Self-Driving Cars—The Evolution Of This Technology
Below are 3 areas that are under more scrutiny for self-driving cars since the fatality:
- Public trust– According to surveys, there seems to still be a lot of skepticism for self-driving cars. And with the recent fatality, there appears to be even more. Uber suspended further testing after the accident and, although they permanently shut down testing in Arizona they are planning on testing again in Pittsburgh this summer. Regarding the public at large there is more trust within certain parameters of this technology. First, in a recent survey they’re not as skeptical of self-driving cars in lower-traffic as opposed to high-traffic areas. People also seem to be willing to use them for shorter trips like a taxi or bus ride. However, most are still leery about a vehicle with no driver controls like brakes or a steering wheel.
2 Government regulation- This has always been a factor in the driverless car debate. Although many people may be skeptical of the technology, many realize this is definitely a major change that will happen for the future of transportation. In 2017, 33 states have already introduced legislation regarding autonomous vehicles so it is on their radar. The US National Transportation Safety Board also recently issued a report that outlines some flawed design specifications that could have contributed to the pedestrian fatality. It’s being suggested by some that strict oversight and regulation by the federal government will be necessary.
Despite the unfortunate incident in Tempe, it’s widely believed that self-driving cars, once perfected, can save countless lives. Currently there are approximately 40,000 deaths due to auto accidents in the U.S. every year. Although other fatalities are likely to occur with autonomous vehicles, the overall number will still be greatly reduced as the technology is developed. And thus the continuation of testing autonomous cars. This is good news. It will also disrupt the transportation industry as a whole and it’s still a matter of debate of how this will play out. Driverless cars will eventually be a mainstay of transportation regardless.