Autonomous vehicles, once the purview of science fiction, are now a reality. While self-driving cars are still in the testing phases, there will probably be a point in the near future where we’ll start to see them on the road. When that happens there are going to be a lot of questions.
Laws may change. How will insurance work? Will the owners of autonomous vehicles be responsible for them or will liability fall on the manufacturer? If you choose to drive a vehicle yourself and cause an accident, what type of liability will you be looking at? Will driving your own vehicle even be legal once autonomous cars are a reality?
How Do Autonomous Vehicles Work
While the final designs aren’t perfect yet, autonomous vehicles use cameras and sensors to detect the environment around a car. A computer then controls the car, driving you to your destination.
Self Driving Cars Should Reduce Accidents
Virtually every accident that happens on the road today is the result of driver error. Sure, there are mechanical issues that come up and other fluke things that cause accidents, but for the most part, it comes down to driver error.
Autonomous cars are an appealing option because they should be able to eliminate driver error. They won’t speed. They won’t drive too close to other drivers. Plus, they won’t run red lights or stop signs. They also won’t get drunk and cause an accident. There’s little doubt that self-driving cars will make the roads safer for everyone.
Self Driving Cars Will Save People Time When They Have A Long Commute
Do you drive a long way to get to and from work? Imagine if you could free up that time to use it for something that is far more productive. With an autonomous vehicle, you’ll be able to do that. Do you have an hour commute? Imagine being able to get in a power nap on the way in.
Or get started on your work for the day. Or, even watch a movie. When you’re the passenger in a car that drives itself, you’ll be able to engage in any number of activities while you’re going to and from work.
Unfortunately, Autonomous Motorcycles Won’t Be An Option
While autonomous vehicles are coming, they won’t include motorcycles. And really, even if they did, would you want to ride on one? Motorcycles require more input from a rider than a car does from a driver. Whereas an autonomous driving car can simply turn when it needs to, this would never work for a motorcycle rider.
A motorcycle rider has to lean and move as they ride because if they don’t then they will probably be thrown from their bike. While it’s not technically impossible for an autonomous motorcycle to be built, the amount of effort it would take to do so would be enormous.
Even then, if it were to be built, riders would have to be aware and actively participating as they ride which kind of reduces the point of an autonomous ride anyway.
Motorcycles Are All About Freedom
When you think about it, motorcycles aren’t the most practical vehicles. Riders are exposed, so in the event of an accident, they’re more likely to suffer serious injuries than a driver in a car. Riders are also exposed to the weather, which can be frigid, wet or scorching hot. And, if you require a vehicle for transporting passengers, a motorcycle is definitely not a good option.
With all of their shortcomings, why are motorcycles more popular today than ever before? That’s simple – they’re fun and they give riders the ultimate sense of freedom. There’s nothing like riding on a motorcycle and feeling the wind on your face. It’s an amazing experience, which is why autonomous motorcycles will never be a realistic option. They’ll cost more, move slower and take away that all-important sense of freedom that riders love.
Could Autonomous Vehicles Make Rider Operated Vehicles Illegal?
Whenever a new technology emerges that has a significant impact on our society, laws will usually have to change to accommodate the impact it has made. When air travel became common, laws and regulations had to be introduced to allow for safe travel.
That’s an example that is at the very heart of self-driving cars. Should operating a car yourself when self-driving cars are far safer, be illegal?
It may seem far-fetched today, but many of the technologies we employ today would have seemed far fetched a few decades ago. Who could have seen smartphones coming? Or the internet? Or social media? And before that, television?
Technology is constantly evolving and improving and as a society, we have to learn how to harness the power it gives us to make the world as safe and productive as possible.
The reality is that there will probably come a day when autonomous vehicles dominate the roadways. At that point, people who choose to operate vehicles that they control themselves will become the minority. Insurance rates for these drivers will go up since their risk of being involved in an accident will be higher than a self-driving car. Much higher in all likelihood.
While there may be opposition, the majority of people will probably realize that the safety of cars that are computer piloted is so much greater than regular cars, that driving a car yourself makes no sense.
Between the reduction in accidents and the time you can spend doing other things when traveling, self-driving cars will dominate the landscape. As to whether or not traditional cars and motorcycles ever become illegal, that’s a debate that can go either way.
Motorcycles Won’t Be Made Illegal Anytime Soon
If the idea of giving up your motorcycle terrifies you, you shouldn’t lose any sleep over it. A time when autonomous vehicles are legally mandated is probably some time in the future if we ever get there at all, that is. So, enjoy your motorcycle. Go on road trips, ride with friends, but above all else, be safe when you’re on the road.
That means always obeying all traffic laws as well as riding more carefully during bad weather. It also means being defensive and aware every time you get on your bike. Finally, it also means always wearing proper protective gear when you ride.