The Final Decision

Over the past couple of blog posts in my series about autonomous vehicles it’s pretty easy to see how controversial the topic really is. However, despite the claims on either side there are points that I find appealing on both sides of the controversy.

There are many features in these vehicles which are designed to ensure the safest experiences as possible. However, the part that catches my attention the most is the practicality under certain circumstances. When you consider the option to enable the self-driving features during moments you probably should not be behind the wheel of a vehicle; it suddenly becomes a genius idea. I see this capability as a huge opportunity to prevent people from making reckless mistakes that often lead to preventable fatalities. For example, say you’re getting together with friends and somehow you end up having one too many drinks even though you weren’t supposed to be drinking in the first place because you drove. According to every 2 minutes someone becomes injured in a drunk driving accident. Well in this scenario with the self-driving features ready at your fingertips you’re able to avoid making a reckless decision that could potentially be your last had you not had the availability of the features. Another scenario I see great opportunity for those driving under sleepy conditions. Driving while not rested is the result of 21% of all fatal car accidents according to Having a feature like this available would especially benefit myself because there have been times when I’ve had to drive without being properly rested. If I had this feature available I’d definitely take advantage of it. Self-driving feature could also prove to be useful tool that can help prevent distracted driving.

Despite the benefits to having self-driving feature, I think my skepticism will continue to outweigh the benefits. Call me old-fashioned if you must, but I still have distrust for some technology. I just don’t find myself willing to put a computer in complete control of my life and those around me on the road. All computers are susceptible failures at any given time and you would never know of it. Not to mention all the potential risks hackers pose for the technology equipped in these vehicles. It’s already been proven that two security researchers were able to take over a vehicle’s operations with just a few clicks of a button thousands of miles away. There are also many other security firms that are constantly finding their way into vehicle computer systems which demonstrates how vulnerable they can be if a devoted hacker decides to stir-up some chaos. Despite the safety risks another huge turn-off for me with the introduction of this technology is the loss of being in control of the vehicle. Every time I’ve researched material about the topic one of the common themes that keeps popping up is the necessity for all cars to be self-driving at some point in the future; in order for it to be a successful development. As a car enthusiast this becomes very unappealing to me because I have a deep passion for vehicles as well as the experience I get when I’m behind the wheel. If all of that was suddenly ripped away from me I’d be devastated because it’s something I look forward to. I don’t think we should be ripped away from something we all love already just because a bunch of techies think it’s time we advance our technology.

Despite the few benefits I do see useful in self-driving technology, my skepticism and passion for cars greatly outweighs the benefits. Thus I must come to the conclusion that I do not support autonomous vehicles especially if they seek to take complete control of the automotive industry.