Are We Ready for a Driverless Future?


This article by Lisa R. Taylor explains that self-driving cars are the future of automation industry. The technology evolution focuses on making people’s lives easier and provides faster transportation options for people. Since the idea of self-driving vehicles appeared, inventors and scientists have made a purpose in launching self-driving cars that can be driven by everyone.

Recent studies mention that we are just a couple of years apart from using self-driving cars to get our groceries or receive our orders. However, it seems that there is still something that blocks technology professionals from launching the prototype. So, the first question that pops into everyone’s minds is the status of self-driving cars. How far are we from being able to use the first ones? Keep reading this article and discover more about the future of self-driving vehicles.

Despite Recent Advancements, Are Self-Driving Cars Way in the Future?

Cars Connected to Infrastructure

Many voices believe that self-driving cars should be connected to infrastructure to be efficient. A self-driving car must be able to determine when it comes closer to obstacles. For example, when the vehicle is approaching a traffic light that shows the red color, the car should receive the necessary information to stop. This is a solution that inventors need to figure out before releasing the car. The German producers are intensively supporting the idea of creating a connection between self-driving vehicles and infrastructure. They even identified a solution in collaboration with Nokia to create a platform to enable the relationship between the car and the outside environment.

A viable solution means that such systems should be implemented in all self-driving cars. Even if humans still drive them, vehicles can connect to the traffic environment. However, despite technological upgrades, emergency vehicles should continue to be driven by humans. In emergencies, it is vital to have a person in the car to establish communication between the emergency car and the injured. Still, technological progress in self-driving cars will reduce the waiting time and improve people’s living standards considerably.

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Human Unpredictable Behavior

Even though the self-driving cars will appear in a few years, this doesn’t mean that humans will disappear from the streets. Despite being connected to infrastructure, self-driving cars will still need to adapt to a significant factor – us. Human behavior is, in most cases, unpredictable. So, this nature brings considerable challenges to manufacturers. If they can control the traffic and obstacles, they cannot entirely monitor what people do on the street. The Google Car is one of the most well-known examples of self-autonomous cars. Various articles appeared on websites like Subjecto, commenting on the safety of self-driving cars. However, everyone knows that it was subject to a severe accident. Even though everyone blamed the technology used by manufacturers, the error that caused the problem was due to the human factor. So, despite a sophisticated array of sensors, a self-driving car is not able to control an inattentive driver who crashes it.

In real life, human drivers can interact with each other and make allowances in traffic to avoid a collision. Also, they make countless small mistakes to which the other drivers can quickly adapt and prevent any accident from happening. When we think of self-driving cars, the human factor disappears when it comes to controlling. Until everyone has such cars, a self-driving vehicle will have to mix with the cars driven by people. Thus, the probability that these types of cars will be able to identify the humans’ next driving move is considerably low.

Vulnerability to Hacking for Autonomous Cars

When you think of technology, you think of hackers. As there is a specific category of people who put efforts to take technology progress further, there is also another category determined to find solutions for hacking technological systems. Thus, when it comes to self-driving cars, it is inevitable to think of their vulnerability in front of hackers. Even though it might seem something that may happen far in the future, this situation has already appeared. Fiat Chrysler, for example, faced such a situation when their security experts discover that their vehicle could be easily hacked.

Such situations raise serious concerns about the effects of hacking on autonomous cars. Thus, manufacturers should invest severe amounts to increase the levels of security and prevent their vehicles from being hacked. One of the most devastating situations that can appear is when a hacked car misses a stop sign. The consequences can be fatal. Thus, technological progress is not complete unless manufacturers take acute care of what the hackers may be doing to their invention.

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Technological progress is good, and people should benefit from it. Even though everyone is anxiously waiting for the self-driving cars releases, many factors should be taken into consideration. One of the most important factors that influence the future of autonomous cars is their capacity to prevent accidents and identify potential threats. Also, the hacking phenomenon is very actual, and manufacturers shouldn’t ignore it. Considering these parameters, there is still room for improvement when it comes to self-driving cars launch.

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