They have been talked about for many years, and now it seems as though driverless cars may become a reality in the not so distant future. Already being developed by innovative companies like Tesla, autonomous cars (as they are also known) could well revolutionize the automobile/transport industries, and their introduction onto the roads would be a landmark achievement in modern engineering and human ingenuity.
Here are some thoughts on whether they will increase or decrease safety on the roads.
How They Will Work
Autonomous cars will use a combination of different sensors and equipment to navigate roads and cities and to get their passengers from A to B safely. They will have radar systems installed to detect where objects and people are and use a variety of cutting-edge technologies to ensure the safety of both passengers and those outside the car.
With no driver, it will be up to the computer/AI within the vehicle to keep everyone safe and ensure that the car does not endanger anyone’s life.
How Safe Will They Really Be?
Ultimately, no one truly knows how safe autonomous cars will be until there is a significant number of them driving around the roads of the world. It is worth mentioning, though, that they will have gone through the most rigorous testing imaginable before being introduced to the mainstream market.
This should lead to incredibly safe cars, which have completely cut out the chance of human error, and thus much safer roads in general.
The Crossover Period
Not everyone will be able to afford an autonomous car when they are first released. In fact, it will likely only be a wealthy elite who will be able to fork out for them. When they first come to market, then, there will be a crossover period where normal cars and autonomous cars drive along the same roads. This could prove to be dangerous, as autonomous cars may not be able to adequately factor in human irrationality on the roads.
Their introduction could also have multiple knocks on effects on any industry related to cars. Insurance companies like ALA, for instance, may well have to change their offerings/premiums (or offer a completely different service) if driverless cars do prove to be faultlessly safe.
Driverless cars will undoubtedly be a big part of the future and for good reason. Whilst there may seem to be plenty of scope for disasters to happen, the incredible technology behind them should be more than enough to make them far safer than any human driver will make their own car.