These days, society questions whether autonomous vehicles are really safe and stable. So, what is an autonomous vehicle? Autonomous vehicles are vehicles that can guide themselves without human engagement. Such vehicles have become concrete realities that may pave the way for future systems in which computers take over the art of driving. Companies such as Waymo, GM, Daimler, Aptiv, Zoox, Renault, Volkswagen, BMW, Toyota, and Ford work are developing such vehicles for enhancing drivers’ comfort and safety. However, they do not come with disadvantages: such vehicles are vulnerable to hacking, and the development of autonomous vehicles might lead to the loss of certain jobs.
First and foremost, the first advantage of autonomous vehicles is that it can save lives and the environment. Studies show that autonomous vehicles can save lives because 85% of road accidents are results of human mistakes. These include drunken driving, over-speeding, overloading boxes or garbage, using mobile phones while on the road, and smoking in the car which makes you dizzy. However, AI drivers don’t have a disturbance. The RAND (Research and Development) Corporation said that an autonomous vehicle robot driver is safer than a human driver because there is no blind spot and disturbance for robot drivers. Also, the environment would get less damage. This is because of two factors. The first thing is since there will be fewer car crashes, it will not cause harm to the environment, leading animals and plants unharmed. According to the NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), they said 90% of car crashes can be reduced by autonomous vehicles. The second is since autonomous vehicles reduce traffic jams, the car will not stop than regular cars, so we can reduce the amount of fuel. Since the autonomous vehicle will use less fuel, it will be able to reduce global warming, so we can save the environment.
Secondly, an autonomous vehicle can help drivers reach their destination quickly. Autonomous vehicles are able to communicate with each other, so they can make road congestion a thing of the past. Although there are cons about the car-to-car communication like it will be a hard task to solve because the technology has so short range, however, the majority of people says the range of the car communication will be expanded by using Bluetooth or something similar to it. The MIT technology reviewer, Will Knight said that car-to-car communication, a technology which lets cars broadcast their position, speed, steering-wheels, brake status, and other data to other vehicles within a few hundred meters will impact traffic jams by reducing time; however, making the communication network will be a difficult task, but in the future, it will be ready for production.
The first reason why autonomous vehicles are harmful is that it is so vulnerable to hacking. Like any machine, the vehicles are made with software so it is able to be hacked. So this can lead to dangerous situations for the driver. Like hijacking, the hacker can just access the autonomous vehicle’s AI and give it orders. Furthermore, it can be used as a terror weapon for terrorists. Rob Toews is jointly pursuing degrees at Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School. He says the biggest threat that society will face is our future car will be vulnerable to hacking. The reason is every software is connected to the internet, thereby, it is vulnerable to hacking. He compared it to the Jeep Cherokee hacking experiment. Original cars are very easy to hack, so autonomous vehicles will be even easier to hack.
The second reason is an important issue that is joblessness. The world has 17.78 million taxi drivers, and they could lose jobs to autonomous driving cars. However, not only taxi drivers will lose jobs, Bus drivers, driver’s license academy teachers, and perhaps racing car drivers and all the people who are related to the automobile industry could lose their jobs. It is roughly estimated to be around 30 million people that could lose their jobs. Another huge problem is the truck drivers’ joblessness. According to the ATA (American Trucking Association), many of the truck drivers are protesting because there are about 61,000 drivers just in America, and their average age is 46. When these people lose their jobs, they will be very poor because, at that age, they are not able to get an upper-level job in a company or a high-income job. This is one possible consequence for autonomous vehicles.
Although someone can lose a job and have many problems, it is all because when science-technology advances, life will change because of it. That is the flow of time. For example, when the Pony Express was a popular method for communication, many people wanted to work for the pony express for money because it was popular. However, when the telegraph was invented, the ponytail express was no longer popular and needed. So it created so many jobless people and they argued about the telegraph. However, because the telegraph was invented, they could invent telephones. So that is the reason why we must follow trends in scientific technology. We must do this in order to live comfortably. Artificial Intelligence in autonomous vehicles has six levels, starting from zero and now we are at level four. If it turns to level five, the hacking problem will be solved and the jobless people will find new jobs. There will be fewer disadvantages, so we can make autonomous vehicles ready for commercialization. As Jimmy Dean, the singer, actor, and businessman said:” I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”