A recent study by J.D. Power and Associates shows that 20 percent of new car buyers would buy an autonomous car right now if one were available. That could put more than a million driver-less cars on the roads in the first year they became available. All that is left is to find enough states which will make it legal to operate one on their roads. So far, just two states, Nevada and California, have passed laws allowing autonomous cars to operate legally on their roads. Both states hope to first see commercial uses for the vehicles before they begin seeing individual buyers picking them up, and that is indeed the way the technology is leading.
Eventually, however, it looks as if there will be more driver-less cars on the roads than cars with drivers.
Like you would expect, people want the self-driving capabilities for “boring” driving times – like rush hour traffic, going to and from work, and running errands. Most respondents said that they would want the ability to turn it off and drive manually for pleasure, when the mood arose.
We’re probably not that far away from driverless technology becoming a reality. With multiple companies testing it and some being in talks with automakers, then last hurdle is on the legislative level. States have to approve the self-driving cars for road use. Nevada took the first step last year by legalizing autonomous cars, and earlier this month we heard that the state is in the process of developing regulations for said cars.
The driverless movement has now spread to California, where a state Senator has proposed similar legislation. Other states like Hawaii, Florida, and Oklahoma are also currently considering self-driving car legislation.