If your daily commute feels like it’s getting longer, it probably is.
There are more cars on the road than ever, causing gridlock, accidents and frayed nerves.
But imagine if you were able to leave the driving to a robot.
It sounds like a sci-fi fantasy, but legislators are moving to make driverless cars a reality on Florida’s roads.
The cars that drive themselves could be on the market before the end of the decade, and lawmakers are moving toward making them legal.
The most advanced models are being built by Google and can drive at up to 75 miles an hour without human control.
They navigate the road with a combination of GPS signals and rooftop radar that tracks other cars, pedestrians and anything that might pose a hazard.
A bill co-sponsored by Republican Representative Jeff Brandes would allow driving in hands-free mode, so long as a driver can immediately take over.
For the time being, those drivers would be limited to engineers who are testing the cars on Florida roads.
Autonomous cars are much more efficient than the human-driven kind.
That would make for a faster and safer commute, and Brandes points out it would no longer have to be wasted time.
“It’ll take all of that time that you’re now spending with your hands on the wheel, looking out the windshield, into productive, useful time. So, I think you’ll be able to have phone conversations, I think you’ll be able to do many different things, and I think what you’ll end up finding is the car will drive better than you and I do,” said Brandes.
Autonomous cars do have their critics, who worry about what might happen if the technology were to fail and cause a serious accident.
Right now, the human driver would technically be at fault, even if they didn’t have their hands on the wheel.
The new legislation also calls on the State Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to begin drafting autonomous car regulations.
One of them would require a special driver’s license to operate a car in hands-free mode.