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Self-driving Cars: Revolutionizing The Future of Transportation

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Published: Mar 6, 2024

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Introduction, the advantages of self-driving cars:, the challenges of self-driving cars:, the future scope and conclusion.

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persuasive essay about self driving cars

Argumentative Essay On Self-Driving Cars

persuasive essay about self driving cars

Self-driving cars are still in the early stages of development, but they have the potential to revolutionize transportation. They could reduce accidents, relieve congestion, and provide new mobility options for seniors and people with disabilities. But there are also concerns about safety and privacy.

Expertise Final Project Over the past ten years, those that have been old enough to be aware of their surroundings know how drastic technology has changed over the years. New and greatly improved ways of communicating, entertainment, and transportation have been introduced, and they’ve been introduced at increasing and astonishing rates. Transportation is used daily by majority of people worldwide. In urban settings, commuters find it difficult to drive and get where they need to when roadways are congested and their commutes are long.

Frustration, fatigue and anger derive from this difficulty. While travelers experience this n the road, their ability to drive isn’t safe for themselves and others, and often these are the reasons for most accidents. Simple mistakes that are caused by this are often inevitable and could be changed if daily travelers didn’t have to worry about being the ones controlling the vehicle. The world today relies on technology to do most things for themselves, and a car that could drive itself would significantly assist people universally.

Recent testing done by Google with development of autonomous cars has the attention of people globally on the dramatic change that an advancement such as self-driving ediums would bring into society if it’s introduced within the upcoming years. Self-driving cars are safe, modern, and an updated way of transportation that will benefit people worldwide in the upcoming future. Bus and taxi services will become simplified and obtainable for pedestrians who need quick transportation.

Should Self-Driving Cars Be Legal

persuasive essay about self driving cars

There are also concerns about legal liability. If a self-driving car gets into an accident, who is responsible? The driver? The car manufacturer? The software company? This is still a relatively new technology, and the laws have not caught up yet.

Self-driving cars also raise ethical questions . For example, what should the car do if it gets into an accident? Should it try to save the lives of the passengers, even if that means sacrificing the lives of pedestrians? These are tough questions that need to be considered before self-driving cars become more widespread.

Overall, there are many factors to consider when it comes to self-driving cars. Safety, legal liability, and ethics are just a few of the issues that need to be addressed. Self-driving cars have the potential to revolutionize transportation, but there are still many hurdles to overcome before they can be fully accepted by society.

Self-driving cars are becoming increasingly prevalent on roads across the globe. But, should they be legal? Some experts say yes, as they can help to reduce accidents and improve traffic flow. Others believe that self-driving cars are too dangerous and unpredictable to be allowed on public roads.

This travel method would be quick, safe, and reliable. Self-driving cars will be useful for society in the commute of passengers, although it should have limited usage on the roads today. Annually, there’s an estimate of more than 37,000 people that are killed in the US due to traffic related ccidents. 93-95% of these accidents are due to simple human error (Peterson, Peters). Whether it was a mistake that could’ve been prevented or if it was unavoidable, humans are unfortunately flawed in numerous ways while behind the wheel.

Most commonly today, the biggest preventable reasons behind fatal accidents are drunk driving and distraction with technology. Although both are illegal, our country is still faced yearly with frequent deaths with correctable causes. It’s nearly impossible to prevent humans with the ability to drive to refrain from being behind the wheel with no distractions, but the rogress of Google’s self-driving software makes it possible to program robots to do this. It’s clear that cars are one of the best and worst things invented.

Counter Argument For Self-Driving Cars

Self-driving cars are becoming increasingly popular, but there are still many who are skeptical of them. Some people argue that self-driving cars are not safe, and that we should not be trusting them with our lives. Here is a counter argument to that claim.

Self-driving cars have been tested extensively and have proven to be much safer than human-driven cars. In fact, studies have shown that self-driving cars are far less likely to get into accidents than human-driven cars. Self-driving cars also have the potential to reduce traffic congestion and save lives.

Critics of self-driving cars often argue that we should not be trusting them with our lives. However, it is important to remember that human drivers are responsible for the majority of accidents on our roads. In fact, studies have shown that human error is responsible for 94% of all car accidents. Self-driving cars have the potential to drastically reduce the number of accidents on our roads, and save lives in the process.

There are still many skeptics of self-driving cars, but it is important to remember that they have the potential to make our roads much safer. Self-driving cars have been tested extensively and have proven to be much safer than human-driven cars. In addition, self-driving cars have the potential to reduce traffic congestion and save lives. We should not be afraid to trust self-driving cars with our lives, as they have the potential to make our roads much safer.

