Unsatisfactory Self-Driving Cars Roam Streets


Drawing by Bailey Bruton.

Riley Goodfellow , Staff Writer

As society in the 1800’s became aware that cars were to be commonly used, many were uncertain if putting their lives in the hands of technology was a good idea. Now, in the twenty-first century, a similar unease is growing at the concept of self-driving cars; technology that is starting to be less of a dream and more of a reality. However, implementing this new technology would have consequences that are too dangerous to ignore.  

Uber has declared that a new army of cars, which are able to fully function and drive without a human driver, will be released in less than a year. Uber’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Travis Kalanick, said in a speech towards employees and driver partners that there will be absolutely no hands on the wheel by 2021.

Google strives to complete the same goal as Uber, but they seem to understand the risks of such cars more than their opponent.

Uber is rushing to beat their competitor and are bringing the public into their own experiment. No safety is guaranteed, and we can’t just stand by to watch this ruinous situation.  

The once rich future that awaited us could be taking a drastic turn.   

Not only are the lives of a nation in danger, but so is the economy of our country.  “Uber is accelerating its plan to replace its 1 million human drivers with robots as quickly as possible,” Kalanick said.

Allowing people to lose their jobs for the nonessential experience is not worth putting lives in danger.

Although the new company is eager to be first in providing such advanced technology, Uber has refused to announce how many miles their program tested its vehicles. Even more concerning, two researchers from the security consultancy IOActive and Twitter have proven that these new cars are extremely easy to hack.

Still, some companies claim that self-driving cars can produce benefits that outweigh the potential consequences. Researchers have discovered that in the United States, 31% of accidents on the road are caused by drunk drivers, and self-driving cars could help lower that statistic.

However, this would only give people more freedom to drink and could lead to more alcoholism. Although drunk-driving is a severe problem that needs to be dealt with, self-driving cars are not the solution. 

Experts on the topic have declared that self-driving cars require clear lane marks and specific driving signs, which not all roads supply. It is very possible for one of these cars to misread an instruction that wasn’t correct in their vision. 

For example, unpredictable occurrences in city environments may catch many self-driving cars unaware and then it will be unapparent who is accountable for accidents. Uber’s cars are clearly unsafe, and we cannot depend on them to keep us alive. 

Although Uber’s self driving cars provide a luxury that most people wish existed, the world isn’t prepared for the dangers that come with it. Until companies can prove that their work is 100% safe, too much is at risk.