The Good and the Bad Side of Self-Driving Cars
We looked at the benefits of a completely autonomous vehicle and the challenges manufacturers would have to face to make self-driving cars a reality.
15:05 31 March 2022
Are self-driving cars the future of transportation or just a passing technological fad? While they may appear to be something out of a science fiction film, there are constantly breakthroughs in the self-driving car field. In addition, companies like Google and Apple are investing in improving this industry.
Like the gambling sites you can find at ukonlinecasinoguide.com/bonus, fully autonomous technology is still in its early stages of development. However, partial automation has been available for several years. Automated parking, for example, is a good illustration of this. It can even be managed remotely.
While we're still a long way from seeing driverless cars on the roads, we looked at the benefits of a completely autonomous vehicle and the challenges manufacturers would have to face to make self-driving cars a reality.
The Good Side
With human error accounting for over 90% of car accidents, the deployment of self-driving vehicles can make our roads significantly safer. Many analysts cite current aircraft's impressive safety record as an example of self-driving cars' potential safety. Flying is one of the safest ways of transportation, with only one fatal accident every three million major commercial passenger trips.
Commercial airplanes are only in human hands for three to six minutes per flight (mostly during take-off and landing), with automated systems taking over the rest.
The majority of self-driving cars on the road today are electric. While the battery charge still has an indirect contribution to emissions, it does so at a far lower level than a typical gasoline or diesel engine.
Not only that, but driverless vehicles emit less pollution because they use less energy and gasoline when driving. Most gas is consumed while running at high speeds and constantly braking and accelerating. The self-driving vehicles eliminate these issues, resulting in lesser battery power consumption and lesser fuel burning.
Self-driving cars have the potential to provide disabled individuals with greater independence. Those with poor vision or physical limitations restrict them from driving and rely on somebody else to get around.
For instance, a legally blind person went alone in a self-driving car in 2012 to test out the technology's capabilities. The blind person stayed in the driver's seat. The vehicle used sensors to maneuver itself through traffic and select when to exit intersections. He was taken to a restaurant's drive-through for dinner, then to the dry cleaners to pick up his washing.
So, these cars can potentially change the lives of disabled people, allowing them to go anywhere they need without depending on others.
Better Traveling Experience
Self-driving cars have the significant advantage of eliminating the need to focus on what is going on. In addition, you won't be able to drive if you're too weary because you can sleep during the ride — ideal for long road trips.
Commutes will never be as tedious as they once were. Technology will allow cars to be converted into luxury rooms where passengers can rest and watch films while waiting to arrive at their destination.
While this is also an environmental advantage, this good side deserved its mention. If every vehicle on the road was autonomous, the AI might communicate with each other to avoid traffic congestion. So, aside from improving air quality, it would also shorten the awful commute.
The Bad Side
The expense of research and development for self-driving cars is prohibitively high. As a result, when self-driving cars finally hit the market, they will be priced at a premium for a while. The manufacturers then will have to find a solution to lower the cost of the technology for it to become more common.
Lack of Human Judgment
We face various barriers on the road as drivers, all of which need us to apply our judgment. For example, if a self-driving car senses an obstacle in the center of the street, it would be simple to program it to perform an emergency stop.
However, the self-driving car may have difficulty assessing the risk of getting hit from behind because of the rapid braking. What if the obstacle was nothing more than a cardboard box? This could trigger a massive pile-up on the road because a machine does not understand how dangerous the box is.
Many driving circumstances need the presence of a human element, which is obtained from an awareness of consequences and familiarity with specific situations. Unfortunately, it will take a lot of trial and error before we can be sure that self-driving automobiles can do this duty.
Accidents due to AI confusion may arise due to a lack of human judgment calls. Should self-driving cars be designed to protect their passengers at all costs in the case of an accident? Should it be designed to cause minimal damage to pedestrians and other vehicles that may be in their way? Should a self-driving car swerve and hit the wall while avoiding hitting a person? Should it risk colliding with another vehicle while trying to avoid a dog?
These are only a few instances of possible real-life scenarios that a self-driving car will have to be designed to handle.
Malfunctions and Hacking
Hacking is a possibility, as it is with any technological advancements. For example, self-driving cars might be hacked to access the driver's personal information or, worse, to take control of the vehicle's steering or acceleration.
Aside from hacking, malfunctions are also a significant concern, as they are with all technology. For example, it might be hazardous if a problem caused the machine to operate erratically or stop altogether while going at high speeds on the road.
Lack of Trust
Everyday driving has hazards, but we, as drivers, have some control over the situation. It's a big step to ask people to give up control and entrust their life to the hands of technology. The public outrage over car accidents involving self-driving cars demonstrates that we have a considerably lower tolerance for technological errors than human drivers.
These are just some of the good and bad sides of self-driving cars. To determine how this technology will function effectively in our world, scientists and researchers would have to look over a list of long and short-term projections.