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Self-Driving Cars Will Soon Be a Reality: Can You Imagine?

A Toyota Prius modified by Google to operate as a driverless car. (wikipedia.com)

A Toyota Prius modified by Google to operate as a driverless car. (wikipedia.com)

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Everyone dreams of getting their license at the age of 16. Most people today have a vehicle or some sort of transportation that is driven by a person. What would you say if I told you that in the near future, people would be extinct? That will happen one day when the Ozone layer gets too thin, but people may be extinct from driving a car well before that. I am talking about self-driving cars.

A self-driving car is a car that does not require a person to drive it or to handle it. The self-driving car will open up a whole new world of innovation for the automobile industry, and it will make the world a “potentially safer place.” One of the first companies to jump on this opportunity was Tesla. Tesla Automotive is a vehicle company from Palo Alto, California, that manufactures one of the most stylish, teched-out cars on the market today. Tesla introduced their special feature “The Autopilot,” which combines different technologies to assist the driver with the monotonous tasks of driving, so the driver won’t get fatigued as quickly. One of the cars to feature this technology is the Tesla Model X. These cars equipped with the Autopilot feature are not yet true “self-driving” cars, but  Tesla hopes to achieve that goal by the end of 2019. While this is an awesome feature, it does have its negatives. For example, while a person in Florida was driving with the Autopilot feature on, his car crashed under a tractor-trailer, and he was killed. 

Besides Tesla, Uber, a “taxi” service now based in many countries, recently unveiled a new car which is manufactured by the Swedish automobile company, Volvo. They now have a driverless technology which is far more advanced than Tesla’s. Keep in mind, though, that at this point in time, there is still a driver in the front seat of these Uber Volvos ready to grab the wheel at a moment’s notice. The first city to feature this new Uber technology was Pittsburgh, PA, and, as of December, 2016, it’s now in Uber’s cars in San Franciso, too. So, if you go to Pittsburgh or San Franciso, and get an Uber ride, it may be “driverless.” While Uber’s technology is great, Tesla was the first auto company to bring its driverless feature to the general public. I think Tesla is ahead of market trends with their all-electric cars and now their self-driving cars. Google is currently working on a self-driving car too, but it’s not available yet. 

I think self-driving cars will become a popular trend sometime in the 2030’s to 2040s. I think these types of cars are still too dangerous, and it will take a lot of companies working together to perfect this technology before it becomes a permanent and widespread solution. Even before that time, however, driving laws and regulations will also have to be updated to accommodate this new phenomenon on our roadways.  It’s weird to think that cars could be completely driverless in the near future. What do you think? 

 

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About the Writer
Alexander G., Staff Reporter
Alexander G. is a 9th-grade student at The Rectory School. He has been here since 4th grade, and this will be his final year on The DiRectory newspaper staff. He has been on the newspaper staff for 3 years in the fall term, writing articles based on his opinion, interviews he has conducted, and worldwide...
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Self-Driving Cars Will Soon Be a Reality: Can You Imagine?