Automotive technology has come a long way. We’ve made cars safer than they have ever been. Yet the global casualty rate for car accidents is close to 1 million. Over 90% of the time it’s due to human error. If we can remove our fallibility from the equation, our roads could be much safer. The solution, the autonomous/self driving car.
It’s not science fiction anymore. In fact, car manufacturers have already created vehicles that can drive across the country safely. In test after test the autonomous car beats a human when it comes to safety. It makes sense. Human beings can be distracted, we get tired, we make mistakes. OK, so let’s say at some point in the future we relinquish control to an autonomous vehicle. What then?
Safety is enhanced but the list of potential benefits could be limitless. Imagine cruising around in your self driving car with an internet and cable connection. Your laptop, tv and all your devices could have power and high speed internet anywhere. This has broad ramifications for work and play. You could have a mobile office that takes you around town as you work. What types of occupations might arise as a result of this new found freedom?
Once there is a proven and safe track record for these cars, we’ll start sending our kids and pets out in them on their own. Millions of hours will be saved that would have otherwise been spent taking the kids to school or the dog to a grooming appointment, dog sitter or vet.
We could see autonomous vehicles that can link to one another physically to create larger inside spaces. Think square cars merging to form a long tractor trailer type unit. Want to hold a wine tasting with your closest friends out in the middle of no where? No problem. The car drives you there, you link vehicles, you drink wine in the shared space while enjoying a scenic view, then the car drives you home.
When your car becomes your home office/game room on wheels, all of a sudden that 5 hour drive to NYC doesn’t seem so long. Or that road trip down the East Coast takes on a whole different meaning when you can sleep comfortably as your car drives all night.
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That would be indeed something cool, however we need very much security on this kind of thing. It is completely self-controlled, that means you wouldn’t have much control over it while you are in the office space.
This is awesome. I can’t wait for self-driving cars to replace normal ones. It will make driving a lot safer across the board, and you’ll be able to participate in fun or useful activities while your car drives you anywhere you want to go. You could eat breakfast on the way to work, or read a book, or surf the internet, or sleep. There are some minor safety concerns, but I think those will be worked out with time, especially since self-driving cars are already much more secure than cars driven by humans.
When/if these become ubiquitous, there’s going to be some interesting public debate about them, mostly centering around everything that will be effected by them. There may be talk of new laws being passed, or old ones removed. If you still have the option of manually driving your self-driving car, you’ll probably still not be allowed to have alcohol in your system, and you might not be able to sleep, or send your children somewhere in it. If all cars eventually become only self-driving, without the option of controlling them yourself, then driving laws may change dramatically. People probably will be able to be under the influence of drugs, or sleep, while their cars transport them. Children and pets will likely also be able to be in cars without driving adults. But this may not happen for several more years.
Either way, this is an exciting and increasingly innovative development, which will almost certainly have a huge impact on the way people approach driving, across the world.
I strongly agree with you about the public debate part. One of the major issues that comes up in my group of friends when we discuss this is that there is the removal of our own ability to drive. The technology itself would make everything much safer, so would we still be able to drive or would that element be removed?
I imagine that if there was an ability to still self drive your own car that it would still be limited in some fashion. Computers would be making decisions that would be based on much more information than our own minds could handle. That means that if you could self drive, I feel it would be more based in a video game setting. Switching lanes and speed would still be controlled to prevent you from causing an accident simply because all the other cars around you would be coordinated while you would not.
I have very few concerns with autonomous cars but this is one of them.
One of the biggest freedoms right now is the ability to hop into a car and go wherever you want without others knowing exactly where it is you are going.
When self driving cars become widespread (which I am sure it will be) we lose that ability. What happens if the government forces auto makers to make certain places off-limits, meaning you car will not go there? Also I bet there will be logs of everywhere you go too.
Or even what happens if one auto maker makes a deal with a toll or parking company and your vehicle only drives and parks on certain roads and certain lots making those companies a lot of money?
I support self driving auto’s but there is still a lot of issues we need to work out.
These are some serious issues that you’ve posted. Something we all need to think about for the future, because the future is always now and things are constantly moving along in certain directions. That is an interesting (and frightening) point about big brother in government knowing exactly where we are going and preventing certain areas.
Self driving cars are increasingly becoming a reality. However, for them to be fully actualized, a lot of changes need to take place as you have stated. However, technology has proven its ability to make our lives safer. They indeed have the ability to reduce the deaths due to road accidents.
I agree with you. Not only do we not have control, but how do we know that it could not be break in and where would your kids be? I’m not against this but while developer and creator benefit from this where would taxi or private driver do? Most of us always think and look at the bright side. That is until it personally affect us. Also, as true as it is that human are not perfect and make lots of mistake we learn from those mistake. If we give control over to these kind of technology, then what will we learn? where would our purpose lies? If people don’t die off and we continue to reproduce we will eventually run out of space in this world. Plus I think life won’t be life if there isn’t mistake or some events happening. Once again I am not against this but I’m also vary of it. I believe that perfection is reach when human and its creature can co-exist, while benefiting from each other. Not one rule over the other and no I’m not screaming for equality because that is impossible.
Any device that is connected to a network can be hacked into. Such hacks have already happened with cars using safety features like park ast. Self driving cars will have to be connected to a network in order for them to even function, even with the best security their is a risk.
I think this is amazing. Could you imagine how amazing a self-driving Tesla Model S would be? It would combine the awesomeness of the Tesla’s design and electric drivetrain, with a self-driving AI. Convenient, safe, and environmentally responsible!
But if we look at the socioeconomic implications, it’s not entirely ironed out. I love the idea of being able to let my Tesla take care of itself, but there are a lot of people who won’t be able to afford the tech for a long time, and a good portion that could be out of a job due to self driving vehicles.
A very cool idea! I’m not certain I’m there yet, though.
I totally agree with you on this. While it is a very exciting adventure for the future. There are millions of people who could not afford one and if we still cannot have our self driving vehicles many would be out of a job.
I completely agree with you here. I’m sure that as the technology continues to develop though it will become cheaper and therefor available to a wider range of people. As soon as they are mass produced our society will be entirely different.
Not all people have to avail of self-driving cars. Just like not all people have to buy a Ferrari or a Lambo. Just making them available to be used by those who can is a nice step forward. Autopilot is already available on airplanes. Now is the time to make it a norm on cars too. I won’t be getting one in 5 to 10 years…. Or possibly in my lifetime. But it’s definitely a cool technology to have.
I think auto engineers are actually working toward this goal, as they are gradually adding new things that seem to have only one purpose… to solve the various problems of the self-driving car. We now have cars that virtually park themselves, cars that stop when an obstacle is detected, among others. These are issues that need to be addressed in a future self-driving vehicle. The fact that they are being worked out one piece at a time is comforting, as that means when they are finally put together as a whole, at least the system will have had some debugging done over the years and won’t just appear out of nowhere.
Just like all new technologies, the production costs will get cheaper and more and more people will have the means to purchase these cars. There are some interesting issues about these cars though. For example, when some part of the population owns these cars, and others don’t, what if these cars will be driving “too perfectly”, compared to normal cars? Another issue is what if, as someone else has mentioned in a comment here, the car network gets hacked? The cars will be connected to the internet, and they won’t be impervious to hacking.
I suppose the manufacturers would have to set up a lot of failsafes for this to work. I forgot but I think I remember something from the news about a car that was supposed to stop and it just hit the person who was involved in the demonstration.
But then again, if it works, wow. If we have very effective systems for self driving cars and office spaces, I’d think the next objectives would be making the wait on transportation less frustration through improving the comforts included in these technologies.
Security is the most important thing in technology seconded by durability. I have to wait till i see on the real records of this car before i can give my sincere opinion. I like its design though and the spacious interior. They are so good.
