Possible Dangers of a “Self-Driving” Car

For decades, people who are developing new technologies every year sometimes think of automakers as mere mortals who know who to bend metals. Although it is a fact that the auto industry has started long before computers are first invented, public beta testing of self-driving cars is never an option when manufacturing them. Unlike public beta testing of software and digital technologies, there are many risks involved when testing a fast moving metal in the heart of the city. It is simply dangerous and may put the lives of the people in the streets at risk of accidents.

When developing software technologies, programmers optimize code by allowing it to fail fast. With this, they are able to find the cause of the problem right away and tweak it accordingly as it runs. This is effective especially if they are crafting handheld devices or computer hardware parts. However, this style of fine-tuning cannot be applied in the automotive world. Its efficiency cannot be denied, and will surely speed up the improvement of self-driving cars, but the dangers it poses cannot be ignored. How this kind of technology prospers in the next several years will determine if the public will find it acceptable and relatively safe.

There is no automobile running in the streets right now that can totally drive without a human touching the wheels. Despite that, car companies continue to force the public to accept the self-driving technology and suggest to the people that these cars really have an automated-driving capability and are actually self-driving. The media, on the other hand, fail to carefully examine these cars and are only interested in reporting how innovative the technology is. All car companies should always try their best, to be honest especially if the technology they are using is somewhat alien to the general public. They should provide a complete explanation of what the new technology can do, the possible risks it poses and how to minimize them.

Failure to provide a complete understanding of the self-driving car is the main reason why a lot of motorists do not trust the current technology. Humans are prone to a lot of errors, how much more an automated vehicle who cannot show compassion? What if the software gets corrupted? What if there are incidents that are not known to the system, making the engine fail to respond accordingly? There is a big possibility that, if all people use a self-driving car today, there will be a rise in the rate of unusual accidents. However, if things go smoothly and all human errors are kept to a minimum, then surely self-driving cars can be a good solution to heavy traffics and in reducing collisions, saving thousands of lives.