Safety experts often talk about self-driving vehicles as some kind of revolutionary safety advancement. Frequently, such discussions focus on how many collisions are the result of human error, which is a huge percentage of all wrecks.
Drivers get distracted by the children in their vehicles or choose to drive when they feel so tired that they fall asleep at the wheel. Vehicles with self-driving capabilities can potentially prevent those situations from turning into crashes. Vehicles can alert drivers of dangerous situations or apply brakes when a driver does not seem to recognize an imminent crash risk.
While self-driving technology may eventually lead to safer roads for everyone, there are many concerns about self-driving vehicles currently.
1. Manufacturers don’t train drivers
Companies that boast about the complicated and exciting self-driving technology in their vehicles simply expect consumers to figure it out for themselves after making a new vehicle purchase. Most people don’t read the instruction manuals for their vehicles and will just start driving, trying to adapt to the systems as they go. This will inevitably lead to human error in the use of self-driving systems or assumptions that the system will do something that it cannot, which could cause a crash.
2. The systems themselves make mistakes
Researchers currently base self-driving programs on how humans drive. Some vehicles even come with multiple different driving modes, from assertive driving to the safest possible mode. These systems have already been the cause of controversy, as programmers taught vehicles to not come to a complete stop at intersections.
3. Vehicles aren’t ready for unusual circumstances yet
Many of the features that vehicles rely on for self-driving mode and driving assistance use cameras and similar technology. These systems often do not function optimally during times of precipitation, including rainy and snowy weather. Additionally, while vehicles may have programming for any number of circumstances, real life will invariably produce situations that confound even the most advanced driving software.
Especially in the early years of this technologies development, drivers need to be aware of the limitations of these systems so that they don’t end up harmed in preventable collisions. Tracking safety advances and challenges associated with self-driving vehicles can help those who want to reduce their risk of getting into a motor vehicle collision.