There was a time when self-driving cars were a long way from reality but as of today, they are evolving. Most vehicles on the roads have some form of automation in them. The cars just need to be connected to a fast internet service much like Spectrum internet service and you’re ready to experience the goodness! Depending on where you live, you might have spotted a fully autonomous vehicle.
Waymo, an autonomous vehicle by Google has been spotted on the streets of Phoenix one too many times since 2017. The great news is that by 2030, the global autonomous vehicle market is estimated to be worth $60 billion.
Experts have been considering the pros and cons of self-driving cars for a while too. The much-debated Tesla AutoPilot pros and drawbacks debate, for example, highlights problems of security, regulation, and responsibility, despite boasting convenience and safety. Is the world really ready for fully autonomous cars? Let’s check the pros and cons to come to a conclusion:
Autonomous cars are life-changing. The features they are packed with could leave a huge impact and transform the way we drive forever. Here are the pros of having them:
Reduction in Accidents
autonomous vehicles can eliminate the possibility of accidents caused by careless driving. According to the NHTSA, intoxicated drivers caused over 10,000 automobile accidents in 2019, amounting to over 30 persons killed every hour in the USA. Also, distracted drivers were responsible for over 3,000 deaths in 2019.
Other factors that contribute to accidents include drug use speeding, sleepiness, and the failure to wear a seatbelt. With the introduction of self-driving cars, these incidents can be avoided, making the roads safer for not just drivers but pedestrians as well.
Fully automated vehicles communicate through a network of computers. This communication enables real-time analysis, which can aid in determining the optimum travel routes and calculating acceptable speeds and spacing between vehicles during rush-hour jams. This will take the fuss out of traveling.
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Environmentally Friendly Means of Transport
Another reason to love these cars is the environmental impact. Internal-combustion engines will most likely not be used in autonomous vehicles. Furthermore, because self-driving cars will drive at steady speeds, continuous braking and acceleration will be reduced. All of these things will help reduce emissions and make the environment more sustainable.
Potentially Lower Insurance Cost
Insurance companies may also compensate buyers for purchasing a self-driving car since the risk of accidents is reduced, lowering the cost of insurance.
While self-driving cars are more expensive than traditional cars, you might save a lot of money on car insurance in the long term.
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Helpful For the Differently-Abled and Elderly
For people with impairments and the elderly, self-driving vehicles could be a safer and more accessible option. These folks will become more independent and they would be able to explore new employment opportunities.
The Fuel Economy Benefit
Finally, because self-driving cars are designed to be fuel-efficient, they can save people a significant amount of money on petrol when compared to traditional vehicles. Autonomous vehicles can be built to be entirely electric or to be dual-fueled, meaning they can run on both electricity and gas.
Self-driving cars sure could improve our lives but they have some downsides that still need to be addressed until they are fully adopted/launched. These are some cons that can’t be overlooked:
Your Car Can Be Hacked!
The danger of hacking is one of the major drawbacks of self-driving cars. To communicate and coordinate with one another, automated cars would need to use the same network protocol.
However, if a big number of automobiles are connected to the same network, they could be hacked. Even a little security flaw could cause traffic congestion and collisions on congested highways.
Companies that are manufacturing self-driving cars are currently working on the cyber security aspect of these vehicles. But we all know hackers are just as smart. This is keeping consumers from investing in these vehicles.
It Could Cost a Fortunate to Buy a Fully Autonomous Car
Let’s be real, self-driving cars are expensive and not everyone can afford them.
While self-driving cars may save money in the long run, the initial cost of automated vehicles is definitely high. According to some estimates, owning a fully autonomous vehicle will cost an additional $250,000 per vehicle.
Costs should, of course, decrease as the technology evolves. However, in the early phases, the entry barrier may be too high for the general public.
Machine Errors Can Be Dangerous
While most people agree that self-driving cars will undoubtedly reduce the number of accidents, they do not totally remove the possibility of accidents. For instance, what if the car’s software or any component of the car malfunctions? This might place the driver at greater risk than if the driver took control of the vehicle himself.
Now that the pros and cons of these vehicles are clear, it’s up to you to decide whether or not to invest in a self-driving car.