Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 33 seconds

To get a license in America, most high school students take a course in Driver’s Ed to learn the Rules of the Road; it takes a certain amount of intelligence to pass the state test to receive a driver’s license.

Good driving requires knowledge of the laws, judgement, and practice because after all, this is a skill. You must learn the way the car works and then apply those lessons at 70 mph surrounded by cars, trucks, or all manner of vehicles.

Autonomous Vehicles Share The Road

In the near future, all that may become an archaic rite of passage. One day soon, you may glance at the driver next to you and see NO ONE IS THERE! Who is driving that vehicle?!

The real question is what is driving. Artificial intelligence has been designed to learn the rules of the road, anticipate and react as needed, and arrive at pre-programmed destinations. Machines can learn to drive, too.

Self-driving vehicles are on the roads today. All the skills that driving requires are manageable by machine.

Eyes In The Back Of Your Head

Good drivers are observant. The ability to scan the road and stay alert to pending conditions or problems is also vital for safety.

Imagine if you could see 3280 feet ahead? You would have plenty of time to anticipate, react, and make decisions about the road. That’s just what the United States Postal Service self-driving trucks can do.

Many vehicles are already equipped with cameras to show drivers what’s around them. Other features also include autonomous parking capability, sensors that engage the brakes when objects are too close, and safety systems that alert drivers when other cars are too close or in the blind spot. What’s really left for a driver to do?

The answer is nothing. It is no longer necessary for a human to be behind the wheel of a vehicle. Speed limits and directions are data that can all be uploaded into a machine. Avoiding objects and reacting to changing road conditions are patterns that an algorithm can detect. The rest is just programming, telling the machine how to analyze the data and determine what to do next.

Where Is This Going

The implications of artificial intelligence behind the wheel affect the bottom line; it’s good for business.

Ride-Sharing Services. Companies like Uber and Lyft are headed toward fleets of autonomous vehicles. Liabilities are reduced and the companies’ profitability increases as more cars mean business growth.

Delivery Trucks. Self-driving trucks would strengthen the over-the-road trucking industry. Long-haul operators are in short supply, and many companies including the U.S. mail system are strapped for drivers. Autonomous delivery trucks could successfully handle and revive long-distance transport.

The thought of self-driving trucks is scary to any who imagine a semi careening out of control because no one is behind the wheel to stop it. Really though, from distracted drivers to road rage, fatigue, or driving while impaired, human error causes collisions, and autonomous vehicles would eliminate the worst safety hazard on the road: humans.

Last modified on Wednesday, 29 May 2019
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Deborah Huyett

Deborah Huyett is a professional freelance writer with experience working for a variety of industries. She enjoys and works with all types of writing, and she has been published or ghostwritten for blogs, newsletters, web pages, and books. A former English teacher, Deborah’s passion for writing has always been grounded in the mechanics while appreciating the art of writing. She approaches projects as creative challenges, matching voice and tone for any audience.

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