It's not a question of whether or not driverless cars will take over the world. Everyone just wants to know when it's going to become a reality. Even though it will be awhile before there are no normal cars on the road, we're already hearing rumors the autonomous variety are going to be performing a number of duties soon.
One persistent rumor that keeps popping up is that self-driving cars (and motorcycles) are going to take over from human meter maids. If you're smart, you'll already be able to spot a couple of obvious pros and cons. Let's discuss a few of each and the possible ramifications we'll see because of them.
It Will Save Lots of Money
Can you guess how much the average meter maid gets paid every year? They'll earn around $30,000 per year, which isn't necessarily a lot of money compared to what some people are earning in other industries, but they still cost a lot more than a driverless motorcycle.
Even if the vehicles are expensive when they first appear on the scene, they'll quickly drop in price as the technology hits the masses. They'll last for years before they need to be replaced and they will never call in sick for work.
Quicker than a Human Being
A meter maid doesn't stand much chance if they run into a large number of vehicles violating the law. They won't be able to write tickets and take photographs fast enough, so it will give citizens time to make their escape.
This will cost cities a lot of money, which wouldn't happen with autonomous meter maids. They'll have lots of cameras, projectors, radars, and speakers. This will allow them to record parking violations, locate uninsured cars, and catch speeders within seconds.
Human Error Will Disappear
We might sit at the top of the food chain, but you've got to admit robots will always beat us at certain things. They don't feel emotions and never get tired, so they'll be laser-focused on the job at hand instead of making simple mistakes.
Self-driving meter maids will have a drastically lower error rate than humans. The lack of emotion will stop them from giving people a free pass too. One thing they will find more difficult is looking for permits on windshields.
People Will Lose Their Jobs
Meter maids have the power to issue citations, carry protective equipment, and access the police radio network. Unfortunately, they're not all real police officers who have attended the academy. Their job is extremely limited even though it's terribly important.
For those in cities like San Francisco where meter maids only deal with parking-related offenses, they can't be transferred to a different department. It means some people will lose their job because there won't be anywhere else for them to go.
They'll Get Smashed Up
We've always asked the question of what a driverless car would do when faced with a life-threatening decision. Would it plough into someone standing in the middle of the road to protect its passenger, or would it swerve to miss them?
Self-driving meter maids won't have passengers, so they'll slam on the brakes. People feel like beating up human meter maids, so they'll surely take their frustrations out on a driverless one. If they hide their face will they ever be caught?
Mechanics Will Cost Money
Earlier on we spoke about driverless cars not phoning in sick, but it was only partly true. There will be days when they'll not be on the road because they're broken. It's going to cost a lot of money if cities want to hire a team of mechanics.
Will these mechanics cost more than the meter maids themselves? After all, they'll be dealing with cameras and radars, so it's safe to assume they'll be very skilled workers. You'll also need people to go out and pick up the broken vehicles.
Do You Think The Pros Outweigh The Cons?
It's obvious this is going to be tested, but becoming the norm is another matter altogether. Do you think the pros outweigh the cons? If they want to get rid of human meter maids they'll have to find a way to minimize the cons at the very least.
Image credit: Poptower.com