In the fast-tracked world of today, technology is advancing at an exponential rate. Self-driving Car The aim is to make our lives as efficient and as comfortable as possible. One such innovation that is extensively being researched and experimented on is self-driving cars. The thinking behind these cars is to make roads safer by removing the possibility of human error. Currently, almost 38 thousand deathsare causedby traffic accidents in the US alone. Human error rather than mechanical ones cause most of these accidents. An average person in America spends over 100 minutes on the road per day. Over the course of a week, this roughly equals the same amount of time as a full working day. If your car does the driving for us, this period can be made use of. It is also expected that autonomous cars will make traffic jams much less frequent. While these are promising prospects, self-driving cars aren’t ready for common use at present. Here are some reasons why you shouldn’t buy autonomous vehicles in 2018.
The Technology Isn’t Perfected Yet:
Autonomous cars work using a combination of cameras and sensors with computerized algorithms. The problem is that the sensors don’t work well in weather conditions such as rain and the camera’s vision is compromised during snow, rendering the self-driving capabilities of these cars useless. There are other issues as well. For example, these cars stop and start on traffic signals according to the lights. But what happens if the signal isn’t working or if there is an accident on the road and a policeman is diverting the traffic? As the car cannot register the policeman’s visual cues, this will obviously be problematic. Other than this, the hardware or software might spontaneously malfunction, just like any other part of the car. If this was to occur, it could prove to be fatal.
When we buy any car, its price is one of our biggest concerns. At this point, the hardware such as the sensors, cameras, and computers needed to build a self-driving car is extremely expensive. Not only that, the engineering expertise required to develop these cars is high. This means that the workforce costs are exorbitant and this drives prices even further up. As a result, the estimated price per car is roughly 100 thousand US dollars- a sum that is beyond the affordability of most people.
One of the major reasons why the masses distrust self-driving cars is the security aspect. These vehicles need a powerful computer on board to handle the driving. This computer will have to interact with other autonomous cars and their computers to judge distance, traffic conditions, etc. The car also has to stay connected to the GPS for navigation purposes at all times. Some of your personal information such as your location is thus out in the open and knowing this makes people uncomfortable. The other far graver concern is that of the sanctity of driving software itself. This software consists of a set of intricate algorithms and codes. Even a slight change in these codes can cause the car’s self-driving abilities to fail. If traffic runs on a set of codes, you can be sure that it will become a prime target for hackers. The car’s software should be able to defend itself against any possible cyber-attack because if the system is compromised, accidents and loss of lives inevitable. At this point, technology isn’t advanced enough to ensure that self-driving car computers can’t be corrupted. The problem lies in the fact that hackers adapt just as fast as the security measures. Therefore, it may be years before companies can guarantee absolutely impregnable software for autonomous vehicles.
Social, Economic and Legal Complications:
There are certainly other problems to consider related to self-driving vehicles as well. If these automobiles become common and take over the transport sector, thousands of people could lose their jobs, and unemployment rates would rise. Poverty, along with general dissatisfaction and depression in society would increase if no measures were taken to counteract this. Furthermore, there is a grey area in law related to autonomous cars. For example, if there is an accident, who is liable for the monetary damage and/or loss of life? Is it the people sitting in the car or the automobile company that made the car? These legal, social and economic dilemmas must be addressed before self-driving cars are allowed on the roads.
The Benefits Aren’t Practical Yet:
As mentioned above, self-driving cars are meant to save time, make roads safer and life easier. However, it is important to note that these benefits only come into play if these cars constitute all, (or at least most) of the traffic. These cars need to communicate with those around it, and they need organizing, traffic systems surrounding them to work smoothly without problems. In short, owning a self-driving car isn’t practical unless they become more mainstream. Given their high price and the skepticism surrounding them, it doesn’t look like this is bound to happen anytime soon.
As big as the above-mentioned issues are, most of them are definitely solvable. For example, mass production plus innovation could drive prices down, and implementation of modern security measures such as blockchain technology (currently used in cryptocurrency) may answer the safety concerns. With companies such as Google and Tesla working on their development, we are destined for a future with automated vehicles. That being said, we aren’t quite there yet.
About Michelle Joe: Michelle Joe is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences, and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on twitter: @michellejoe524