More so best for a great deal of reasons, although cars have caused an unreal amount of fatalities and accidents that have caused serious injuries to people that may or may not have been at fault. The amount of people that die from car related accidents is equal to 737 jet planes crashing weekly (Peterson, Peters). The general population is aware that human drivers aren’t always substantial for operating vehicles, but self-driving technology ould make it a safer option and ability to transport commuters on a daily basis.

The driverless car is one of the most promising new technologies of our time. The potential for these vehicles to transform the way we live and work is staggering. But as with any new technology, there are also concerns about safety and security. In this essay, we will explore the pros and cons of driverless cars .

On the plus side, driverless cars have the potential to make our roads much safer. By removing human error from the equation, driverless cars could dramatically reduce the number of accidents on our roads. They could also help to ease congestion, as they can communicate with each other to optimize routes and avoid traffic jams.

On the downside, driverless cars could pose a threat to people’s privacy. If data from driverless cars is collected and shared, it could be used to track people’s movements and even spy on them. There are also concerns that driverless cars could be hacked, and used for malicious purposes.

Overall, driverless cars hold great promise. But as with any new technology, there are also some risks that need to be considered.

Since the autonomous cars had been initially introduced into testing in 2009, there’s been only 16 very minor accidents. Each of these accidents had cases of the other human drivers being at fault (Richtel, Dougherty). Therefore, the only unsafe factors in the autonomous cars are humans themselves. With statistics and testing results in mind, self-driving cars are developed to be an exceptional safe traveling method. As people age into their senior years of life, they lose the ability to attentively operate a vehicle. Their senses of being aware of the details of their surroundings that are necessary to drive are lost.

For most elders, they never wish to stop driving. The same concept goes for those with disabilities they’re born with, blindness, and even more tragically for those that have suddenly lost the ability to drive at a younger age. The freedom and capabilities to access transportation easily on our own should never have to end. Drivers will simply have the ability to type in or speak into their cars of their destination and let the car do the work (Dallegro). Introducing self-driving cars into ociety today will benefit everybody, especially for the impaired.

Google is developing self-driving vehicles to operate without the help of a human through exact accuracy of mapping software and sensors surrounding the car (Sage). The prototype uses Laser Illuminating Detection and Ranging (Lidar), used for 3D mapping for the car and four radars surrounding it to detect speeds of others. It includes high powered cameras that allows to see precisely around the car in the range of 30 meters, sonar for sound related detection, specific positioning, and other state of the art software (Clark).

As of 2014, there was already over 2,000 miles of the four million miles in the world mapped out for the self-driving cars (Madrigal). A year later, the Google self- driving cars have logged 70,000 miles during their test driving (Clark). Boris Sofman from The Atlantic quotes, “We are able to turn the physical world into a virtual world”. Rather than having the software be simple mapping for the self-driving cars, the programming scientists are creating are precise enough to know how high a traffic light is off the ground or how many inches high a curb to the side of the road is (Madrigal).

As a result, the autonomous vehicle is able to accurately detect its surroundings to perform accordingly. China, globally known for being one of the most thriving countries in production and growth, plan on having self-driving technology in transportation methods on their roads within the next two years (Walker). The Chinese will likely have fully functioning features of the self-driving software on the road before the US, but we’re expected to closely follow. Companies such as Baidu and Yutong located in China have done numerous public transportation demonstrations of the notion.

The culture and government is more open to the idea currently than it is in America. It’s most probable that China will see the features first used in public transit, taking the place of bus and taxi services (Walker). In large cities of the region, majority of individuals that own a motor vehicle only use it for the sake of the commute to work positions. With plans of self- driving technology on roadways, it’s anticipated that a large number of the population will not feel the need to own a car, making fuel and vehicles costs for individuals decrease significantly.

Furthermore, the economic conditions will be mproved drastically in terms of allowing the population to travel in a conveniently practical way of simplified traveling in a fuel efficient method. Following this, environmental conditions will also remarkably improve. Opposing opinions on self-driving vehicles are argued for appropriate and understandable rationale. Driving a vehicle as a human gives us a sense of freedom in having the ability ourselves to drive at our own speed, rate, and go the routes we choose to take.

Entertainment with driving and operating different vehicles has been popular since cars were first invented. In fact, the biggest distinguished eason why people are against autonomous cars is because it’s seen as too safe and restricts traveler’s freedom (Richtel, Dougherty). Many consider race-car driving to be a sport, and the change in demand for self-operated vehicles in the near future could change the possibility of continuing careers and hobbies with cars.