If there was an option for everybody to give up driving and everyone had those cars I would definitely say, “count me in!” Unfortunately, there are people out there who use technology against us which is, in my opinion, part of why we can’t move forward with modern technology that’s available. This would be possible in a perfect world, and let’s just say, our world is far from perfect. I love technology, and I wish that this could happen, but right now that doesn’t seem possible.
a lot of things seemed impossible once, the idea of connecting people accross the globe seemed impossible but here we are…we need to be more open minded and support the technology…shit there may come a day that everyone’s happy and not worried about safety or food and a place to live…
With development in technology, the impossible becomes possible. It started with automatic vehicles, now self driving cars, who knows what to expect next? Maybe even flying cars. Let us just wait and see.
That’s very true. I could definitely see this technology being used against the masses. What if the technology was hacked, and hackers could stop your car and rob you? What if the government planned some horrible attack against it’s own people and stopped everyone dead in their tracks? Scary to think about.
I definitely agree. As with any technology, a self-driving car would definitely be susceptible to attack, especially if the car provides connectivity options such as WiFi. If we slowly wean ourselves from the ability to manually drive, we will be unable to react when someone with ill intent decides to direct our car over a bridge. It’s a novel idea to be able to send your kids to school without having anyone drive, but those kids will be incapable of saving themselves when something goes wrong. I think self-driving cars are a great idea, but first we need to establish MANY safeguards.
I completely agree! I can’t stand driving because I always worry about the risk of being in an accident. I’ve been in a few that others have caused, and they were scary. I would love to reduce or eliminate the risk while gaining all of the benefits mentioned in this post.
I am fortunate enough to have a job that allows me to work from home. How fun would it be if, instead of working from home, I could travel while working? These automatic cars could be set up very differently than the cars we know today. They could be much more comfortable and have all of the accommodations of home. I could cook dinner, play games, watch TV, surf the web, and enjoy distraction-free conversation with my loved ones while on the go. This would be life-changing.
I do understand that there are risks with this new technology. Hackers and terrorists could gain a new capability to wreak havok on innocent people. IT security will become much more important when so many lives are on the line. I am optimistic that we can work through these challenges.
Some people may also be concerned about the impact to jobs and the economy. What will truck and taxi drivers do when their jobs are eliminated? With every giant technological leap forward, there are always people who suffer. The hope is that governments around the world will invest in job training programs to help encourage people to choose careers in computer programming , IT security and other fields that will grow as a result of this new technology.
I do wonder when we will see automatic cars become the norm. Who will take the lead in this space? I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Brilliant read and completely agree with you. The only thing I worry about when it comes this stuff is faults within the cars which would have serious effects. The main being that if you’re stuck you can’t move the car! It could have serious consequences if the car was to mess up and do it’s own thing, so huge care has to be taken when making these
Yes. This is another part of a vehicle that has to undergo extreme testing. Why? If the self-driving AI fails, it doesn’t mean lower fuel economy, or a flat tire, it could result in several human fatalities. That isn’t okay. I understand why some would be reluctant to try out this technology.
Yes! Think of all the recalls that are happening with the current vehicles we have. It seems as though most vehicles are built to fall apart anymore. I would not want something that drives me on it’s own to have some sort of mechanical failure. The results could be horrifying.
This seems like a super cool thing! And at the same time, so frightening. Because machines work really, really well, but if they don’t work, you’re in serious trouble. On the one hand, I know that computer malfunctions on the kind of sophisticated equipment it would take to run a self-driving car would be really unlikely, but if it did happen, we’d have no time to react. And who knows, in 50 years maybe no one would know how to drive anymore, so they couldn’t fix the problem. Maybe it’s just my human pride not wanting to relinquish control though.
I agree, there could also be the problems of hackers, it is well know that a good team of hackers can get into any device that is somehow connected to the internet. I don’t even want to think what it would happen if a hacker gets control of your car while you’re in it.
It may be possible to hack the coded software through the internet connection. However, I assume attempts to bypass will be futile seeing that the device manufacturers will anticipate vulnerability and develop methods for passenger protection. Google for instance would essentially need to be working on a hack proof line of code.
Wow, a self-cruiser? Who would even need a license at that point? This is a really cool and innovative idea and it really got me interested when the article starting talking about what how this will change our occupancy and ways of life because it really would be a drastic change. Basically this new autonomous vehicle would be the same as hiring your own personal driver and being able to do whatever you want in the back. Except the best part is you’re the only one in the car! It’s a neat idea because then we could start thinking about what we would add to these vehicles to keep the occupants entertained or even like the article said to make a business out of it in some way. Very interesting concept, I like it.
I don’t trust robots to be responsible for my safety in the road what if something new happens on the road that the machine is not programmed and doesn’t expect, a human being can analyze anything and decide accordingly, but robots just do whatever they’re programmed to so why not just create help for the driver and enhance safety with something like an assistant to the driver..
A good point. If you’re looking for a routine trip down the road, then perhaps this would be the best, but a split-second decision that count mean life and death would be something a human being would be better at handling. What comes to mind is what would these cars do in the event of a malfunction and a crash?
What if the self driving vehicles had a manual control for those life second decisions. But in all reality even humans have trouble when it comes to split second decisions. I mean just think about when we as human beings get into a car accident. How many of those car accidents could have been avoided with split second decisions? Robots could be a good way to stop all of the wrecks on the road today. Well maybe not stop but definitely reduce.
There’d inevitably be some purists who’d only drive their car in manual mode, thus reintroducing the concept of human error. If some madman or drunkard took control of his car, what’s to stop him from ramming into a bunch of self-driving cars? One can argue that they can just put their cars into manual, but will they really have time for that? What if the driver is sleeping? What if there are only kids in the car?
You’re making a good point, but sadly there are people who do trust robots with their lives. Robots are good when they are put to work instead of humans, not when they are given the trust with one’s life.
Interesting concerns and points here of overall enhancing safety, creating help for the driver has already been done with Subaru Eyesight. Essentially at this point modern technological capabilities and advances have accomplished the feat, it seems self-driven automobiles are safe enough transport us. With more and more advances and discoveries being reported this technology will surely one day if not today be safer than ran by code than driven by humans.
Well, that’s why these tech companies are running millions of simulations – to predict nearly anything and everything that can happen. Does that mean that self-driving cars will be 100% safe and never ever crash? No, of course not. However, does it mean that self-driving cars, with the combined experience of millions of simulations, might someday driver better than human beings? I can see that being in the future 😀
I think they’re better than the average human being right now, as we speak. For one thing, they never break any laws, and have never caused an accident, whereas humans are very fallible and get intoxicated behind the wheel, causing disaster, and often death. They’re still not infallible in poor weather conditions however, which is why we don’t see thousands of self driving cars in the street quite yet.
There will obviously be many studies and improvements done to make this very secure. The technology will have to become very safe and reliable before self-driving cars will be used on a large scale. One advantage of self-driving cars is that long-distance driving won’t be tiring.
There is also the issue of what will happen to cab owners. There are many cab owners getting upset even about Uber. So there might actually be protests against this kind of thing.
this is something that everyone has ever dreamt of but as we know there are always negative things connected to positive things, there is nothing perfect has been made! because we humans itself are not perfect but thanks to the science who has made this wonderful car and hope to enjoy these rides with the pet and not our parents.
I hope that this doesn’t remove the ability to manually drive the car in the event that the car malfunctions. I say this because it doesn’t make sense to act like as if technology from time to time doesnt malfunction. I also worry if people could somehow hack your car and control your car if you are letting the car drive it’s self. It is sad that simply because of a few bad apples that we may not have cool modern technology or at least it is delayed . I’m guessing the car would also use some type of GPS to get around?
This would be a great innovation, if a bit troublesome to employ in real life. Perhaps a special lane for driver-less cars on the major highways would be an easy first step. It would definitely take the stress out of driving all night to make it to a wedding or something!
Great innovation indeed, especially for those occasions you mentioned, but it would be a terrible innovation if it would become used too often by everyone. For example, the traffic would simply become a mess if everyone would let it’s car drive by itself, all that would take would be a defect car system and everything would go into a mess.
