While futuristic depictions of cars usually have them flying, we’re entering a new phase of vehicle technology. It might not get wheels off the ground, but that doesn’t make it any less impressive.
The future looks like it’s going to have self-driving cars, and the market is already responding. Volvo is teaming up with Uber to get self-driving cars on the road and ready for use by passengers.
In 2019, Uber plans to purchase 24,000 of Volvo’s self-driving cars and use them instead of human-operated vehicles.
Volvo’s XC90, a luxury SUV, will be the self-driving car. Because each car costs about $50,000, this deal could cost Uber $1 billion.
Volvo is currently testing the XC90 and its self-driving system in Arizona and Pittsburgh. These cars are considered self-driving, but they have an engineer at the wheel who can take control if they needed to in an emergency.
Volvo isn’t the only car manufacturer with a self-driving system. Google has a self-driving car called Waymo, with some self-driving minivans already in Phoenix, without a human driver at the wheel. Within the next 5 years, car manufacturers like Tesla, Toyota, BMW, Nissan, Ford, GM, and Mercedes-Benz have plans for self-driving vehicles. This includes passenger vehicles and trucks.
Self-driving cars are meant to improve the safety of everyone on the road because they reduce the chance for human error. In the future, we could potentially see a decrease in driving fatalities with more self-driving vehicles on the road. This is a good thing, but the influx of self-driving vehicles also means we’ll need to learn to approach vehicle behaviors, human reactions, and our legal responses to accidents that happen in a new way.