There would be no reason to make cars different when they each perform the same functions. Another reason why allowing self-driving programs to fully control cars is a controversial idea is due to the issue of who would be considered at fault if their was an accident between two self- riven automobiles. Insurance companies haven’t jumped on board of the idea of this technology yet for this justification. How would you be able to know who’s liable when the human didn’t have any contact or ability to correct the self-driving car’s actions?

Humans have the capability of using their own judgement while driving to step outside of legal boundaries in cases of emergency. A self-driving vehicle lacks this since it’s programmed to obey any and all laws that are presented on the roadways (Peterson, Peters). Lacking these human senses and abilities while utilizing a vehicle could lead to difficulty in the erformance of the self-driving car. The movement of self- driving software has been transitioning rapidly across the globe, with features already presented in major car companies such as BMW, Mercedes, and Tesla (Greenough).

Though the features to brake and park on a vehicle’s own has impressed its users, the advanced softwaring of a fully functionable self-automated car will be a major step into the economic, travel, and environment changes that are valuable in the physical world today. Society has become reliant on the technology that does things for themselves, and allowing mechanical methods of commuting to e done by itself would buy the population the time and energy that most need.

The United States started with their ways of travel to be done without help through horse and buggy a century ago, and the method will be brought back into the current society with autonomous software (Hirisch). With an estimate of over a billion dollars spent in the course of the next decade, the future for autonomous vehicles is reachable (Sage). The self-driving car is a major step forward in today’s technological abilities that’s expected to arrive sooner in our society than what the world may envision.

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Seven Arguments Against the Autonomous-Vehicle Utopia

All the ways the self-driving future won’t come to pass

People stand indoors near a silver self-driving car.

Self-driving cars are coming. Tech giants such as Uber and Alphabet have bet on it, as have old-school car manufacturers such as Ford and General Motors. But even as Google’s sister company Waymo prepares to launch its self-driving-car service and automakers prototype vehicles with various levels of artificial intelligence , there are some who believe that the autonomous future has been oversold—that even if driverless cars are coming, it won’t be as fast, or as smooth, as we’ve been led to think. The skeptics come from different disciplines inside and out of the technology and automotive industries, and each has a different bear case against self-driving cars. Add them up and you have a guide to all the ways our autonomous future might not materialize.

Bear Case 1: They Won’t Work Until Cars Are as Smart as Humans

Computers have nowhere near human intelligence. On individual tasks, such as playing Go or identifying some objects in a picture, they can outperform humans, but that skill does not generalize. Proponents of autonomous cars tend to see driving as more like Go: a task that can be accomplished with a far-lower-than-human understanding of the world. But in a duo of essays in 2017, Rodney Brooks, a legendary roboticist and artificial-intelligence researcher who directed the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory for a decade, argued against the short-term viability of self-driving cars based on the sheer number of “edge cases,” i.e., unusual circumstances, they’d have to handle.

Read: The AI that has nothing to learn from humans

“Even with an appropriate set of guiding principles, there are going to be a lot of perceptual challenges … that are way beyond those that current developers have solved with deep learning networks, and perhaps a lot more automated reasoning than any AI systems have so far been expected to demonstrate,” he wrote . “I suspect that to get this right we will end up wanting our cars to be as intelligent as a human, in order to handle all the edge cases appropriately. ”

He still believes that self-driving cars will one day come to supplant human drivers. “Human driving will probably disappear in the lifetimes of many people reading this,” he wrote. “But it is not going to all happen in the blink of an eye.”

Bear Case 2: They Won’t Work, Because They’ll Get Hacked

Every other computer thing occasionally gets hacked, so it’s a near-certainty that self-driving cars will be hacked, too. The question is whether that intrusion—or the fear of it— will be sufficient to delay or even halt the introduction of autonomous vehicles.

Read: The banality of the Equifax breach

The transportation reporter and self-driving car skeptic Christian Wolmar once asked a self-driving-car security specialist named Tim Mackey to lay out the problem. Mackey “believes there will be a seminal event that will stop all the players in the industry in their tracks,” Wolmar wrote . ‘‘We have had it in other areas of computing, such as the big-data hacks and security lapses and it will happen in relation to autonomous cars.” Cars, even ones that don’t drive themselves, have already proved vulnerable to hackers .

The obvious counterargument is that data lapses, hacking, identity theft, and a whole lot of other things have done basically nothing to slow down the consumer internet. A lot of people see these problems and shrug . However, the physical danger that cars pose is far greater, and maybe the norms developed for robots will be different from those prevalent on the internet, legally and otherwise , as the University of Washington legal scholar Ryan Calo has argued.

