The car making & Taxi companies have been stuck with an obsession that is bordering on sickness mainly because the motivation for the cause is based on massive profiteering… Of late there been almost daily promotion of the “autonomous-car-is-the-safest-car” slogan left-right-and-center that too with a vengeance.
On one side the west is using technology to destroy farms and discouraging (making life difficult for) small scale family owned farms and they also want to reduce jobs in the factories with robots. The part of getting robots in factories & warehouses is good but the problem begins when… these robots are “proposed & planned” to go beyond the factory premises and forced upon people to use it “because” it is deemed as the safest way. The biggest example is self-driving cars.
Self driving cars are as safe or unsafe as the cars driven today by people but NOT necessarily for the same reason. One reason handed out is the driverless car is more alert and can make no mistake (at least 10 yrs from now).
This is as much true as much as it is false.
1. Accidents are rare and not the norm… less than 10% of the cars get in to accidents. That is why its called accidents. Robot accidents also happen but they are not published.
2. The reasons for the accidents are not addressed. Majority of the accidents happen due to drunk person behind the wheel. The technology doesn’t prevent a drunk person from getting in the car.
3. The accidents that occur today need not be the reasons for accidents to happen to robot cars (10yrs from now).
Accidents happen when a drunk driver is speeding his car. This holds true 10 yrs in the future when the drunk driver might hit some switch unconsciously and override any safety settings.
The solution for this today and in future is to prevent drunk drivers from getting in the car and also reducing the top speed of car (in every circumstances) automatically based on the GPS location and road speed. The top speed of all cars in any country should never be more than the country’s top road-speed.
The fact that driverless car could accidentally drive you off a cliff is also a fearful thought.
4. If a car is driving at 200kmph and the smart car detects somebody crossing the road and induces breaks it is still going to skid, spin, tumble, roll and hit other cars like any cars of today. The fact that driverless car could skid, tumble, roll and catch fire and explode just like the car of today with nobody to save you when stuck in the back seat is a fearful thought.
5.Driver Rape: Another justification for driverless cars are that “there is a possibility that drivers can rape or rob riders by driving the cab to nearby woods. But when there is no driver the chances of driver-rape is zero”. Example is given of the many Uber rapes over the years. But even if the car is driverless the car can also be remotely hijacked by its owner or by a hacker to get the doors and windows locked and wirelessly made to drive to nearby woods and the passenger raped or looted.
The solution to stop driver-rape is proper background checking of the driver which Uber does not do or is unable to do with the technology and intention adopted by them.
6. People enjoy driving. – So how is driverless car going to solve this problem. A very large percentage of the car driving population love to drive every single day.
7. Speed locks: Cars can be made a thousand times safer by auto-locking its top speed to 120kmph. But that is WHAT IS NOT BEING DONE… instead the obsession is to make even faster cars to be driven without a driver and get other countries to accept it as a standard.
Well done Nitin Gadkari & India for showing the direction to the world about what technology is good for mankind and what is not.
No doubt that this will be the biggest upset that Uber ever had in its plans ever!