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Autonomy On the Road

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    Since the dawn of cars, man had driven the machines, and consumers were always in control of their destinations. Cars represent freedom, the ability to go anywhere at anytime was and still is one of America’s favorite pastimes, but all of that might change with the introduction of self driving cars in America’s market. Self driving cars should not be banned because they are safer, portrayed horribly by the media, and offer far more economic benefits than regular automobiles.

    Some may have noticed a number of issues arising with self driving cars: two glitches in Tesla’s system,one person died, and one Tesla was driven through a wall. Many politicians view the rise of self driving cars a problem to public safety. Most politicians are standing for the ban of autonomous car technology, but the few politicians who don’t agree are setting a solid foundation for the future.

    Safety is a major factor if not the factor that is taken into account when purchasing a car, but autonomous vehicles drive themselves, This begs the question are they safe? To start with, enormous container ships have traversed treacherous seas with auto pilot since the late 90’s. They can communicate with other vessels to warn of hazards.

    In addition to piloting themselves through seas and canals. Self driving vehicles use this same concept but on the road to warn other autonomous vehicles of potential hazards or accidents, but in order for this system to work, there has to be more autonomous technology on the nation’s roads. As an effect self-driving cars, and their autonomous algorithms haven’t been able to sense an upcoming hazards causing few minor accidents. Some may argue that self driving cars are not safe; that they glitch or have a chance to get hacked and put their passengers at risk.

    Although, Forbes found that regular “safe” cars that were not aided with self driving features killed roughly 33 thousand people in 2013 (Ozimek, 1). The amount of deaths annually would greatly be reduced with the use of technology that is readily available, such as self pilot features and hazard avoidance. More people have been affected by lettuce then self driving cars “Five people have now died in a major E. coli outbreak in the US involving romaine lettuce, with 197 cases reported across 35 states” (BBC). Self driving cars are much safer than conventional automobiles, people in office need to know this politicians have to adapt to the changing times and protect the people by promoting the use of autonomous vehicles.

    From an economic standpoint autonomous cars are an investment to not buy gas. As an example a consumer buys a fifty thousand dollar car with the expectation that they don’t have to pay for gasoline which saves them anywhere from 50 to 150 dollars a month. The caveat is the consumer has to pay 50 thousand dollars for a car that will break. The EIA said that The United States consumed about 9.33 million barrels per day). Which means consumers mainly use gasoline cars. Adding a new type of car on the roads would be a difficult tasks because American’s already have a working system in place. So why change?

    The few times a self-driving car crashes, the media makes the issue huge. Accidents by self driving cars are made out to be far more dangerous that regular cars as a ploy to scare potential customers away from being introduced to a more superior , more efficient product than conventional automobiles. Due to many allegations and one sided stories pertaining to self driving cars, The Washington Post found that, “…The number of millennials who said they were unwilling to ride in a driverless car had increased from 49 percent at the end of 2017 to 64 percent last month, and that overall, nearly three-quarters of the people they quizzed said they wouldn’t drive one ”(Ashley 1), Proving that the newer generations are being turned away by the bad portrayal of self-driving cars. As many are growing up and at the stage in life where they buy first cars; the reputation of self driving car brands such as Tesla is essential for new life long customers.

    Owning a brand and maintaining a constant flow of revenue is very difficult in this day and age, with everyone having access gto limitless information at their fingers. The problem is while new customers look into new car brands that offer the self driving features. Then consumers also find the bad press and negative incidents with these companies resulting in a loss of revenue. Thus media is hurting business for these new companies delaying the widespread use of autonomy. Autonomous cars are the future, and in order for it to happen, there needs to be more positive portrayal of new technology.

    These silent sleek cars area gateway to a cleaner, safer, and built economy, but only with politician’s help. Self driving cars are the future and would help bring a safer community a better economy with more jobs and last but not least a cleaner planet. So when politicians are asked the question “Should self driving cars be banned?” what will they say?

    Works Cited

    1. Ashley Halsey, I.,II. ‘They’Ve Arrived: Americans Say Autonomous Cars here to Stay.’ Washington Post, 04 Jun. 2018, pp. A.13. SIRS Issues Researcher, .Accessed 1 December 2018.
    2. “Five People Die in US Romaine Lettuce E. Coli Outbreak.” BBC News, BBC, 1 June 2018, .Accessed 3 December 2018.
    3. Ozimek, Adam. “The Massive Economic Benefits Of Self-Driving Cars.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 10 Nov. 2014,.Accessed 4 December 2018.
    4. 1/4. .Accessed 3 December 2018.
    5. “U.S. Energy Information Administration – EIA – Independent Statistics and Analysis.” Factors Affecting Gasoline Prices – Energy Explained, Your Guide To Understanding Energy – Energy Information Administration, .Accessed 2 December 2018.

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