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Autonomous Vehicles: The Next Game-Changer

Michael Shaham

From the wheel to the steam engine to the automobile to the internet, there have been thousands of technological innovations that have changed the course of humanity in one way or another. These innovations can be adaptations of previous inventions, or they can be entirely new concepts, ideas, or products that perform completely unique tasks. In 1885, the first automobile was invented by Karl Benz, which led to the Ford Model T in 1908. These automobiles revolutionized transportation as we know it, and there have been many automobile or manufacturing innovations (like the assembly line) since then that have changed the way we live. I believe that in the future, autonomous vehicles will be revolutionize the automobile industry and change humanity for the better.

Autonomous vehicles and the technology behind it started being developed in the 1980s, but the technology has not yet made its way into our everyday life, even though the first autonomous vehicle was able to travel across the United States (Pittsburgh to San Diego) in 1995. Today, many companies are working on developing self-driving cars and a few self-driving cars are on the market, but they all require a human driver ready to take over the autonomous capability if necessary.

While autonomous vehicles may cause some controversy and, like anything, come with initial pros and cons, I believe there is no way around the fact that self-driving cars are the future and will greatly benefit mankind. As the technology develops, autonomous vehicles will be far safer than human-driven cars and will save the lives of thousands, if not millions, of people over time. This is especially true when considering the fact that, according to the CDC, drunk driving accidents account for nearly one-third of all traffic-related deaths (there are about 40,000 traffic-related deaths annually). If all cars are self-driving, all of these deaths could very easily be prevented by taking the human out of the driving. Another important consideration for most, if not all, Americans is auto-insurance and health insurance costs which would drop drastically if all cars were autonomous.

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