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Do you think the advantages of driverless vehicles outweigh the disadvantages?

“The vehicles will be fully self-driving. So you have your own space where you can sit back and relax.”


This is a quote by Waymo CEO John Krafick. Let us first clarify what is meant by an autonomous car, also referred to as a driverless car.  However, there is a distinction between automated, self-driving, and autonomous vehicles, which will be explained in the next section of the article. A vehicle that drives itself is a vehicle that can sense its environment and find its way around without assistance from a human. It can take over the operation without any person inside it. It is capable of reaching anywhere that an ordinary car is capable of and doing everything a competent human driver would do. This article evaluates whether driverless vehicles have more advantages than disadvantages. 


What distinguishes automated, self-driving, and autonomous vehicles?


There is a huge difference between automated and autonomous cars because an automated automobile just simply obeys commands and drives itself while an autonomous car possesses the ability to make its own decisions. A self-driving automobile can function alone, but a human must remain nearby to take over in an emergency. On the other hand, autonomous vehicles are not constrained in any way and can travel anywhere. All automated, self-driving, and autonomous cars are referred to as “driverless vehicles” in this article.


Advantages of driverless vehicles


A major advantage of driverless vehicles is ensuring the safety of the passenger.  Some key reasons why vehicle accidents happen are driver fatigue, distraction when driving, and insufficient awareness about driving. Using driverless vehicles we can replace the driver and use cutting-edge technologies ( cameras, sensors, and artificial intelligence) to travel comfortably and securely. Furthermore, autonomous cars react more quickly, which shortens the time needed for braking and starting. Car 2x communication refers to the ability of autonomous vehicles to coordinate and communicate with one another. This makes driving more effective and energy-efficient overall by reducing unpleasant and time-consuming traffic jams. Because autonomous cars can drop off passengers at their destinations and travel to pick up another passenger or park themselves, driverless vehicles can lessen the requirement for parking spots. In the event that parking is still required, the driver’s time and effort can be spared as the autonomous car can autonomously look for a spot. After that, the automobile can notify the user of the parking spot’s location, enabling them to know where the car is parked.


Disadvantages of driverless vehicles


Although autonomous vehicles could result in huge cost savings for society over time, their initial cost could be enormous. According to some experts, owning a completely automated car may cost an extra $250,000 for each vehicle. The initial entry hurdle might be too great for the majority of people. Due to their extensive data and software, autonomous automobiles may be targets of cyberattacks. Hackers can take over an autonomous vehicle and manipulate it such that it crashes or behaves strangely. Even though violent acts can be produced out of computers, terrorists could still use an autonomous vehicle to plan an attack without the owner’s consent. Driverless vehicles also replace the people who engage in driving careers. Drivers in the trucking business, bus drivers, and taxi drivers will all need to look for new jobs. Automated automobiles would also replace Uber drivers and people who deliver fast food.


How can we prevent the issues that driverless vehicles may cause?


According to the statistics, in cities where the majority of self-driving car accidents occur, driverless vehicles have the potential to save billions of dollars annually and significantly lower crash costs.  Most of the accidents happen due to human errors, driverless vehicles have the potential to stop them. Companies like Google and Waymo have demonstrated encouraging outcomes in preventing accidents, indicating that additional developments in self-driving technology may completely transform the safety of transportation.

Customers should not be worried about the software security of driverless vehicles because every year driverless vehicles usually get 10 to 20 software updates that significantly improve their safety features. The algorithms governing the behavior of driverless cars, obstacle recognition, and decision-making under different driving circumstances are enhanced by these improvements. They also ensure that driverless vehicles stay at the forefront of technology by addressing weaknesses and adjusting to new road safety concerns. With each new development, driverless cars get safer and more dependable by incorporating feedback from the actual world and the most recent research.


Driverless vehicles and the future


Dubai hopes to establish a global standard for self-driving transport regulation and legislation and to incorporate autonomous technology into all forms of public transportation, such as buses, metros, taxis, and shuttles. To guide driverless vehicles, the system uses high-resolution maps from data gathered by cameras, LiDAR, and other sensors in Dubai.


Researchers, tech firms, and automakers are always improving autonomous car technology. A laser-based technology was unveiled by Stanford University researchers in March 2018 to assist autonomous vehicles in identifying unexpected obstacles. In Frisco, Texas, Drive.ai intends to introduce an on-demand self-driving automobile service. There are many examples of these developments in the media regularly. Legal frameworks for autonomous vehicle testing and operation are now being developed in an increasing number of nations.


This article outlines the benefits and drawbacks of driverless vehicles. The shortcomings of driverless vehicles can be solved by future technological advancements. Thus, this article demonstrates how the benefits of driverless vehicles exceed their drawbacks.


References and further readings


Here, A. (2023) Autonomous vehicles quotes. https://www.supplychaintoday.com/autonomous-vehicles-quotes/.


Driverless Car Accident Statistics and Trends in 2024 • GitNux (2024). https://gitnux.org/driverless-car-accident-statistics/.


Sbai, A. (2024b) Navigating the future of autonomous vehicles. https://infomineo.com/industrial-goods/navigating-the-future-of-autonomous-vehicles/#Can_we_see_driverless_taxis_on_UAE_streets_in_2023.


The rise of autonomous vehicles | Digital Watch Observatory (no date). https://dig.watch/trends/rise-autonomous-vehicles.


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