(English) The Future Of Self Driving Cars

Eugene Suslo
Mar 04, 2015

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selfdriving

What is it about self-driving cars that makes people nervous? Is it the lack of control? Is it the possibility of a car accident? Or is it the fear that we a replacing humans with machines? The conversation about self-driving cars can either be an exciting conversation of what the future may look like, or a heated debate about the safety concerns of a machine operated vehicle. Whatever side of the debate you are on, self-driving cars are a very interesting concept. If you think that you can take your hour commute to work and make it a time to check email or read a book, this could be a far more productive time period. With the first prototype of the Google self driving car, it is time that we take a detailed look at the future of the self-driving car.

 

Does Not Need To Be Perfect

 

The debate about the self-driving car will inevitably find its way to the safety of a self-driving car. The fear is always that you will get into an accident when there is a technical malfunction or the computer system is not as responsive as a human. Well, the fact is that humans are quite terrible drivers, and given the fact that the bench mark for quality is pretty low, a self-driving car does not need to be perfect. A self-driving car just needs to be better than a human and have a less frequent accident rate. Once the debate is looked at from this angle you can discuss the opportunities much differently. The conversation becomes how to improve the rate at which accidents occur.

 

Security

 

When discussing the safety of a self-driving car the conversation should not turn to potential accidents. Accidents happen with humans every day and multiple times a day. The safety conversation should be looked at from a technical security stand point. Can the cars be hacked from an outside source is the type of question you should ask. The answer currently is yes, and this is where the largest investment needs to be made to make the self-driving car a reality for the masses. If the car has a GPS that has been compromised by a hacker, there could be accidents that would have otherwise been prevented. These are the systems that need to be improved and the weaknesses of the self-driving car.

 

Could Increase Safety

 

The self-driving car in the long run could be a far safer mode of transportation. If there are all self-driving cars on the road, then the cars would theoretically be able to communicate with each other in a way that humans cannot. This could let cars merge onto freeways, change lanes, and any number of things with the transmission of signals, which will allow cars to adjust speeds and safely let other cars in front or behind them. This is the long term prospect of safer roads with the spread use of self-driving cars.

 

Decrease Vehicle Costs

 

If the self-driving car does not need to be operated by any one person then people could potentially share cars. The ability to share cars would mean that there would not need to be an exchange with a human present. This could essentially be your own ride sharing or taxi service, and decrease the costs of vehicles any one person is burdened with.


By looking at the potential of the self-driving car, it is no question that it will truly change our lives and how we view transportation.