Circle Auto Protect Blog

Should You Consider Buying a Self-Driving Car, Or Not?

Sep 04, 2019
Michael Robinson



As technology continues to accelerate at a rapid pace, one of the strongest predictions for the coming decade is a surge in self-driving cars. 

In fact, Elon Musk of Tesla has claimed that by mid-2020, less than a year from now, Tesla’s autonomous system will have advanced so that drivers will no longer have to pay attention to the road.

Just imagine!

While this new self-driving car technology promises many benefits, there are potential risks and downsides to take into consideration too. Here are some Pros and Cons you may want to consider about self-driving cars:

PROS

1.    A Faster, Better Ride

Autonomous vehicles show the promise of eliminating traffic jams and congestion by being able to sense other vehicles around them. Also, they will probably be able to operate safely at higher speed limits, so your overall daily commute time may substantially decrease.

In addition, since you won’t have to pay attention to the road, the cars of tomorrow promise to be high-tech, personalized entertainment centers, where you’ll be able to choose from a curated array of music, podcasts, movies, and shows, instantaneously picking up right where you left off.

Or, maybe it’s just more opportunity for the old-fashioned value of sitting next to someone and engaging in a deep in-person conversation.

 

2.    Less Driver Error

Recent studies show that 94% of deadly car crashes are due to some form of human error, such as driving distracted or dunk. 

By removing human mistakes from the equation, self-driving cars could result in substantially improved safety for everyone.
 

3.    More Mobility for the Disabled and Elderly

Many adults are unable to drive due to disability or medical conditions. With self-driving cars, these individuals would have a significant increase in quality of life as they would be able to get around more easily.

 

4.    Environmentally Friendly 

Self-driving cars like the Tesla models run on electricity instead of gas. By increasing the number of electrically powered vehicles, there could be a significant reduction in emissions and air pollution.

CONS

5.    Less Work for Professional Drivers

While self-driving cars may make life easier for some, they would unfortunately put a substantial strain on the livelihoods of professional drivers. For those drivers who have no other job opportunities, the drawbacks could be significant. 

6.    Technology Issues

No technology is perfect, especially in the early days, with many likely programming and system malfunctions. As cars become more automated, the risks could increase dramatically, for example if the brakes fail to work or the vehicle sensors breakdown.

As with other advances in digital technology, there is also the threat of hacking. Imagine what could happen if an ill-intentioned hacker were to override a self-driving car’s system and take control of the car!

7.    Questions about Liability

Self-driving cars will still be prone to accidents, even if they’re due to technological errors. But then a question arises: if two self-driving cars collide, who pays for damages if no one is at fault?

Potentially this could cause a major rift between insurance companies and car manufacturers that our courts are not yet prepared to handle.

8.    Moral Judgments?

One frequent question that arises regarding the programming of self-driving cars is how to handle potential emergency situations.  

For example, if two people are riding in a self-driving car and a child suddenly runs into the middle of the road, will the car hit the child or swerve off the road and hit whatever may be blocking it, potentially killing the two people inside.

While AI technology has come a long way, it still is not sophisticated enough to make the kinds of “special circumstances” judgments that human drivers can do.   

Let us know……do you think self-driving cars are a good idea or not?

While self-driving cars may be a thing of the future, find out if your current vehicle qualifies for a vehicle service contract with one of our leading coverage plans at Circle Auto Protect, click here!
 


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