Bear Case 3: They Won’t Work as a Transportation Service

Right now most companies working on self-driving cars are working on them as the prelude to a self-driving-car service. So you wouldn’t own your car; you’d just get rides from a fleet of robo-cars maintained by Waymo or Uber or Lyft. One reason for that is the current transportation-service companies can’t seem to find their way to profitability. In fact, they keep losing insane amounts of money . Take the driver out of the equation and maybe all of that money saved would put them in the black. At the same time, the equipment that’s mounted on self-driving cars to allow them to adequately convert physical reality into data is extremely expensive. Consumer vehicles with all those lasers and computers on board would be prohibitively expensive. On top of that, the question of calibrating and maintaining all that equipment would be entrusted to people like me, who don’t wash their car for months at a time.

Read: Will Uber and Lyft become different things?

Put these factors together and the first step in fully autonomous vehicles that most companies are betting on is to sell robo-car service, not robo-cars.

There is a simple rejoinder to why this might not work. George Hotz, who is himself attempting to build a DIY driving device, has a funny line that sums it up. “They already have this product, it’s called Uber, it works pretty good,” Hotz told The Verge . And what is a robo-car ride if not “a worse Uber”?

Bear Case 4: They Won’t Work, Because You Can’t Prove They’re Safe

Commercial airplanes rely heavily on autopilot, but the autopilot software is considered provably safe because it does not rely on machine-learning algorithms. Such algorithms are harder to test because they rely on statistical techniques that are not deterministic. Several engineers have questioned how self-driving systems based on machine learning could be rigorously screened. “Most people, when they talk about safety, it’s ‘Try not to hit something,’” Phil Koopman, who studies self-driving-car safety at Carnegie Mellon University, told Wired this year. “In the software-safety world, that’s just basic functionality. Real safety is, ‘Does it really work?’ Safety is about the one kid the software might have missed, not about the 99 it didn’t.”

Regulators will ultimately decide if the evidence that self-driving-car companies such as Waymo have compiled of safe operation on roads and in simulations meets some threshold of safety. More deaths caused by autonomous vehicles, such as an Uber’s killing of Elaine Herzberg , seem likely to drive that threshold higher.

Koopman, for one, thinks that new global standards like the ones we have for aviation are needed before self-driving cars can really get on the road, which one imagines would slow down the adoption of the cars worldwide.

Bear Case 5: They’ll Work, But Not Anytime Soon

Last year, Ford announced plans to invest $1 billion in Argo AI, a self-driving-car company. So it was somewhat surprising when Argo’s CEO, Bryan Salesky, posted a pessimistic note about autonomous vehicles on Medium shortly after. “We’re still very much in the early days of making self-driving cars a reality,” he wrote . “Those who think fully self-driving vehicles will be ubiquitous on city streets months from now or even in a few years are not well connected to the state of the art or committed to the safe deployment of the technology.”

In truth, that’s the timeline the less aggressive carmakers have put forth. Most companies expect some version of self-driving cars in the 2020s, but when within the decade is where the disagreement lies.

Bear Case 6: Self-Driving Cars Will Mostly Mean Computer-Assisted Drivers

While Waymo and a few other companies are committed to fully driverless cars or nothing, most major carmakers plan to offer increasing levels of autonomy , bit by bit. That’s GM’s play with the Cadillac Super Cruise. Daimler, Nissan, and Toyota are targeting the early 2020s for incremental autonomy.

Read: The most important self-driving car announcement yet

Waymo’s leadership and Aurora’s Chris Urmson worry that disastrous scenarios lie down this path. A car that advertises itself as self-driving “should never require the person in the driver’s seat to drive. That hand back [from machine to human] is the hard part,” Urmson told me last year . “If you want to drive and enjoy driving, God bless you, go have fun, do it. But if you don’t want to drive, it’s not okay for the car to say, ‘I really need you in this moment to do that.’”

Bear Case 7: Self-Driving Cars Will Work, But Make Traffic and Emissions Worse

And finally, what if self-driving works, technically, but the system it creates only “solve[s] the problem of ‘I live in a wealthy suburb but have a horrible car commute and don’t want to drive anymore but also hate trains and buses,’” as the climate advocate Matt Lewis put it . That’s what University of California at Davis researchers warn could happen if people don’t use (electric-powered) self-driving services and instead own (gasoline-powered) self-driving cars. “Sprawl would continue to grow as people seek more affordable housing in the suburbs or the countryside, since they’ll be able to work or sleep in the car on their commute,” the scenario unfolds . Public transportation could spiral downward as ride-hailing services take share from the common infrastructure.

