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Are You Ready to Give up Your Steering Wheel … and Your Judgment?


What happens if you’re immersed in a book and your car is about to crash?

Do you want safer roads, a shorter commute and smarter drivers? If implemented, a new car system would cut down traffic deaths by 90 percent and make the morning drive so easy you can read a book or watch a movie while you drive.

There is a catch. You have to give up the steering wheel.

Time magazine recently ran a cover article titled “No traffic. No accidents. No deaths. All you have to do is give up your right to drive.” It is about how self-driving cars are the wave of the future (and are already here). The article favors autonomous cars and paints them as the only way to eliminate traffic deaths. This is no futuristic fantasy; these cars are a few short years away from becoming mainstream.

In the past several years, a handful of states have passed laws allowing for the testing of autonomous vehicles, and Google, along with Tesla and all major car companies, have been trying their prototypes on highways. The Obama administration has pledged to spend “four billion dollars in autonomous technology over the next decade.”

The concept is simple: artificial intelligence installed in your car is responsible for navigating to your next destination, in the safest and most efficient way possible. This is accomplished by using devices such as cameras, radar, and GPS, all controlled by a central computer in the car. Your hands stay off the wheel, and you are encouraged to have your morning coffee or read a book; the car will keep you safe.

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