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This is a question that many people have currently as robotic cars begin to become more of a reality in the modern world. Whether it's the one being developed by Google or all the other automatic vehicles that are being developed, it's a very exciting time to be alive if you love technology. Still, many people wonder if computers can replace humans as drivers and do a better job. Over at the MIT Technology Review, they've taken a closer look at this problem.


Robotic car without human driver
Photo credits: Juhan Sonin

Chris Urmson - from Google - made the claim earlier this year that Google's auto-driving Prius and Lexus cars are smoother than humans. He made the announcement at a robotics conference this summer in Santa Clara, California.



“We’re spending less time in near-collision states,” Urmson told the MIT Technology Review. “Our car is driving more smoothly and more safely than our trained professional drivers.”

This is likely to continue getting better as Google and other companies improve the technology. There's even a race for automatic cars and vehicles that drive themselves. It's contests like these that help improve the technology more quickly.

Still, according to MIT and others, driverless cars may be further away than you think. In an article published in October of 2013, MIT Technology Review looked at the current state of the technology and how far things must go before cars that drive themselves are as prominent as regular automobiles that require a driver.

 Here's a look at some specific reasons driverless cars aren't ready for primetime yet.

More Testing - One thing is for certain - a lot more testing is needed. While Google and others have been testing cars that drive themselves, a lot more needs to be done before these vehicles are let loose on the streets.

Legal Concerns - Additionally, who's at fault if a car with no driver gets into an accident? The owner? The manufacturer of the car? This is a question that's going to have to be answered before driverless cars are let loose on the roads.

 Robot cars might not have the best reputation right now, but that is definitely changing. As more time and money is spent developing cars that drive themselves, the technology is going to get better. If you look at Moore's Law, this could speed up quite a bit in the coming years. The question of whether people will accept them or not still remains.

Perhaps if insurance companies give customers who drive automated cars a break on their insurance premiums, they may become very popular really quick. For now, it's just a matter of time - waiting for the cars to be developed as well as waiting for them to be deployed on the streets.


  Written by: Susan Dimples

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