And that’s not an unlikely scenario based on current technological and market trends. “Left to the market and individual choice, the likely outcome is more vehicles, more driving and a slow transition to electric cars,” wrote Dan Sperling, the director of the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies, in his 2018 book, Three Revolutions: Steering Automated, Shared, and Electric Vehicles to a Better Future .

It would certainly be a cruel twist if self-driving cars managed to save lives on the road while contributing to climate catastrophe. But if the past few years of internet history have taught us anything, any technology as powerful and society-shaping as autonomous vehicles will certainly have unintended consequences. And skeptics might just have a handle on what those could be.

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Essay: Self-driving cars

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Self-driving cars. Ten years ago, something like this would seem completely unbelievable. Now however, it’s becoming our reality. A lot of questions come to mind with this subject: how will this affect our lives? How will this affect our future? Is this good for us? Is this bad? These questions must be strongly considered and answered while looking at this subject. I think that this is a promising new field, but that makes a person ask many serious questions, and even involves the entire concept of comparing artificial intelligence to human intelligence. I think that while this type of vehicle has promise, it’s very hard to choose artificial intelligence over human intelligence. A lot of things must be figured out before this type of car can seriously challenge the people’s preference for cars that they have to drive themselves.         

  What are self-driving cars? Well, as is clear due to the name itself, these are cars that don’t need a driver to be driven. These cars use an artificial intelligence system to decide everything that is typically decided by the driver themselves. A person can presumably input the destination, and the car will do the rest on its own. In other words, it’s a form of a taxi cab owned by the passenger themselves. There is however much more to this than just that, these cars also make decisions normally made by human drivers, such as choosing the best routes and even calculating how to cause the least casualties in an accident. This is a very controversial subject, as these cars may prefer the owner/passenger die instead of others if it causes the least overall casualties. It’s not yet clear as to all the things that these cars will be able to do, but the general basics are clear: you sit back and let the car do the rest. An interesting question that isn’t often asked, is whether a person will need to have a driver’s license to be in this car. If the car does all the work, then why does a person need to know how to drive? Will there be an option for the person to drive the car themselves if they choose to do that? Unfortunately, these are all currently unanswered questions, what we do know for a fact, is that these are cars that drive the person themselves.

                The idea that cars should drive themselves is as old as cars themselves. Putting this idea into motion however was only possible in modern times. The earliest prototype of such a car was the 1925 car made by Arden Motors, called the “Chandler”. This idea was also promoted by General Motors in the 1930’s and shown off at the world fair of 1939. It was even predicted that these cars would be common in the US by the 1960’s. In 1953, RCA Labs built a miniature prototype of such a car, again promoting this as a serious future option for consumers. The common issue with all these designs however, was that none of these were practical vehicles that people could buy or trust to work properly. These were all ideas and predictions but not practical working concepts. General Motors went a step further and created a series of cars called “Firebirds”, that were supposed to be self-driven cars that would be on the market by 1975. This became a popular topic in the media and led to many interested journalists and reporters to be allowed to test drive these cars. The excitement was there but the cars still were not able to be put on the market.

                                    The 1960’s saw Ohio State University and the Bureau of Public Roads to continue the pursuit of putting this type of car on the market. The attempts however were again hard to get off the ground, and simple prototypes were the only thing that was able to be completed. Great Britain’s Transport and Road Research Laboratory was next to try and fail at this idea. In this version of the idea, magnetic cables were embedded in the roads, and a system called Citroen DS interacted with them to move the cars across roads. In the 1970’s, the Bendix corporation worked with Stanford University, to work on a concept involving cables that were buried in the ground, and that helped move cars on the road. I think that it is obvious why this didn’t work out in the end either. I think that it is important to mention that funding was a major problem for many of these ideas. As can be easily assumed, none of these features could possibly be done at affordable rates, and that they required large amounts of labor and large changes to the roads to accommodate these changes.

