ATMs have replaced bank tellers, Netflix helped kill brick-and-mortar movie rental, and now autonomous cars threaten to deplete the ranks of drivers everywhere. A new study shows that 90% of Americans would buy an autonomous car if it meant a big discount on their insurance, and 20% would opt to never drive again. Say what?
It’s a condition of our culture of convenience, where driving has become synonymous with commuting, and even the most devoted gearhead would lose their shit after sitting in the same traffic jam for the umptenth time. Autonomous cars could give us back some of the freedom commuting has taken from driving, allowing us to focus on other things rather than inching forward a few inches every couple of minutes.
The study, conducted by CarInusrance.com, surveyed some 2,000 drivers and found that 90% of licensed drivers would buy an autonomous car if it meant an 80% discount on their insurance. Another 20% would gladly turn over their car keys entirely, forgoing their the option to drive at all, and instead travel via self-propelled autonomous pod thing. How dreary and dystopian.
It’s hard to imagine, though on the same token these are probably the same people who spend entirely too much time stuck in traffic. Hopefully these are many of the same people who are awful drivers, and in that case I’d be more than happy to have them turn control over to a computer. But could the day come when self-driving cars are mandatory? Wouldn’t surprise me in the least.