The Truth About Self-Driving Cars: The Pros and Cons to Having Autonomous Vehicles on the Road

Every geek out there loves hearing about the progress of the self-driving car. This topic gets so much attention in the media due to its controversy; there are so many pros and cons of having autonomous vehicles on the road alongside normal drivers. Will these vehicles benefit society and decrease the number of fatalities and injuries caused by car accidents? Or are there too many questions and concerns associated with taking away a human driver’s ability to control the car… Let’s geek out and examine further by weighing the pros and cons of self-driving vehicles!

PROS

  1. There will be fewer accidents due to human error. Most car crashes are a result of mistakes made by the driver, whether it’s related to distraction or physical impairment, so this will be virtually eliminated once self-driving cars are in control of the roads.
  2. Time can be spent doing other things. Cars that drive themselves allow people to spend the time within the car doing more productive tasks. Rather than driving the car on a four hour road trip for work, you can brief yourself for that big meeting with potential clients.
  3. There will be improved traffic conditions. Self-driving cars are better at reading traffic conditions and patterns, so it is likely that congested traffic conditions will improve with autonomous vehicles.
  4. There will be enhanced mobility for people who have never been mobile. This goes specifically for disabled individuals who have never been able to drive. Now they will have the opportunity to take self-driving cars as a means of transportation.
  5. Police can start focusing on issues more important than traffic violations. These cars are programmed to stay within speed limits and overall follow all traffic laws, so police can spend much more time focusing on other crimes.

CONS

  1. The cost is too much for many people to afford. It’s no wonder that a self-driving car is expensive, so it’s not even within the price range of most people. With all of the technological features, many of these cars exceed $100,000.
  2. There is a chance of software malfunction or invasion by hackers. With a vehicle solely functioning on technology, what happens when the software malfunctions, or there is a security breach by hackers?
  3. Elimination of jobs in public transportation and gas/oil industry. Obviously with less use of the public transportation system, there will be less government money spent on public transit and therefore will be a decrease in job opportunities. Also, self-driving cars will more than likely be electric rather than gas-powered, so the gasoline and oil industry will take a huge hit.
  4. Legal questions on how an accident involving a self-driving car would be handled. How will a lawyer represent a client who was in an accident, but not even in control of the car? There are lots of questions involved in how law proceedings will take place for situations like these.
  5. Drivers might become too reliant on self-driving cars and lose their driving abilities. What happens when a driver needs to access his or her driving ability due to failure of a self-driving car? This could be a major problem if a driver has not driven in months or years and needs to access these skills.

As you can see, the debate on self-driving cars continues. There are lots of kinks to still be worked out, but once this happens be prepared to see autonomous vehicles driving alongside you!