There are autonomous, or self-driving cars, on the roads right now in California and Arizona and some states such as Florida and New York seem just about ready to pass legislation to make them legal there as well. In fact, just about all 50 states are currently looking at some sort of legislation intended to make autonomous cars legal on their roads. These autonomous cars would make transportation of cargo easier and make road ways safer. They would also help some drivers whose ability to operate a vehicle has been curtailed because of age or impairment, able to get around from point A to point B without the need of public transportation or a ride from friends or family.
But just short of fully autonomous vehicles are features designed to make driving safer for putting who drive themselves. These features include cruise control, obstacle avoidance and rear-view video cameras. Cadillac has a new feature will drive the vehicle for you on long highways trips called enhanced cruise control. Some obstacle avoidance systems will actually apply the brakes when an object is detected in front of your vehicle, like when the car ahead slows down or stops.
None of these features will make your vehicle truly autonomous however, and regardless of what sort of car you have you are still ultimately responsible for the safety of yourself, your passengers and everyone who shares the road with you. There is no substitute for safe, defensive driving and that means having good judgement about your abilities and the ability of your vehicle. Just because your car drives itself doesn’t mean it can change its own tires when they get bald.