Self-Driving Cars – The Good And The Bad

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Not too long ago, self-driving cars were only wishful thinking that was supported by science fiction movies, but the future is now and having a car driving for you isn’t imagination anymore. Car manufacturers with Google as their leader have been making significant progress in this area, some major breakthroughs have already happened and most of them are proudly displayed in Tesla model 2 electric sedan. This car has taken auto-pilot to a whole new level, though the driver is still obliged to keep his hands on the wheel at all times.

 

This is major progress in automobile industry, but progress that comes with a significant amount of shortcomings nevertheless. While we can reap many benefits from having auto-piloted cars, the main question is if we’re ready for them and what could the consequences be for drivers, traffic security and economy.

Self-Driving Cars Still Don’t Exist as Such

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This is something that should be cleared from the very start – we still don’t have automobiles that do everything on their own, though we’re closer to the idea every day. The cars that are on the market do offer a lot of comfort and ability to lay back and enjoy the ride more, but you still have to stay aware of what’s going on in the vehicle and on the road. Maybe the more optimal term for these cars would be partially-automated, so that there isn’t any confusion. Though the time of auto-pilot cars might be just around the corner, we’re still not quite there yet and it is important for every driver to keep that in mind.

How Can We Benefit from This Technology?

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As you can imagine, there are a lot of good sides in having a semi-automated vehicle, and many people are excited about it. If everything goes right, we can expect to see less fuel consumption, less traffic jams and better state of traffic in general.

Human error is the biggest culprit of all car accidents (over 80% of all accidents) happen because of the human behind the wheel) and this can be reduced with computers calculating safe distances between the cars, establishing best speed for current road conditions etc. Some premium car manufacturers are already developing V2V (vehicle to vehicle) communication, so that the cars would be able to exchange relevant information about driving and everything related to it. Also, having automated vehicles would make a world of difference for the disabled and older people, who still have to rely on the help of others to get somewhere. Having a partially-automated car could make the difference between life and death when people try to drive in an inebriated state, and the car simply does the biggest part of the job for them. Of course, there’s the fact that your car computer system wouldn’t get distracted by anything happening around it, while that isn’t the case with the human driver. As you can see, perks are many, but what about downsides?

Downsides of Self – Driving Cars

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How much can you trust a computer? Many would argue that you can trust it more than a human when it comes to making traffic calculation and finding the best routes to a certain destination. However, something going wrong with the car computing system can have deathly implications and drivers are hesitant to simply hand over that much power to a machine.

It’s in human nature to resist change and giving up power, but the biggest problem with self-driving cars is their price. Not everybody has $100,000 to spend on their car and that is the price you would have to pay today to get one. And then there’s the fact that drivers would still have to have special education to learn how to operate with self-driving cars, because the computing system will still require human touch to work and that too costs money and time.

Unfortunately, even paying a small fortune for a car doesn’t guarantee that you will be safe, and the case of a man dying in a car crash while driving in auto-pilot mode proves it. Not to mention the glaring question of security that isn’t even close to being solved, though manufacturers are looking into it more attentively after a few car systems have been hacked. The truth is that the car software has to store a lot of information to function properly, and that information includes all kinds of sensitive information, starting from your location to where you go most often. With so much data within reach, hackers will definitely do everything in their power to get a hold of them and misuse them, not to mention the possibilities of car stealing and car take overs which could easily end tragically. Also, having automated vehicles in our everyday lives could cause significant economic turmoil, because thousands of people could lose their jobs due to automation of driving. Finally, there is no law regulative for car accidents where self-driving cars are involved, because it is very difficult to determine who is responsible – the human in the car, softer manufacturer of the car company?

As you can see, complications that come with adopting self-driving cars into our lives are many, but the good sides are tipping the scales as well. It’s hard to determine what the future holds for this developing industry, but whatever it is, it should be handled with caution and care. – By Adam Ferraresi

About Adam Ferraresi

adam-ferraresiAdam loves his job in web development and it shows from his articulate and informing articles published on wefollowtech.com. He lives in Dallas, loves his job, his friends and all the food in the world. Adam is 23, but still loves to play basketball like when he was 16.

 

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