Some of us love the experience of driving. Getting behind the wheel, putting on your favorite jams, and letting the open road whisk you away can be an enjoyable experience in and of itself. However, what about those of you who aren’t as enthusiastic about driving and prefer to be the passenger instead of the chauffeur?
Thanks to new legislation that was passed on July 1st, if you hate driving, surprise: you may not have to actually do it anymore. Governor Ron DeSantis has just approved a new bill that makes way for self-driving vehicles to start operating on the Florida roadways. While not everyone is thrilled about this new policy, others are queuing up to take advantage of it. As a South Florida driver, though, what does this legislation mean for you?
Fans of this new law will be excited about how it’ll free up their eyes and their hands when they’re riding around in a car. We live in a fast-paced society, and having the opportunity to multi-task during our daily commute can free up literally hours of our time each week. Instead of having to hang up on your dear sweet grandma when you hop inside a vehicle, you can keep the conversation about her bunions going. And if you’re in the middle of a television show binge, there’s no need to close your app just because you’ve got somewhere to be. Sweet!
On the downside, this new autonomous car policy can be harmful to some people, eventually leaving them without means of gainful employment. For instance, if you drive for a living (such as for a carshare service like Lyft or Uber) you may be finding yourself out of a job in the coming days. These companies have been floundering lately and are scrambling to find ways to improve their bottom line. One of the ways they’re planning on doing that is to phase out their drivers and eventually replace them all with self-driving cars. No bueno.
Not everyone is convinced that self-driving cars are entirely safe, either. With the memory of the March 2018 crash (involving a self-driving car, a distracted passenger, and a pedestrian) fresh in everyone’s minds, the question of safety is still one that carries significant weight. Is our fine state ready for self-driving cars? With $1 million in liability insurance a mandatory default for each and every autonomous vehicle, it seems as though legislators are also somewhat acknowledging this risk, too. Scary!
Self-driving cars are no longer science fiction. Before long, who knows? You may be finding yourself raising a hand to hail a car and have a Johnny Cab roll up. (Total Recall, anyone?) Until then, don’t give up your driver’s license just yet. Until self-driving cars become more mainstream, you’re still going to have to drive yourself around. Sorry, grandma. I guess we’ll just have to finish this conversation about your gnarly feet later.
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Photo credit: Hassan