Casual Discussion Science Forum @scivillage

Full Version: Will driving your car one day be as socially unacceptable as smoking cigarettes?
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EXCERPT: In 2014, over 32,000 people were killed in car crashes in the U.S. In 2012, more than two million Americans visited the emergency room as a result of car crashes. And an estimated 94 percent of the crashes that cause these injuries and fatalities are attributable to human choice or error.

These are sobering statistics. And because human behavior is at the heart of them, they raise an interesting question: Once we can take people out of the equation, could driving your own car become as socially frowned on as other risky habits, like smoking?

It’s less an intriguing hypothetical than a near-future public health question thanks to the rapid development and emergence of self-driving cars. And a new federal policy for automated vehicles from the U.S. Department of Transportation has just given self-driving cars another nudge forward....

My identity as a modern human is permanently fused with technology in 3 ways---watching TV, surfing the net, and driving my car. No social stigma is gonna sever me from these precious sources of freewheeling selfhood that give meaning to my otherwise desolate existence. I will be the last cranky curmudgeon driving my car on a freeway of self-drivers to the very end. I will be running those slow-moving autobots off the road. And when I die, they will have to pry the steering wheel loose from my dead cold hands! Smile