108 years since the Model T, the car of the future is just about here

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We’re at the precipice of a new age of automotive options, as the car of the future is just about here. Tesla’s top of the line Model S 90d, while not quite an autonomous car, is enabled with autonomous driving features that certainly make it a gateway technology to what every transportation sector prognosticator says is just around the next bend.

Why are people excited about autonomous cars? For one thing, especially vital to Angelenos, the capability of smoother, safer traffic flow has boosted anticipation in many quarters. One study by a Columbia University professor said when autonomous cars rule the roads there will be a potential 273 percent increase in the number of cars that can safely cruise existing roadways.

The savings in not having to build more roads, or add more lanes to the current infrastructure are massive. Add to that a potential 80 percent decrease in automotive related fatalities according to Gabe Klein, a transportation specialist and futurist recently reported by the LA Times and one would be hard pressed to complain about the coming roadway revolution.

And then there are those who decry the loss of human activity, and want nothing more than to continue to have their hands on the wheel, their foot on the brake, and gas, and occasionally on the horn. But who’s to say a passenger in a self-driving car can’t honk the horn now and then, even just as a reminder of what will inevitably thought of as “the good old days.”