittish about innovations that are out there.”

The outlines of the new policy are still unknown, but it seems that they are going to be ready in a few weeks’ time.

The Washington Post reported that Google’s self-driving cars may even communicate with pedestrians in the sense that the car will somehow estimate who is likely to cross the street and also announce its own intentions. They will probably communicate  with the help of  of some kind of message displays and the speakers which will be positioned  somewhere outside the car. So, basically, cars will send a message and act upon it accordingly. From the pedestrian’s point of view, the risk of crossing the street will be lessened and they will be much more safe if they know what the car is going to do next.

Nevertheless, until the rules have changed, these cars still have got to have a driver present and ready to drive.  An alert driver is not required because these cars are presently unsafe, but because it turns out that in every  single accident that happened thus far with self driving cars, the driver of another car was to blame, at least according to Google.

As soon as the the regulators have had their final say, Google will be ready to release self-driving cars into publice use. On the other hand, Federal government is not yet sure and currently specifies that “where the public can get access to the cars, a licenced driver should be behind the wheel.” Google disagrees and argues that if the car can drive safely on its own, pedals and the steering wheel should be removed, so that the driver doesn’t spoil the ride.

John Simpson of Consumer Watchdog said: “Federal authorities must not succumb to corporate pressure to move so fast that our safety on the highways is compromised.” Viewing all the facts it seems that danger still comes from the regular drivers, not from the self-driving car, with or without a driver. Pedestrians would agree.