Imagine you are driving along your morning commute, there is slight traffic, but it is still moving at a decent pace. SUDDENLY the car in front of you comes to a complete stop causing you to skid into the back of their car! You get out of your car to exchange some not so nice words with the driver who decided to slam on their breaks causing you two to collide, but wait… there is no one in the car.
Yep, its a thing.
Large companies such as Google have been developing driverless cars for years and they are now making an appearance on our neighborhood roads. I must admit it is quite amazing that a driverless car is even possible, but is it safe? Not only would passengers be putting their lives in the hands of a computer, but can a computer really drive a car as well as a human can? You may be laughing right now as I am sure we all know some pretty terrible drivers. The difference is that humans have instincts and can react in various levels rather than simply on/off or go/stop.
When a computer reacts to a possible threat it simply stops, there is no hovering over the break or easing, it is a complete halt. This is where we are finding issues with self-driving cars trying to drive alongside humans. Driverless cars are too cautious and need to drive more like humans do. Even if a driverless car is an excellent driver, it can still be at fault for a crash, but who determines this?
As a computer based system driverless cars are producing a ton of data, but who is collecting this data. If someone gets into an accident with a driverless car, who determines fault? I think this is where we can produce a whole new line of jobs- driverless car data scientists. There needs to be a team of people who receive the data produced from driverless cars and store it. This way when there is an accident the driverless car data scientists can quickly collect the data and determine if the fault was of the computer or the human.
If self-driving cars are going to continue to make an appearance on our roads, a team of data scientists the monitor their actions is definite necessity. What do you think? Do you think it is safe to have driverless cars alongside human drivers? Would you ride in a car that was being driven by a computer? Let us know what you think!