These self-driven cars should still be operating as if operated by humans perhaps better with fewer accidents. Therefore traffic should be the about the same. The cars should be let around the world to test their companies reliability at one point. Throughout time the people will accept it, adapt and benefit.
And another consideration to make about overusing these devices would be the lack of physical activity of people. We would en up in a Wall-E type world. All people wold do is eat and rest at home and in the vehicle…
True manual driving would help in the event of a flat tire. But think about the technology we have now. Certain cars are being produced with censors to stop the car to prevent an accident. Manual driving would be a good feature but the saying goes. The calculator is only as smart as the person using it. In my opinion it would be the same concept with the self driving vehicles. You have to admit though if this technology could work almost flawlessly, it would be nice to use.
A Self driving car is an awesome idea, and I would have never thought i would see the day where it became a reality. However trusting it is something completely different. Before I jump into a self driving car I am going to need to see a lot more testing on ratios of computer error vs. human error. I can imagine a world where everyone has self driving cars, and that way you eliminate the human error aspect of driving, and accidents almost cease to exist. and then maybe I would consider getting into these self driving cars.
I agree that I would have never seen the day either. Everything new comes with a price. It is the same concept when the first automobiles arrived. People did not trust them, because it was a machine. A lot of people still trusted the horse and carriage. Trust is a big issue, just like if someone was offered to go to outer space, would you trust the space ship? I surely would not because I am a skeptical person. I want to be the person at the facility when it is built.
I am with you guys. Its a really cool idea and I’m excited to see it in action, but at the same time I don’t think I will be putting my children in a self driving car and just let this thing take them anywhere on there own. I don’t like the idea of being completely reliant on mechanics for anything anyway.
I had just recently seen on the news about how hackers infiltrated a car and were able to control it. I believe that the future of self-driving cars is, in fact, very near and fast-approaching. However, I am unsure as to whether the future involves a dog or cat “driving” themselves to the veterinarian as car-stealing would still be applicable. Yet, this would undoubtedly render the roads safer with technology to prevent accidents (even reckless driving by drunk drivers would be eliminated). I applaud you on the relevancy of this article and hope to see this technology rise within the next few years.
This same thought crossed my mind as well! One of my friends is a relatively prolific hacker and told me it was a possibility a couple years ago when he was at a conference… I believed him then, but it’s good to see that security flaws like these are getting more attention. The upside of self-driving cars is less potential for accidents due to human error of course, but if someone malicious were to ping the location of your car on the road they could attack from a remote and potentially unknown location. Not trying to be a debbie downer or anything– it’s an awesome concept, but needs to be executed well. This needs years of testing before even being released on the market to iron out the security issues.
Hackers was the issue that I was going to raise until I seen your comment. I am glad you raised the question. The self driving cars still have a long way. I mean even computers now a days are not fully trust able when it comes to highly knowledgeable hackers. Actually you would be amazed on how much technology we trust with our personal things, knowing hackers can just take all of it away at a moments notice. I guess we will have to wait and see about this technology. Like I said it still has a long way. Maybe it does not, who am I to say.
Wow. Its actually a reality! I am so amazed and excited about the future car which I believe is already a reality. So many possibilities for using it in a positive way. However, there should be a manual override option included in the car, just in case the computer malfunctions for whatever reason. There is already a car available here in SA that can self – park which is a blessing for parallel parking. As with everything, thieves will find a way to steal it, but even with that as a possibility, this is still a marvelous invention if only for the time it will save. With normal cars we cannot text and drive…lol..but with these cars we can do just about anything while the car drives itself.
Yeah, this new technology is really great, and capable of shocking people. For instance, Tesla Model S and Ticket Avoidance Mode sort of challenges authorities. Understandably, seeing that the owner of the vehicle is not responsible for its conduction in this way voids lawful prosecution for operation. As to what the operator may do in this type of personal vehicle texting is surely one.
Great read. Cars today are even making the shift towards being self-driving. This technological evolution is coming a lot sooner than I think we may believe. I don’t know the technical term for it, but I’m always seeing commercials for cars that automatically brake before a collision. There are also cars that have park assist, where they essentially park the car for you. Twenty years from now, people are going to look at the way that we drive now and be amazed by how much more work we needed to do.
I’ve recently talked with a friends about autonomous cars. It seems that, at least in most of the countries, the legislation doesn’t allow these cars on the driveway, at least not without a driver. However I believe that there still is a long way to go until we’ll all have self-driven cars. For example, there are a lot of traffic signs that the car would need to recognize and know what to do, there’s a lot of factors to be taken into consideration when driving, from who has the first priority to where is someone who is passing the street at a place where it is no sign of passing.
However, probably in about 10 years from now this will be the reality and I expect even more, I expect that cars which “levitate” to appear on the market. I know that this technology already exists, it just haven’t been made public yet.
While I agree that self-driving automobiles would usher in an age of safety on our roads, I do not think that computers driving me around would be a good idea. Maybe it’s my mistrust of technology getting too much control (thanks Terminator), or just my own deal with letting go of control, but I would not like to own one of these.
I would rather see more public transport such as a monorail in towns. While cars are becoming more eco-friendly, this would cut down considerably on the output of harmful exhaust overall. Plus, having people in separate cars driving themselves and not talking to anyone, it’s furthering people from each other. With mass public transport that’s reliable, clean, and a focal point of a community, it helps to foster the individual sense of community and sense of belonging to a city or region.
I definitely think self-driving cars are coming in our future, but it will probably still be a little while before they’re commonplace. Every country and region will want to do their own tests and reviews to make sure they are safe on their roads and capable of dealing with their traffic laws, and then there will be the cost barrier of actually establishing their presence in a way in which the average family can afford to obtain one. Add to that, most families have more than one car in their household, and it’s going to be a while before we can really have a future driven by self-driving cars.
Potentially a lot of time and money, as well as lives, can be saved using this technology. But if you look at how resistant older generations are to things like computers and smartphones right now, can you really imagine they will take to self-driving cars with no doubts? I suspect it will take a few generations to phase out the majority of technophobes before anything likes this can really come to fruition.
Whenever I see this kind of innovations, I directly think of the movie Wall-E where people even forget how to walk because their moving couches take them to everywhere and everyone is so fat.
With technology we do so little, we create all these machines to make our lives easier. But is it actually good for us to do so little? Are we becoming lazier each day?
How about if we walk or cycle wherever we go?
For instance instead of using our car to go to the gym (or making our car to take us to the gym in this case), then run on the treadmill, we could actually walk or run, couldn’t we?
Maybe technology shows that we improve every day as a species, but do we actually improve for the good?
I asked too many questions.
P.S. : Cute dog!
I do think autonomous cars could be safer but computers aren’t error free. Just last month Google reported a crash on one of their self-driving cars http://www.autoblog.com/2015/07/17/google-self-driving-autonomous-car-accident-california/
There’s no doubt in the future the roads will be filled with self-driving cars but just like these days we are still listening to vynil records there’s no way humans are going to give up on the rush of switching gears and making a machine go from 0 to 60 MPH in just a few seconds.
All the Google self-driving cars were human errors, not the the computer controlling the driving. It even said so in the article! Really throws it into perspective. Of course, just as you see people driving old classical cars, hardcore hobbyists would opt to go out for a manual drive in the future of self-driving cars.
*All the Google self-driving car crashes* Forgot a word there!
Humans aren’t perfect too!
I’m excited for autonomous cars, mostly because I believe their algorithms will deal with traffic very well and eventually lower congestion. Living in a major town, having these issues solved somehow would be a godsend.
But, there’s the thing – you don’t have to wait for self-driving cars if you want to work or play while you travel. You can just take a train, or a bus. They’re quick, modern, comfortable and certainly more spacey than a personal car will ever be.
You are so right, self driving cars can help with most of traffic problems big cities are facing these days. But smart planning of public transportation systems can help with that too. I remember watching a documentary about 15 years ago (or more) about a city in Canada where the authorities created routes for buses and trains that totally surrounded congested areas in order to make the system more efficient. That was brilliant and as I said it was like 15 years ago.
