Road accidents are one of the major causes of death in the world, killing approximately 3,000 people every day. In most cases the driver is at fault; however, other factors such as potholes, unfavorable weather, faulty car mechanics etc. also contribute to such mishaps. To reduce the rate of accidents, automobile companies and engineers have come up with the ingenious idea of self-driving cars! However, does AI controlled driving with no human intervention guarantee road safety? Let's find out.
- Computer - an ideal motorist
We already know how efficient computers can be with complex calculations and so they can actually prove to be ideal and reliable motorists. That said, self driving cars can considerably help reduce the rate of road accidents caused due to rash driving or drunk driving.
- Driver’s paradise
When computers take over driving, it leaves the driver with enough time to catch up on some reading, chatting with co-passengers and occasional short naps without having to worry about ramming into someone or something! Disabled individuals will also be able to travel in their own cars without having to ask others for help, making them more independent.
- A boon for automobile industry
As automobile industries are always in search of newer products, self-driving cars may just give a much-needed boost to automobile companies, allowing them to remain in business for a longer time and making huge profits.
- Good for the overall economy too
The Transportation Department in every country assigns a particular amount to each human life (e.g. $ 9.2/individual life in US). With reducing number of accidents, there will be significant cost saving. Cost saving in other avenues such as car insurance cost and healthcare cost associated with accidents will be an added advantage for the country and its citizens.
- Whom to Blame?
When accidents happen, one can easily put the blame on the driver for his negligence. But when a self-driving car is involved in an accident, who should be blamed? The manufacturer? The software developer? The mechanic? Or the owner of the car? Will the automobile manufacturing company take complete liability of the vehicle it produces?
- Cost of implementation
A self-driving car would require state-of-the-art technology, sensors etc., increasing the cost of implementation. This may further increase the cost of the car, making it less popular with the masses.
- Not entirely fail proof
If technology fails, say in case of extreme weather conditions like heavy rains or a storm, self driving cars will not able to operate efficiently. Such cars cannot interpret human signals where a police officer is directing traffic. It is also unclear how self-driving cars would maneuver roadblocks or unique local driving laws.
Self driving cars would bring about a revolutionary change in the transportation industry, making commute safer and better. Some countries may even rule out mandatory car insurance but believe me is always good and advisable to have a car insurance policy in place. However, there are still many considerations to be made before this technology is successfully deployed.