Autonomous cars used to be the stuff of dreams in the past. The idea that cars would one day drive themselves looked like a far-fetched possibility, but now, not only is it a reality, but the development of the technology behind it is being fast-tracked.
Like all new technologies, there is always an air of caution when it comes to embracing them. Some people find it hard to let go of what they are used to for something unknown. For this reason, it is important to discuss both the good and the bad sides of autonomous cars for the sake of clarity.
Self-driving cars are new phenomena expected to take over the world soon. There are good reasons why they exist in the first place, the need to phase out fossil fuel cars is increasing and autonomous cars are the solution. The following are the benefits of switching to autonomous cars.
Driving takes a lot of concentration. You have to keep an eye on the road while relying on your peripheral vision to keep track of what is behind you. You have to coordinate the clutch and the brakes as well as monitoring the gear. With autonomous cars, all these functions are handled by the car itself, freeing you to sit back and relax. Future cars probably are designed to allow for other in-car activities.
Most of the autonomous cars have been designed with sustainability in mind; they run on electricity rather than gasoline. For this reason, in a bid to encourage people to embrace these types of vehicles, the government subsidizes the prices to attract buyers. It is also not uncommon to see heavy government funding of companies involved in developing electric and autonomous vehicles. This boosts the quality of the cars, which makes them desirable to many.
They are Stylish
Autonomous cars, like most car designs of the future, are built with aesthetics and comfort in mind. They have sleek bodies that are streamlined for speed on the road. Their interiors are spacious and comfortable, and since they do not run on fossil fuels, their engines do not create any noise when they are on the move. When compared to conventional cars, autonomous vehicles are superior in every aspect.
So far, the technology used in self-driving cars is still in development, and they will continue to get better with time. One of the key things that they aim to address is accidents caused by human error. Sleeping behind the wheel or the inability to judge speed are two things that contribute to a huge number of accidents. Autonomous cars will be equipped with sensors that will be able to judge distances and make split-second decisions in tight situations correctly. This will bring down the number of road accidents.
There are two sides to every coin, and as much as autonomous cars are the next frontier, they are not without issues. Some of them include the following.
Vulnerable to Hacking
The biggest drawback to automating machines is that it provides malicious hackers with the window to gain access. Anything that runs on a computer program can be manipulated, and this has created fears that if cars can be hacked and controlled remotely, then the safety of autonomous cars cannot be guaranteed. The things that hackers can do with a hacked car are unimaginable.
They Still Have a Long Way to Go
A big part of the technologies being used to develop autonomous cars is far from being ready for large scale use. Considering how fragmented the industry is, the companies behind self-driving cars are in a race to outdo each other, and because of this, they do not share intel, something that could accelerate the process. For this reason, it is going to be a while before autonomous cars become available for the masses.
Their Safety is Suspect
No matter how good technology gets, flaws are never far away. Considering that it will be humans who will be sitting inside these cars and allowing a car to drive itself, It will be hard to convince a majority of people to have faith in them. In 2018 there was an incident that involved a self-driving car that was being tested that ended up knocking down and killing a cyclist. Such scenarios will be common in the future once autonomous cars become the norm.
Their Cost is Too High
Despite substantial subsidies from the government, the cost of an autonomous car is still prohibitive. The first roll-out will have cars costing upwards of $100,000, with the cost rising exponentially as more technological accessories and upgrades are added. The cars will also need regular upgrades once a while, and this will not come cheap. In a nutshell, it will be a very long time before self-driving cars become affordable to a majority of people.
The one undeniable fact is that technology will not be stopped by anything. If something is meant to be, it will be, autonomous cars are coming, and no matter how bumpy the road towards that future may be, eventually, technology will triumph. Robotic companies like EVS are also playing a role towards that future. To know more about what is in store for future technologies, visit evsint.com.