Self-Driving Setback

Posted on: August 2nd, 2018 by Webolutions Hostmaster No Comments

self drivingIn the world of automobile technology advancements, self-driving technology has been on the lips of, well, just about everyone for awhile now. Even though the tech is promising and theoretically could make the roads a safer place make for less auto body repair when all the kinks are worked out, there’s a long way to go before the concept is problem-free. And in the meantime? Well, some bad stuff is capable of happening.

Self-Driving Cars – All the Rage

It’s the hottest trend in automotive tech right now, and for good reason. It has the ability to keep roads safer, help account for human error faster and more accurately than a human could, and see things that would normally be considered in a driver’s “blind spot.” There’s a lot of good that can come from a finely tuned self-driving system, but as with most hot topics, there’s a darker side, too.

When Self-Driving Goes Wrong

As was evidenced by the recent self-driving Uber crash that took the life of a cyclist in Arizona, self-driving vehicles are not foolproof, and still require the “backup driver” or human to be paying attention. It makes sense – technology fails about as often as people, do, really. Even if a particular bit of technology is reliable most of the time, it still has a margin for error. In many cases, these errors don’t put human life at risk, but in the case of self-driving vehicles, with so many vehicles (and humans inside of them) on the road every day, the risk is much higher, and the consequences much greater.

Consequences

The worst happened in Arizona – and while the investigation is ongoing, there seems to be a consensus that the human driver could have stopped the crash from happening had they been paying more acute attention to the road when the self-driving technology failed. The thing about self-driving tech is that it’s customizable – so though there are features for automatic braking when unexpected hazards arrive, but those features can also be turned off. And even when they aren’t, self-driving technology is not an excuse for drivers to be more distracted on the road or ignore their surroundings completely. After all, as we’ve discussed, the technology is capable of failure, and human intervention is still often needed in certain situations.

What’s Next?

At the end of the day, humans have been behind the wheel much longer than technology. The recent deadly crash in Arizona is just a reminder that this particular technology has a ways to go, and it may never fully replace the watchful eye of a human driver. As a result of the crash, Uber has pulled their self-driving vehicles and is re-examining their strategy around the emerging tech. Even if your vehicle has self-driving capabilities, this is a solid reminder that your attention on the road and the vehicles around you is still very much needed. How do you feel about self-driving vehicles?

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