Driverless? More Like Driving Mess!

Drew O. - LLI Akron

Open your eyes and wake up! The future is coming, and it’s closer than you think.

Improvements in technology are occurring rapidly, and you never know what’s next. With every improvement, there is some sort of fault or blemish in the software. That’s why updates are constantly needed. I’m telling you this because our safety is at stake, and the world will never be the same, due to cars that are self-driven, or autonomous. A driverless automobile is a big driving mess that is already being put to the test.

Some people say we live in the age of technology, and that is 100% true. But not all technology is safe, especially in cars. In the article “Who is liable if a self driving car crashes? Tesla mishap raises issues,” by Megan Cassidy, it says, “The driver’s allegation that his Tesla was in self-driving autopilot mode when it tapped the motorcycle.” The Tesla Mocel X is supposed to be a positive step towards creating these driverless cars , but how can you make a step up if the foundation has a crack and isn’t safe or stable enough? In the article, Cassidy writes, “Automated cars are forecast to reduce the likelihood of human error, making driving much safer than it is today.” I find that statement to be false. Accidents and malfunctions occur with driverless automobiles.

According to the Washington Post article “When driverless cars crash, who gets the blame and pays the damages?” by Ashley Halsey III,  Halsey states, “Public officials and auto-car advocates are fond of pointing out that 94 percent of crashes are attributed to human error, a fact that implies that removing humans from behind the wheel might eliminate most crashes.”

However, when human error caused those problems, the human took responsibility for his or her actions, because unlike a self-driving car, human are required to be responsible for our actions. If a self-driving car crashes, the blame can be shifted between the company making the automobile and the company making the software.

With so many people involved in driverless automobiles, it’s hard to say who should be responsible and it could be multiple parties. How can you split blame? In the UK, a bill was announced that insurers will be default liable for death, personal injury, or damages which stem from accidents caused by automated vehicles in self-driving mode where the vehicle is insured at the time of the accident.

In conclusion, there are still many what-ifs and other speculation going on with autonomous cars. For example, removing the human control basically removes the human eyes from the road, which is dangerous. What if it begins to rain or snow and the roads get slick or icy? What happens if something unexpected happens on the road? We’ll find out soon enough.