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Will the public be safer with self-driving cars?

The newest Cadillac commercials being shown during the NCAA Tournament are a snapshot into the latest offerings from America’s luxury automaker.  There are flashes of extended touch screens where nearly all the car’s functions can be controlled with one touch, and there is even a glimpse of a driver taking their hands off the wheel while the car drives itself.

Indeed, the “road” to self-driving cars is becoming clearer. The technology needed to make these cars a reality is being honed. If you have been paying attention, it can be seen with park assist functions and blind spot recognition controls. Given the extensive testing being conducted, it appears that self-driving cars could be seen on California’s streets and highways by the end of the decade. 

But what about the safety benefit? This is an important question given that only a small percentage of cars will have these features for a substantial amount of time. After all, the technology needed for self-driving cars will certainly be expensive; which is why it may only be seen on luxury vehicles at first. Meanwhile, the majority of the driving public will not.

This means is that people will still have to use reasonable care while behind the wheel for the foreseeable future. Technology will not eliminate this responsibility, even though it may make things slightly easier for those drivers with diminishing sight and motor skills. The expectation will still be that drivers must be wary of hazards and act as reasonable drivers would in similar situations. 

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