Instructor: David Schuff, Section 003

Will self driving cars be safer?

In the future self driving cars will take over the automotive industry. Many car companies have been developing self driving cars for many years. The goal for creating self driving car is to lower the risk of accidents, allow travelers to avoid long boring trips, and etc. However will the self driving cars be more safer? Self driving cars right now are easily able to be hacked. In order to create self driving cars companies need to spend $10k on sensors that able cars to drive on their own. But it has been found that a low cost laser pointer can confuse and defeat the sensors. Self driving cars will always be  vulnerable to hacking attacks. Once self driving car become a popular trend and everyone uses them all people inside a car maybe in danger. So will self driving cars be a safer alternative to driving today?

2 Responses to Will self driving cars be safer?

  • Although driverless technology has the potential to disrupt the automotive industry, it still is very much a work in progress. In reference to your point about driverless cars being safer than traditional vehicles, I’m not sure the technology is quite there yet. Not only that, but what qualifies as a “safer” vehicle also brings up many ethical issues, as well. For example, will the technology in driverless cars be programmed to put the life and safety of the passengers at a higher priority, or that of surrounding drivers? This is a huge ethical issue that these companies investing in driverless cars will need to overcome before this type of technology can even enter the market. I also think you brought up a really good point about the threat of people hacking into the technology. That is a major issue, especially with vehicles, because it puts the lives of the passengers and those around them at stake and out of their own hands. Although the future of driverless technology is still unclear and the technology holds vast potential, I still think there are many roadblocks ahead before driverless vehicles can be considered safer than traditional vehicles.

  • Driverless technology is already helping to save lives. There are already cases where the advanced technology in cars are hitting the brakes before drivers to help avoid accidents. With that being said, completely unmanned self driving cars are not quit there. From a systems thinking approach, there are many factors that contribute to the development and adoption of self driving cars. The first would be the psychological barrier. Many already feel that we are too reliant on gadgets and technology and feel uncomfortable leaving their life in the control of a completely autonomous car. Another issue is the ethics of the decision making process by the autonomous vehicles. For example, if the car was stuck in a situation where it was forced to either hit the car next to them or pedestrians on the sidewalk to avoid the passengers death, which would it choose? I think there are many barrier and benefits in developing autonomous cars, but it will need more time.

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