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Self Driving Cars and the Use of It

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Since the existence of human kind, people have been finding unbelievable discoveries and making new products evolving with time and knowledge. Travelling has been part of Mans’ way of living forever, but with times, their needs have evolved, they have been conquering more and more of the worlds’ spaces. At some point, man created the car, which was a breakthrough in terms of mobility in order to have people go from one point to another. But as for any new creations, drawbacks may appear, and in this case, safety was one of the major obstacle that man has not yet been able to fix completely. To put some numbers on how safety in cars has not been mastered yet, we can cite the fact that every year 1.3 million people day in car accidents, but to be even more shocking, studies show that another 20 to 50 million people are injured due to these kinds of accidents.

For this reason, throughout this paper I will evaluate the issues and problems that our society are facing following the invention of cars and around the safety while using this revolutionary tool. Then I will focus on how Information Systems may have found ways to ensure safety of the passengers, considering on one hand the advantages that it is and on the other hand the issues that still remain.

Critical Issues

Cars have overall helped people go anywhere, but car accidents are also some of the most common cause of death. The fact that cars are becoming more and more dangerous is an issue of technology. Of course, after it was firstly being used as a mean of transportation, car also became a new hobby and game for people as evolution let people modify it to become faster and faster, with more add-ons and equipment to make it comfortable or entertaining. Those breakthroughs were quite important on a technological point of view, but the uncontrollable speeds that these vehicles encounter and the fact they don’t drive themselves. Of course, cars are being driven by people, and these people happen can be distracted at some points while they’re driving. For this reason, going on with evolution, technology has shown that soon, completely autonomous cars will be able to drive themselves around.

Regular cars

As said earlier regular cars, even with the technologies they have, are not accident proof. In fact, many add-ons have been put in order to insure peoples’ security on the roads such as the fact that cars can now tell us if someone is coming up from our blind spot, or that they can even pull the break thanks to proximity sensors when they feel the need to. But this is only on the most advanced cars that exist, and sometimes it is even still something that we have to pay for our vehicle to be equipped with. For example, when cars where first invented, the seatbelts were even an option, whereas today, in most of the countries, seatbelts are a requirement if we even want to be able to have your car on the roads.

Autonomous or advanced cars

Self-driving cars allow great possibilities for the world in terms of safety for the people inside it as well as outside the vehicles, but only to some extent. In fact, autonomous cars actually have to face ethical decisions in life, and those questions are beginning to be more frequent concerning policy makers and car manufacturers.

The primary issue here is very similar to the “Trolley problem”, which is part of the basics of ethical classes. The trolley problems consist in a train that is going fast towards the station where several workers are working on the rails. This train cannot be stopped but there is still an alternative solution, as there is a lever that can change the train’s direction towards other rails where there is a single person working. The issue is that in both of the cases someone will die, but in one case there will be more casualties than the other. The policy makers and car manufacturers will then be holding the lever to decide in this kind of situation, where for example someone crosses the street when the light is red and the car is going too fast to stop, if it should turn into the wall and kill the passengers or kill the person crossing.

Then, at some point in technology advancement, autonomous vehicles will be created, resulting to a great impact on government revenues. In fact, if we consider that all of the driver caused incidents such as speeding, driving under the influence, towing fees or parking violations, this will cost a lot of money to the government. As some studies show, around the United States, it is over 10 billion dollars that are paid in fines for these reasons. With the technology, to some extent, all of these fines may be completely erased as the cars will know when to speed or not, it will also be able to go find the right parking space or even drive by itself so it doesn’t pay any parking fees. Driving under the influence will not be an issue anymore as well since the car will be completely autonomous.

Other than governmental issues, safety has to be considered into the process of autonomous vehicles. The day this technology will actually be popularized, roads may become safer in a way but as for computer, those vehicles may encounter hackers which could cause national insecurity issues. In fact, those systems will have to be connected to a network in order to communicate in any way, and this network will have to be one of the most secure ones in the world as it will be responsible for the lives of millions of car passengers each day. Some cars that aren’t even autonomous already have the ability to be remotely controlled so when they will be completely independent from the drivers, we can’t even imagine how things could go wrong.

The final issue that we should focus on for this paper will be the gravity of the information that will be put into company’s hands. In fact, the car industry companies or the government, however laws are decided, will be in the possession of data about any detail of a cars journey and destinations at all time. This data may be to some extent very dangerous and critical for users’ privacy as companies will have even more ways



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