The very young and the very old, the sick and the blind – they all will be able to command the car of the future. Also, sleeping while the car is on auto pilot should not be a problem in the future. To school, from the doctor’s and so on. Google claims that its automated cars’ software equals a driver with 75 years of driving experience. Meaning that being driven should be safer and less complicated for most people than driving.
2. No more search for parking spots
3. Your car’s your ambulance
106 days of your average life of a driver are spent by looking for parking spots – at least this is what a British survey recently found out. You will be able to use this time for nicer things in the future. The connected car will find a parking lot by itself.
Infrared cameras checking your eyelids’ movements; seats supervising your heart beat and your skin temperature: cars are collecting more and more physical data about their drivers. And they might be able to call an ambulance or even drive you to a hospital if they recognize alarming data. Which they will be able to transmit to the doctor as well.
4. Your car might be hacked – again
They had worked on this for more than a year – but finally, two hackers managed to remotely hijack a Jeep Cherokee wirelessly in July 2015. Not only were they able to turn the fan on and off, pump up the volume of the radio, but they eventually managed to kill the car and take over brakes and steering wheels by digitally breaking into the car’s entertainment system. Consequently, Fiat Chrysler recalled 1.4 million cars and had owners install a supposedly secure software update. The more cars get connected to the internet, the more vulnerable they might get to virtual attacks, cybersecurity advocates argue.
5. Less but more complicated accidents
Around 1.2 million people are killed in road accidents every year worldwide. Over 90 per cent of all these accidents, research has shown, are due to driving mistakes. This means that the fully automated inter-connected vehicles will guide and warn each other. And thus cause probably much less accidents – but more complicated ones. Who will be responsible, for example, if a self-driving car parks itself and hits a pedestrian? The “driver”? The company that built the car? Or the one who built the data transmission system? Or the one who programmed the software? Insurance companies will have to reconsider their insurance rate calculations, lawmakers will have to adopt new regulations.