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Self-driving cars - safety and control issues

We've all likely seen a futuristic movie in which the characters move about in machine-propelled and controlled cars. Turns out this type of transportation option may be the norm in the very near future. However, the prospect of so-called self-driving cars becoming a reality raises many concerns related to safety and potential car accidents.

According to officials at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, several major car manufacturing companies are currently developing self-driving cars. In fact, these same officials believe cars controlled and driven by human beings will be a thing of the past within a mere 25 years.

Today it's believed that roughly 90 percent of car accidents result from human error. This high percentage has many wondering if we wouldn't all be a lot safer and better off if we left the driving up to someone, or rather something, else.

While the idea of getting in your private car, kicking your feet up and enjoying a good book all while en route to your desired destination may sound enticing, many remain skeptical. Not only are there very real and legitimate concerns related to the overall safety of self-driving cars, but there is also the component of loss of control.

Additionally, many Americans and Tennessee residents have a real love for their cars and trucks. To many, their vehicle represents freedom and independence. It seems likely that it would be difficult to convince these types of individuals to give up their vehicles as they know them, much driving and maneuvering control.

In any event, self-driving cars will likely become a reality at some point within the next 25 years. As these vehicles are tested it will be interesting to see how they perform in safe driving tests as well as how they are received by the public at large.

Source: BBC News, "Will driverless cars mean computer crashes?" Alex Hudson, Oct. 1, 2012

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