In case you've been living in the wilderness for the past couple of years, getting by with your Flintstones wooden-tired jalopy, electric vehicles, as well as autonomous vehicles, are going to be a huge part of our future. There are myriad benefits to both technologies; with electric vehicles, environmental costs and noise-levels can be drastically reduced, and for autonomous, people have the prospect of being driven around without having to pay attention to the road.
In time, we'll even see autonomous vehicles be able to bring us on long road trips, automatically knowing where to stop for a charge up. Decades ago, people would have thought you were crazy to say that such a thing will happen, but now, it will happen.
In fact, progress on vehicle autonomy is so good, that it's even exceeding Tesla founder Elon Musk's expectations. 15 months ago, he said that we'd see a fully autonomous car in five or six years. Now, he says that we'll see one in "approximately two years".
Unfortunately, there is a major caveat to be aware of here. As he's said before, Musk harps on the fact that it's not going to be technology that lags these vehicles from hitting the roads, but instead regulators. While it's hard to consider that regulators will just "take their time" on allowing such an incredible technology from being widely used, it's not a small deal to decide to allow driverless cars to hit our public roads. There needs to be an incredibly small margin of error in the designs. As we've seen before, autonomous vehicles so far have proven very safe, with all known accidents caused up to this point being the fault of a real driver.
It's hard to imagine the "regular car" ever going the way of the Dodo, nor would most people even want that, but it goes without saying that the future is looking to be quite incredible thanks to autonomous driving.