I have always thought we as human beings are trying to solve the wrong problems. Situations we created in first place and know need a solution for it, which is probably going to cause more problems we didn’t anticipate. I’m Not against self-driving cars really, just a bit skeptic of how this wonderful solution will be the “solution” we need for driving accidents.
This is a really great idea. Using cars as a productive area is a concept that should have been implemented since the beginning of the automotive industry.
Even if it means having bigger cars on the roads, it would be worthwhile. Reinventing cars as a viable space for work and play means providing the millions of drivers with an immediate improvement in their quality of life (which is what technology and its related progress should be aimed at: improving quality of life).
Imagine a family gathered in their self-driving car, with the boys playing video games, adults talking in a relaxed way, all having a good time with each other. This is quality time recovered. What are they waiting for to implement it?
It would be far better not having to conmute at all! Why would it be better to hang around with your family on a self driving car than doing that on your own house? We have all what we already need to work from home and use the roads only to have fun!
Home office all the way!
I believe self driving cars would be helpful in so many ways. I mean have you ever been tired of just driving somewhere that only takes 2 minutes to get to. I also know people in big cities tend to get stressed out driving. I mean they already trust taxis. Just think of the self driving cars as robot taxis. It would be fun to try out but of course I would be extremely nervous to test. I have some serious trust issues toward new things. I think we all would have some trust issues with it.
I think this could be the way of the future… I suppose the automated cars would be able to adjust for weather conditions such as icy roads. And, traffic situations, like a mal-functioning or a sabotaged vehicle causing a pile up, I imagine they could stop quickly, but not too quickly. Seatbelts must still be enforced, somehow.
I think that this would be a very cool thing to happen, but I do see it happening in our life times. Even though it seems like a really good and cool idea, I wouldn’t really be able to trust a robot. If there is a glitch or something is hacked it could cause serious issues. Would you have to get a drivers license in this case? Also they are going to have to enforce a lot more laws of course.
That’s a good question as to whether or not we would need drivers licenses or not! We rely on computers for so much already, computer controlled cars is another wave of the future coming to our now everyday normal lives, much like computer/robot bank tellers (ATM’s) were 25 years ago!
Having a special lane for self driving cars is a good idea. We already have lanes for cars that use the IPass. But there is a lot of changes needed before self driving cars become common place. Like for instance there would need to be changes for driving laws which can get complicated because each state nay make different ones. Then we need to think about if self driving cars will be available for driving occupations such as truck drivers, ambulance, ect. This is especially important if the automobile will be transporting dangerous chemicals or someone important like a president.
The biggest plus point to that I can see is the potential for improved safety, and people not being able to drive like maniacs. I imagine they would have to be able to integrate with regular vehicles to be able to find their way in to our every day lives, and road systems. In this case, are any new safety issues present? It seems like many of the benefits would be seen when all, or most, of the vehicles in an area were these new computer driven vehicles. A low percentage would be obviously just the convenience of the owner of not having to drive and navigate. Would speed limits change, seatbelt laws? Interesting topic.
Self-Driven cars are definitely a reality of today, for example with Google Cars and Tesla Model S with interesting auto-pilot features. Moreover reading about other advances also mentioned in the site that could be applied as well that would make the car a lot safer. So these type of cars work and just go to show the potential of programmers and their abilities to find ways to change the world.
I had to laugh as I read this article as I found it terribly amusing. However, I do agree this is truly realistic. I do not believe that it is far off as the concept is not a complicated one compared to what we have already accomplished.
This will be a great benefit in so many ways. No-one will need a Driver’s license. No more driving lessons. No more drunken driving and no more accidents. This technology will preserve lives. No-one will have to worry about driving when their eyesight is failing.
Everyone will be able to get to their destination safely and in good time. I do believe that before long we will have small air/flight vehicles that travel just above road vehicles and carry perhaps only one passenger at a time.
I think this idea is good in theory, however, I also think it is possible, if not likely, that this technology will be abused. We already worry about malicious software on our computers, now we will have to worry about it in our cars as well.
Self driving cars are going to be an incredibly disruptive technology. I’m really curious how it is going to turn out for people in the trucking industry. There are a lot of complex maneuvers that a driver has to be able to do manually, like backing into a cargo bay, that self driving cars are going to completely make obsolete. Long distance truck drivers are going to end up out of work as demand for them goes down dramatically because they are only really needed in the case of an emergency. I can imagine DOT laws changing significantly as well. It will definitely be interesting times.
Hey at least with a self driving car you shouldn’t have a problem with getting speeding tickets!! LOL
This is not a bad idea, and it would be very cool to have a car that drives itself. However, to everything their are pros and cons. I believe this idea might have more cons than pros. Think of when you were sixteen and you finally got your drivers license, how excited were you to finally drive a car? I know I was ecstatic, I couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel of my moms Toyota. With this new technology, that privilege will be taken away from the next generation of teens. They will never know what it’s like to go sixty-five on a back road in a rush to get to work on time. They’ll be subject to the will of this car, which is nothing more than a piece of technology. How can technology be smarter than humans? We created it in the first place.
It would be cool to have a self driving car, but I guess they would be very vulnerable to hackers and system failures. What if the system that’s controlling the car somehow fails to operate as it should? I don’t think I’m quite ready to this yet. I prefer driving my car.
This would be a great thing to have, but what about technical bugs? Glitches? Power outages? Hackers? I think there is still a ton of research left to do on this, but, however, eliminating human error completely from the equation seems like a great prospect.
I agree, I think there’s a ton of research still necessary to iron out the self-driving kinks. However, we are seeing projections such as 5-10 years for self driving cars to really hit the market from industry leaders… so I think it’s going to happen sooner rather than later. But like you hinted at in your post – I think it’ll definitely be a bumpy ride.
The potential for autonomous cars are endless, but as for safety, there seem to be inherent risks. These risks may include AI malfunction, viruses, similar to the ones seen on personal computers, strangers attempting to enter vehicles containing only children or pets, etc. (granted the danger of human error probably outweighs the possibility of these hazards). Things like shared space seem extremely cool, and as aforementioned, there are just so many possibilities, so I remain hopeful, but still skeptical.
Single handedly wiping out DUI arrests and accidents, I LOVE IT! I can’t wait to have my own self driving car, being able to work on the road or watch a movie, read a book to pass the time on long road trips. This will truly be amazing once it is main stream, the possibilities and nearly endless.
I think the prospect of self driving cars will be truly revolutionary, but most people seem to be missing the most important point: how the new technology will affect the car accessory business. With the advent of self driving cars we will soon be able to buy car window curtains, not just those stupid sun-screens which so often make braggadocios claims about the drivers fertility (even the child free are allowed to buy “baby on board” accouterment). Soon will be available real true curtains with nice patterns in soft luxurious fabrics; valance, trim, draw strings, everything! I plan to outfit my driving room as a vaping parlor where I can enjoy a puff or two on the ol’ electronic pipe while reading something on the e-reader. I hope to also be charging my vaping jacket, but that technology has yet to emerge. The future truly will be a glorious time.
That’s actually really cool. Just think of all the things that won’t happen due to human error anymore, Like drunk driving or cutting people off. The future is looking pretty bright, but I suppose that with the good there’s probably going to be new unforeseen problems that come with it too if it malfunctions.
Traffic be reduced an incredible amount, although I bet there will be even more vehicles on the road. Although, on the other-hand, fewer people will probably own cars. I heard Uber’s ultimate goal is to eliminate as much personal car ownership as possible.
I’d love to live in an auto mobile home driving around the different national parks while working from my computer.
My husband is legally blind. Since 2013, he was prohibited to drive. To say that it made him sad is an understatement. For him, self-driving cars should come sooner. Though there really are safety issues, it is good that companies are looking into this. I am still learning how to drive (being from another country where driving is not really a necessity), so having a vehicle like this will be a really great help.
