Tragically the first death has been recorded in America as a result of an accident involving an automated car. Apparently while travelling head on into bright sunlight, the auto-pilot failed to pick up a white trailer that had stopped directly in front and the car crashed head on into it killing the occupant of the fully autonomous vehicle. Autonomous vehicles have travelled over 130 million miles (209 million km) and to be fair, this is the first fatality. Development of the automated vehicle has slowed since this incident.
Ponder a world of autonomous vehicles on every street and highway. Twenty-five years ago the thought of driverless motor vehicles on the road would have frightened the pants of every motorist. Night Rider was the nearest that we wanted to come to such a ridiculous notion, but then again Facebook would never have happened either, would it!
There would need to be a complete rewriting of our traffic law. Who would be responsible in the event of any alleged offence being committed as a result of one of these vehicles on the road — the vehicle, vehicle developers or the occupants of the vehicle? Who knows.
Will the driving licence be a thing of the past? Will you have to pass a test to ensure you are able to press the correct buttons instead? Will it be a case where you have no control therefore no responsibility?
You must not have your hands on the steering wheel in these vehicles, therefore it stands to reason you do not control the vehicle, no control of speed, choosing a lane or overtaking. If you have no control, you could not ever be charged with drinking and driving, reckless driving or driving without due care and attention. All things of the past, just like the calculator.
Aged pensioners could go on their travels in complete safety having dialled in a destination. They could just sit back enjoy the view and have a cup of coffee or a game of cards or scrabble with their partner or watch the television or a film as the miles go by. There would be no stress or strain, therefore no need to give up driving, travel till you drop.
Please do not say it will never happen, it has already started, it’s only a matter of time.
To write for Starts at 60 and potentially win a $20 voucher, send your articles to our Community Editor here.