Thursday, March 6, 2014

When Will Self-Driving Cars Hit Our Roads?

Looking forward to jumping into your self-driving car, pulling out your iPad, having lunch or watching a movie as you travel to your destination?  Does this sound crazy? No, but it’s going to take time, research and a lot of money to get it done. At Mike’s Auto Body, we’re always looking to incorporate the automotive industry’s newest technologies into our repair processes. When the self-driving car becomes a reality on the roads of the Bay Area, you can count on the fact that we’ll be right out there on the cutting edge and prepared to work on these vehicles when accidents occur.
Despite Google's impressive fleet of autonomous cars and interest from Audi, GM, Toyota and others, self-driving cars won't be ready for the general public anytime soon. Experts at the Society of Automotive Engineers World Congress said recently that the mass market won't get them until 2025, the Detroit News reports, while others are targeting 2030 and beyond.

SAE, whose standards influence everything from cargo specs to horsepower, invited panelists from automakers, suppliers, universities and more to its annual conference in Detroit. So-called "semiautonomous" technology, which fuses collision-detection and steering technologies to keep you in your lane and far enough from the car ahead, will hit the market much sooner, experts said.
The potential for driver distraction spawned debate, says the News. After all, a self-driving car would seem to only encourage more texting — or sleeping or reading. If you had to remain as alert behind the wheel as if you were driving, the benefits would diminish. Such systems offer high safety potential, given most accidents result from human error, but should any malfunction cause an accident, one expert said it would turn the discussion on its head.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in October it would launch a $1.75 million multiyear research project to determine the human controls necessary in driverless cars.
So, I wouldn’t hold your breath. Driver-less cars will exist one day and I don’t doubt it for a millisecond. But, I’m guessing it won’t be a reality until 2030 or even later. Stay tuned and in the meantime, drive safely. Your kids will be driving self-drivers or even vehicles with jet packs, but today, we’ll just have to settle for cars we have to drive ourselves.

Fixing cars to their pre-accident condition since 1972, Mike Rose and his family has built Mike’s Auto Body into a 12-shop organization known for its honesty and integrity with an emphasis on exemplary customer service. With two locations in Concord and Walnut Creek and one in Lafayette, Pittsburg, Antioch, Brentwood, Richmond, Fairfield, Napa and now one in San Ramon, Mike’s Auto Body is known for being an outstanding business partner in every city where it serves the public. 



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