The Dangers Of The Driverless Car

Written By: Bianca Mazziotti

The reason why I picked the driverless car as my topic was because of how cool I thought it would be to have one. The advertising for the driverless car really shows the benefits but there are a lot of negatives that should be brought to the forefront. Many of these negatives I found surprising and made me second-guess my opinion on the driverless car.

Jurvetson,Steve. (November 15/2012). "Driving" the Google Self Driving Car. Retrieved from: www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/8190954243

Jurvetson,Steve. (November 15/2012). "Driving" the Google Self Driving Car. Retrieved from: www.flickr.com/photos/jurvetson/8190954243

Technical Issues:

One issue I thought was surprising was the fact that the driverless car cannot drive through heavy rain or snow. So if you’re from Canada, and you don’t have a lot of money to throw away, then this is not the car for you. Also, the driverless car has a hard time making a left hand turn when there is oncoming traffic. An article from The Tech Times stated: “They also cannot read hand signals – say for example, if a traffic cop was directing vehicles.” Although this vehicle is a cool idea in concept it still has a lot of kinks to work out before it is safe to be driven by the public and it has a lot further to go before it reaches the stage 4 level which means that it would be 100% autonomous.

Public Issues:

A larger problem that could arise from these vehicles being released when they finally work perfectly is the fact that there will always be people who will use it in the wrong way. For example, a lot of people could shoot at pedestrians while the car is driving them. Also, the driverless car has a GPS and is able to see all the objects and people around them. So basically the car could giveaway pedestrians near by for the driver to shoot at. An article written by The Week discusses the dangers we could face: “The report, written by the Strategic Issues Group of the FBI's Directorate of Intelligence, warned that self-driving cars "will have a high impact on transforming what both law enforcement and its adversaries can operationally do with a car." In other words: There could soon be self-driving car bombs.” So the driverless car could potentially make committing a crime easier and therefore put the general public at risk.

Vulnerability Issues:

The third issue that worried me while researching was the fact that the driverless car is more susceptible to hackers. Something that a lot of people don’t know is that the cars that everyone currently drives has the ability to be hacked into and someone could control your steering wheel, breaks etc. The problem with the driverless car is it’s hooked up to GPS, which makes it easier to hack into the car and control it.

Economic Issues:

Another problem that comes with the driverless car is the fact that it could take away jobs from people who really need it. Driverless cars could take the place of taxi’s, which would result in a large amount of people being out of work. In David Rotman’s piece “How Technology Is Destroying Jobs” he states: “The rapid acceleration of technological progress, they say, has greatly widened the gap between economic winners and losers—the income inequalities that many economists have worried about for decades.” With technology becoming more and more invasive the driverless car could really affect us and it could be detrimental to many families.

 Conclusion:

The driverless car could really change the game when it comes to driving. Without having to focus on the road the whole time the people in the car could accomplish so much. Although it could bring a lot of benefits like reducing the risk of collision, when it comes to distracted driving, it could also impact our society a great deal in a negative way. Through technical issues, to economic issues this new way of driving could change many areas that we are unaware of and put the public and our economy at risk.