In towns where there are few taxis, buses or public transportation systems, people may struggle to get where they want or need to go. In areas with many disabled individuals and people who can’t drive, there’s always a risk of pedestrians getting into accidents. Rural areas have more hazards, too, like damaged roads and wildlife to look out for.
In rural Minnesota, some believe that driverless cars could be a solution to the people’s problems. For individuals with disabilities, it could mean getting where they need to go without walking or calling for assistance. For those who can’t drive, it gives them an opportunity to go where they need to go without the use of public transportation.
Driverless cars are a new technology. They’re only really seen in cities and test areas, but rural areas can benefit from them, too. Some people in rural Minnesota have to use their electric scooters or wheelchairs to travel miles to get to doctor’s appointments, grocery stores or other locations. On narrow rural roads, they pose a danger to drivers and themselves. Having their own vehicles could help that issue and help protect them from getting injured.
It’s been predicted that self-driving vehicles could be on the roads as soon as 2025, making it a reality in most of these individuals’ lifetimes. The overall goal in these rural areas is to support those with disabilities and to improve transportation, but there are other benefits. These smart vehicles can drive themselves, recognize hazards and prevent accidents, all of which could help reduce the danger of driving for passengers inside and outside the smart vehicle.
Source: U.S. News, “Rural Minnesota Towns Consider Driverless Car Technology,” Dec. 03, 2017