The Pros and Cons of Self-Driving Cars

Roads to the Future: What is to Become of Driverless Cars?

Are driverless cars in our future? Is it safer riding in driverless cars or driving ourselves? Is the technology put into driverless cars helpful on all roads? Has the technology become advanced to where it is almost impossible to hack it? The answer to these questions is never simple. Thus, in the debate between driverless cars and human driving has become a never- ending debate. When it comes to driverless cars there are two sides, one is for the making of driverless cars, and one being against the making of driverless cars. Those who are on the side of the development of driverless cars see many benefits in which they bring such as new technology, saving money, and providing mobility for those who cannot drive due to some disability. On the other hand, those who are on the side of not manufacturing driverless cars have seen the defects and fails of driverless cars such as increased cost due to technology, always obeying the rules on the road, and the difficulty of road conditions.

Driverless cars have been a frequently discussed topic for debate. Most recently with the crash of the Uber car in Arizona killing a person it has been an even greater debate. “In the middle of 1925 at the new-work city the first driverless car “linrricen Wonder” invention by radio equipment firm which was founded by electrical engineer Francis P Houdina. It was designed as it follows a driver car with the help of radio frequency.” At the beginning with the making of the first driverless car, its job was to resolve the issue of the rising number of accidents and deaths caused by a human error while driving. Since the development of the first driverless car and its success, there have been many attempts to upgrade its design. “RCA Labs built a car in 1953 that was guided and controlled by wires. It created the flow of race to build a fully automatic driverless car. This car is tested in the actual highway street by L.N. Ress, state engineer and M. Hancock, engineer of Nebraska Department of Roads.” These developments have put driverless cars closer to being able to use its sensors and controls to safely navigate and sense traffic. “In 2011, the Freie Universitat Berlin built two driverless robotic cars for the Berlin city of Germany by the AutoNOMOS group. It consists so many controlling unit and automatic sensor and can drive itself even if it is in a traffic jam. German Federal Ministry of Education and Research helped financially to develop cars.” The use of driverless cars controls and sensors completely enables the car to see and act for itself creating a keen eyesight and correct knowledge when driving.

Such as with driverless cars, regular cars have had almost an identical history in terms of development.

“Man’s search for some form of motive power to replace the replace the horse goes back over 300 years; clockwork, wind power, and elaborate clock-work gearing were all tried before the power of steam became tractable enough to be used to drive a vehicle. Not that it was initially too successful: the oldest surviving self-propelled vehicle, Cugnot’s 1770 fardier, owes its preservation to the fact that on its trial runs it ran amok and knocked down a wall! Put into store it survived the French Revolution, was acquired by the Conservatorire des Arts et Metiers in Paris in 1799, and has been a major exhibit there ever since.”

The development started off in the same way such as with the crashed during testing compared to the crash with the Uber driverless car. Now today, regular cars are the main source of transportation for most people in the world. Regular cars, main reason for development was to get a person to there destination in less time that it takes to walk to there desitnation. Regular cars have achieved that goal in many ways. People have become accustomed to these cars and have developed the likes for them in such that they also give them freedom. Going from regular cars to driverless cars could possibly change that freedom and take a long time to get used to. Many debates against driverless cars are built on this view and issues.

There are many benefits to the making and creation of driverless cars. One of the main arguments is that driverless cars technology outweighs that of any human reaction. David Leonhardt describes his experience of test driving a driverless car. He recounts that the car kept its constant speed and was able to use its sensors to sense the cars ahead were slowing down and so it eased on the brake and smoothly slowed down. He further points out that, “Technology creates an opportunity to save lives. Computers don’t get drowsy, drunk or distracted by text messages, and they don’t have blind spots.” Driverless cars are equipped with many cameras and sensors to which it can give a full view of its current surroundings. With the innovation of technology created for driverless cars, it can further improve driving and safety for all.

Driverless cars can help save money in the long run. William H. Noack said “With this technology, the costs of medical bills, lost work time and vehicle repair will diminish. Insurance costs should also drop. Smoother flowing traffic will reduce fuel costs, and car sharing–which reduces overall vehicle costs–is expected to become more commonplace.” With driverless car technology, there could be a possible definite decrease in crashes caused by human error and from that medical bill costs and vehicle repairs could possibly decline significantly. Saving an average citizen millions in the long run. Much of the fuel used today is because of car traffic. What Noack discussed it that car sharing could potentially occur and also a smoother flow of traffic which would mean less time waiting for traffic to subside while wasting fuel. Driverless cars could potentially in the future decline car crashes and deaths which could greatly impact the community.

Lastly one of the main arguments for the making of driverless cars is that they can provide mobility for those who can not drive due to a disability. William H. Noack said “They will allow people with disabilities to travel more easily and independently. They will increase the mobility of the elderly who can no longer drive. And, by reducing the many costs cited above, they will provide more affordable mobility to people at every income level.” With the invention of driverless cars, there will not need to be any driver in the car, therefore, people who can not drive because of a disability will be able to ride in the car and it will take them wherever they need to go. With the technology in the car, it will be able to drive itself and so elderly people that have a hard time driving and driving at the speed limit will be able to sit back and relax while the car takes control and gets them safely to there destination. With the reduction of cost by having driverless cars it will greatly help people with lower incomes who can not afford a car or have the money for insurance or medical bills.

