5 Myths About Self Driving Cars You Shouldn't Believe

    Posted by Ben Davidson about 8 months ago

    Are you interested in self-driving cars? Self-driving cars are a hot topic on the market today. Perhaps it’s worth starting by exploring what a self-driving car actually is. A self-driving car is a vehicle which, using some form of technology, is able to drive automatically. Theoretically speaking, the car should be able to get from A to B with little to no human control or interaction. The capabilities of these vehicles vary between brands and models but this is the basic concept. Despite the fact that this isn’t a new idea, there’s still a lot of confusion surrounding self-driving cars. As such, it’s worth exploring some of the myths and make sure that you don’t believe them. Instead, it’s important to uncover the facts about vehicles that drive themselves.



    You Don’t Need To Pay Any Attention To The Road


    One of the biggest and perhaps the most dangerous myths surrounding the self-driving vehicle is that they actually do drive themselves. As weird as it sounds they don’t. To understand this, you need to be aware of the limitations of the tech as it currently exists on the market. Most cars marketed as self-driving are nowhere close to this type of feat. Instead, they have corrective abilities. This means that if you make a mistake the car will correct it, usually through the clever use of laser sensors. With this tech, the car should theoretically stay in the lines even if you nudge the wheel, keep a safe distance from the car in front and adjust for different weather conditions.


    Even if you do invest in a luxury self-driving vehicle from a company like Tesla, you’re still expected to maintain focus on the road. In fact, the company describes the technology as a way to simply help drivers take the pressure off. But the company still maintains that drivers should always have both hands on the wheels. In some cases if you take your hands off for too long, the car will come to a safe spot. This gives you idea of how much faith these companies have that the cars are actually capable of driving themselves.


    There Have Been No Fatalities In Self-Driving Cars


    Unfortunately, there have been several notable self-driving injuries and indeed fatalities. A pedestrian was hit by a self-driving Uber while another driver died after a self-driving car smashed into a concrete barrier. It should be noted that in both these incidents there was a driver behind the wheel. In one case, the driver was actually watching a film and had ample time to correct the situation before the car crashed. Since these cases, producers are putting more safety measures in place for their vehicles. However, there is still a chance of disaster here. It’s another reason why, if you do invest in a self-driving vehicle, you still need to pay attention to the road.


    In Ten Years All Cars Will Be Self-Driving


    It’s unlikely this will be the case for a variety of reasons. First, there’s the cost of the technology. At the minute, basic self-driving tech will add at least ten thousand to the initial cost of a car. While Tesla are keen to introduce what they consider to be cost friendly options on to the market, this hasn’t happened as of yet. Right now, the only self-driving cars are essentially luxury models. Unless you spend your time checking out the latest Porsche, you simply won’t be able to afford one. Is also likely that as the technology becomes more advanced the prices will continue to rise. As of right now, it’s unlikely that there will be a significant reduction in cost.


    However, the cost isn’t the only reason why people probably won’t just be driving autonomous cars in the future. The reality is that many people simply aren’t interested in a car that they can’t drive themselves. Instead, they prefer being in control of the wheel. This includes people who don’t trust that type of tech and who prefer to fully embrace the fun of driving.


    Preventing people purchasing typical driving cars would require changes in regulations and this would take time. We can look at diesel cars as an example here. The government are keen to get diesel cars off the roads. However, thus far, the only form this has taken is through additional taxation and even that hasn’t had a significant impact.


    You’re Not Accountable For An Accident


    You might think that a big selling point of a self-driving vehicle is that if it crashes, you won’t be accountable for an accident. This might be true in the future but right now it’s not the case at all. If you crash a self-driving car you will be held accountable. You can not simply shift the blame onto the tech or even the producer of the technology. This is one of the reasons why companies like Tesla maintain that you should have both hands on the wheel at all times. Similarly if a self-driving car crashes into you and you take your car accident claim to court with legal help, you’ll be suing the driver, not the producer.


    What would need to happen for this to change? Well, since operating a self-driving car is currently a choice, that would have to change. Otherwise, when you choose to use this tech, you are most likely waiving all rights to say that an accident wasn’t your fault. As well as this there would need to be significant changes in laws and regulations relating to both production and design of these vehicles as well as accountability for operators.


    Self Driving Is The End Of The Tech Wall


    Finally, you might think that self-driving cars are a mark of the end and as far as this type of technology can go. Incredibly, nothing could be further from the truth. Thanks to machine learning, we are just scratching the surface of what could be achieved and we’re not just talking about the tech that will one day be in cars.


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