A new report out by the Global Positioning Specialists (GPS) suggests that driverless cars could eventually save countries billions of dollars due to the reduction of accidents. The report states that Canada could save $26 billion a year of the $29 billion it costs the country due to accidents with widespread usage of driverless vehicles. Transport Canada is not entirely convinced of the study but did say that they would evaluate the impacts of connected and automated vehicles.
While reducing accidents and saving lives and money, the saturation of driverless cars will have to be at a relatively high level to curb enough accidents to save $26 billion in one year. This change will also mean that drivers would be willing to give up their privilege to drive a car and just sit back and allow an artificial intelligence machine drive them around. Many people enjoy driving a car, and it can be their escape from reality as they drive down the road and listen to their music blasting. However, in a study of 800 auto executives from 38 countries, it shows that 74% of them believe that more than half of the current drivers would be happy to give up the role of driver.
The car dealers and automobile makers will be coping with an entirely new way to do business. Will the driverless cars be affordable enough for a customer to come in off the street and purchase one as they do now when buying a car? Will dealers end up being strictly a place to lease a driverless car to a new customer and then sell the used ones? Car manufacturers will have to have the technology and equipment to produce driverless cars and then maintain them after the sale – not only mechanical repairs as there will be computer and software updates needed. These updates will not only allow the vehicles to operate more efficiently but also provide security updates from the inevitable hackers that will try to breach the system.
Except for bumper-to-bumper rush hours, most people enjoy a good drive. However, when it comes to saving the government this much money and more importantly saving lives, driverless cars will become the standard in the not too distant future. Drivers will then sit back and enjoy the ride.