The future is certainly upon us.
Tesla is about to release the Model 3 to the masses, their latest model of self-driving cars. This model will be armed with Tesla’s Autopilot semi-self-driving technology. When it was first unveiled, the forward-thinking American automaker company was confident enough to say that they expect the model to get a five-star rating in all of NHTSA’s safety categories. They have a reason for this confidence since their past models, the Model S and Model X, scored the same.
But as history, film, and literature have taught us over the years, technological advances do not always equal utmost safety. The vehicle may get a reassuring five-star rating, but who’s to say that it will never malfunction? Keep in mind, you’re practically submitting your life to a machine.
To give you an idea of how risky driverless cars can be, here are some of the risks of having them on our roads:
Driverless cars may not be as technologically-advanced as we think.
MIT professor John Leonard argues that, as hi-tech as driverless cars can be, there are still certain aspects of driving (heavy traffic, dangerous weather, hand gestures, unusual road surfaces and so on) that driverless cars can’t pick up on. With that in mind, having a car on the road with human drivers can lead to accidents.
Driverless cars won’t mix well with human drivers
Driverless cars can be taught to at least handle human drivers – it’s human drivers who won’t be equipped to handle driverless cars. With the technology they possess, driverless cars are extremely expensive. That means if you own one and you drive it out to a highway, you’re going to be the only one with a driverless car there. This might cause some confusion among your fellow drivers, causing congestion, or worse, accidents.
Driverless cars are hackable
Terrorists will surely see this as an opportunity to invade your privacy, or worse: use your driverless vehicle as a bomb.
Whose fault is it?
Traffic laws were designed with human drivers in mind. Let’s say you have a toddler, and he/she suddenly runs to the middle of the road. Let’s say a driverless car happens to pass by, and then it malfunctions. It runs over your toddler, and your toddler dies. So whose fault is it? Re-writing traffic laws for the driverless cars can take decades. Meanwhile, Tesla’s Model 3 is coming out within the year.
Driverless cars will put many people out of work
Imagine if every car in the world was replaced with a driverless car. Transportation would become easier – safer, even. But imagine all the taxi drivers, Uber drivers, and truck drivers of the world. That’s not to mention the people who drive ambulances, tow truck operators, traffic police – the list goes on.
They would all be considered obsolete, putting them all out of employment. Not only is this inhumane, but it will also do so much damage to our economy. Driverless cars may be exciting, and they may represent the future – but at what cost?