Tuesday, March 1, 2016

(The Big Disrupt) Self-Driving Cars: Why It's Going To Take a While to Get Your First Ride in a Self-Driving Car

With the news of Google's self driving prototype being involved in a crash with a bus in Mountain View, California, the long awaited advent of self-driving cars is going to take even longer to take shape. According to The Guardian, The crash happened two weeks ago but the accident report was released to the press by the California branch of the DMV on Monday. 

The crash was caused by both the prototype and its human passenger's (who could also take over the vehicle) misjudgement about the buses's intention as both thought the public transport bus behind them would yield and give way was they were in front of the bus but the bus didn't yield which lead to a crash as both vehicles pulled into the main road at different speeds. 

While no one was injured in the crash and both prototype and the human passenger came to the same error in judgement, Google's recent prototype crash is a blow for the efficacy of the self driving car  as the central argument made in favour for self driving cars is that they're safer than humans at the wheelBecause proponents of the technology have chosen the safety argument to convince people to buy into self-driving cars, there's heavy burden of proof placed upon the self-driving cars to convince regulators, critics, and consumers that it's safwhich almost guarantees that the wait to take a ride in a driverless car is going to be longer than anticipated. 

While it's true that Google's self driving car recent crash is its first real accident, Google's prototype latest accident has buffered arguments that Google prototype may be too safe for roads peppered with human drivers which can make the technology dangerous on the road 

The timing of the recent crash couldn't have been worse as poll carried out by the AAA revealed that an incredible 75% of drivers were wary of taking a ride in a driverless car. The poll also revealed that drivers have an abnormally high faith in their driving skills compared to their sensor aided counterparts as 85% of drivers were of the opinion that "they have better driving skills than self-driving cars". The poll demonstrated the heavy burden of proof self driving cars are under and how companies like Google are failing to meet it  as 60% of drivers "believe the technology is just too new and hasn’t been proven to work". 

Other polls seem to support the findings revealed by AAA's poll as a poll carried out by Morning Consult last month revealed  why people are concerned about taking a ride in a driverless car as a staggering 76% were concerned about driverless cars sharing roads with human drivers, 65% were wary of the security of their personal data and an incredible 80% were concerned about the road safety and glitches in driverless cars 

What these polls show us is that Google and every other car manufacturer invested in have their work cut out convincing the public that driverless cars are safe and looking those polls as well as numerous others, the wait for your first ride in a self driverless car is surely going to longer than expected.  

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