“If you think of standardization as the best that you know today,
but which is to be improved tomorrow-you get somewhere.” – Henry Ford
Ford recently announced that it will begin testing it’s self-driving vehicles in Washington, D.C. next year. The announcement is by no means the first of its kind.
Ford Climbs Aboard the Self-Driving Bandwagon
Autonomous Ford vehicles are already being tested in Miami and the company hopes to launch commercial service in 2021.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, launched its own autonomous car unit through its affiliate Waymo. The company currently operates its self-driving cars in Arizona, with plans to launch a taxi service this year.
General Motors also has its own self-driving car subsidiary—GM Cruise—that announced plans to test its autonomous vehicles in Manhattan this year. However, in May the company confirmed that it had yet to receive the necessary permits.
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What Does the Future Hold?
As we look to the future of autonomous vehicles, we have to wonder what impact they will have on other areas of the automotive industry.
How will self-driving vehicles compare to current limousine cars?
Should we expect to see a self-driving stretch limousine? Are autonomous town cars in the cards?
Will riding in an autonomous vehicle be as safe as riding with a chauffeur and bodyguard?
Let’s take a look at these questions and more as we consider the pros and cons of self-driving vehicles.
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On the Plus Side:
Positives of Autonomous Vehicles
The Decrease In Distracted Driving
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) report that over 30,000 people are killed each year in motor vehicle traffic deaths. While we don’t know exactly how many, some of these accidents are caused by distracted drivers. Without a driver behind the wheel, autonomous vehicles cannot be crashed by a distracted driver.
Humans are unpredictable. Autonomous vehicles are driven by computers, which make calculated movements. Algorithms regular the vehicle’s distance from others around, so they won’t follow too closely or tailgate. Removing the human element from driving removes the possibility of human error from the equation.
What is the value of a human life? According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, it’s $9.2 million.
With fewer crashes come fewer deaths. Multiplying the lives saved by their statistical value would result in huge potential savings in insurance, healthcare, and other areas. These savings could be applied to improve areas that have been otherwise lacking in funding.
Bolstered Public Transportation
In cities that lack the infrastructure for public transportation, autonomous vehicles could be the answer. They would provide a way to transport citizens without dedicating land or resources to building train lines, buses, or other large transport vehicles.
No Parking Problems
Your autonomous vehicle could drop you at a store’s entrance and park until you are ready to be picked up. It could also circle the block and pick you up on the way back. However, you don’t need a self-driving car for this convenience.
Limo transportation gives you this convenience now by virtue of your chauffeur, who could perform the same tasks.
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On the Other Hand:
Potential Drawbacks to Self-Driving Cars
Reliance on Understanding Technology
Even if a driver’s license was rendered unnecessary, the person utilizing the vehicle would still require some sort of training. The self-driving technology only takes over once the vehicle is operational. A person would still be required to turn the vehicle on, program destination coordinates, or make other arrangements before hitting the road.
Dependence on Electronics
Maintenance technicians would be required to have more expertise in electrical troubleshooting.
- What would happen if the computer suffered a glitch while on the road?Something else to think about is the role of electric vehicles.
- An autonomous electric vehicle would likely use more battery power than a traditional vehicle. Would the need bigger or stronger batteries?
Like any piece of computerized technology, autonomous vehicles would need to be safeguarded against hackers. If someone were to hack into the vehicle, they could change the destination, override safety settings, or worse. Could high profile persons or CEOs use autonomous vehicles as business event transportation?
It is imperative that VIPs be accounted for at all times. If an autonomous vehicle were to be intercepted, the GPS setting could be tampered with and passenger’s whereabouts could become unknown.
Chauffeurs are also trained as bodyguards. Self-driving vehicles not only eliminate the driver. They are by extension eliminating your protector, as well. Can a self-driving party van – “Sometimes called a party bus,” stand up to a group of raucous partygoers?
Handling a Shifting Timetable
How would a self-driving airport shuttle react to a shift in travel times? Human travel managers can track your flight and dispatch your limousine transfer accordingly. If that information were incorporated into your vehicle’s algorithm, it should help ensure that your ride arrives on time.
However, we cannot predict what would happen to the vehicle should that information change. If your flight lands early, would the vehicle speed up to compensate?
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The Bottom Line
Currently, autonomous luxury ground transportation is still a thing of the future. Who knows how limousine car images could change down the line? For now, self-driving vehicles are limited to their test markets.
Even if there were available options for autonomous new limousine or corporate travel vehicles, it would be up to the client whether to make use of them. Would you ride in a self-driving limo bus? Time will tell if we will get to see these ideas realized.
In the meantime, limo transportation still requires a driver. You want the best ones driving your South Florida limo. With A1A Airport and Limousine Service, we seek to provide the best limousine experience.
We provide affordable limousine service for all occasions, including:
- Miami Airport Car Service
- Prom Limo Rental
- Wedding Party Bus
- & more!