According to predictions made by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), as much as 75% of road traffic will be autonomous, self-driving vehicles by 2040. Me? I'll still be rocking the same 2001 Explorer Sport and crashing into things. Oh, who am I kidding? I'll be long dead by then.
IEEE also predicts that the biggest barrier to pervasive adoption of driverless cars may have nothing to do with technology, but will be general public acceptance. While the average driver may grasp the basic benefits of autonomous cars -- increased fuel efficiency and safety, along with a reduction in traffic -- it may not be enough to get them to let go of the steering wheel. Jeffrey Miller, IEEE member and associate professor of computer systems engineering at the University of Alaska-Anchorage, believes that baby steps in the form of driver assist systems may help. "As more vehicular controls begin being automated, such as parallel parking and automatic braking, people will become more accepting of autonomous technologies," Miller told Wired. "So by 2040, driverless vehicles will be widely accepted and possibly be the dominant vehicles on the road."
Okay, so let's say by some miracle I actually live to 2040. That's still 28 years away. If the predominant cars being used are autonomous ones AND NOT F***ING HOVERING ONES, I'm not sure I want to stick around to see it anyways. Ready the angel choir -- I'm coming, Lord! "You'll never make it past the pearly gates." I...was afraid of that.
Thanks to Evil Ares and LupusYonderboy, who both wait till they have friends in the car, then tell them it's autonomous and take their hands off the wheel and wait for the screams as the car drifts towards the side of the bridge. Classic!