Imagine including Google, Tesla and BMW, currently

April 8, 2019 General Studies

Imagine a world where we can get in our car without worry of driving yourself to a place of
your destination, rather our car we take us to our perfect destination by its self without
needing us to take over the steering wheel. Self-driving cars used to be a fictional dream but is
now becoming a reality, with many large companies including Google, Tesla and BMW,
currently investing in the development of this autonomous car. What is self-driving car?
according to Meredith Broussard, it is just like a regular car with integration of a powerful
computer couples with sensors including GPS, LIDAR, and some cameras attached that relays
information back to the car’s computer system(Broussard). That is self-driving car does not
need the human vision to see where is going. It is operated by the computer hidden inside. Self-
driving cars should not be allowed by the government because there is not enough extensive
research on its safety compare to the numerous research that have been done on human
drivers. An article written by Peter Hancock states “But so far, most comparisons between
human drivers and automated vehicles have been at best uneven, and at worst,
unfair”(Hancock). This quote demonstrates that how hard is to compare self-driving cars
crashes with the human-driven car.
Also, further study shows that measuring how many crashes happen are hard to determine
because more than 90 percent of car accident in the US are caused by driver error. But this
information is not enough to determine whether self-driving cars are better than human at not
crashing. For example, we need to determine how many non-crashes happen among human
drivers as there are millions of cars driven by human in the US. But it is very difficult to access
the rate self-driving car’s crashes because there are only few of them by now, says the article
“Are autonomous cars really safe than human drivers” written by Hancock.
Another reason why autonomous car is not safe because it lacks human instinct for self-
preservation that permits people to make a critical decision in times of life-threatening. For
example, self-driving car might not be able to make a critical decision in times of critical
situations because computer system hidden inside may fails suddenly.
Yet another reason is that self- driving cars rely heavily on pre-programmed route map in
their systems to function properly as they get constant feedback from the computer imbedded
in the car systems. An article ” Self-Driving Cars and Humans Face Inevitable Collisions” written
by Peter Hancock states ” They perceive the world around them using lasers, radar, GPS and
other sensors, in addition to their on-board cameras. So, their perceptions can be very
different from those presented to human eyes”……(Hancock). Autonomous cars use LIDAR
sensors digitally to map out the road ahead of an autonomous car, these sensors essentially
help to guide the car in all directions. What if one of these sensors is malfunctioning which
could cause a trouble for an autonomous car to recognize the object in front of them as the
sensors play a key role in identifying the stop signs, street light and road marking. For instance,
not all the roads in the US are marked or have street lights, some roads condition is worst,
especially, where there are road constructions, without these things, self-driving cars would not
be able to function properly. But for human drivers, vision is king. They can drive in any road
conditions.
However, if all the cars were self-driving cars maybe it will be better in that form as there is
inevitable collision between autonomous car and human driver. For example, driverless cars
rely heavily on computer system while human drivers perceived things with their instinct, so
both cannot co-exist on the same road. Self-driving cars are good in following the rules, they
are very polite when they on the road, they stay on their lanes and they do not through the red light. Also, they don’t get tired, angry, frustrated or drunk like human drivers. They do not text
and drive.

However, autonomous car can only work in specific conditions. They can only operate in
good weather condition, when weather clearer, they cannot operate in the snow because it
may cover the camera they use to see. In contrast human drivers can drive in any weather
condition, weather in the snow or heavy rain. Lastly, human drivers also relate well with each
other on the road, for instance, they make eye contact, telling the other driver to let them get
in the lane. For example, the human drivers can warn the other drivers on the road if the tail
lights on the other driver’s car is broken. All these little things might be some inevitable things
to do for self-driving cars.
Conclusively, self-driving cars can provide many benefits to people, but the crashes are
inevitable because something that rely computer solely is not as better as human drivers when
it comes vision. However, if the governments eventually, allow all the cars to be driverless cars,
more advance safety test should be conducted on such cars.

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