Why We Think Self Driving Cars Should Pass a Road Test
As cars advance in technology, the feature of self-driving cars become more apparent. Do you want to trust your life in the hands of an autonomous driving vehicle? These changes will have major effects on the economy as well as society, so with self-driving cars what exactly should be done?
Autonomous driving vehicles as a concept in itself is great. Who wouldn’t want to be driven around to go from point A to point B without any hassle at all? Think about that, you want to go to the mall, you jump in your car plug in the information where you want to go and your car takes you there. The amount of effort you have to make is fairly minimal and you go anywhere with just a touch of a button. The idea itself is extremely comforting if you think about it, wouldn’t you agree?
It’s a great idea, but there are some concerning factors that one must consider with self-driving vehicles. What are the implications if we rely solely on the technological ability of the vehicle? What are the repercussions? How does this affect current auto insurance?
Those are just two of many. Here are a few other considerations that are much more granular. What happens if a vehicle using the autonomous driving encounters a drunk driver? Perhaps a driver who is swerving on the road? What about a situation where a vehicle is approaching opposing traffic? You have to admit these are serious questions we must consider before moving forward with this don’t you think? Before this revolution, everyone knew how to handle certain situations on the road.
Outside of controlled testing environments, there aren’t any accurate testing grounds that would give appropriate results. With trillions of miles driven each year, having autonomous driving replicated on actual city roads would yield much better results. The reason being, in controlled environments these vehicles can be perfect, but in real-life situations, accidents are apparent. These accidents are both minor and serious, which begs the question, how can someone be so confident in the driving abilities of autonomous driving?
On the bright side of things, there is rigorous testing to make sure that technologies in these vehicles are up to date and safe. These systems are implemented to make sure that the technology in these vehicles are able to do what they are intended without any negative repercussions.
Wide Range Effects
Vehicles with self-driving capabilities have a long term goal to drastically change the ways of transportation. Imagine places where traffic jams are little to none because vehicles are performing optimally at all periods of the day, the efficiency with no human effort at its finest. They are expected to improve our day to day life by freeing up our time and reducing distractions during commutes.
Arguably, since these are drastic changes that could happen over the course of 10-15 years these regulations are bound to surface. Since regulations are definite, they are likely to be concluded by two of the main automotive regulators they are: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the States Department of Transportation.
Both of these departments provide ample coverage’s and regulations that could greatly benefit the industry. Here’s a simple breakdown of what both of these institutions offer:
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Focus primarily on safety standards on the vehicle (mechanical, electrical and more)
- States Department of Transportation: licensing, insurance coverage and policies and more.
The regulations that we have in place today identify both cars and humans as two separate entities, which in reality it makes sense. But now with autonomous driving in the mix, both of these entities are combined. In order for something to be concrete and remain constant, continuous improvement must happen why is why for self-driving vehicles there has to be an adaptation.
There have been some changes when The Obama Administration tackled this rising issue. Although with the industry evolving, we can guarantee that there will be gaps since at that time it was fairly new and less understood.
Difference between Self Driving and Humans?
If we are running this comparison, it is without a doubt that self-driving cars are able to far surpass a human. But the overall wiring of how the self-driving car works is fairly similar to how the human brain processes things. Think about these questions, wouldn’t you agree these are things the manufactures of these self-driving cars have in mind when they are in the process of creating the vehicle?
– Is the vehicle going to stop in front of me?
– Is the person going to cross the road?
– How would inclement weather affect the sensors?
– Can the vehicle perform adjustment maneuvers in inclement weather?
These provide opportunities for manufacturers to provide improvements to vehicles and even current vehicles on the road as well. Regardless of which, there is a lot of time before these self-driving cars become mass-produced for regular consumers. In the meantime, manufacturers must take their time to improve them and prove to the public not only that these cars are safe but also that they perform better than humans in every given scenario. That could be tough since we are relying solely on the vehicle’s computers to react in a given way in a given time. It’s a tough market, but it definitely can be done with excessive amounts of testing with little to no failure rates.