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Would you let your car drive itself?

Autonomous vehicles.. with more and more coverage in the media and news, it appears completely self-driving cars are just around the corner.

Nvidia, an expert in autonomy systems, actually predicts that fully self-driving cars will be on the road by 2025! Many car manufacturers in fact are excitedly throwing around dates of when their self-driving models will be available to buy, and are eager to get self-driving cars on the road as soon as possible.

However, it is likely we will be waiting longer than predicted. (As with many things in life..)

Cars that drive themselves almost all the time without human input are currently illegal to drive on public roads.

So, without further a do, let's get into the Pros and Cons of autonomous vehicles.

  1. No Human Error - Computers take away the possibility of human error and distractions whilst driving. That motorbike you didn’t spot? The car’s computer did.

  2. Less Accidents and Death - As there is no possibility of human error or distraction, it’s likely there will be less accidents and reduced fatalities on the road, the biggest pro of all.

  3. Road rage? What Road Rage? - We all experience road rage at some point in our lives. Whether you’re usually the culprit or on the receiving end of it, those days will be gone. Computers won’t do tailgating, and they don’t have middle fingers. That means a lot less of this.

  4. No More Drink Driving - Drink driving should no longer be a concern, as you won’t have to rely on a designated driver to get you home after a night out, your car will do the driving, safely.

  5. Freedom for Disabled and Elderly - Driverless cars will allow for disabled and those less mobile to get around easier and comfortably. Driverless cars mean more freedom and less dependence on other people or forms of transport.

  6. Save Time When Late - Late for that date or important business meeting? No worries, you self-driving car could drop you off at your destination and park itself, whilst you get a move on

  7. Police Time Better Spent -The police will have more time to focus on important crimes as traffic incidents, speeding and careless driving should be a thing of the past

  8. Cheaper Car Insurance - As risk will be based mainly on the vehicle rather than the person driving it, it is likely insurance will be cheaper

  9. Higher Speeds on the Road -Just because driverless cars are predicted to be safer, doesn’t mean they will have to drive slowly. Quite the opposite in fact, driverless cars could mean higher speeds on roads as computers are the ones doing the driving – once again – less human error.

Sounds great, right? Well all that glitters is not all gold.

  1. Technical Safety - Increasingly connected vehicles means they are more vulnerable to the threat of hackers, who may be able to take over control of the cars. Equally, there are privacy concerns in the car being tracked and knowing your frequent destinations, i.e. your home.

  2. Jobs - With driverless vehicles, there is the possibility of taxi and lorry drivers losing their jobs.

  3. Loss of Driving Skill Over Time - Many drivers will have driven the majority of their life, and suddenly, when they no longer have to drive, they could lose that well developed skill. If certain conditions then require the driver to take the wheel, they could overestimate their ability.

  4. Accident - Whilst on average accidents may be reduced, some accidents may be worse than if caused by human error. An error in the car computer’s coding after an update for example could lead to glitches and potential accidents that could have been prevented by a human.

  5. Not Suited for All Weather - As seen with car technology available today, weather can sometimes interfere with their effectiveness. For instance, parking sensors and cameras can’t work with snow. So what happens with autonomous cars’ laser sensors during harsh weather?

  6. New Infrastructure - As you would expect, roads and infrastructure will need to change to accommodate new driverless vehicles. That requires a lot of money.

  7. Predicting and Understanding - Cars would have trouble understanding human signals we can so easily recognise.

So, would you let your car drive you to Sphinx?

We'd love to know!


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