Will the Future of Driving Mean No More Human Drivers?
It’s all over the news: Google’s driverless car is being imitated by the likes of Apple, BMW, and a whole list of others. Perfecting the driverless car is one of the major goals for automakers these days. So is it really possible? Would Americans let it happen? We take a closer look at the realities behind the science fiction.
You’ve probably read about new safety features that use sensors and computers to activate the brakes, say, before you even know you’re about to collide with something. Your car is actually filled with these little features and many of them have added to the lowest number of crash fatalities in driving history. So, the first thing to remember is that your car is already capable of taking control.
What Can Be Done
Aside from Google, other companies have designed systems like adaptive cruise control that change speed based on the vehicle in front of you, valet that can send your car to park itself and then return to you, or even limited autopilot that can drive itself, but only for stretches of highway without heavy traffic.
The two dangers are these: What if something goes wrong and what if someone makes something go wrong. The first is a matter of a massive interconnected grid of information that links cars, routes, and destinations that all needs to work perfectly. This is far from likely 100% of the time. The second is hacking. As soon as a network exists between cars, individuals can break into that network to manipulate cars and cause accidents. For all the talk of the tech companies, we’re pretty far from a world without drivers.