Gaze out at the latest automotive sphere and you can almost see a new era coming into focus. You will see a new age where humans no longer need to keep their eyes on the road – this is the age of self-driving cars.
Self-driving cars or the fully automated cars don’t drink and drive, fall asleep at the steering, text or talk on cell phones or put on makeup while driving. They navigate road with the help of their sensors and processors. Just imagine sitting in a traffic jam or going on a long drive and being able to complete your work on your laptop, watch a movie with your loved ones or take a quick nap while your car does all the driving for you. This is all the boon of the latest automotive technology in the form of self-driving cars.
Ultimately, the shape of the automotive future will depend on the needs, preferences and budget of the consumers. Although self-driving cars can meet most of the expectations of the consumers but still there is something they do not yet deal with very well – dealing with the unexpected. The human brain is still better than any computer at making decisions in the face of any sudden or unforeseen mishap on the road, for example, a drunken man or a kid running into the street, a swerving cyclist or a fallen tree limb.
The market of self-driving cars has been under scrutiny for some time now and even more so after the Tesla fatal accident. There are many risks associated with self-driving cars. We know that new technology is not perfect and come with its own set of issues and a serious learning curve.
Here we will focus on few major dangers that self-driving cars pose. These situations often bewilder even the engineers working on them.
The self-driving technology that has been released till date still requires the driver to be observant. The reason is the computers are programmed only to react to specific situations. The question comes here is – what to do with the unexpected? If any unexpected situation arises, it becomes important for the driver to act smartly. There have been many instances where a driver gets confused and an accident occurs.
Different road conditions
Road conditions also pose a great risk to self-driving cars. For example, if a roadway is a very old one with flawed lane markings, the car’s self-driving system won’t be able to do its job of identifying or using the markings for staying in the appropriate lanes. This is a serious matter of concern if we take into consideration what US Department of Transportation said about the condition of the nation’s road. According to US Department of Transportation, about 65 percent of the nation's roads need work.
Fear of device hacking
Self-driving cars are under the threat of hackers who might corrupt the software systems. Just like other electronics that are prone to hacking, studies reveal the problem may extend even to the vehicles. The cars operated by computers that tell the mechanics inside the car what to do. A good example to consider here is wireless carjacking. Last year, a reliable magazine exposed how a vehicle can be hacked by someone who is practically assuming control over the vehicle from windshield wipers to even acceleration.
Self-driving cars use lasers, radars, and HD cameras to find out obstacles on the road. The generated images are assessed by high power processors to spot pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles. But it is difficult to identify potholes. This is because they lie below the road surface, not above it. A dark patch in the road ahead could be a pothole, or an oil spot or even a puddle. It can create a tough situation for a self-driving car.
The technicians who are indulged in bringing this automotive technology in the market are confronting several questions as they build it or think of bringing improvement. When a crash is inevitable and a human is at wheels, the result is a spontaneous decision – a decision that the driver has to make in a split second. But in a self-driving car controlled by algorithms, it is a choice predetermined by the programmer.
While we may be a few years away from self-driving cars being the new norm, it is important we as consumers are aware of how to use this new technology. Even when strict regulations in place, accidents may occur anytime. Consultation of a high-qualified and experienced lawyer becomes a necessity if an accident occurs as a result of faulty mechanics or due to any other reason of the autonomous system leading to injury.
You can get in touch with the law firm of Gibbs & Parnell; the most trusted Tampa auto accident and personal injury lawyers in case you have met with a car accident. They are focused on auto accidents and provide expert legal consultations in complex car accidents lawsuits. You can reach them on 813-975-4444 or 800-711-5452. Visit www.gibbsandparnell.com for more information. They are physically located at 722 E. Fletcher Ave, Tampa FL 33612.