Self driving cars will have a limited usage

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self driving car

There is a lot of buzz on Self driving cars and their potential uses. There is a lot of media coverage and reporting on the Self driving cars developed by Google, Honda, Audi and other companies. Business Insider reports self driving cars will be widely accepted in next 5 years. Uber is partnering with University of Arizona to test autonomously driven cars. The self-driving car market is already starting to gain some traction with the help of Google and some well-established car manufactures but Lux Research thinks that the market will really pick up by 2030. At that point, the industry will be valued at $87 billion with more than 120 million autonomous cars on the road.

Accidents 

As it becomes wider testing and usage, injuries are being reported frequently. Even Google has reported it’s accident record. It should be concerning but not alarming to learn this as we realize this is not foolproof technology as it’s being claimed. Humans are to be blamed according to the head of the program at Google for some of these injuries reported in this video.

Self-driving car market worth $87b by 2030

Hacking cars
Have we thought about the other implications like hacking. A recent report entitled Tracking & Hacking: Security & Privacy Gaps Put American Drivers at Risk shows wireless vehicles are vulnerable to security breaches and privacy intrusions. Staff working for United States senator Ed Markey, a member of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, collected information about wireless security from 16 auto makers, among them BMW, Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors. They found that almost 100 per cent of vehicles were vulnerable to being hacked. Though it hasn’t happened yet, studies have shown show that hackers can control vehicles remotely. A crook with the right tools and the wrong attitude could steal personal data and would be able to – among other things – cause a car to accelerate, turn, brake, sound its horn, and turn headlights on and off. This is scary at the least and a nightmare at the best.

Customers lack of interest

The University of Michigan Sustainable Worldwide Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) is founded on the mission to address transportation’s future safety, energy, and environmental issues. The report found that most commuters prefer no self-driving capability, a drastic change from a 2014 report in which a majority of respondents expressed a desire to have the technology in their vehicles (although they don’t want to pay for it). While this shift could be attributed to various factors, many have recently communicated concern about the technology’s reliability.

Health concerns

Another concern, which the institute reported on in April 2015, is the effect of self-driving vehicles on motion sickness. According to the report, motion sickness would be more of an issue in self-driving vehicles than in conventional vehicles. The three main issues contributing to this, include conflict between vestibular and visual inputs, an inability to anticipate motion direction, and a lack of control over direction.

Potential uses 
Despite these concerns these efforts are laudable for the companies involved as the technology and innovation gains will be impressive. Even Tesla, a pioneer in electric car is on the bandwagon. Elon Musk announced that it’s cars will be able to self drive with a update. Some of the applications of this technology can be initially used as shuttles in airports, amusement park, sprawling work environments and also as public transportation.

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