dri07_d.jpg

Worldwide drivers will be soon replaced by robots. If you hated commuting in office-hour traffic so far, now you can relax. Self-drive cars will also cut down the errors that humans make on road and which results in tons of fatal accidents every year. Unlike human beings, autonomous cars will never be driving under influence, fall asleep on highways or get distracted while changing lanes. It seems like finally we have been able to find a solution that will ensure road safety. However, the recent accident where a self-drive Uber killed a woman has raised some important questions.

How Did The Accident Happen?

It has been reported that a woman was crossing the road with her bike at 10 PM, when the car came towards her. Neither the car’s sensor nor the human safety driver who was in the car noticed the woman. The brakes were not pushed at all and the car rushed towards the woman resulting in a fatal accident. When taken to the nearest hospital the woman succumbed to her injuries.

What Might Have Happened?

Experts are saying that sometimes autonomous cars fail to detect inanimate objects with pedestrians. It must have been a similar case. Also, the human safety driver was not paying attention to the road which led to the accident which could have been avoided. It was huge setback for Uber. Their autonomous cars have been banned by the state of Arizona. Must be a huge loss for its partners who usually uses fleet management services to manage their cars. Other autonomous car companies are claiming that their cars wouldn’t have made this mistake, which puts Uber in a tricky position.

Why Are Autonomous Cars Considered Safer Then?

There are good reasons to consider autonomous cars a lot safer. Research has shown that car accidents happen mainly due to human error. With the advent of smartphones, chances of getting distracted has increased, hence road accidents have increased too. But robots are always alert, they are machines after all.

However, the problem arises when self-drive cars use the same road that is used by human drivers. Robots follow rules stringently. They will never overspeed, always stop at Stop signs. When a human driver breaks some of these rules, chances of accidents become higher.

Shall We See Autonomous Cars On Road Soon?

That is a question, which can’t be answered right now. Post the accident the lawmakers have asked the autonomous industry to stop plying their cars on public roads. But the way the automotive industry is spending on innovations regarding self-drive cars, it seems likely that companies want to launch them soon.

Technology will always have some downsides. Which is why the big companies have their research and development departments. We hope scientists come up with some solution that will ensure zero accidents with self-drive cars in the future. That is when the common people can have a worry-free journey on a autonomous car.

This article was written by the NUS community. If you would like to contribute your article, please get in touch.