3 features parents want in a self-driving car

Google driverless car by Sharlyn Petit
It’s hard to say if driverless cars will become commonplace in the coming years, but testing and development rolls on. The companies with the most test cars on the road aren’t the traditional automakers you’d expect – they have roots in the tech capital Silicon Valley (Google cars account for nearly 50% of the test fleet).

In fact, the gaggle of self-driving Google cars’ stats include over 140,000 miles driven and four accidents since being permitted in September 2014 to maneuver about California roads. While companies continue to test the cars, improving safety is the motivation for refining crash avoidance technologies.

According to a survey conducted at the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, tomorrow’s consumers are soundly in favor of putting parental controls in the high-tech cars of the future.

Which features do parents deem the most important? In a poll of 1,000 people aged 18 to 70, these parental controls are in highest demand:

  1. Control to set speed limit, curfew time, and number of passengers (84%)

  2. Control feature to limit the geographic range the car will travel (61%)

  3. In-car parental text display (60%)

In the survey, a self-driving car was defined as having sensors and computing technology that allow the car to automatically move at safe speeds, keep a safe distance from surrounding cars, change traffic lanes, obey traffic signals, and follow GPS directions to destinations.

It’s hard to imagine the scene – teens no more than five miles away from home, running back to their chauffeured Google pumpkins before curfew, traveling exactly at the speed limit, all while mom and dad know every turn and send text messages along the way. Talk about helicopter parenting.

Read more about the Carnegie Mellon University study here.

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