America is So ready for robotic cars.
There are already adverts on the television along the lines of "Your insurance local, friendly, family run insurance provider .. securing you yesterday, today.. and with the autodrive cars of the future."
I've been driving in the US recently. I was pleased that the rental car options are two grades above our UK ones. Order a midsize and get a Jeep Cherokee. Fuel is still half UK prices. Despite everything else now costing European amounts of money with our currently worthless overseas currency.
Its about ten years since I've been to the USA. And the 99c hamburger is now $3.99
Its a much calmer driving experience than in the UK. Much calmer and easier. The cars may be bigger but the roads are wider.The speeds are much lower. Motorway 65. Country 40-50mph.
That doesn't look on paper much different. But many more roads are dual carriageway. Many , many roads, even through the centre of cities, towns and villages are three lanes wide.
Three lanes wide and often with an emergency lane on both sides. The median guardrail that is within touching distance of a passenger in the fast lane in the UK is a lane and a grass strip or run-off sandstrip away in the US.
The roads tend to be straighter. The traffic lights wait for longer and the signals are above each lane. Three lanes of traffic tend to move at the same speed. A speeding car is quite easily spotted. I saw plenty of highway patrols. A few accidents. And despite what seemed to be every single road in every state I traveled being worked on by orange clad construction crews with orange and white barrels reducing lanes, traffic flowed exceptionally well.
The USA is ready for the driver-less automobile.
I thought maybe ten years away before we start to see them. But that was with my narrow roads, roundabouts, single lane, farm track, heavily congested, impatient, high speed Euro-UK driver eyes.
It will be much easier in the Americas..
People in the know say on the technology required front, we can have driver-less cars right now. The systems are all ready. The testing has been done. It all works. Its all ready. Millions of accident free miles already put in.
Its the legal issues that are holding the whole thing up.
What do we think about this new invention?
Its going to change our lives and our commerce as radically as the internet did. A change to the existing order and the existing structures and systems. With huge cost savings and huge job losses. Winners and losers. With the law and the governments panicking and obstructing and lagging a fair way behind the technology rush.
Are we happy about the driver-less vehicles?
Will you be getting one?