Posted By Marie
Date: June 25th, 2013
Are you ready for self driving cars? A car that park itself, sense other objects, cars and pedestrians? Yes you read it right, a driverless car where you as a usual driver can now relax and have more time to read book, browse your laptop without having to worry about navigating through traffic after a long day at work! This might sound like a science fiction, but did you know that these kinds of cars are being tested now? Google, Ford and various car manufacturers are already testing it. Expert engineers at Volvo believe it could happen within ten years from now.
The main goal of this new technology is to save fuel, lessen the mental stress and most importantly, reduce the number of traffic deaths and crashes, which appears to be the high cause of death rate in many countries like USA. The car could also connect to a wireless internet and a gps to exactly know where it should be going. Although this seems to be pleasing in the ears, this new technology still brings us up few issues that we should be aware of, including higher cost to the consumer, the need for more advanced infrastructure, the safety and hacking concern and the law that will eventually govern autonomous cars. Let’s go on these issues one by one.
• COST. Definitely, autonomous cars or driverless cars will cost consumer at least three thousand dollars more than the average cars price, and not all can afford to spend extra amount of money despite the fact that many people are enticed in driving such a vehicle. Auto manufacturers are more likely to appeal to more buyers if they are able to keep costs down, which is merely impossible.
• INFRASTRATURE. The infrastructure does not have enough support for autonomous cars. In addition to designing sensor systems that can detect other vehicles and objects they will also need to come up with a universal system that will enable cars to communicate with one another. This may prove to be an issue if many of the cars on the road will remain traditional cars. In addition to sensing other vehicles, cars will also need to be able to interpret traffic lights, signs and guard rails.
• SAFETY. If autonomous cars will depend on computers, hacking and viruses could be a possible issue. Therefore, we could not really say that using the driverless cars is safe enough.
• LAWS. We might be wondering now about what sort of laws will rule driverless cars. For example, a car that ran a red light? Who will be responsible for it? Will it be the driver of the car if the car is driving itself? Unfortunately, the government and some politicians are still refusing to even acknowledge such issue.
There is still so much work to be done. Everyone will surely have its own opinion about whether driverless cars are a good or bad idea. Would it really solve more problems than it would create? A question that, I think, time could only answer.