Scientist and researchers have created cars that do not require a human being to be present in order to drive the car with the latest technological advancements. From Audi to Ford to Lexus, the world's largest car companies have start to follow Google’s lead in an effort to manufacture cars smart enough to drive themselves. Technology enthusiasts and car lovers embraced the idea of self-driving cars. This is because the idea of having driverless cars is exciting. Robot cars are already street-legality in California, Nevada, and Florida. Self-driving car relies on a combination of sensors (including radar, lasers, GPS, and a car-mounted camera) to get around. They figure out where and what's around through using information from sensors and maps. Video cameras can detect traffic signs and lights as well as look out for pedestrians, cyclists, and obstacles. Computers use information from the sensors and cameras to manipulate the steering, acceleration, and braking. 

Self-driving cars have sparked strong emotions in people. Some are happy about the prospect of never having to bother about navigating a traffic highway, while others fear the loss of control when a computer takes over the function of driving the car. The self-driving car performs better than human drivers in many aspects. Unlike a human, they are impervious to distraction, react almost instantaneously and continuously monitor all sides of the vehicle. Self-driving cars address many of the safety and travel efficiency objections. However, there is also some downsides and upside to self-driving cars that can both be risky, good or dangerous depending on how you want to look at it. 

  Self-driving cars: the good ideas 

The good idea about self-driving cars is that they would totally eliminate human error that is; no accidents from drunkenness, texting, sleepiness or even momentary inattention. Driverless cars have the potential to drastically reduce road accidents once the current technology issues are resolved. Self-driving cars also have another advantage over human drivers: they don’t get distracted, angry or tired. These cars also offer mobility for people with health issues like impaired vision which prevent them from driving standard cars. Self-driving cars might put more aging people on the roads because they won’t be hindered so much with the disabilities that come with age. The sensors in self-driving cars allow vehicles to ride closer together, therefore allowing more cars on the road and reduce both car crashes and traffic congestion. Self-driving cars will be able to travel at a much higher speed without having concerns about hitting another car.

Since self-driving cars are run by computers, there are concerns of software being reliable enough and privacy being protected enough. The basics are simple; stop at red lights, stay in your lane and don't run into stuff. The more driverless cars are on the road, the better driving conditions will get. People might be more adapted to use their cars and less willing to use public transit, planes or trains because they could be relaxing or working in comfort while they ride is a clear potential benefit of having an autonomous car. These fully automated cars could potentially be safer than regular cars and might add various efficiencies to our roads.

Self-driving cars: the bad ideas

Self- driving cars sounds like a safe, innovative, and evolution idea but there are major concerns that must not be ignored; they seem to do pretty well on their own because they still require human supervision. Additionally, a self-driving cars ability to get where it needs to go depends on a highly detailed, error-free map of roads and signals. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) feels that the technology is far from ready. In fact, they recently called for a ban on the use of self-driving cars for purposes other than testing until they have fully conducted a thorough study.

Self- driving car has shift human error from the driving to the programming and design. Although these cars are predicted to reduce road accident behind the wheel but do they worth giving up our human ability to make decisions for ourselves and take responsibility for the way we travel? The sign of laziness that goes hand-in-hand with these self-driving cars cannot be ignored. The software is prone to some few errors, so no matter how flawless it may seem to be when this error occurs, who is to hold accountable? In the event of a situation where a police officer is directing traffic, will self-driving cars consistently and accurately understand human signals, and negotiate accordingly? And if they don’t understand who is responsible? Another downside to the robot cars is that they can put people out of a job. Yes, there will still be a person sitting in the front, but when that person is no longer needed, then what will they do?

Final Thought

The success of self-driving car also known as autonomous car depends on how it is introduced into the marketplace, and how consumers and businesses respond. Google's efforts to put an autonomous car on the roads look like they are going to be successful. The so-called “self-driving car” is far more than science fiction today, and it is now becoming more of a reality every day. Despite the enormous amount of work to be done concerning the efficiency and functioning of these cars they have already begun to make an appearance in our everyday lives as features of the modern car so when you're out driving and you see a car with no driver, don't be surprised. No matter what side you support in the self-driving cars safety debate, even those who doubt still agree that this technology is the way of the future.

What are your thoughts and beliefs on these kinds of cars? Do you believe and trust in switching to self-driving cars in the future and would you like to own one? Or would you feel safe using it? You can read more about self-driving cars here.