The automobile industry, a sector which is the most profitable but ultimately the most advance, ranging from affordable every day cars to luxury vehicles which can sell up to a whopping 8 digit price or more. The boundaries in the car business are always being broken but there is one which stands out the most, self-driving cars. Some say it is technology from the future, while others argue it’s going to lead us down a road of disaster. The car is called a self-driving car because there is a feature which uses sensors and the gps system to drive automatically without the need of a human to do anything.
Self-driving cars, as luxury as they are with their leather seats and sophisticated hardware, are they safe for everyday use? The answer to that is yes they do not put anyone at risk, they are supposedly safer than actual human drivers and an article on CNN by Chris Isodore talks about how they have gone through extensive testing and that they will indeed produce less accidents than human drivers by a huge margin. That sounds great but there is something that is holding them back and that is hackers because the car will be sending in and out a huge amount of signals this is a potential security risk if hackers get into the signal, when more self-driving cars come onto the road that means there will be more signals, which means hackers will be more prone to hack them which then could lead to serious concerns of consumers safety, Peter Campbell from ft also backs this point up by stating that “They will have higher levels of connectivity, the most common way in for a hacker”.
The main feature of the car is the self-driving mode or in other words the automates system, this allows drivers to sit back and relax while not needing to do anything, an article on futurism by Amber Raynolds states that in the United States, “in a lifetime we spend a whopping 38 thousand hours”, now that is a lot of time spent from driving going from point A to point B but the automated system helps reduce the time that the actual driver is actually driving the car, so they can chill while the car does the rest without needing to pay attention. The down side to this is the actual reliability of the system, what happens if an error occurs and the drivers not paying attention, what if the sensors or the gps system are not working properly, they will lead to a tragic accident which could even result in death. There is an article by Sam Levin on the guardian which is about a recent death which was caused by a self-driving car, “did not appear to slow down or detect the woman” and the crazy thing about it was “she was visible in front of the car”, this shows that it is possible for the system to malfunction and to lead to a tragic error.
They are luxury high end cars ranging with leather seats to high tech features, an article on autotrader by Doug DeMuro talks about some of the features you should expect to have, “Adaptive cruise control”, “Automatic forward collision break” and the main feature the self-driving mode, these are just some of the luxury features which the cars have to offer, most of them focus on the actual safety of the car to make sure the driver feels safe when driving such a sophisticated vehicle. Therefore with such luxury and advanced high tech features comes a big price tag which only the wealthy will be able to afford. An article on qz which is by Steven Levine states that they will have a price tag of “about $250,000 per vehicle”, then it also goes on to say that it is “too high for the mass market”, this big price tag comes from the actual technology in the car and this is without the added extras which will boost the price up even more.
These cars are the future of travel, David Dean from tripsavy explains that this will change the car business by a huge margin, it will result in “major reduction in traffic congestion and accidents”, meaning that the roads and motorways will have a smooth running while minimising any problems but also it will really cut down on a big problem of accidents which are caused by sleepy drivers, so it will affect the car industry in a positive way. With such a great thing always comes a negative and that are jobs, with cars being self-driving that basically means you won’t need a driver and because of this it could cause a huge unemployment catastrophe, Joel Lee from makeuseof.com estimates that there will be “2.4 million people who may be out of a job in the next decade or two”, that is a gigantic number of people who will be jobless and this will affect the economy badly.
The technology within a self-driving car is really advanced and could be said it is from the future. The 3 ways that it comes together to create the ultimate driving machine from the future, first is the sensors which are used to detect things around you like cars and obstacles, secondly is the connectivity this is thing like the gps system and thirdly is the actual system software which combines all off this to truly make this a futuristic car. The downside is even with this technology from the future is that it cant do some basic things, Hannah Boland from the telegraph says they “have problems understanding the basic rules of the road”, the technology may not be as futuristic as it says it is if it cant apply to simple tasks which are important.
In conclusion self-driving cars are pretty safe to use but they are still prone to hackers trying to get into the systems, the driver can sit back in relax while the car does the rest but it could be a bad thing if a system error occurs and the driver is not paying attention to the road, the car offers luxury and high tech features but this all comes at a big price tag, these driving machines are the future of the automobile industry but will affect the economy in a bad way with unemployment, finally the technology you get with the car can be labelled as technology from the future but there are some basic tasks which it cant do yet which will not yet make it live up to the name. I personally think that self-driving cars should currently not be a thing but who knows technology advances every day so who knows one day all cars could be driverless but for now not yet.
- Isidore, C, ‘Self-driving cars are already really safe’, CNN, https://money.cnn.com/2018/03/21/technology/self-driving-car-safety/
- Raynolds, A, ‘7 Benefits of Driverless Cars’, Futurism, https://futurism.com/images/7-benefits-of-driverless-cars/amp/
- DeMuro, D, ‘7 Self-Driving Car Features You Can But Now (and Some You May Already Have)’, Autotrader, https://autotrader.com/best-cars/7-self-driving-car-features-you-can-buy-now-and-so-259333
- Dean, D, ‘How Self-Driving Cars Will Change The Future of Travel’, tripsavvy, https://www.tripsavvy.com/self-driving-cars-and-the-future-of-travel-4136640
- Guest Writer, ‘How Do Self-Driving Cars Work?’, Iot for all, https://www.iotforall.com/how-do-self-driving-cars-work/
- Campbell, P, ‘Hackers have self-driving cars in their headlights’, Financial Times, https://www.ft.com/content/6000981a-1e03-11e8-aaca-4574d7dabfb6
- Levin, S, ‘Uber crash shows ‘catastrophic failure’ of self-driving technology, experts say’, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/mar/22/self-driving-car-uber-death-woman-failure-fatal-crash-arizona
- Levin, S, ‘What it really costs to turn a car into a self-driving vehicle’, Quartz, https://qz.com/924212/what-it-really-costs-to-turn-a-car-into-a-seld-driving-vehicle/amp/
- Lee, J, ‘Self driving cars endanger millions of American jobs (and that’s okay)’, Make use of, https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/self-driving-cars-endanger-millions-american-jobs-thats-okay/
- Johnson, J, ‘Pros & Cons of self-driving driverless cars’, Turbozens, https://www.turbozens.com/pros-cons-of-self-driving-driverless-cars/amp/
- Boland, H, ‘Waymos self-driving cars ‘struggle’ to turn left and don’t understand basic road features’, Telegraph, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/08/29/waymos-self-driving-cars-struggle-turn-left-dont-understand/amp/