We are moving toward a highway and road system that will allow vehicles to drive themselves. We have the technology to do it. Theoretically, this system would significantly improve driving safety too. Whats not to like about it?
Roadblocks (pun intended?) include standardizing the technology among car and truck manufacturers, developing appropriate federal and state regulations, and achieving consumer acceptance.
Consumer acceptance could be the sticking point. Recently on a television news program, after sharing a clip about futuristic self-driving cars, the commentator exclaimed, Im okay with autopilot when I fly, but on the ground, I want to be in charge. I laughed.
This persons exclamation was a genuine expression of the fact he would feel safer driving himself instead of being driven by a computer. Although he could accept autopilot at 35,000 feet, he failed to understand it on the groundeven when all the research indicates it would be immensely safer!
Consumer acceptance can often be the make-or-break piece to these new puzzles. When it comes to self-driving vehicles, only time, and the consumers, will tell.