Tuesday, February 12, 2013

An (info)graphic look at self-driving cars

If I were in the insurance industry, I'd be following the development of autonomous cars with keen interest. Think about it: all those cars will have to be insured, but they will probably get into fewer accidents (and incur fewer insurance settlements) than conventional vehicles. That could be good for business as well as for safety.

So why am I bringing this up? Because InsuranceQuotes.com has come up with an infographic on autonomous cars, and it's a doozy. (Trivia dep't: Some believe that the expression "it's a doozy" was coined by the legendary automaker Duesenberg, as part of a campaign to promote its vehicles. Others disagree. I thought you'd want to know.)

Kidding aside, the infographic does a nice job of summarizing the potential benefits of self-driving vehicles, including greater safety, faster traffic flow, reduced fuel wastage, and increased mobility for people with physical handicaps.

Of course, if these benefits are borne out, we will all have to come to terms with the inevitable conclusion: computers do a better job of driving than humans. If you can get comfortable with that, you should survive the year 2040 with a minimum of future shock.

POSTSCRIPT: Sorry, folks, the infographic is no longer available — Paul

Self-driving cars


  1. I wounder what will be left for human to do in 2107?

  2. Funny thing, a colleague and I were discussing something along those lines earlier today. We both live in a city with short commute times -- driving through traffic every morning might be a chore, but it doesn't last very long. But for people who spend two to four hours a day in bumper-to-bumper traffic, driving in a totally autonomous car might provide the opportunity to get more, not less, done. That said, I think I'd always want a car that lets *me* do the driving when I so wish. :-)

  3. I wouldn’t mind if my car has autopilot, especially when I’m going to work and I take a fixed route everyday anyways. But I don’t think it will come to a point that we will just click locations into the GPS and the car will just automatically go to that location. But IF it does come to that, I would still like the option of driving myself to where I want to go. Nothing like grabbing the wheel and driving wherever you want to go.

    Enoch Ross

  4. If it can help regulate traffic, then I say full speed ahead! Though nowadays there are already cars with sensors for auto-braking and auto-parking, so an automated fixed route may not be far off in the future. Although there is the issue of synchronizing it with the traffic on the routes that will be taken.

    I say automated cars now, flying ones in the future! Haha!