By Jason Stone | East Valley Tribune
It’s hard to believe now, but once upon a time, the general public was terrified of automobiles.
In fact, marketing campaigns wouldn’t even call them cars.
Instead, they were referred to as “horseless carriages” to help ease the public’s transition into what would eventually be an ubiquitous part of everyday life. Those early companies even had to put a replica of a horse’s head on the hoods to help riders feel like they were traveling in something familiar.
Today’s companies – including a new autonomous vehicle manufacturer with a presence in Chandler – are banking on a similar idea for self-driving vehicles – once the public begins accepting it.
“It will soon be part of the normal daily life and fabric,” said Jay Rogers, CEO and co-founder of Phoenix-based Local Motors, a 3D print company making driverless shuttles that will soon be seen somewhere in the Valley. “With every new mode (of transportation), it takes time for people to get used to it. Some people are early, some people are late.”