Self-Driving Cars on Horizon for 2020

According to 2013 article from CBS Moneywatch, Nissan and General Motors are both optimistic that they can provide the ultimate in “cruise control” – self-driving cars, by 2020.

Some of the technology is already being used in higher-end vehicles such as the 2014 Mercedes-Benz S, which can brake and steer itself for a few seconds, or BMW and Lexis models with automated cruise controls, incorporating radar systems that can adjust speed or even apply brakes in the case of an imminent collision.

Still, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland has made it clear that a car, no matter how supremely automated, will never be considered a s more than a co-pilot, and “every co-pilot needs a pilot.”

While substantially decreasing DUI incidents in any jurisdictions, including Colorado, would be welcome, the vehicles will not eliminate drunk driving. Colorado DUI law punishes drunk drivers even when the vehicle is not in motion, so it is highly doubtful that automated cars will serve as designated drivers anytime soon.

In addition, expense and consumer acceptance will probably be major issues. A recent poll indicated that more than half of all respondents said they would never buy a self-driving car.

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