Driverless cars used to be the thing in fantasies, but in 2018, they are becoming a reality. Self-driving cars are the future of the car industry and many companies are trying to make these self-driving cars. These cars have many names, such as a robot car, autonomous car, or driverless car. A self-driving car is a vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and moving with little or no human input. Self-driving car technology is already being developed by manufacturers such as Lexus, BMW, Mercedes, and Tesla.
Fully-driverless tech is still at an advanced testing stage, but partially automated technology has been around for the last few years. Although autonomous cars will need better, more connected infrastructure to function effectively, they still face a larger, more unpredictable factor – us. Humans present problems for autonomous cars as both drivers and pedestrians, and dealing with our unpredictable behavior represents a significant challenge for the technology. The Google Car is one of the most experienced autonomous vehicles, and its interaction with human drivers has exposed one of the driverless cars’ main weaknesses. The first injury involving the Google Car wasn’t due to a fault in its system, but human error. Despite human drivers representing a hazard for autonomous cars, the way they interact with pedestrians raises difficult moral and ethical questions for car manufacturers – with implications. Autonomous cars need to understand the way pedestrians behave, while also mimicking the behavior they’d expect from a human driver. “Everyone has an appreciation of how a human being is going to react because we are all human beings,” says computer ethics commentator Ben Byford.
“So if you walk out in front of a car, and presumably the car driver knows you're there, they're going to react in a certain way.”
Self-driving cars have another flaw: hacking. Although it may seem an issue of the future, car hacking is already happening. Fiat Chrysler had to recall 1.4 million Jeep Cherokees after it emerged they were vulnerable to hacking. Security experts were able to wirelessly control functions like acceleration, windscreen, and radio, rendering the driver powerless. In an autonomous car, which relies entirely on computer systems, the effects could be devastating.
Every day, 29 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes that involve an alcohol-impaired driver. This is one death every 50 minutes. The annual cost of alcohol-related crashes totals more than $44 billion. Self-driving cars would protect people from drunk driving which would save hundreds of lives. Self-driving cars are closer than you would expect and when they arrive, they will revolutionize the car industry.