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4 Ways Driverless Cars Might Actually Change Your Life

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 27/10/2015 Hope Kumor

CARS © Anton Balazh via Getty Images CARS "As much as driving realizes society through transporting people to join together at meetings, it is also a form of moving together." -- John Urry & Margaret Grieco

As technology continues to change the world around us, we're seeing the effects everywhere: At work, in politics, our relationships, and even in the search for extraterrestrial life. We seem to be living on the brink of society as we know it and "the future"-- the idealized, chrome-laden period full of medical marvels, flying cars, and self-lacing shoes. 

One of the most exciting and futuristic developments so far are driverless cars. There is tons of information available about the effects these self-driving autos will have on our society, but I found myself asking questions about the ways driverless cars will change individual lives. How might they affect our relationships?

I came up with four ways driverless cars might change our experiences on the road.

1. Doing your makeup on the go will no longer be a potentially suicidal mission

Maybe you've done it, or maybe you've watched in horror as another driver haphazardly applied mascara while doing 70 on the interstate. In either case, it's clear that safe driving and makeup application do not mix. However, introduce a self-driving car into the mix, and suddenly you can be Bobbi Brown on the freeway and make it to work on time without raccoon eyes. Win-win.

2. That fender bender couldn't possibly be your fault, right?

You know that awful feeling you get when you accidentally back into someone's car and think about your resulting car insurance rate hike? Forget all about it and rest easy. Since you won't be in control of your car when driverless cars are the norm, any future fender benders are highly unlikely and definitely not your fault. Doesn't that feel good? This is kind of like therapy.

3. You're never too drunk to ride

Arguments over who will be the designated driver may become a thing of the past. Although it's probably not wise to get too inebriated when you're headed somewhere outside your home; you'll be able to avoid DUIs and all but remove the danger from those 1am Taco Bell runs. After all, riding while drunk isn't nearly as perilous as driving drunk.

4. Leisurely rides > stressful navigation

I think the book Mobilities: New Perspectives on Transport and Society said it best: "Social life in the car is full of necessary pauses and interruptions when the driver's attention, and sometimes that of the passengers, has to turn to controlling the vehicle."

Remove the stress of navigating, and suddenly, being in the car becomes a lot like sitting on a (moving) couch together. This will give you significantly more time to debate over where you'll eat dinner that night without the pesky interruption of confusing lane merges.

Will driverless cars introduce more significant changes to our lives than those I've outlined here? Definitely. But because of the car's importance in our social lives and relationships, it's just as important to think about the small changes that will result from such an innovative implementation. Until then, stay safe out there--buckle up and step away from the mascara wand. 

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