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Poll: 1 in 4 Americans Supports Laws Restricting Human-Driven Cars

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Never mind those occasional fender-benders, humans. Face it. Robots are better drivers than you because they don’t drive drunk, they don’t do drugs, they don’t doze off and they don’t get distracted.

 

Verne Kopytoff | Fortune
The Mercedez-Benz F 105 autonomous concept car.

If Google’s claims that cars that drive themselves crash less often than when we flawed mortals drive them are true, then why not let the bots take the wheel already?

Removing humans from the driving equation might sound scary, but it seems more Americans could be warming up to the Jetson-esque idea. Some are even in favor of laws that would limit people driving cars, if the results of a poll recently conducted by the Ferenstein Wire, via Google Survey, are any indication.  

Related: Driverless Cars Won't Make Roadways Perfectly Safe

Per the notably unscientific Internet-based poll, 27 percent of those surveyed -- more than one in four -- support laws restricting human-driven vehicles. In other words, they would be okay with giving up their right to drive in order to pave the way for possibly safer computer-driven cars. Ah, early adopters. Such brave, pioneering souls.

Meanwhile, 71 percent of the survey respondents aren’t so fired up about driverless autos, reporting that they would not get behind laws that put limits on human-driven cars. Finally, just 1 percent expressed that their support for legal limits on vehicles driven by people would hinge on the extent of the restrictions. Smart. Yeah, we’d want more information, too, and a lot of it, before yielding the wheel to bots carte blanche.  

Related: Elon Musk: Human-Driven Cars Might Someday Be Banned

Perhaps those in favor of limits on human driving are familiar with a growing body of evidence showing that driverless vehicles could save lives, potentially up to nearly 30,000 of them. One recent report by McKinsey & Co. found that self-driving cars could prevent up to 90 percent of all car accidents in the U.S. and put the brakes on some $190 billion in health-care related costs and damages annually, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. Another report, conducted by the Eno Foundation, showed that self-driving cars could possibly eliminate the majority of traffic-related deaths and significantly relieve traffic congestion.

Maybe Elon Musk is right. One day we might not have the right to drive. The government could evenutally ban us from taking the wheel. Computers will be in control.

What about you? Where do you stand on the issue? Are you in favor of government mandated limits on human-driven cars? Are you ready for a world where the majority of cars drive themselves? Buckle up, it could be here sooner than you might think.  

Related: Check Out the Car That Just Drove Itself Across the the U.S.

Kim Lachance Shandrow

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Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here