Driverless Cars?
Published on February 28, 2012 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, my colleague Margaret Hartley writes about whether we really need driverless cars, a topic I've written about myself.

Here's an excerpt:

"There’s been a lot of talk lately about the development of autonomous cars, cars that could be programmed to essentially drive themselves to wherever it is that we’re going.

These cars use multiple sensors, radars and video cameras to note the distance from other vehicles, local traffic and road patterns, stop signs and traffic lights. They are programmed with maps and speed limits, and use artificial intelligence to detect and react to unusual situations.

Robotic cars could drive closer together, getting more vehicles onto existing roads. By all accounts, such cars would be safer because robots don’t react emotionally, or get drunk or distracted, or fall asleep at the wheel.

Remote cars could free drivers to read, nap or, more likely, to engage in the electronic stuff that people endlessly engage in. Former drivers could eat breakfast, or use their laptops, or talk and text on their phones — without being distracted by the task of driving.

I would love not to be distracted by the task of driving. I spend way too much time in my car — my commute is almost 40 miles and it gets even longer when I have to drive a passel of high school kids to the community college, something I do almost every weekday morning."

Click here to read the whole thing.

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