Are you thinking about buying a new car in the near future? If so, then you might want to consider investing in one that is self-driving. We have no doubt that you have heard of this new tech advancement which has been on the market for years. But hearing about it in clickbait articles isn’t quite the same as understanding what it is and whether it’s going to be the right choice for you. So, before you get behind the wheel, let’s get to grips with the autonomous vehicles available right now.
One of your main questions is always going to be how much you’ll need to pay for tech like this. Well, if you assume that these cars are going to cost more than the typical vehicle available to purchase, then you’re absolutely right. They certainly do, but how much more will differ depending on the one you choose. Although, on average you’re probably looking at adding about 10K on to the price for access to this tech.
That’s not bad and it’s roughly the additional cost that you would pay for a hybrid vehicle ten years ago. Whether it will fit into your budget is another question and it’s going to differ from person to person.
It’s definitely going to cost less over the next few years when the tech becomes more affordable and accessible. Right now, there’s still a limited number of cars that can be classified as self-driving.
Wait, What Is A Self Driving Car?
Ah, glad you asked. You would probably assume from the name that a self-driving car will drive itself. But that isn’t quite true. You see there are actually five different levels of this technology. We’re past level 1 and the current cars on the market today are sitting somewhere near level 2 or 3.
This means that while the car is able to drive itself in certain situations it can’t in others. For instance, it might not be able to navigate the complex issues of the city but should be fine on straight highways. However, you might struggle to continue to gain the benefits of this tech at higher speeds. Are you starting to see the problem?
The tech is still limited, regardless of what marketing experts will tell you and there’s a lot of work to go into making the product match the name. There are a few things that stop a self-driving car from being a true self-driving vehicle.
First, you will typically need to keep both hands on the wheel. Tesla has cars that will come safely to a stop if you take your hands off the wheel for too long. This can be a little irritating when you can feel the wheel moving so the car is steering itself. As well as this, you’ll also need to pay attention to the road rather than say, sitting back and watching a movie. Why is this?
Are Cars Safe?
This is open to debate. You see there have been crashes involving self-driving vehicles and even death. One of these involved an Uber which made the company quickly reconsider whether they would include self-driving vehicles as part of their service. Another was caught on video with the car suddenly steering directly towards a group of onlookers, creepily with a certain level of intention.
The number of reported accidents are far fewer than the level involving more typical vehicles. But this is to be expected because there are a lower number of self-driving cars on the road. It’s also worth pointing out that the crashes involving self driving vehicles were actually due to human error, rather than the car itself.
On the other hand, you could argue that human error shouldn’t be a problem with a vehicle like this. That brings us back to different levels. Human error can only be removed from the equation when we reach Level 5. We’re still at least five years away from this, despite the fact that companies like Mercedes and BMW are focusing on pushing to get it on the market as quickly as possible.
Rest assured that when these cars enter the market, they will be a lot more expensive. But they’ll push down the cost of more primitive forms of the tech.
It is questionable to say whether true self-driving cars will lead to zero accidents on the road though that’s certainly the aim. If you speak to a personal injury lawyer you might find that they have already dealt with a case involving a self-driving vehicle. But this might not be true five years down the line.
Who’s Making Them?
While Tesla is leading the charge with this tech and has done for quite some time, you would struggle to find a major car producer that isn’t at least exploring the possibility available to them here. If you have a preferred brand you can bet they have a self-driving car on the market or one will be on the market before the end of the year.
You’re definitely going to have more options over the next few years. Right now, the most popular choice is the latest models available from Tesla. This is to be expected because they were the pioneers and have the most experience playing around with the tech.
We hope this helps you understand whether a self-driving car is going to be the right choice for you. Remember, this isn’t the only option to explore when you’re considering getting a new car. If you haven’t already, you can turn your attention to a hybrid vehicle. It will make your life easier in another way saving you money and the planet at the same time.
Alternatively, you can think about investing in an electric car. This is the greenest option currently available and with the range of these vehicles constantly increasing, there’s no reason not to jump on board the trend. Of course, you might want to go for the self-driving car purely because it will make parking a breeze.