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Misconceptions of autonomous cars…

They’re unsafe

A misconception often made, which scares people about driverless cars is the safety aspect. The ideology that passengers should be able to take control at any point during the journey in case of an accident in order to ensure safety. Driverless cars however have 4 levels of autonomy which ranges dependant on what type of autonomous car you have. Level 2 and 3 don’t allow for full cognitive disengagement and so passengers can take over at any point. However, level 4 does not need any human input in order to function as it is fully developed and has software in which allows for it to function under traffic conditions as well as weather conditions. Because of these levels of autonomy and their developed software they’re safe enough to function without a human driver.

Congestion will not improve

Autonomous cars have the ability to re-route themselves when an obstruction occurs, such as a broken-down car, or in the event of a traffic jam due to their built-in technology. Because of this, there will be reduced chances of cars involved in congestion and so those using driverless cars are less likely to be affected by traffic jams.

They will not work in extreme weather conditions

Autonomous cars are still in the midst of improving and so autonomous cars are still being tested in extreme weather conditions such as snow so they can improve faults. However, semi-autonomous cars do not face the issue of not being able to function in bad weather conditions as passengers are able to take control.

They will eliminate human error

Whilst text-driving and attention spans whilst driving are eliminated when it comes to autonomous cars, human error then becomes the programming and design error. In order to
stop a problem from occurring the programmer will have to be able to consider that the situation will happen in order for the car to recognise it as something to avoid. Because of
this, if the programmer does not think of every situation possible then the car is bound to face a problem at any point.

They can drive anywhere

Autonomous cars are dependent on GPS signal in order to navigate its way around. Because of this, the cars would not be able to function in parking garages as they cannot get signal. Once autonomous cars improve and are available to the public, there will be more knowledge about them and less misconceptions made.

Summer Simmons

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References:

Matt Piotrowski, 2016
http://energyfuse.org/puncturing-misconceptions- about-driverless- cars/

Brand Insider, 2017
http://brandinsider.straitstimes.com/audi/the-machine- demystified-clearing- misconceptions-
about-autonomous- vehicles/

Erin Carson, 2014
https://www.techrepublic.com/article/8-truths- and-myths- of-driverless- cars/

Photo Credit: Sparky

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