                              The Germans decided to get into this field in the 1980’s. Mercedes-Benz launched their own version of such a car, but their version could not move faster than 39 miles per hour, a number that was clearly far below the speed of an average car. Multiple American universities were next. Universities of Maryland and Michigan created prototypes that were able to travel on hard terrains at different speeds, but again that were not very fast. It seemed that the ability to make these cars fast was, yet another problem faced by the developers. In 1991, the United States Congress passed the ISTEA Transportation Authorization bill that pushed for a creation of an automatic transport system by 1997. By the late 1990’s, the university of Parma in Italy, and Daimler-Benz were able to create vehicles that could reach the speed of 81 mph. The issue of funding and efficient mass production however continued to plague these new advancements. The 2000’s saw even more progress, as Germany invented a “Spirit of Berlin” taxicab, and the Netherlands invented the ParkShuttle. Neither of these options was able to fully replace human driven transportation services, but they managed to be effective means of transportation regardless. By the end of the decade, most of the major car companies were working on making self-driven cars. Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Tesla, Toyota… are some of the more notable companies that were working on prototypes. Uber and Lyft began developing self-driven taxicabs in recent years to save money on drivers, and by making their business to run more smoothly and efficiently. In 2018, a woman was killed by an automated Uber vehicle, and Audi officially announced the release of a mass-produced line of self-driven cars.

                 What can be predicted about the future of this technology? Logically we can assume that with the current state of technology, better cars will be released, and practical self-driven cars will be readily available to the public. Will this idea take-off with the public? That is the harder question. There is really nothing that can be seriously predicted about how the public will react to this. Personally, I think that it will decades before people will be ready to replace cars that they can drive themselves, with self-driven cars. Why do I think so? I think that many people love driving and would not want to let “somebody else” do it for them. It’s also reasonable to assume that taxicabs may be less expensive than buying a self-driven car. There is also the issue with the cost. How much will these cars cost? Will the average driver be able to afford such a car? Will it be popular among the general population? There are too many unanswered and hard to answer questions about the topic. I do have one concern that comes to mind… the Industrial Revolution threatened entire industries, as many people lost jobs to basically machines. How many taxi drivers would be needed with self-driven cars in the equation? How many bus drivers would be required?

               What kind of impact will such cars have on the general population?  How will this affect hardware? How will this affect future software? How will it affect data? I think that this concept becoming more popular, will lead to increased funding for the development of new hardware and software pertaining to self-driven cars. It will also likely lead to new ideas for other areas. What about self-working computers? What about self-working irons and laundry machine/robots? There are a lot of concepts that can be thought of by thinking of self-operating hardware and software. There are a lot of things that can be thought of by simply thinking of self-working hardware and software. I think that it will lead to a major development of these concepts. It will also lead to major advancements in software in general, as well as artificial intelligence. If companies can successfully build artificial intelligence systems that will drive cars by themselves, a lot of other things can be made self-controlled as well. One thing that I think could be done successfully is computers that can-do things for you, for example your taxes or other accounting related tasks. I can even imagine self-driven planes and boats. Basically, there are a lot of advancements that can be made through self-working technology. It’s possibl e that driving a car will become less of a priority for people, and getting a driver’s license might become more of a novelty than a necessity. I also think that NASCAR and the popularity of racing can be affected by the popularity of self-made cars as well as the whole culture of driving. The main question for me is the cost of these cars. The affordability or lack of it will be a major reason as to why or why not this business concept will work. I have my doubts over the topic, as I think that many people enjoy driving and would not want to give it up. There is also a wide variety of taxicab services that are cheaper alternatives to owning a self-driving car. I’m also unclear on whether sports cars will be possible to be self-driven as well. The latter is important because of the popularity of such cars.

                     How will this technology change the way business is conducted? The main thing that comes to mind is the lack of a driver’s license when purchasing a car? Is it possible that there would be a lack of an age limit to buy a car too? I think that businesses would also come up with new marketing strategies to sell these cars, since driving would no longer be an important part of the marketing pitch. It would also be a potential issue for Uber and Lyft, as well as other taxicab and car service companies. It might even affect limo companies, as wealthy people might prefer very expensive self-driven cars. The big thing that comes to mind is that driving would not be an important component of owning a car. I think that it’s common sense that any change in business would lead to companies adjusting their strategies and marketing campaigns, and focusing on different areas to promote their ideas. It could also affect other businesses entirely as they would focus more on self-working concepts and products. As I mentioned earlier, a laundromat can use some type of a laundry machine/robot that would be doing laundry for you. Phone companies could come up with cell phones that work automatically in some way, and come up with phone plans for self-driving cars. Why? Well, now it would no longer be illegal to talk on the phone in your car. I mean why would it be when it wouldn’t distract you from driving? What about television screens in cars? The owner/passenger now has free time, doesn’t that seem to be a new business opportunity for companies like Netflix? I think that these would be the main things affected by self-driving cars and similar technology. Every new invention that changes the way people normally do things, is bound to change the marketplace and affect the way that companies handle their business expenditures.

