Everyone knows that technology has been and continues to grow rapidly in terms of its capabilities, but that should not excuse what I’m going to be talking about in this article. That being cars that drive themselves and accidents.
Google has started to create cars that drive themselves, and are very efficient at doing so. However, when accidents happen, Google is choosing to blame human error, which probably has some truth to it, but in the end, even though driverless cars are a cool idea, I believe that they should not be on the road.
Someone should always be behind the wheel of a car, because of situations like these. of course there will be human mistakes during driving, but there are so many examples of how technology can be hazardous, especially when put in charge of a vehicle built to go anywhere from 40 kilometers and hour up to 120 kilometers and hour and potentially higher. For example, picture a human in a car waiting to make a right turn, usually, the person will wait until the coast is clear and then they go. In the event that they see a car moving to fast in order for them to complete the turn, they are able to stop, reverse, wait for a better opportunity, or act accordingly. On the other hand, a driverless car may not have such an option, or it may not invoke that option quickly enough. Also, at a stop sign for example, a computer will likely be able to read where the stop is, where the line to stop at is and stop appropriately, but it also has a chance of malfunctioning and stopping 10 feet ahead of its supposed stop, whereas a human is able to realize what they may have done wrong and make a decision.
Seven of the ten accidents reported were rear ending accidents, two were side swipes, and one was with another car rolling through a stop sign. One could easily argue that rear ending happens all the time with no driverless cars involved, it can easily be argued back that humans have been able to seen rear ending coming and acted accordingly to stop it. A computer may see the same the path a human would take and confirm it too dangerous to consider. Side swiping is yet another situation where the computer may just not react fast enough, and the stop sign scenario was covered in the paragraph above.
Another example of the classic human vs technology debate is the famous gps system. While there are incidents of humans who lose focus during driving and blame the GPS for making their commute much longer, there are situations where the GPS simply makes a mistake and has someone going the wrong way, or, in the case of a driverless car, it becomes a much more annoying and avoidable unneeded effort for the company to track down the car. At the end of the day, humans will make mistakes, and machines are always programmed to do what is the most logical, but sometimes having to do something erratic and quickly will save someone’s life, and computerized cars are simply not built to handle some of these situations.