Summary Of Coming Soon: Car-Key Children, By Michael Petrilli

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The article reviewed for this discussion was “Coming soon: “car-key kids”: what autonomous automobiles will mean for adolescence”, by Michael Petrilli. Petrilli discusses what changes autonomous vehicles might bring for adolescents, ranging from children to teenagers, from a social and legal viewpoint (Petrilli, 2014). A child’s independence has changed over time and often varies from place to place. Where it might be common to see a young child riding a bike or playing in a park alone in small town, in other places the same situation may be frowned upon or even illegal. There is no universal law determining when a child is ready to branch out alone and this is often determined socially based on the location. Petrilli brings up several…show more content…
Autonomous vehicles will most defiantly change our society, but significant changes to state and federal laws will need to be addressed before this happens (Anglebrandt, 2014). Socially, I think children in autonomous vehicles will be accepted quickly, once society gets used to the idea of not being in control of a vehicle. Similar to how a young child can travel alone on public transportation following specific protocols, autonomous vehicles will need a similar system. For example, what happens in a significant delay caused by maintenance issues or a traffic jam? Is the child going to be stuck inside the vehicle, or be able to get out and roam around a busy street or unknown location? For this reason, I think strict age limit and distance laws will be passed restricting children of a certain age from riding alone or travelling too far and possibly even requiring some kind of permit or license to be acquired to ride unaccompanied. I also agree with Petrilli’s opinion on regular driving age restriction laws possibly becoming more restrictive, but I disagree that drinking laws will be changed. Driving age restriction laws have already become more restrictive with time, even though cars have become safer and I could easily see the driving age increased if autonomous cars decrease injuries and fatalities. Finally, I do not think drinking age laws will be changed due to autonomous vehicles and the federal drinking age will remain the same due to health concerns for teenagers. Overall, I anticipate adolescents travelling in autonomous cars will be a social norm and change lifestyles, but laws and regulations will have to be passed to ensure responsible use and safety for all

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