While I can’t wait for these self driving cars, and I know that they’ll most likely be safer than a normal driver in a car, I have to admit, it’d be kind of scary that first time you pull out on the highway without anybody behind the wheel. Granted, I’m a fan of the human touch, but I think I’d have to wait a little bit after these thing have been on the market before I’d feel 100% comfortable.
I must admit that technology is moving in a pace most of us can’t keep up with. It started with automatic cars, now we have self driving cars, who knows what next we are expecting? Maybe the next big invention will be the flying car. All we can do now is simply cross our fingers and wait.
I recently finished up the last summer residency of a degree I’d been working on a while, and while I was there, one of my classmates was talking about the industrial and commercial applications of this very thing. Basically, if more industries and business used self-driving cars and trucks, it would essentially reduce labor needs and put quite a few people out of the job. Robot truck drivers, delivery vehicles, taxis, heavy equipment. In fact, if more robots were doing the jobs of more people, it’s entirely possible it could upend a lot of the foundational principles our economy is built on. Thoughts?
Wow, the idea of having a game room on wheel is absolutely amazing.
I, personally, hate traveling but; unfortunately, I do have to travel a lot. Technology like this would make my life so much easier and enjoyable. I also heard of the self-driving car google created. Apparently its driving skills are so excellent that people purposely try to crash into it and always fail. It’s incredibly safe.
Especially with the rise of cell phones, people don’t pay as much attention to the roads anymore as they do to their mobile devices. Having cars that drive themselves would be the perfect solution. On top of that, car rides can become useful valuable work time since you don’t have to worry about driving anymore.
the bad thing is that it’ll put truck drivers out of work, and there is a lot of them in the world,
though it’s really good not having to be worried all the time behind the wheel that you might hit something
Reading this after reading the AI article earlier sort of freaked me out, lol. We have to add AI taking over millions of cars too now! OK, focusing back on this self-driving home, office, game-room combo car. When you really think about the potential, it’s truly amazing. To bring on some more chills for myself, I also fully believe that these cars becoming the norm is actually going to happen because big companies (like Google if memory serves) have already had tons of successful test miles under their belts. But the thing that struck me the most was the concept of saving time. I know from history that whenever the time it took to deliver products, people, or services was significantly cut down a revolution in technology and society took place – like the Railroad Revolution for example. So I think we should expect a similar type of result from these cars.
Environmental responsibility and convenience are all necessary components of a successful system like this. But at what cost? There has been little discussion of both the physical and digital security of these driverless vehicles. There are already issues with lax standards among “smart” cars and IoT devices with targeted hacks creating danger. How easy will it be for some criminal to stop one of these cars and smash their way in with a crow bar? The simple solutions are always best for complex problems and it seems there either needs to be industry-led standards to help prevent security issues.
Why would these cars be any more vulnerable to someone smashing them with a crowbar compared to our current vehicles? As for digital hacking, I don’t see why these would be more cause for alarm than the worry we have now with our home internet network. So I agree we shouldn’t stand for lax standards are you put it, and security should come first. I believe chances are these driverless cars will probably be far better at security than current cars in many ways because the businesses selling them will have to overcome the general fear from not having human control of your car. We may intellectually get that removing human error will be safer, but emotionally we are scared. So when I think we will surely see those industry-led standards you are calling for.
This is cool. But as others have said, it’ll make many people unemployed, like taxi drivers and truckers. Technology progress is amazing, but we also have to think about how to give a new job to these people so they can land on their feet.
As a video editor, I marvel in how cool a self-driving editing suite would be. I would have two built in iMac monitors where I could double time all my edits into one on the go while I am driven to a new destination. Being able to use my computer and have someone drive would be a dream. Not only that, but imagine what cloud storage could do to people with those cars. No more missing a report or follow-up again. Going for a job interview? Boom, never forget your resume. All very cool stuff, I’d say.
I see that this invention can benefit many people from different careers just like Coolbutlame. You can squeeze time to do a number of things before getting to the destination intended. I wonder how many assignments i can complete when i take the long drive to school.
The next thing that will come out is cubicles in limousines. Then , there will be hologram employees stationed in those cubicles, within those limousines. It is truly a crazy world that we are living in!
I think these cars would be great, but for a different reason. I have epilepsy, and because of that I have been forbidden to drive for the past 30 years. It would be really great if the car would drive me to the store, or to the doctor, or wherever I needed to go. That way I could get things done, and not have to impose on others for transportation. I could probably get a regular job, but then I really enjoy my little home office. The point is that autonomous cars like this would in general be pretty cool, but you have to take into account that those with handicaps/disabilities would welcome this car as well.
That said, there is the matter of security. Some people may not feel very secure when the vehicle is in charge of where they are going. Their sense of control would be compromised. Therefore there may be some out there who would not welcome this particular innovation. Please let me know if you have any further thoughts on this. This innovation will affect so many different people, and for so many different reasons. It deserves a good debate.
There are conversatons about how vulnerable newer model cars, cars we still have to drive ourselves, are to hack attacks. The argument that self driving cars are not safe because of that same vulnerability dosent hold water in my boat.
That was a very convincing article. I’m still not 100% sold, but I’m more so than before I read this piece.
Self driving cars are the way of the future! It will be a problem integrating them at first because not everyone will have one and people who still drive their own cars will cause confusion and accident, but still maybe less than now. Once self driving cars become the norm it will be much safer, more convenient enjoyable and just all around better than with every person being able to control their own vehicle.
It seems as though technology truly is a double edge sword at times. As much good as something like a self driving car can be, we must be aware of those who have other intentions not so great. Would it be easier to get rid of such ones? Sure, but that’s not realistic for people will always find ways to get what they want even if it means breaking the law.
Just imagining all the time saved because of self-driving cars make me happy. I have never really tried a self-driving car though I know, there are some models available already. Of course in the future, it will be even more high tech just like what the article described. I can also see many people with disabilities and seniors having this technology to their advantage. The PWDs can now actually drive a car and get into their destinations without trouble. The seniors will have an easier time driving too as we know with aging comes different illnesses like blurred eyesight and aching joints.
It is hard to tell where this world is heading to. With everyday invention could we possibly say that the world is heading to a better place or are we just creating problems that we’ll come to realize later?
I personally love everything inventors are bringing to this world. I however must admit that i have only seen two percent of invented staff since they reach Africa at a late time. I am still wondering when i will get the chance to see this self driving car.
Inventors might create everything good, everything new, everything useful, everything perfect, everything valuable but they will never create a human 100% like them, flesh and blood. Who thinks otherwise?
I love this idea and cannot wait until self driving cars become the norm. Although there will be lots of bugs to fix and it will be a long wait until they become affordable to the average person, it will be worth it. Taking long trips will be much more pleasurable if you can sleep, do work, play games, and attend to the pets/kids. People will probably be able to only have one vehicle much more easily since you could have the car drop you off then drive back home and take your partner/kids/dogs to where they need to go as well. Not to mention it will be so much safer and traffic jams will drastically reduce in length and number, since many are due to reckless driving and human error caused car accidents. Very exciting. I hope it comes sooner than later.
The evidence in favor of the superior safety of automated cars was very convincing to me and I am eager to see this implemented on a larger scale. Car accidents are a very significant source of injury and death.
Personally, I have always been afraid of driving, and on top of that my husband works hard and has ADHD so he is at an increased risk of such accidents. It would ease my worries tremendously if we had a safe self-driving car so that he could work safely. I think that is an important thing to note as well: Besides simply reducing deaths, these cars could also make life much easier for people with disabilities.
This idea makes me a bit nervous. Yes, you will take away the human error part, but what about computer errors? I see this as being potential just as bad, if not worse.
At the same time, maybe that is how they felt when cars started going over 30 mph. Maybe they felt it couldn’t possibly be good, who knows?
I do think it would be great to be able to implement other things into vehicles to make commutes less stressful and much more enjoyable. This would open up more job possibilities for those in rural areas. If you could sleep for most of a 2 hour commute, it would make the time pass much more quickly.
