In recent years, you’ve likely been hearing more and more about a technology that once seemed to belong to the distant realm of science fiction fantasy: self-driving cars. Despite skepticism from control freaks, research and work on self-driving cars by all the major automakers continues to progress, bringing this once-utopian dream to more and more of a reality each day.
Self-driving cars are already beginning to appear out on the streets in select cities. What about Chicago? Are there currently any self-driving cars in operation throughout the Windy City?
Currently, Chicago is not a city where automakers test self-driving cars. For the moment, you can rest assured that the vehicles whizzing by you in hectic rush hour traffic are all piloted by fellow humans (for better or worse). On the other hand, if you were at the Chicago Auto Show this year, you likely saw a selection of the latest self-driving car concepts on display.
Plans are in the work to bring self-driving automobile testing to Illinois. A new state law was put into effect this past June that prevents local municipalities from banning autonomous cars. Lawmakers envision a future where self-driving cars are paired with public transportation to make commutes safer and easier.
Speaking of smart automotive tech, have you heard of Honda Sensing?
Why are we making self-driving cars?
Self-driving cars are being posited as the future of automobiles not only because they’re more convenient, but because they’re safer. Ninety-four percent of all traffic accidents are linked to human error. While being driven by a robot may seem more dangerous, autonomous vehicle tech should theoretically be much better at staying focused, thereby making less mistakes than, the faulty human animal.
The rideshare app Lyft has been running their autonomous car program in Las Vegas since May 2018. Pizza companies are looking into self-driving pizza deliveries. Though they’re still in the development stage, it seems clear that self-driving cars are staying steadily on course for incorporation into modern existence.