What Are the Pros and Cons of Self-Driving Vehicles?

Posted in Uncategorized on April 1, 2022

Self-driving vehicles existed only in the realm of science fiction for decades, but they’ve become a reality in recent years. Although they aren’t widespread just yet, they exist and are used daily across the U.S. Rideshare services are already dispatching self-driving vehicles in certain markets, and consumer vehicles have self-driving features for highways and interstates.

Vehicles traveling our roads without our input or attention will dramatically change life as we know it. But will it be good or bad, especially in terms of driving safety? In this blog, we’ll look at the pros and cons of self-driving vehicles, which are likely to become the standard way of getting around town in the future.

Pro: Self-Driving Vehicles May Be Safer

Humans can drive vehicles with extreme efficiency and precision. But they can also drive vehicles with extreme recklessness and negligence. Self-driving vehicles, on the other hand, don’t get distracted. They don’t get tired. They don’t get drunk or impaired. And they don’t get road rage.

These factors alone mean that self-driving vehicles may eventually become far safer than vehicles driven by humans—if they’re not at that point already. Technology and public trust still have a long way to go for people to accept that self-driving vehicles may be safer than human-driven vehicles, however.

Con: Loss of Control

People like to be in control of things, especially something as important and freeing as driving. Every parent knows how nerve-wracking it can be to ride along with their teen as they are learning how to drive. Every sharp turn and blind corner can cause their pulse to quicken and their knuckles to turn white.

The fear of losing control, especially to a computer, can be intense when that computer is responsible for your safety on the road. Think of how many people insist on driving because they need to feel like they’re in control. Now imagine them giving up control not to another licensed driver, but to a software program. This could be a major issue moving forward as self-driving vehicles become more common.

Pro: More Efficient, Productive, and Entertaining Commutes

Imagine being able to safely take a nap on your long commute to work. Or even your entire family snoozing for the duration of an eight-hour trip to the beach. Those scenarios could be reality when self-driving vehicles hit the mainstream.

Self-driving vehicles could be configured in any number of ways to keep occupants entertained on their trips when they don’t have to worry about driving. For example, vehicles could come equipped with big-screen TVs, computers, or video game consoles.

They could also be converted into meeting rooms complete with teleconference capabilities. Removing the need for an active driver will dramatically change the design and layout of future vehicles.

Con: Security Issues

One of the biggest drawbacks to society moving towards the digital and high-tech is the threat of viruses, malware, hackers, and scams. Now imagine that your self-driving vehicle is susceptible to outside interference from people who may want to cause you harm.

Because self-driving vehicles are powered by computers, they are vulnerable to many of the same exploits as desktop computers and laptops. That means that they are, indeed, hackable and vulnerable. Cybersecurity is a huge industry, but even the top experts can’t thwart every hacker’s attempt at gaining access to otherwise off-limits systems and networks.

Pro: Reduced Traffic

Something as innocent and harmless as a vehicle broken down on the side of the road can cause gridlocked traffic for miles. Traffic jams aren’t always caused by crashes or lane blockages, and many slowdowns occur because of human error.

Self-driving vehicles, especially once they hit the road in large numbers, would be linked together and aware of each other’s locations and speed. This coordination could dramatically reduce commute times and make traffic jams much shorter and less likely to occur in the first place.

Con: Job Loss

Professional drivers make up a big chunk of the workforce in the U.S. and around the world. According to CNBC, around 3% of all working Americans are drivers of some sort, whether they’re truck drivers, bus drivers, cab drivers, rideshare drivers, healthcare transportation drivers, or employed in other positions. 3% may not sound like much, but it’s nearly 5 million workers who may need to find new jobs if they’re replaced by self-driving vehicles.

Whatever the Future Holds, Matt Hardin Law Is Here to Help Car Accident Victims

Even if self-driving vehicles are in our inevitable future, their widespread adoption is likely to be years, if not decades, away. There’s simply too much to overcome in the short-term for them to suddenly replace the cars, trucks, and SUVs in people’s driveways and garages.

But no matter what happens in the future, one thing will remain the same: our dedication to helping injured auto accident victims get full compensation for their damages. If you or someone you love is injured in a crash, our Nashville auto accident lawyers want to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.