Gotta remember what films like Back to the Future predicted about hoverboards in 2015. Gotta be realistic!
Not to get all “super-geeky” and “sci-fi” nerd on everyone, but, what if there was a device you could attach to your head (like brain-probe status) that would allow your mind to control object movements and other gadgets such as the self-controlled car in the article? We already have the tech for it because I read about out a couple years ago about how scientists were beta-testing a new invention capable of responding to human brain waves.
This is an interesting perspective. No doubt autonomous cars are super cool; one day I’d like to try it out myself. But, here’s a thought, what would happen if autonomous cars were in production and people are buying them. Would we not need a driver’s license? Would we have to have training on how to operate the car? This is just a thought I had, and I thought I’d share it! 🙂
While self driving cars could be potentially the greatest thing to happen on roadways, there is still the chance of error. Human error could interfere with designs causing malfunctions. Not only that, there would have to be a constant connection via satellite and closer towers with a stronger connection. Seeing as there are still places that can’t hold cell phone connection, this would be nearly impossible to achieve. Preparation first, then final design.
Like most of you here if not all of you, I’m in favor of driver less cars but do have concerns with some quirks that will need to be ironed out. GPS systems don’t always work perfectly and errors do happen causing sometimes fatal accidents! As mentioned above, hacking is an issue and people’s safety or privacy etc. could be compromised. I doubt pets would be in favor of taking a trip by themselves, some hate car rides and I think all pets need the support of their human parents at the vet. With any new technology or change in the norm there are some hurdles to go through. That being said, I really like the look of the interior, playing games during a commute sounds way better than rolling my eyes while sitting in a traffic jam and it certainly is possible that society will change for the better with this new invention! I just hope that before the cars roll off the assembly line, manufacturers take all our arguments into consideration and don’t charge an insane price for these new “smart” automobiles.
There are top end cars that already can drive themselves on highways and there are cars that can park themselves, so now they just have to bridge the gap and create cars that can drive in the city.
This on the other hand might take away the enjoyment of driving so I don’t know if it would be widely accepted. I guess we will just have to wait and see.
I think that this is an amazing alternative to have as far as travel is concerned but I wonder what kinds of effect it will have on society. Should an automatic lifestyle that tells you constantly that you do not have to work hard to do anything be popular or will it create more problems than we already have. Another thing is are these cars and such environmentally safe? If tehy are not then this ois just another case of technology making us lazy at the expense of the Eco system.
I think something that’s rarely mentioned in conversation about these vehicles, is the unique position the US could be in with regards to the development of them. If we continue to invest heavily in the production of these vehicles, we have the opportunity to reignite some of the automobile manufacturing business that used to be central to our economy. I’m quite excited for the future of this technology, and while there are clearly issues with the safety of these cars that need to be ironed out I’m hopeful that we’ll push past them quickly.
Great article! I understand that self-driven cars would limit human vices and tie down our hiccups, but it would end up taking away a big part of car culture and the fun and enthusiasm that goes along with it. Many enjoy the experience of driving and pushing their cars to various limits. However, if self-driven cars are the future as everyone mentions, we could be dealing a big blow to those that share a passion for the automotive industry and modding.
It is true that we have the technology to build self-driving cars, we are far from bringing it to the roads. The major problem with bringing a self-driving car into the public is the danger of putting the lives of the passenger and the pedestrian in the hands of a computer program. There are no laws that have been formed regarding self-driving cars and their activity on the open streets. Who is to be blamed for an unfortunate accident including a self-driving car and a small boy who was crossing the road. Do manufacturers take responsibility for the lives of innocent people caused due to Self-Driving Cars? There are lots of reforms that need to be done before these self-driving cars are let into the public. Special pathways are to be allotted to these cars until such a time they are safe on normal roads.
The US is such a car-reliant country and I’d be interested to see how the implementation of self-driving cars would affect society. Even some large and modern cities have poor public transportation and the current city I’m in is fairly small but spread out, bus routes are limited and taxis crazy expensive so I would not be able to be independent at all without my own personal car. I know a few people that struggle without a car or only one vehicle for an entire family because that’s all they can afford but then they struggle to make it to jobs and school to break the cycle. I would love to see an automated taxi/rental service where you can call an automated car to pick you up and run errands, drop you off at work, etc for a low cost since they don’t need to pay drivers and the cars can handle multiple users and schedules in a single day.
Self driving cars…wow…how scary. This is not something I would want to see and I am leary to even catch one driving itself down the street. There are somethings that are created that just seems like this is just too much and I think this might be it. What else are we going to alleviate the human from doing. This is such a lazy endeavor…..same thing as internet taking the place of books…and Google being the #1 research engine…these inventions are getting out of hand. How lazy are we going to get in the future.
Very interesting idea about relinquishing all human control and giving it to some algorithm and a huge set of if-else statements inside a computer chip on wheels. I seriously can’t wait until self-driving cards become commercially available for it will just mean that we’re actually in the future we thought about ten, twenty or even thirty years ago. It’s interesting to think that our great-grandparents and even great-great-grandparents thought about the 2000s as the future, the future where we would have flying cars, hoverboards and all those nifty sci-fi gadgets, but yet, none of that is really happening. That said, self-driving cars seem like a really good step towards the sci-fi future our ancestors and even us envisioned. But I don’t think they will really take off until the baby boomer generation goes down along with their mostly antiquated thought patterns. Most people are afraid of technology and innovation. They don’t want to put their kids into a self-driving car that can drive them to school safely. They want to be responsible for their kid’s lives themselves, which sometimes, even makes it worse, for as you said, we are humans, we make mistakes.
Talk about starting to feel old. There was a time when I thought I would never see the day and age of self driving cars. Now, it’s almost all but ready. It’s so exciting to see these big name companies so far in technology that could potentially produce self driving cars.
However, it’s not only the big companies that are doing this. I recently remember a former Apple iOS Jailbreak Developer deciding to take on his own version of the self driving car. The developer, by the name of Geohots, has specifically stated he’s going to attempt to take on Tesla themselves and produce a better self driving car within a shorter time period. It’s even more exciting when you realize one man, one very young man, is able to accomplish this himself. I hear he’s already testing the cars as Uber cars.
I hope that self driving cars will end the need for individual car ownership. If we all pay a fee to access a network of cars, that we can summon whenever we need a ride, then the biggest pains of car ownership – maintenance, breakdown and repair – can be eliminated.
Individual ownership of items isn’t exactly good for the planet, but currently that’s the model that our economic system pushes. For most of us, our cars sit idle for most of the day, our lawn mowers get pulled out for an hour once a week, our power tools get even less use. And they still all break down, even with such little use.
A different economic model – which will surely be necessary, as AI replaces more and jobs – could see high quality items produced, that are built to last, rather than built to break. These items could be accessed when needed, maybe even delivered from the local repository by a self driving car. The benefit to individuals in not having to purchase, store, replace and often do without products would be huge. And the benefits to the biosphere would be immense.
A self – driving car would be a blessing for me!
Over 60 driving lessons, and two failed tests, bring it on!
I think the idea of new technology is cool, coupled with the fact that safety is emphasized. It would prevent the numerous road accidents that occur as well as ease a driver on a very long trip. I would recommend the cars distributed worldwide and highly promoted.
The future is now.. even with all the tests and everything, there’d still be that hint of doubt for me. Obviously as a human i’m probably more prone to making mistakes but i’d also think that having that human element could get me out of a situation a computer wouldn’t be able to. Like i’m sure in a perfect situation, the car would do perfectly but surely there’s some situation where the car wouldn’t know what to do. Maybe i’m way off here, it just boggles my mind. I guess if the car could calculate every possible outcome that’d be that. Could a car avoid an accident from a human driver though? That’d be pretty amazing. And it’d be the end of drunk driving (sort of).
The idea of being able to multitask is always a plus for me, but every time I hear about technology that takes the autonomy of humans’s ability to develop skills that require interaction, whether it is with other technology or other human beings it worries me. The rolling office benefit is something that excites me. I like to be on the go constantly and the idea of having to be stuck inside a building while I can be taking advantage of the commuting time to cut corners is just annoying. To be able to finish work while saving time en route is great !
