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Sharing the Road with Self-Driving Cars

At Mobile Wash we know how much of a hot-button issue self-driving cars are. People get up in arms about their reservations with trusting a computer with on road and driving responsibilities, focussing mostly on the idea that computers should never have such responsibilities. Since the advent of computers, man has entertained the idea of computers gaining some sort of autonomy and not needing humans to exist and thrive anymore. As a matter of fact, many science fiction works delve into this very idea at length.

In London, the first self-driving cars are being rolled out as we speak. The chief concern with these driverless vehicles (referred to commonly as “autonomous vehicles”) is that everyday motorists might be able to identify these autonomous vehicles, which could influence erratic driving decisions, such as slamming on brakes or making aggressive moves in order to force these driverless cars into submission. Because of this concern, this initial wave of autonomous vehicles will be unmarked, looking like every other car on the road.

Google’s self driving car project has been moving forward as well. Currently, Google has racked up over 2 million self-driven miles. Right now these autonomous vehicles are sharing the roads with normal folks in Mountain View, CA, Austin, TX, Kirkland, WA, and Metro Phoenix, AZ. Vehicles used include Lexus SUVs (robots have expensive taste) as well as new prototype vehicles that are being designed and engineered from the ground up to be fully self-driving vehicles.

So who stands to gain benefits from self-driving cars? Pretty much everyone besides cabbies, Uber drivers, and ticket-happy law enforcement officers. Imagine a world where elderly folks can get around wherever they need to go without causing unsafe conditions for others. No need to hire expensive drivers who operate off of human frailty anymore. A robot is never hungover. A robot never gets road rage or perceives itself as late.

For those of us in southern California who spend (in many cases) multiple hours behind the wheel while commuting to and from work, autonomous vehicles are a huge development. You’ll be able to get work done as your self-driving car propels you to work at a responsible speed. You won’t have to worry about speeding tickets anymore.

So, imagine a world where deaths from traffic accidents are significantly reduced pretty much over night. Around 2 million folks die every year in traffic accidents, over ninety percent of these due to human errors that autonomous cars can potentially avoid. Self-driving cars utilize cutting edge technology. For example, they incorporate sensors that can detect objects as far as 200 yards away in all directions. This includes pedestrians, cyclists, other vehicles, and everything in between (even fluttering rogue birds or stray plastic shopping bags like the one everybody was so fascinated by in American Beauty).

In short, computers don’t get distracted. They don’t scream like a giddy schoolgirl when their favorite jam comes on the radio, turning the knob and taking their concentration away from the road. They don’t stare down other drivers who cut them off minutes ago in order to potentially cause a traffic accident. Best of all, they don’t drive like jerks.

The good news for Mobile Wash is that autonomous cars are not able to wash themselves yet. So, if in the future you lease or purchase a self-driving car, we’d be happy to include you in the rounds and give your car a quality wash today.