What Happens If Driverless Cars Can Drive At Uncapped Speeds Such As On The Autobahn

Lance Eliot
13 min readMay 28, 2019

Dr. Lance Eliot, AI Insider

Parts of the autobahn allow for uncapped speeds, consider what this means for autonomous cars

Nearly two-thirds of the 8,100 miles of the German autobahn system allow unrestricted speeds.

This means that there is no speed limit. Go as fast as your heart desires. Go as fast are your car can go. Go as fast as your fears will let you proceed.

I mention the fears part of this driving experience because there are some drivers that frankly are not so keen on driving at super high speeds and they either fear the consequences or at times have panic attacks about it.

I lived in Germany for a year and personally morphed through several mental and emotional states about the autobahn, starting with the thrill, becoming gradually concerned, at times having abject fear, and ultimately resolving that it was my new-normal, so to speak.

Free Travel For Free People

The colleagues and friends that I had in Germany would tell me that the autobahn unrestricted speed limit was essentially a birthright. The oft repeated slogan is “Free travel for free people.” This seemed to therefore intertwine with their culture and their psyche.

One aspect about the autobahn that I admired was how well kept it seemed to be. One would hope that when trying to use a road for such high speeds that you would keep the road in decent shape. The dangers from potholes and other roadway surface issues are greatly magnified when you are traveling at tremendous speeds.

There were an estimated 400 people killed in autobahn car incidents last year. This number of course is unfortunate. When put in light though of the number of miles driven, the per capita basis is actually not statistically abysmal. With a population of around 83 million, and the number of cars in Germany estimated at 46 million, there are perhaps a total of 350B to possibly 385B miles traveled (often referred to as VMT, Vehicle Miles Traveled). The average number of miles driven per car is estimated around 8,300 miles.

When you take a look at charts of deaths per 100,000 people due to driving incidents, Germany is around 4.3, which is actually relatively low, and a lot less than the estimated 10.9 in the United States. The…

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Lance Eliot

Dr. Lance B. Eliot is a renowned global expert on AI, successful startup founder, global CIO/CTO, , was a top exec at a major Venture Capital (VC) firm.