                       How would self-driving cars affect competition between companies? There would be no reason for companies to focus on driving as a major part of their selling pitches. Commercials would no longer advertise the handling and driving of cars, as the person would not actually be driving it. Companies would compete for having technology in which the person would have to do the least to make it work. Companies would try to gain a competitive advantage against one another by adding features that would make the product do as much as possible by itself. I can imagine cars that incorporate other technology, can you imagine cars that do accounting for you? What about a competing company that makes a car that can call companies and have conversations for you? What about cars that would make decisions for you? What about cars that act as your secretaries while driving you? There is almost a limitless amount of possibilities that can be accomplished by a company aiming to stand out. This type of technology can of course be applied to other technologies as well. So now we’re talking about cell phones that call for you, cell phones that make decisions for you…. Basically, companies would take this technology to the extreme to compete. The spirit of competition has driven many industries to unprecedented highs, and so this industry will likely be no exception to this rule. The question would ultimately be about which companies would stay ahead of the curve, and which ones would not.

                                 How do self-driving cars affect society in a global way? Well if this concept takes off, then countries will try to keep up with each other by improving on the technology and by attempting to avoid being “behind” others. It will be a major driving factor in the competition between major companies, and create new forms of advancement in other technologies. The global impact of such a technology is enormous and would change a lot of things as we know them. It’s certainly not going to be an isolated idea that only affects one country and one field, it will affect the whole world and affect multiple industries, including those that have nothing to do with the automobile industry.

                         Is there an ethical side to self-driving cars? A major question that comes to mind is whether it is a good idea to trust so much in artificial intelligence. What would happen if someone who doesn’t know how to drive is faced with a malfunctioning vehicle? What happens if these vehicles cause a multitude of accidents? Is it a good idea for our society to become more “lazy”? Should we really try to have something else do as much of our work as possible? This is an issue that can be debated ad nauseum without a generally agreed upon answer or a solution. Personally, I think that giving so much authority to machines is dangerous, how long before we start putting machines in leadership positions and becoming completely incompetent without them? We rely on the internet, cell phones, cars, and social media daily, how would many of us survive if all these options were taken away?  Why do we need a car to drive itself? Why can’t a person do it themselves? Why is this improvement even needed? There seems to be an endless supply of questions on this subject. Personally, I think that my position on the subject has been made clear. I don’t think that self-driven cars are as much a necessity as it seems to be, and that the current state of transportation is a better and more efficient way of doing things.

                             What are the legal repercussions of self-driving cars? What happens if the car owner gets into an accident? Is the person responsible or is the car? If it’s the car, what’s going to happen next? Obviously, nobody will arrest the car, so does this mean that no one is in trouble if their car runs someone over? How do we define right and wrong when it comes to artificial intelligence? Will any of these cars be able to both be controlled by people and artificial intelligence? In that case, could someone run another person over with a car and then blame it on artificial intelligence? How would law enforcement be able to prove what happened? Would the company itself be responsible? Once again, we enter a new reality filled with many different possibilities and new rules required to administer them. It seems pretty clear to me that self-driving cars will need a whole new set of laws to determine accidents that will almost certainly happen regardless of whether the driver is human or not.

As the advancement of self-sustaining technology arises, so does the general concern that I stated earlier. Driverless cars can either be a technology that benefits the population or that is detrimental to society. From the information that I found and my own opinion on these cars, my views are that it would be detrimental. Specifically, due to the life – death calculations that the artificial intelligence can make. An example being to avoid multiple causalities, AI may calculate that putting your life on the line is the correct way to go. I’d argue this as being something the AI should never be able to decide. More or less because it can’t use emotional intuition to make choices that involve life or death . All things considered we came a long way with our technology, and so did the concept of cars that drive themselves.  Our society is bound to be affected by a step of this magnitude, but a lot of factors must be taken into consideration, to make a true judgment on the matter. Self-driving cars will either change driving as we know it, or become a failed attempt to fix something that did not need fixing.

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The 5 strongest arguments for a self-driving future

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Self-driving cars often get bashed online and by the media, but an autonomous future is almost certainly on the cards. It could happen sooner rather than later. With concerns constantly being raised (and I am one of those who has written such articles ), now it’s time to put a positive spin on things.

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So here are the five strongest arguments that car manufacturers, tech enthusiasts and inventors have put forward for self-driving vehicles becoming the future of how we get around in our futuristic urban landscapes.

Safety - the number one argument

Safety is, above all, the strongest argument that proponents of self-driving vehicles have over anything else. As most road accidents are caused by human error, autonomous driving has the potential to reduce road traffic accidents and, more importantly, fatalities occurring on our roads, to zero.

