Should We Be Excited For Self-Driving Cars?


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Many companies are now dedicated to making self-driving cars common on roads worldwide. It was recently announced that Singapore plan to test self-driving taxis. These cars will be fully autonomous, not even requiring a steering wheel.

In other parts of the world, self-driving car technology testing is already underway. Self-driving car tests from various companies have received media attention, although not without controversy. After a Tesla Model-S driver using autopilot mode got involved in a fatal crash, interest in self driving cars for Americans dropped.

A self-driving car designed by Google was also involved in a crash. However, it was argued that this was partly due to a misunderstanding from the human driver on the other end of the crash. This has raised some questions about self driving cars. Millions of car crashes happen yearly, but will self-driving cars prevent accidents or simply cause more? More information about car accidents can be seen here https://www.dolmanlaw.com/st-petersburg-car-accident-attorneys/.

Concerns For The Future

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An AAA survey, shown here http://newsroom.aaa.com/2016/03/three-quarters-of-americans-afraid-to-ride-in-a-self-driving-vehicle/, found that three quarters of American citizens would be afraid to ride in a self-driving vehicle. Other concerns were also raised. Some believed the self-driving technology would be too complicated for them to use, while others simply wouldn’t want to pay more for it.

However, the survey did find that there was some interest in assistive-driving technology. While most did not want their cars to be completely autonomous, over 60% wanted some automatic technology in their cars. This included automatic emergency braking, self-parking technology and adaptive cruise control.

The number one concern was safety. However, the safety concerns about self-driving cars may be overblown. A Washington Post writer reported fearing self-driving cars before testing one first-hand You can see the story here https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/innovations/wp/2016/07/07/after-the-fatal-tesla-crash-i-still-feel-safe-in-my-self-driving-car/. It is worth noting that despite all the self-driving car tests, there have been relatively few reports of crashes. After all, human car crashes occur every day.

There has been much debate over whether self-driving cars will cause more or less accidents. Many people still believe that the best approach is for people to drive cars themselves.

Will Human Drivers Be Made Obsolete?

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Even with improved self-driving technology, there is still room for human error. Someone driving a self-driving car may bump into a self-driving car. Or perhaps a self-driving car will misjudge a human driver’s intentions. An all-or-nothing approach may be required, where all cars on the road are self-driving. They may also require the same technology to avoid accidents.

However, this still leaves room for other concerns. While self-driving cars may be convenient and theoretically safer, some people enjoy driving for the driving experience itself. If people are required to ride self-driving cars, then what will be the point in driving different kinds of models? Self-driving may take all the fun out of driving itself.

It does seem like we’re heading towards a sci-fi future. Business Insider reported that by as soon as 2020, 10 million self-driving cars will be on the road. This doesn’t just apply to taxis and business cars, but will also stretch to the common driver. If this is set to become a reality, we could see a huge change in the laws and the culture of driving itself.


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About Sean Mackay

Sean writes about cars, golf and events going on in British Columbia, Canada. He is also the editor for The Automotive Review - an automotive publication bringing a West Coast flavour to its editorials.
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