Who Maintains A Driver-less Car?

In a recent Forbes blog, Peter Diamandis waxes rhapsodic about self-driving cars, which apparently command a huge number of time- and money saving no’s, to wit:

  • NO steering wheel, NO gas pedal, and NO brakes. It sounds a little like riding a trolley (though the latter are controlled by human conductors).
  • No garages, no driveways, no parking: autonomous cars simply pick up and drop off passengers like taxis or buses, remaining in constant use. Minus private ownership, the need to store the vehicle vanishes like a sprinkling of rain on a sunny day.
  • No new roads, less traffic. These sensor-driven cars are efficient in the extreme, so they can “pack” much more densely on the road without risk of accident.
  • No mandatory car insurance: self-driving cars are engineered to avoid crashes.
  • No ownership, just “on-demand” usage.

These changes from our current cars beg the question: who, then, is responsible for maintaining these public conveyances? Who pays for and pumps the gas, checks the oil, replaces the tires and deals with spill clean up if there’s a leak? Unless and until we perfect all-electric cars that dont need regular recharging, or harness the power of the sun for solar transport, these collectively non-owned cars are still going to use oil, gas, transmission fluid, brake fluid, coolants and solvents all of which present a challenge when spilled.

That’s why the transportation industry has replied on Impact Absorbents’ spill clean up solutions for more than 22 years. From XSORB Universal to XSORB Outdoor All-Purpose, FiberLink Universal poly sorbents to recycled universal and oil-only pads, we offer 92 spill response products for anyone on the road.

So while we’re as enthusiastic as anyone about the idea of fewer cars on the road, massive fuel savings, less pollution and greatly reduced auto accidents, we hope the purveyors of autonomous cars are factoring maintenance into the mix. Because even a self-driving car is only effective if it’s functioning at peak safety as well as peak efficiency.

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