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Self-Driving Vehicles… Are We There Yet?

Yes … & … No…

Why? Because it’s “THE BATTLE” between machine vs. humans (conscience & judgements). Based on the data (the sample size isn’t built up to a big enough level yet), we should be able to acknowledge that computers can reduce the road accidents for certain. However, there are still cases which the collaborations between human controls and computers failures causing desperate scenarios. The latest victim was in Arizona – “Uber self-driving car kills Arizona pedestrian, realizing worst fears of the new tech”

Self-Driving Cars – THE BATTLE between machine vs. humans (conscience & judgements)


“AI + Big Data” Makes Self-Driving Vehicles A Reality

Combining “artificial intelligence” & “big data”, technology makes future sci-fi scene a reality which is the birth of the “self-driving” vehicles. Nowadays, almost all the leading tech corps are on this turf. From Tesla (a technology car maker), to Nvidia (a video card maker), to Volvo (traditional car maker). Or even Huawei (a smartphone maker based in China) is doing this via its smartphone – “I just rode in a Porsche powered by an Android phone – and fear kicked in as soon as AI took over”

The important takeaway here is that based on all the statistics and data have been collected, “self-driving” vehicles are a much safer choice than getting humans involved. However, there are at least two issues need to be disentangled before we even can see the governing party willing to give it a try in a massive market push out.


First, There Is NO Such Thing As 100% Safety

In an ideal world, there might be… however, we aren’t living in an ideal world. There are just too many unpredictable (and also uncontrollable) factors involved. Most of them are human related… meaning that … if there are incidents, most likely will be caused by human errors. But… since it’s in the “self-driving” vehicles, the “self-driving” technology will always get blamed to a degree.

In order to jump out of this dilemma, we need to force ourselves looking into the data and making decisions based on the statistics data set. If the “self-driving” tech is reducing the road accidents rate, it’s a good “Green light” sign... and we shouldn’t ignore it. Owning it will do us more goods than harms.


Second, Human Conscience Compared with Machine’s Algorithms

Let’s take the following scenario into account…

A “Self-Driving” vehicle is driving on the street at 45 miles per hour speed. It’s a narrow street… a teenager just came up from nowhere on a skateboard in front of the vehicle. On the right (sidewalk), there is an adult waiting for a bus. On the left, there is a kid playing. Hitting one of them is inevitable… so … how will the self-driving vehicle react? Or … the question should be … how the algorithms should act?

This is an ethical decision in road traffic scenario which requires to include the human conscience into machine’s algorithms. Not only that, but also… we (human beings) need to accept that there is no perfect answer for that. As the time passing, machine learnings will improve the decision making level to be closer to humans. Therefore, mistakes happen … and … in order to advance, we need to accept them, study them, and improve the accuracy of the made decisions.

mistakes happen … and … in order to advance, we need to accept them, study them, and improve the accuracy of the made decisions.

This is difficult because it involves “LIVES” and believe if or not… we aren’t ready yet. Hence, it’s just like taking kids to play trampoline. Before kids can start playing, parents need to sign waivers to take all the responsibilities of service providers’ shoulders. The “Self-Driving” vehicle progress will be the same that … it’s a great advancement but needs to be pushed into market slowly since there are hard points for humans to accept.


Is “Self-Driving” car coming to mainstream soon? Yes & No.