The concept is – what if you were your own uber? The self-driving cars are about to dominate the global market in a big way. And so are their problems. But you can be well-prepared and deal with them without being the victim of each one of these problems yourself. After all, they have been the dream of all the 90s blockbusters – self-driving or flying cars. Well, if this one goes without a hiccup, then flying cars are not that far off either.
Let us take a look at the major dangers that self-driving cars can pose to you and the general road safety of your area.
With great supercomputers comes great hacking possibilities. Even the problems of today seem surreal. So, you are telling me that a half-decent hacker can easily hack into, say, the entertainment unit of the car and take over the controls?
Well, that makes me feel like I am in the Matrix. But it also exposes the car security issues tremendously. It can even be terrorist groups that are looking to create mayhem and you just happen to come up on their radar.
These Cars Make it Too Easy
And soon your vehicle gets hijacked with you inside it thus trapped in your own futuristic trap. You need to be on top of your cyber security issues especially when it comes to your autonomous vehicles.
According to recent road tests, it is surprisingly easy to hack into and take complete control of the steering and brake systems of these self-driving cars. Further, its movement can be easily monitored too via any random location with not-so-high tech hacking skills.
It is going to take a lot of genius technology for an auto-driving car to maneuver through the random traffic scenarios. And each one of these sleek gears require a sophisticated network of gadgets.
This includes the GPS guidance, GPS tracking tools, powered accessories, radio, remote controls and music systems. Excessive and consistent exposure to such high levels of radiations might cause electromagnetic hypersensitivity.
A lose-lose Deal
This consist of a range of disorders such as headaches, migraines sleeplessness, susceptibility to infection, inner agitation and chronic exhaustion. Then there are the eye infections, fluctuating blood pressure and shortness of breath.
Connectivity is of key importance in highly advanced electronics but it does come at steep cost. You can use some protective blankets and bands that at least minimizes its effects on you.
Response Time to Unpredictable Terrains
Current autonomous car technology takes at least 17 seconds to respond to an unexpected terrain situation. For a well-trained human driver, it takes less than a second to notice and make changes to their driving style accordingly.
Sometimes you don’t even notice all the big and small adjustments your mind is making as you cruise through the traffic on a yet another challenging Tuesday. The current global roadways systems are not developed enough to support driverless car technology.
Humans Beat Machine, For Now
From the uneven roads to unpredictable weather conditions that cause havoc on already struggling roadways network, there is not much room for trial and error.
The road signs with special paint, smooth terrains and almost predictable day-to-day traffic situations can only happen in the test scenarios. The self-driving cars need to be a lot more robust and adaptable if they even want to come close to replacing the human driving skills.
Absence of Centralized Industry Regulation
Today owning a self-driving car is more like letting the Frankenstein’s monster out than a reliable and comfortable purchase. Only 200 car companies have come up with their own version of this futuristic technology till now.
On top of that, as much as the investors and manufacturers of these cars will like you to believe, these cars have a long way to go before they become road ready for the Average Joe. The consumers are actually the free testing dummies for these car manufacturers.
Its Wild West Out There
Only through our experiences can these manufacturers actually come to know how their driverless car fares day-to day on a variety of terrains. That makes the consumers the lab rat and the naïve unaware participant of this highly risky experience.
And it is important to be aware of that before you buy one with a devil-may-care attitude. The safety regulations and various other performance matrices need to be met before declaring them anything more than an ambitious tech project.
Driven Around by the Roomba
Currently, the self-driving cars are in the infancy of their development. For now, being in one of them is more like letting your Roomba take the wheels and pray for best. Of course, somehow you might still make your destination but it should not be a matter of life and death as seems the case with these cars.
There are over 100 micro-computers plugged in these self-driving cars with all their sensors and cameras to take care of every single outside stimulus. But a computer is no better than a brick it falls into the water by mistake. Or gets hit by a speeding car. Or has to make the tough choice of saving the dog and the incoming pedestrian at the last second by making a sharp turn to the narrow lane.
Better on Paper
Of course, it is going to be all the rage in the next couple of decades. But, till then it is going to need the exposure of a variety of terrains, people and situations. May be the rain or an unforeseen damage blows out the sensors and the camera.
Then what? You are moving at a speed of 80 miles per hour. An accident can occur any second now. Unless your hands are gripping the steering wheel every second of the drive, it is not going to end well for you or your car.
This brings us to the end of our curated list of reasons why you can wait just a little more for that futuristic dream of a car.
Do you find yourself interested in the world of self-driving cars? What will it take for you to even consider making the self-driving cars your new mode of transportation? Tell us all in the comment section below. Forward this article further to your friends and family and let them know about this new creature in the circus of car world.
[Featured Image credit – Roman Boed]