In the 1990s, if I told you self-driving cars would be embraced by all, you’d think I was crazy. The self-driving revolution is here, so whose the crazy one now?
There are many reasons for embracing the self-driving revolution: safer roads, better environment, less dependence on foreign oil. Many people flock to self-driving: poor drivers, good drivers who share the road with poor drivers, environmentalists, engineers, tech gurus, job creators even politicians. That’s right. Political leaders in Virginia, California and Texas are in a race to get the auto industry to bring the self-driving craze to their state. They believe jobs and revenue will come with it. That’s because with self-driving comes car testing zones such as fake suburbs, building and running the cars, and mere attraction to an ever increasing popular concept. Someone has to manage, build, test, work and promote these facilities. Self-driving can earn these states $20 billion for the next five years. Lawmakers are banking self-driving cars can do a lot to improve traffic. The greater Washington DC/Northern Virginia area is notorious for having some of the worst traffic in the United States. Maybe self-driving cars can help curb that. These aren’t the only three states opening their hearts to the self-driving movement. Michigan, once the car building capitol of the US and perhaps the world, offered a 32 acre testing facility in Ann Arbor. Florida is setting up a fake suburban facility at Florida Polytechnic University.
California will be in the obvious running, since it is the home of Google and Silicon Valley. But I look at all these other states in the running. Michigan needs the self-driving revolution more than anybody. While I do sympathize with Northern Virginia’s traffic problem, at least they have a good public transit system (yes, I’ve taken it before). Michigan has been in an economic slump for decades. They’ve seen jobs shipped overseas. There are articles saying much of Detroit is now owned by China! Self-driving cars and their testing facilities could be the break Michigan needs. Which states do you think need to be in the running for self-driving testing?