Will Self-Driving Cars Become More Popular?


Zoe Papavasiliou '23, Writer

Technological breakthroughs occur every day, making our lives easier. Many people believe that “self-driving cars” are a recent invention, but the concept dates back to the late 1930s. General Motors debuted the first self-driving car at the 1939 World’s Fair, an event that brought together technology, history, and culture. This vehicle was radio-controlled and propelled by electromagnetic waves generated by magnetic metal spikes implanted in the road. The car was outfitted with sensors that allowed the steering wheel to be moved to the right or left. Because of the metal spikes that had to be buried in the ground for its use, the car was neither convenient nor available for public use. Almost a century later, technology has advanced so dramatically that autonomous vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, and extremely useful This raises the question of whether it will impair people’s ability to drive. 

Unfortunately, technology has not advanced far enough to allow drivers to relax their own safe driving skills. The number of accidents involving self-driving vehicles demonstrates this. Drivers that rely on their self-driving cars were 106 percent more likely to be involved in an accident than the average driver. According to the World Health Organization, road traffic accidents kill over 1.3 million people each year. With further development, self-driving cars may have the potential to change our commutes, and remove people from high-risk situations. Waymo, an American self-driving technology development company, after extensive testing, placed self-driving taxis on the streets of Phoenix, Arizona. These taxis are only available to the public in a designated 100-square-mile area, but there are plans to deploy them on a broader and wider range in the next two years.The concept of self-driving cars is no longer just a pipe dream; there may come a day when we won’t even need a driver’s license.