Driverless Future?

These cars will benefit the public in ways that many people don’t yet appreciate. “Most of us in the U.S. commute all alone in a single car—the average American driver spends 51 minutes to and from work every day,” says Raj Rajkumar, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. “This is wasted time and wasted productivity. Driverless cars would be a big win for productivity. You can spend 45 minutes doing something productive, including taking a nap.”

Rajkumar also sees a sharp drop in auto accidents. “About 1.3 million people die every year worldwide from auto accidents,” he says. “In the U.S., it’s about 38,000. Most of these accidents are caused by human error. Most of these lives would be saved with driverless technology.”