Bad Driver Behavior Beckons A Driverless World

Posted on December 14, 2016 by - Also by this author

Do not rent a car to this driver! (public domain photo from Free Stock Creative Commons license here)
Do not rent a car to this driver! (public domain photo from Free Stock Creative Commons license here)

Drivers can behave very badly in all kinds of ways, hence the appeal of driverless cars. The widespread present day motorist habits of texting, eating, primping, and staring at screens, would be concerns if none of us drove. Two recent Los Angeles Times articles, which appeared side-by-side, reminded me of this dilemma: “Auto executives focusing on problem of texting while driving,” and “Self-driving cars’ biggest hurdle? It’s people.”

We all know about the constant texting. Look at other drivers at traffic lights and you'll see their eyes are all looking down at gadget screens while waiting for, and often missing, the green light. Texting is becoming a major accident hazard, similar to the drunken driving crisis of a few decades ago.

The second article points to the reluctance of motorists to let go of steering wheels. They demand the control and freedom of driving a car, but then expect the convenience of multi-tasking while driving, or just doing what they want when they want to. In fact, we could be headed to traffic schizophrenia if driven and driverless cars are allowed on the roads at the same time. As the article points out, the hurried human drivers could bully or intimidate the driverless cars. 

That’s because regulators will pre-program driverless vehicles to maneuver very carefully. And just imagine the spectacle of a bullying motorist honking and flipping off a helpless passenger in a driverless car. 

The good news for the chauffeured transportation sector is it can solve these problems now and in the future, and brag about it through clever advertising and social media posts. It’s all about leaving the driving to someone else, which means passengers are hands free and can misbehave in ways less dangerous to traffic flow. Chauffeured service empowers safety, too, whether it’s a trained, background checked human driver behind the wheel, or a future driverless vehicle managed by a 24/7 chauffeured subscription or membership based network. Did I mention this is something to brag about? I don’t think this industry makes the most of such advantages.

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