The dangers of self-driving cars

November 30, 2016
Leo Tang  Orange Lutheran High  11th Grade

Leo Tang
Orange Lutheran High
11th Grade

Self-driving cars have received a lot of controversy in recent years. While some technology companies are throwing big money into self-driving, they ignored the fact that it’s almost impossible to use it in some countries like India or China because traffic laws are broken every second. Even in countries like America, it’s not completely safe because traffic laws might be broken by a real driver any second. Some believe it is the future of human transportation, while others believe it’s very dangerous. It has, in fact, already caused death in America.

Joshua Brown, an Ohio man “who spent his life focused on innovation and the promise of technology and who believed strongly in Tesla’s mission,” was killed while using Tesla’s self-driving mode on May 7, 2016. What really happened remains unknown, but we know one thing for sure: Mr. Brown wasn’t driving. This news hurt Tesla just as much as it hurt Mr. Brown’s family, also proving that this technology is not yet mature.

Some people also worry about jobs. After self-driving cars, full auto cars could get into the shipping industry, eliminating potential jobs for drivers, and potentially creating a negative economic effect. The “1%” in America may benefit from it, but not the lower class.

One of the most infamous question of self-driving has been when a car accident is about to happen, and there is a walker by the sidewalk, should the computer save the driver or the walker? Recently Google gave us the answer: The priority will be the driver’s safety. But is it the right choice?Many are also concerned about the hacking of self-driving cars. Right now, humans control the cars, and not many smart technologies are used in cars. But self-driving cars require a mapping system, the driver’s personal information, and a computer strong enough to process similar to a human brain. These cars are begging to be hacked, and are very likely to cause big events in the future.

People are also concerned about control. When an accident happens between a driver and a self-driving car, who is to blame? What about an accident between two self-driving cars? The answer remains unknown.

Even if the technology succeeds, a lot of people won’t buy it. Driving is considered a pleasure for many people, and taking it away will not be easy for them. Self-driving cars should be used as a backup plan, for example when people are drunk or tired, reducing the risk of accidents.


One Comment

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