It has been predicted by the car making companies that the first self-driving cars could hit the market as early as 2020. This, however, has been rubbished by some critics citing several factors that could postpone this driverless bliss. They are asserting that it may very well much farther than numerous people may realize. We take a look at why this technology might be slow to roll out below
Technology involved. The driverless cars are heavily dependent on one piece of technology called LIDAR. This technology helps the cars interpret surroundings. It stands for light detection and ranging.
The sensors are very expensive and difficult to manufacture. There are not enough companies manufacturing this technology with the capability to meet demand. The technology has been built from scratch and still has a long way to go in terms of development. Moreover, there are different weather conditions in different places that the engineers building the cars haven’t figured out yet. The infrastructure required to make self-driving cars possible is also quite a challenge. Getting 5G internet speeds on all
roads in the world, functioning traffic lights and smart roads is not something that is guaranteed and even if achievable could take years.
Driving is an intensely social process that requires common sense. Even though it may seem simple, it is something that robots lack. There are
thousands of situations that come up every day while driving such as a person absentmindedly standing by the road.
Self-driving cars may interpret this as the person wanting to cross the road and stop, something that a human being can quickly determine. It has been suggested that companies focus on autonomous cars that one can easily change from auto-pilot and driver mode. But this has also faced criticisms as shared control could increase the rate of accidents.
The technical know-how
The technology involved in creating self-driving cars is built from scratch. As a result, there are only a few professionals who have the
talent to build these cars. This has resulted in poaching, inflated incomes and a lot of money invested in individuals in this field. Several lawsuits have also sprung up involving poaching. Universities have also put complains about losing top research minds to companies seeking to find headway in the industry. Pando.com estimated that engineers working on self-driving cars were estimated to be earning in excess of 10 million dollars per individual.
Human beings cannot tell the difference between a car that can fully self-drive itself and one that is partly reliant on them. If given a chance to wander, the human brain most often does, in this regard, employing the self-autonomous car technology may lead to more accidents than those currently available. There will definitely be a period of transition where the companies involved in the creation of these cars will be engaged in frivolous lawsuits involving accidents. This may slow down the rollout of the technology and even affect the level of acceptance by consumers. The cars could also be prone to cyber-attacks. The software used could be hacked and the cars turned into weapons.