The media say self-driving cars are dangerous, but don’t believe it for a second.

Assuming that you’ve seen the vast amount of news articles condemning autonomous and self-driving cars, we’d like to offer a defense for this seemingly one-sided argument. From Tesla’s driving assist to Uber’s self-driving cars, these technologies are quickly becoming more and more common in today’s modern world. Despite various news outlets demonising the technology, branding the cars as killing machines and so on, we believe this innovation has been wrongly tarnished. Here’s why…

They’re actually safer than normal cars

There are more people struck by lightning each year than there are people in plane crashes. There are more people dying from vending machines each year than there are dying from shark attacks. What we’re trying to say is that bad press can make you believe something is much more dangerous than it actually is.

Chrysler Pacifica in Los Altos 2017

So far, there’s been less than a handful of fatal crashes that have involved self-driving cars. Considering there are thousands of Teslas on the roads of the world, as well as a great number of fully self-driving cars being tested in roughly 35 major cities, the number of fatal accidents is statistically not bad at all. If you take into account that there are over 30,000 car-related fatalities in the US each year, the miniscule amount of accidents involving self-driving cars begins to sound less severe.

Fatal accidents in self-driving cars happen because of human error

The most recent accident which happened in March 2018 involved an Uber driver that was asleep and another fatal accident involving a Tesla Model S, was driven by someone who was watching a film at the wheel. The fully autonomous Uber car was still in the testing phase, which is exactly why Uber put a driver behind the wheel to make sure there would be someone ready to take the wheel in case something does goes wrong.

tesla a

Full autonomy is not real yet and the manufacturers that make the tech try their best to emphasise this point. Unfortunately, people have completely overlooked this. There is not a single car out there that claims to be able to drive distracted or sleeping passengers around without assistance.

If we’re going to fall asleep at the wheel, it might as well be with a self-driving car.

As long as humans are driving cars, there will always be accidents involving people who are drink driving, people who fall asleep at the wheel and people who are driving like Formula 1 drivers. Basically, us humans being irresponsible. None of these problems exist with self driving vehicles.

Google self driving car

The software that’s used in these motors has been proven time and time again to be more efficient at driving safely than the average person, so why are people still against it? Think of it this way. Around 90% of car crashes happen due to human error. Therefore, by replacing a driver with technology, we can potentially reduce the chances of 90% of crashes from happening.

Autonomous cars have superhuman powers

If we look at this very simply, the advantages autonomous cars have over human-driven cars outweighs the disadvantages. These technological machines can do things that no human could. For instance, fully autonomous cars have a large collection of sensors placed around the car that ensure the vehicle has 360 degrees of vision. This means that the car can see in all directions at once, whereas if we were to look to the right briefly and someone was to cross the street from the left, we wouldn’t even see them.

Waymo self driving car front view

Along with the all-seeing vision of system, the tech is also capable of reacting much faster than a human. It takes us around 0.7-1.5 seconds to react but a self-driving car can react in under 0.5 seconds, which could be the difference between a bump and a car-wrecking collision.

Hands free Driving

However, even with all of this, we don’t expect everyone to jump on board with the revolution. If you’re like us then you thoroughly enjoy driving and don’t even want to begin to imagine a world without it. Either way, we don’t think that these cars are “dangerous” – especially in the grand scheme of things. Let us know what you think!

 Share your opinion in the comments below!  

 

Images: Wikipedia, Wikipedia, Newspressstaticflickr, wikimedia, wikimedia, wikimedia

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