Imagine a world with no tailgating, no reckless or aggressive driving, no road rage, no distracted drivers texting or on the phone, no drunk drivers ! Think about a freeway with no long-haul truck drivers that haven’t slept in 20 hours.

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Studies in America have found that autonomous vehicles could eliminate 90% of all auto accidents. The savings would be huge - around $190 billion in damages and health costs - as well as the saving of thousands of lives per year.

The counter-argument: the safety argument relies on the software and the artificial intelligence behind autonomous vehicles being 100% reliable and 100% accurate. These studies often do not factor in the potential for malware, hacks or bugs.

Less traffic - the easiest to sell to the general public

Survey any group of drivers in any developed country in the world and traffic would be top of their list of gripes. As the argument goes, with all of our autonomous cars following the same rules in an obedient manner, traffic in built-up areas could be managed much better.

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With an increase in safety, speed limits could also be much higher. Cars could drive much closer together, because reaction times and braking distances become less of an issue. Increased highway capacities, fewer traffic police officers and little need for electronic road signs - there are savings and efficiency gains all over the place.

The counter-argument: The only real argument against reduced traffic congestion is the one that says it is not possible due to the reliability of the technology.

Productivity gains - the one capitalism cares about

Another strong argument in favor of autonomous vehicles is increased productivity and reduced labor costs. Why have your workforce behind the wheel on their way to work when they could be working on their way to work? Think about those that are either too old or too young to drive, and the possibilities that autonomous vehicles would open up to those people. The same applies to those that are unable to drive due to disabilities.

What about those who drive for a living? Truck drivers, taxi drivers and bus drivers could all be out of a job, which is good news for the companies and governments that pay them.

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At TechCrunch Disrupt in Berlin last month, I spoke with Tim von Toerne, Co-Founder and COO of Kopernikus Automative , a company that can retrofit today’s cars to make them self-driving. He put it quite bluntly when talking about the potential for using his equipment to move cars around Volkswagen's production facilities: “VW currently has about 4,000 drivers, on German salaries… that’s a big saving.”

The counter-argument: machines taking over human jobs is not going to win over voters, and would increase the likelihood of public resistance to disruptive innovation. This is where dystopia starts.

Lower costs - for the everyday consumer

When you calculate the costs for the everyday driver, autonomous driving provides long-term saving opportunities in more than one area. If the improvements in safety can be realized, we can expect a dramatic decrease in motor insurance premiums. There is also a strong argument for autonomous driving leading to much greater fuel efficiency, either in terms of traditional fuel or a reduction in electricity required through renewable energy sources.

Then there are the costs associated with owning a personal vehicle. If an autonomous driving future is successful, the need for having your own car could be removed entirely, leading to a reduction in the purchase and maintenance costs that come with car ownership. This leads us nicely onto our fifth and final argument.

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The counter-argument: there are greener alternatives that already provide the same (or even better) cost benefits to car ownership today. The cost of autonomous public transport remains a contentious point. If Elon Musk ever gets his LA tunnel network up and running, can we really expect it to be cheaper than the bus?

Parking space and environmental benefits - for the long-term dreamer

Car ownership could hardly be less efficient than it is today. It is estimated that collectively, of all the cars we own, only about 5% of them are being used at any given time. That means that 95% of the time, our vehicles are stationary, or being wasted, as proponents of this argument would say. The effect of all this wasted metal and rubber is that more space is required to park our static cars. In Los Angeles, a particularly car-loving city, 14% (or about 17 million square meters) of all land is used for parking facilities.

Those that believe that self-driving vehicles can alleviate this problem argue that by having fewer cars collectively, but using the ones we do have on the roads for longer, saves space. For this to work, of course, better sharing schemes and public transport systems would be needed to make it a reality. Still, turning all of those parking lots into parks and public spaces sounds like a nice idea.

  • The biggest problem with autonomous driving has nothing to do with AI

The counter-argument: people like owning their own cars and the freedom and convenience that comes with it. Cars are status symbols, as well as practical means of transport. Convincing a materialistic society to give that up in the name of a collective greater good remains a huge challenge.

What do you think about the arguments presented in this article? Something you don’t agree with or think we missed? Have your say below the line.

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The Futa All Road e-bike from Ducati claims to be able to handle all kinds of terrain.

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Let's see how they perform on dirt roads with ruts, rocks and such. For most just a hiking trailhead parking lot or ski area parking lot with hand signals from some one in hat, glasses parka and mittens. Too much talk of urban conditions. Rural and recreational use are important too. Lots of skibride in the winter from Uber and Lyft. Difficult to automate the snowy conditions, obscured road markings too.

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