But there are also other factors. I understand that a self driving car would be very practical for delivery, but how can the car ensure the security of a child being taken care of, or a pet for all that’s worth, after they have arrived to their destination? Can parents really be irresponsible enough to trust a self driving car to take care of their kids? What if the car breaks down? Who will take the dog out of the car at the vet? What if there is an emergency with one of the riders and they are alone, even if the car works perfectly well?
I understand that human error is a key factor in many accidents. People are negligent, they are aggressive, they get tired, they get distracted, all accident inducing factors. I can even vouch for dozing off at the wheel before and it terrifies me, so in that sense a car that would take me home without me having to worry about falling asleep is indeed great. Still, I love the fact that I know how to drive and I can drive my own vehicle. In a way , it reinforces my sense of responsibility and enhances my self awareness of the people that surround me when I drive.
The other factor that I wonder is how can they make a self driving car stable enough for some users like me to avoid getting motion sickness. I wish I could read and use my computer or even my phone when I am in a moving car, but sadly, after a few minutes of being a passenger in a moving car and locking my eyes on a screen results in a nasty headache and a very unhealthy shade of green around my gills.
I will not say that I am completely against self navigating technology, but I can say that there are many human interactive factors and the effects that these may have that still need to be considered and addressed before this technology goes into full use.
“But there are also other factors. I understand that a self driving car would be very practical for delivery, but how can the car ensure the security of a child being taken care of, or a pet for all that’s worth, after they have arrived to their destination? Can parents really be irresponsible enough to trust a self driving car to take care of their kids? What if the car breaks down? Who will take the dog out of the car at the vet? What if there is an emergency with one of the riders and they are alone, even if the car works perfectly well?”
I imagine things can be put into place for that. Say if your pet gets stranded in the car there can be an emergency backup system. If the car breaks down the backup system gets activated and notifies an emergency respond team. Maybe the response team will just be another autonomous car that will pick up the pet. Also concerning whether the kids will just ditch the car, perhaps you can have a camera in the car so that the parent could monitor them. The on and off switch for the camera can have a parental control so the kids can’t turn the camera off. And if they did turn the camera off anyways then the parents would already know they are up to something. I’m sure there is a number of other ideas.
Excellent. It’s like having something that drives better than a chauffeur at your call 24/7. When travel time can be directed to things other than focusing on the road, I’d expect a massive increase in productivity and quality of life. It’s certainly inspiring and exciting.
Self-driving cars would reduce the number of accidents with we compare with the numbers we have today. And this is true, just look at google self-driving car accidents, not a single one was caused by machine error. When these things reach the market, it will be a revolution in our simple lives.
I’m really excited to see what changes automated vehicles bring. A lot of people enjoy driving, but I could never get over the stress of so many variables. Even if I drive ‘perfectly’ on any given day, there’s always the chance that somebody else will do something stupid. As you mentioned in your article, the safety repercussions of a self-driving car are staggeringly positive.
One of the other things to note is that -once it is only automated vehicles on the road- the possibility opens up for changing the rules of the road on the fly and allowing the hive mind of vehicles to figure out the most efficient use of road systems for that particular day, etc. This could greatly reduce travel times, but possibly also the cost of signs, traffic lights, and redundant roadways (necessary now given the inefficiency of humans).
I don’t even own a car and I wouldn’t certainly want one equipped with artificial intelligence. That’s just too much – what if there was a glitch and the car crashed into a concrete wall.. heh
About safety: If a human being is too lazy to care about safety and traffic rules, then why bother driving at all – it’s always cheaper to use public transport.
This technology is awesome! This is definitely the future of travel and commuting, it just makes sense. We need to increase safety and improve our roadways. I can see how this would help to improve traffic conditions and even the affordability of auto insurance. If this kind of technology were to be implemented, insurance rates would be lowered because of the reduction of risk while driving. I would definitely cheeper insurance!
I don’t like the idea of giving machines too much independency. I fear for the future when they will dominate us. Maybe even Gods think that way, giving us intelligence over all the species and that is why we are destroying our creators creation. It may sound cliche but it may be true who knows.
Self-driving cars are a great opportunity for everyone. I would definitely love to see this significant improvement happen. This way people will have more time to do things that really matter, automating driving and of course, reducing car accidents. Not to mention that this invention would save thousands of working hours and change the way many professionals work.
The science behind self-driving cars and the like is sound, but I think it’s the human perspective that really hinders it. I consider myself an open-minded person, but I don’t know if I could get behind this. I think that to a lesser degree it could certainly advance the industry of travel, but I don’t know if widely commercially available self-driving cars is to be found in the near future.
It would take away work from taxi cab and truck drivers.
I could see it having military applications. More people in a vehicle could be free to do other tasks when cruising through a hostile area which they are trying to secure or invade.
There are strengths and weaknesses to the driverless cars, just as with the smart home. My favorite benefit is, of course, improved safety. As a victim of multiple distracted drivers, this would certainly sway me. However, I’ve been hearing news stories to the contrary. One involved a driverless car striking a city bus when the bus swerved to dodge a sandbag. In this era of worsening weather, who’s to say how many times that could happen? How would driverless cars handle spontaneous human shutdowns of freeways and main arteries in protest of police shootings? As much as I’d like to be, I’m still not convinced.
Self driving car only work in a society when all cars are self driving – in my opinion.
Let’s see, a person drivers a car, something happens, his heart stops, or he has epilepsy, the other self driving cars can’t understand the regular car’ position.
If we will only use self driving cars one day – like public transport – it will work because the machines are work by rules. Sadly people not, and it can end in big accidents.
This is very true!
Can we ever develop AI smart enough to deal with peoples stupidity or other actions we take that don’t make logical sense.
I doubt you will ever convince people to give up the freedom of driving either, especially in the USA.
I could see maybe perhaps highways being “driver free” and only machine driven cars.
I see the automation of transportation as one of the most important economic achievements to happen in all of human history. The consequences of self driving cars would be so drastic our entire lives would drastically change. Imagine the money that will be saved on accidents, labor costs, and the all important opportunity cost. No longer will on the go business men and women be stuck driving and be unable to make an important on the fly decision regarding some important transaction. Day traders will be able to make their moves virtually anywhere on the go without worrying about missing a prime opportunity. Of course there would be consequences, jobs lost, accidents, etc. but overall the benefits in the long run way out weight the short term negatives.
That would be amazing! Having a meeting inside the car while the system controls the car. That means the people at the meeting can focus on their principal matters and not have to worry about driving. This in turn would cut down deadlines to be for other places and many other things! To me the future looks bright!
Takes carpooling to a whole new level!
Imagine you pick up the entire board at 8am, commute into the city for an hour and have a meeting to start the day.
Then commute home with the same group and go over your success and failures for the day!
I don’t know about you, but I hate the hour long commute it feels like a wasted amount of time.
If I could do work with my co-workers on the commute and only spend 6 hours actually at the office, I would be one happy man!
Self-driving cars could be a godsend for people unable to drive, or in a contained, controlled, environment: even a city. The only problem is that you’d still need a way to stop the car, change the destination, pull-over if you saw something interesting, remembered something you forgot, etc.
In areas with good public transport, self-driving cars may face a few adoption problems: not just the trains, but also the issues of parking, congestion charges in European cities (particularly for big cars), and pollution. I find the talk of commutes fascinating because you’ve just described many Londoner’s current commute by train. Unfortunately being able to meet up with the entire board on the way in and get work done, even in a first class private compartment, does not count as working time unless you’re travelling to somewhere that isn’t your standard place of work (yes, businesses got wise to that fast).
In rural areas self-driving cars might be very helpful, but I would wonder at how they cope with the unexpected: cows in the road, a deer, foxes, dense fog or high winds and particularly dirt tracks. I’d want to see them tested in all situations, and probably still have a manual override for safety because there are always exceptions you can’t program for. If my roomba can’t see an obstacle lower than half an inch off the ground, will the car see things like injured birds or black ice?
