Autonomous Cars: Welcome to the Future Back »

Written by Bethany Stoutamire (Former SDSU Extension Aging in Place Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA Member) under the direction and review of Leacey E. Brown.


Henry Ford revolutionized the automobile with the Model T Ford and his assembly line, while visionaries like Leonardo da Vinci had dreams of a self-propelled vehicle hundreds of years before Henry Ford was born. The car is arguably one of the most important modern inventions. It has changed the very fabric of our society, allowing us to build suburbs and making long distances travel easier and less time consuming. However, we are again on the brink of a change that is the result of technology far beyond the imagination of Henry Ford or Leonardo da Vinci.

Multiple car and technology companies ranging from Ford to Waymo are in the process of fine-tuning the mechanics behind autonomous cars. Currently, these autonomous cars could hit the market as soon as 2021.

While South Dakota will probably have more time than our more urban counterparts to decide how we will adapt to the introduction of autonomous cars, we still need to decide how we will approach this next wave of innovation. This series will introduce the discussions we need to have before autonomous cars hit the road, including benefits, pitfalls, and specific points for consideration as autonomous cars begin to appear over the next 5 to 10 years. The more we learn about autonomous cars, the more prepared we will be for the future.

Other Articles in this Series:


References & Further Reading

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