Are Self-driving Rental Cars The Future?

by Donna Mumbua

Self-driving cars are undeniably an exciting innovation. But, are we going to witness millions of driverless cars cruising on our roads in our lifetime? The answer is not as straightforward. Some companies are already testing ridesharing autonomous cars and could proceed to offer car rental services albeit on a small scale. Read on to learn more about the future of self-driving cars. 

The undeniable perks of car rental

Whether it is for shopping, traveling, or sightseeing, renting a vehicle for short-term use can be super convenient when buying one is not an option. 

Now, picture being able to rent a car that can drive itself and take you where you need to go. The possibilities of what you could be doing meanwhile are endless whether that is watching your favorite TV show, getting some work done, or talking to a passenger. 

Can you rent a self-driving car?

Right now, wholly autonomous cars are still in the early stages of development and are not commercially available. To be sure, there are newer cars already on the road with advanced autonomous features such as cruise control and lane centering. 

However, these cars are built for normal driving conditions so the driver neither needs to navigate the car nor pay attention to the surrounding environment. In other words, even with these semi self-driving cars, you would still be able to drive hands-free and do other things such as actively engage a passenger. 

If you wanted to rent a fully autonomous self-driving car, you would need to wait a little longer for these cars to be made commercially available. Meanwhile, some of the best car rental companies are already offering semi-autonomous cars that are a complete joy to ride. 

That being said, the future of self-driving cars does not look all that bleak. Technology companies and auto manufacturers predict that they will be able to take advantage of automatic driverless vehicles as early as 2021. Indeed, it might be possible to finally rent a fully autonomous car that can drive itself in both normal and not-so-normal conditions.

You will just need to wait a little longer 

Self-driving cars are inevitable. Chances are good that at some point in the future, we will have more driverless cars than human-controlled vehicles. However, tech companies and vehicle manufacturers say that the technology needed to make driverless cars widely available on our roads has not been fully developed. 

The problem, they say, is that self-driving cars are not able to anticipate human behavior. Even though these vehicles are built to obey traffic rules, humans disregard traffic rules all the time. For example, if another vehicle made the wrong turn, a self-driving car driving behind such a vehicle would need immediate human intervention to avert a possible accident. Right now, autonomous cars are designed to only operate in ideal driving conditions. 

The good news is that driverless vehicles have been found to be safer than human-driven cars. Experts say when these cars become commercially available, the roads will be much safer, and auto accidents significantly lower. 

These cars might also cut the cost of transportation, which will, in turn, make renting a vehicle for short-term use even more affordable. In particular, self-driving vehicles will be a boon for differently-abled people and the elderly who want to rent a car for things like running errands. 

Make no mistake—self-driving car rentals will soon be a reality. Until then, human-driven cars are still a great choice for getting around. Float can help you find car rental services in your area and has teamed up with car rental companies to save you money. And Float will be there in the future when self-driving vehicles become a reality.