Home Connected Car Self-Driving How autonomous vehicles will change the game for parents

How autonomous vehicles will change the game for parents

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Today, parents spend enormous amounts of time and money ferrying their kids to all their activities. Autonomous cars offer us a glimpse into the family life in the near future — one with more time and less stress.

After all, what parent wouldn’t love hopping in a self-driving car to bring one of the kids to a Saturday morning soccer game? And even better, while you’re watching the game, you can send the car off to take your teen to play practice and still have it back at the field waiting for you when the game is over.

More productivity, less cost

Today, 44 percent of working parents said they spend five hours or more per week shuttling children to and from school activities, according to a survey of 1,000 parents. Additionally, 40 percent of the parents said that driving their kids to school or extracurricular activities affects their regular work schedule at least once a week. Thirty-five percent of parents even said playing chauffeur to their family was more stressful than filing taxes.

Autonomous vehicles will be a game changer for parents, opening up a world of possibilities for their children and themselves by simplifying their jam-packed schedules. Parents can work uninterrupted schedules or take care of household tasks while their kids are picked up by an autonomous vehicle. This frees up parents to spend more quality time with their kids at home.

Self-driving cars will also make life easier for people who find themselves as transportation providers to their own parents. For many families, there comes a time when elderly family members may no longer be able to drive safely. This may mean that the so-called Sandwich Generation may be responsible for shuttling their children and their parents to from point A to point B on a daily basis.

A driverless car can help people who no longer drive maintain their independence longer, while keeping them and others safer on the road. You can send a parent to a doctor’s appointment or their weekly card game knowing they’ll arrive safely and on time.

Giving up the keys

In the future, our family’s daily transit may move toward a “transportation as a service” model. Since it may take years before self-driving cars become common and affordable enough for the average family to own, ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft are making strides toward autonomous ride-sharing, which could become widely available to families in the near future.

When can you start using truly driverless cars? Depending on where you live, you can look for them in about three to five years, according to the Center for the Digital Future. The technology is essentially available now, but the legal and regulatory environment has to catch up. Large cities will likely lead the way to help reduce congestion and pollution from private cars. Testing is underway in several cities right now as companies like Uber, Lyft and Google hone the technology to make it ready for everyday use.

What seems like science fiction today will become a reality soon. As Esurance calls out in a recent report, the typical American family may think about car ownership completely differently in 20 years.

You might, for instance, forgo owning a car altogether and use an app on your phone to hail a driverless car whenever you need it. It’ll automatically zoom to your location, drop you off at your destination, and then move on to the next passenger. You won’t have to plan or pay for parking, fuel or maintenance. And the best part? You can take business calls, work or chat with your kids while your car delivers you safely to your destination.

While some people love to drive, many consider it a chore. Autonomous vehicles have the potential to transform that chore time into family time.

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