Well folks, it's happening: Driverless car trials have begun in the UK. Denizens of the test neighborhoods of Milton Keynes in Buckinghamshire and Greenwich in London can see the electric, hackless cabs cruising in designated areas, and while they don't have the punch of Tesla's Insane Mode, they're fully capable of safely ferrying passengers from one point to another.
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The UK is getting behind driverless cars in a big way, and the math explains why: While the British government has provided a relatively paltry £19 million to jump-start the testing, they reckon the robocars will be a £900 billion industry in just ten years' time. Not a bad return on investment, and if traffic accidents go down as a result, there's bound to be additional savings there.
I realize my views here will be unpopular among my freedom-lovin' American compatriots, but I would welcome a future filled with driverless cars, particularly in urban areas. Driver distraction is readily visible in Manhattan traffic, and driver error is of course an everyday reality; just last night, 60 Minutes reporter Bob Simon was killed in a livery cab crash on the West Side Highway. The badly-mangled wreck looks to be the result of driver error, and photos of it were splashed across all of our dailies this morning.
As for the rest of you, what's your opinion on driverless cars? And if you do sound off in the comments below, please let us know what country you're from—and how likely you think uptake would be among your countrymen.