Controversially there are many downsides to driverless cars. One of the many downsides to driverless cars is that the cost for all the technology could several impacts the rising cost of the driverless car. Robert J. Samuelson said “Still other potential customers may be deterred by the high costs of all the needed sensors, cameras, computer chips, and software. With present technology, this could add $10,000 to the cost of new vehicles” All to most driverless cars come equipped with a variety of different sensors and cameras and a new and improved inside design. All this could potentially raise the cost for the car. Which could impact the mobility for those who have a lower income who can not afford such a high cost.

Samuelson then added “As vehicles fill up with more digital controls and internet-connected devices, they’re becoming more vulnerable to cybercriminals, who can hack into those systems just like they can attack computers. Almost any digitally connected device in a car could become an entry point to the vehicle’s central communications network, opening a door for hackers to potentially take control by, for instance, disabling the engine or brakes.”

This being a different kind of cost it could potentially cause a nationwide crisis in which hackers could potentially overtake driverless cars. In this driverless cars must become more advanced in technology and develop a stronger firewall against hacker attacks. It is not however known how advanced are enemies are in their technology so the improvements must be advanced.

Another main argument is that driverless cars will be programmed to follow all rules on the road including speed limits. Z. Andrew Farkas said, “Able-bodied drivers would likely not ride in a vehicle that always obeys the 55 miles-per-hour speed limit.” With the development of driverless cars there is a constant argument towards should driverless cars be able to break the speed limit. Many feel that the speed limit restrictions will increase the time it takes them to get from point A to point B. Which many feel that cars obeying all rules is both a curse and a reward. Driverless cars can tend to keep people safe by following all rules but could have the possibility to anger its passenger in obeying all speed limits.

Lastly, the main argument is that driverless cars will have faults when dealing with undesirous road conditions. Self-driving cars give a warning to its passengers to take control when the road conditions seem unclear such as snowy or icy roads or roads in rural areas where the road conditions are sometimes unknown to the technology/GPS driving system. J.D. Tuccille said “They don’t seem especially well-suited to paved but poorly mapped byways, let alone delivering passengers down miles of dirt lanes to hunting camps or trailheads. Many of those routes require a responsive hand on the wheel to deal with unexpected washouts, deep ruts, and uncooperative quadrupeds. I’m also not sure how much fun off-roading would be with a robot calling the shots.” He clearly outlines that the difficulty with driverless cars is that there is no wheel to take control of the car with and no gas or break that can be pushed because driverless cars do not contain those only self-driving cars. Roads must be well managed twenty-four seven and all roads must be mapped for the driverless cars to be able to navigate safely. Driverless cars will need to be warned if there is a sudden change in road conditions or weather conditions which could cause an error in the technology and GPS calculations.

Driverless cars are in our future but may tend to be farther off than as thought. With the constant debate on this subject, Driverless Cars tend to be balanced on both sides. When it comes to whether driving ourselves or riding in driverless cars the safety depends on the condition. Driverless cars can help lower the overall cost in reference to accidents but in reference to the car itself and all the technology needed it could come out to be a much higher cost. Driverless cars use of technology can help in the preventing of accidents and be able to act for itself such as a human but in a way where there is no error other than a technical error. Driverless cars can improve mobility for those with disability and the elderly and those with lower incomes. Adversely the cost of technology and driverless cars could potentially no create mobility for those with lower incomes who cannot afford the driverless cars. In addition, technology improves the safety of its passengers by being able to give a 360 view around the car but in consequence to that driverless cars tend to follow all of the rules including speed limit which many find to be aggravating. All in all the endless debate of driverless cars has become a hot topic in society today but driverless cars will never be really accepted until the near future when the debate will finally settle and technology needed will become more relevant and possible. Until then the movement of the making of more driverless cars lies in the hands of those in the debate.

Work Cited

  • “Full Tilt.” New York Times Magazine, Nov. 2017, pp. 52. SIRS Issues Researcher,
  • Farkas, Z. A. “The Driverless Future is Still Far Off.” Baltimore Sun, 02 Apr. 2018, pp. A.11. SIRS Issues Researcher,
  • Leonhardt, David. “Driverless Cars made Me Nervous. then I Tried One.” New York Times (Online), 22 Oct. 2017. SIRS Issues Researcher,
  • Noack, William H. “Yes: Autonomous Vehicles Will Improve Safety, Lower Costs for Drivers.” TCA News Service, 22 Jun. 2017. SIRS Issues Researcher, https://sks-sirs-
  • Samuelson, Robert J. “Hackers Behind the Wheel.” Washington Post, 25 Sep. 2017, pp. A.21. SIRS Issues Researcher,
  • Tuccille, J. D. “Self-Driving Cars are Cool, but they’re Not for Everyone.” Reason, Oct. 2017, pp. 12-13. SIRS Issues Researcher,
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The Pros and Cons of Self-Driving Cars. (2022, Dec 05). Retrieved July 16, 2024 , from

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