Here at CES 2015, it’s clear to see there is a change coming in the cars we drive.
But the change is not exactly what you might think. The whole self-driving Google car thing is more of a phase-in than an imminent sea change.
Car tech of tomorrow will make us safer
For years, we’ve been in the “fully assist” stage where cars are basically rolling computers that make us safer and smarter. Technologies like forward collision systems, adaptive headlights, and lane departure warning systems have greatly reduced fatalities. And let’s not forget about electronic stability control, the most important safety feature.
But that’s only a pit stop on the road to safety. The cars of the future will be a whole different game, and they will do more and more to eliminate fatalities.
Collectively, over the next few years, the improvements in technology will allow us to take fatalities down from the mid 30,000s to the lows 20,000s in terms of numbers of deaths.
Fatality rates will keep dropping from there. We won’t go to zero, but we will go very close to it. How can I be so certain? Look at air travel. It used to be a risky venture. But today, the technology in cockpits makes flying much safer than it used to be.
The automobile industry has lagged behind in that department, so that’s the next big wave that will be great for you and me.