In his article “Driver-less car ripple effects” published in News Day on Sunday, May 20, 2018, Michael Dobie points out some statistics about self-driving cars and asks questions about their potential impact on the world. In his article, he cites two recent examples of self-driving cars being in the news recently. The first involved a Tesla car with a semi-autonomous driving feature that rear-ended a fire truck in Utah. It is not clear if the autopilot system was engaged at the time of the collision. The other reported news concerning these cars was the incident where a self-driving car struck and killed a cyclist in Arizona. The author then points out that while well publicized in the media are an example of how these incidents are rare and far from the norm.
The rest of the article is a list of questions about what self-driving cars will effect in society. Examples would be how will the profusion of self-driving cars influence ride haling services? How will these cars influence our future need for infrastructure, and how will we pay for that infrastructure with fewer people paying gas taxes? The author points out that beyond the obvious effects of these cars there will be far-reaching consequences. These cars will potentially be influencing multiple major industries, the government itself, and social norms in regards to how we view cars and car ownership.
What do you think? Are these cars and the technology that supports them good for America? Can you think of any ways these cars would influence the world?
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