“What’s the matter, Michael?”
From a distant 1982 Knight Rider to a present day Tesla Model S. Self-driving cars are here, and they’re not leaving anytime soon.
Self-Driving Cars: The Future is Now
It all started the same way as many futuristic ideas do – television. 1982 showcased a young David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight, a man partnered with a car who was basically an artificial intelligence program stuffed into an iPhone…then stuffed into a car. We all marveled at the idea knowing it could never be a reality.
Flash forward to 2018 and here they are. Self-driving vehicles are here and show no sign of slowing down. From the unorthodox Elon Musk’s Tesla to automakers like Audi to software companies like Google, there are tons of projects working to launch the cars of the future. Take Waymo’s showcasing of their new fleet of full self-driving vehicles for starters.
Keep On Driving – For Now
Don’t fully expect to play the role of Michael Knight just yet, though. These cars may be here, but there are still a few kinks to get situated before we see fully autonomous fleets taking over our highways and roads. There are safety issues, liability issues and the most important part – money.
Money is a double-edged sword in this battle. One one end, we have car companies that worry about the cost of continual lifetime support for a vehicle. Oh yeah, we forgot to mention – you’ll have to update your car just like your phone to make sure everything is working just right. Typically we pay for a car and that’s it…boom. Transaction over. Now we have to worry about transactions after the fact.
On the other end of the situation, there is the added cost. Just like it would be to pick up a brand new gadget that is state of the art, the cost of adding this feature would probably increase the price tag by a sweet 7,000 – 10,000 dollars according to FastCompany.com.
Speaking of high numbers, there is also the matter of safety. Tesla’s founder Elon Musk has a strong belief that self-driving cars are so necessary they are almost a responsibility, “Self-driving cars are the natural extension of active safety and obviously something we should do.” He holds a valid point – the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in a report to congress in July of 2008 stated that “[h]uman error is the critical reason for 93% of crashes.”
We at Bring Your Own Parts pride ourselves on how our business model is changing the automotive repair industry. Regardless, self-driving cars are going to make a massive dent in the way we all do things. It won’t just affect automakers, it will also take the insurance industry and auto repair industry by storm. So ready or not…here they come.