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Tesla’s Recent Autopilot Woes – Will It Slow Self-Driving Tech Vehicle Down?

We are talking about the law makers which will be a ultimate judge to decide whether we will be seeing our streets quickly piling up with self-driving cars or not.

Yes, it is scary whenever we heard about a car crashed engaging with autopilot mode especially when a vehicle costs this much, it really racked our brains that what’s the reason behind the purchase decision? More expensive cars are supposed to provide higher safety net not the other way around, isn’t it?

 

Human Errors? Machine Errors?

“Police probe whether Autopilot feature was on in Tesla crash”

The above is the latest Tesla vehicle incident and the cause is still under the investigation. Based on what polices have in hands, it seems to be an error caused by the autopilot program. However, “Tesla has not yet received any data from the car and thus does not know the facts of what occurred, including whether Autopilot was engaged,”

Since Tesla is marching on the very front of cutting edge technology – “Self-Driving” tech, every time when we heard traffic accidents involved in Tesla’s vehicle(s), we instantly connected the dot to its autopilot program. But, we really need to question ourselves that maybe there are human errors involved… even … the autopilot program wasn’t being engaged at the time of the incident. Why? Because humans are more prone to make mistakes than machines and we really should give a benefit of doubt to that.

 

Safer vs Convenient

Eventually, we will step into all autopilot era. Just like we all have been into iron horses (driving vehicles) age nowadays

Eventually, we will step into all autopilot era. Just like we all have been into iron horses (driving vehicles) age nowadays. Ask yourself that do you want to walk 5 to 10 miles to work or you want drive a vehicle (or take a public transportation) to work? Sure, if everyone can only walk or run, this world would have been a much safer place. How serious injure could it be if you run into someone who is walking or even running compared with if you are run over by a car? However, how much time would we waste only on the commute alone needless to say the energy we would waste along the way. How unproductive and inefficient our lives would be?

We all understand that machines might break but we still choose to use them to make our lives easier and better. There are more benefits than its drawbacks if we drive cars, travel via air, and use washers and dryers. Of course, there is no denial that no one can guarantee 100% safety on using those machines but we all are willing to put ourselves on the line to exchange for more convenient ways of living. The same will definitely apply to the self-driving vehicles since the failure rate caused by machines compared with the failure rate caused by humans is much lower especially now all eyes are on it, the technology will be (has been) under a close scrutiny before it’s even being considered to be put on the street for the mainstream.

 

What’s the Future Will Look Like?

It’s daunting that …

Imagine that when you get out of your office at night and you feel super tired and drowsy but you still need to drive an hour to get back home.

 

The self-driving technology will not only provide us a way to let us delegate the undesired but must-do tasks to machines but also might be able to solve one of the biggest problems, “traffic”, haunting modern societies for decades

We do believe that in 5 years, majority of the new vehicles will have autopilot feature built-in and majority of us will be using that feature extensively. Imagine that when you get out of your office at night and you feel super tired and drowsy but you still need to drive an hour to get back home. It’s daunting not only to you but also to the public. If you do decide to drive, you not only put yourself in danger but also put other people on the road in jeopardy as well. BUT, WHAT IF YOUR CAR CAN DRIVE YOU? Well, the problem isn’t going to be a problem anymore. It is just like every thriving technology which was first crated to solve a major problem mainstream consumers were facing. The time we spend/waste on the road is a serious issue at this day and age. Not only we are wasting time and energy, but also creating a chaos situation, “traffic”, in cities (big and small). The self-driving technology will not only provide us a way to let us delegate the undesired but must-do tasks to machines but also might be able to solve one of the biggest problems, “traffic”, haunting modern societies for decades.

Have you ever experienced a situation which was that you were stuck in the middle of the traffic on the highway for 30 minutes (15 ~ 25 miles per hour or maybe slower) and then after that suddenly the traffic was gone but you didn’t see any incidents/accidents caused that traffic? There weren’t any possible reasons causing that traffic jam at all. Well, there is a reason behind that. Also, there is a name for that too. It’s called “phantom traffic jam“. You can take a look at the video explaining it as follows,

 

 

 

 

Note:

“The models indicate that these jams are more likely to form when people drive as fast as possible, then finally brake when necessary to avoid hitting the car in front of them, triggering a chain reaction.”  – from vox.com

 

The Self-Driving Vehicle Tech will Put Phantom Traffic Jams into Bed

It will become possible for the very first time since cars became our primary traveling agent in decades that we are able to solve one of the biggest problems in modern societies.

Machines are more capable of organizing and systemizing things; therefore, under its millions of calculations per second algorithms, there won’t be any phantom traffic jams anymore if every vehicle is being driven by the machine itself. Machines will be able to calculate, to monitor, and to decide when they need to push the gas, to step on the brake, or to change lanes. There won’t be unnecessary brakes or sudden pushes on the gas from all vehicles; hence, there won’t be any sudden stops causing traffic jams like what we see on the video above. Of course, traffics aren’t going to disappear overnight. It takes planning and great executions to make that happen; however, it will become possible for the very first time since cars became our primary traveling agent in decades that we are able to solve one of the biggest problems in modern societies.

 

Summary

It’s reasonable to have doubts and take it slow to get into the new technology territory since there are so many unchartered areas we need to explore and cultivate in order to make it work. Although there have been couple of unfortunate incidents (most were caused by human behaviors rather than machine errors) related to the self-driving tech, the self-driving technology have had a great start and is heading to the right direction. Sooner or later, we will see more and more self-driving cars running on the street to help us make this world a better place to live.