Security is going to be a problem though. If you search for “Car hack” you’ll find modern cars can be hacked through Wi-FI, MP3 Malware, or other means, including the group that demonstrated taking remote control of a Jeep in mid-travel, and they did it from ten miles away. The crash test volunteer’s article on it is eye-opening reading, particularly his comments on what happens when people lose faith in their car.
This is a cool concept to be adapted into our lives, but imagine if the car got hacked while we’re in it. We’ll have no control of our own car at that moment. It’s great but ultimately it still have its own pros and cons.
I remember when this was all nonsense, it’s crazy how fast we got here. There’s no way back, this is going to happen sooner than we all thought. Even though I would love not dying due to my stupidity behind the wheel, I would certainly miss the freedom being able to make human mistakes. It might sound crazy for some of you, but where we are heading is to subtract the human factor from the equation in every aspect of our lives. Will we be allowed to be humans anymore?
When I was growing up stuff like this was something you’d only see in a sci-fi movie, to see that we are nearing these types of things is incredible. However, how long before machines completely render us useless? As of right now it seems far-fetched, but if this is any indication of what our future is going to look like then it may happen sooner than we think. We make technological advances daily and soon there’s going to be robots doing our jobs, daily routines, and all of our other human activities. We have to draw the line somewhere because if we don’t we may be driving ourselves to extinction and that’s a scary thought if I don’t say so myself.
This is really exciting, I wonder what they’ll do next.
It’s a beautiful concept where you are taken to places without any fuss and it makes travelling that much easier due to the lack of errors that occur in humans.
I wonder how the society will be in the next 100 years, Everyone using electric cars without a driver. The cab services taking place without a driver. Ah, I wish I could see what’s gonna happen in the next 100 years.
Wе’rе аlwаys bеing tоld hоw sеlf-driving саrs will rеwаrd us with аlmоst unimаginаblе bеnеfits whеn thеy finаlly hit thе strееts. Аsidе frоm thе shееr соnvеniеnсе оf bеing сhаuffеurеd еvеrywhеrе by аrtifiсiаl intеlligеnсе (АI), thеrе’s thе sаfеty fасtоr оf nоt hаving еrrоr-prоnе humаns bеhind thе whееl, nоt tо mеntiоn hоw еnvirоnmеntаlly friеndly drivеrlеss еlесtriс vеhiсlеs соuld bе.
I think that self driving cars are something extremely convenient, at the same time there are a lot of things to consider before putting them into mass production. For example, what if someone hacks one of these cars and causes an accident?
I find it frightening how much of this type of technology is already in use on the roads today. I’m talking about cars that parallel park by themselves and apply the brake if an obstacle is in the road ahead, among others. This sounds really great, but the only problem is, if these technologies continue to advance in this fashion it won’t be long before all vehicles are equipped with them and nobody will know how to do these things themselves. What do you do when the tech fails and you’ve never learned how to parallel park? What happens if the automatic breaking system fails and you don’t even know where the brake is? Sounds illogical now, but I guarantee, if the trend continues, people will start driving without ever learning certain very important skills.
Cars are getting smarter and smarter and this isn’t a new thing. I find this amazing, because having an autonomous car would bring a stop to accidents and give everyone some relaxing time during a ride. I’d love to see the day when long family car rides would become shorter.
Cars are getting smarter and I believe that the technology to make them autonomous already exists, but to make this mass produced and effectively safe is a whole new question because massive testing and legislating needs to be done.
Judging by some of the YouTube videos that I’ve seen of people testing the new Tesla self driving thing I say that we are still a generation away in terms of people fully trusting a self driving car. This is not a matter of technology, the technology is going to get us there eventually and more sooner than later driving manually would be seeing as an insane and irresponsible thing to do, it is about people absolutely freaking out when the thing starts driving by itself and refusing to let go of the steering wheel completely.
Self driving cars are the future, it is futile to resist, yet I don’t thing that they will become office spaces, if anything what we are going to see is more telecommuting and tele presence and a large chunck of the population never leaving home for work. I think that trends is inevitable by now although I saw that Yahoo recently decided to not allow tele commuting anymore. I don’t know if this is an isolated case or something that we are going to see replicated allover the place.
It’s a great idea. Human error is the main reason for most vehicular accidents. With automated cars, there would never be an instance where the driver was drunk and bumped into a passerby. There would no flight delay on the airport because the pilot woke up late. It solves most of the problems regarding transportation, the only problem now is the maintenance of the parts of both the vehicle and the operating unit that controls the movement of these devices. With those set, we will have cars that run on time, with no delays from various excuses. It’s an amazing idea, truly.
Okay, sending the kids to school or practice or sending your pets to the vet would ONLY work if every car on the road was a self-driving vehicle. All it would take is one car on the road driven by an erratic or drunk human, and it would still be a mess.
That having been said, I look forward to the day when cars driven by inter-connected computers take over the highways and city streets. The reduction of accidents, made today primarily by distracted drivers is only one of the many reasons why this is an obvious direction to take.
Then, sending my teenager out to the store won’t seem like such a big deal. So what if she’s on her cell phone the entire time? Of course, that is another technology that I hope will keep up. VR or Holo-lens have the capability to see not only what’s in the computer, but are designed in such a way that your vision is not blocked from the reality in front of you. Next step: combining holo-lens and cell phone service. Your entire world is now truly interactive and connected.
One the one hand, it would be cool to have more of such self driving vehicles but on the other hand it would be kind of scary. How much can you really trust a machine to be aware of your safety?
I think that technologically speaking it’s perfectly safe, it’s just now a matter of creating awareness so that people feel comfortable. More, laws need to be made and a whole new driving code has to exist too because after all, this is a driving paradigm change.
Self-driving cars will be a reality in the next 15 years or so. And I would love to see the change it bring to the traffic movement in big cities. I am sure it will minimize the no. of road accidents and there will be less congestion on roads as well. It will be intriguing to see whether the self=drivng vehicle will have a manual control where one can take charge manually in case of a system failure. There can also be some sort of control room from where the entire system will be operated!!! We can imagine so many things but overall it should be a good thing to happen to the modern man.
To self-driving cars I say maybe. No question that the technology behind it is fascinating and that will provide an invaluable service as we can rest or do other things while the car is self-driven, at the same time there are lots of security questions that need to be solved, like cars being hacked for example…
I literally hate driving, so this would seem to be a dream come true for me, but it wouldn’t be. This is because I don’t know if I could trust a machine with my life with that. I think that would be a little to scary for me.
You made it sound so, so good man. It seems to be a perfect option for us who haven’t learned how to drive and don’t want to ask for a ride or take public transportation ever again, there won’t be driving licenses, probably no car accidents caused by people who have drinked too much, and we can just chill in our car while doing a really big trip around the contry, for example.
I don’t really see why this shouldn’t be a thing.
That is another important aspect you are raising right there abonnen, the trust matter. Not many people will jump into a car and let the car drive you around, so a lot of investment in marketing will be necessary before this is a reality.
That is crazy to think that it is actually here, and a reality now. It has always kind of been that futuristic thing that you would dream of but never really think would happen in your lifetime (flying cars next on the list?). It is even more crazy when you start to think about many things will change as a result of this and all of the implications that is has on our lives, all the way down to things like babysitters. Thanks for sharing.
I vaguely recall watching a video demonstrating the vulnerability of self-driving cars to malicious hackers. Do not take my word for it, though, as I could be massively mistaken. I am still eager to see self-driving cars become the norm. This article sheds light on many potential advantages of this new technology.
I wouldn’t trust a self driving car. I would rather be responsible for a wreck. Anyhow, machines are not completely perfect. They have errors. For instance, look at all the disasters that NASA has had.
I do not think a machine brain is superior to a human one.
Hopefully, there will still be manual control in the cars in case something goes wrong with the autonomous system.