Self-Driving Cars Are Coming: Should We Be Afraid?

Who could have ever imagined that one day there would be driverless cars?  Waymo announced that they will unveil a series of modified Chrysler Pacifica minivans to drive on the streets of Arizona in November 2017.  According to the article on npr.org, “The company says it has tested its cars on 3.5 million miles of streets around the country since Waymo began as a Google project in 2009”.  They want to start a pick-up service that is completely reliant on automated self-driving cars.  Since 94% of serious crashes on the road are related to “human choices”, this seems like a life-saving tipping point.  A tipping point, according to World Economic Forum, is a moment when a certain technological shift hits the general public.  It expected by the year 2025 that self-driving cars will make up 10% of all cars on the road.  There are several drawbacks of using this technology, however.  3 out of 4 Americans reported that they would be too afraid to ride in a driverless car.  Testing these cars on public roads poses a risk to the community.  Uber employs 12,000 people around the world; they are one of the many car services reliant upon human drivers.  Making this technology mainstream will put 4.4 million Americans out of work.  Almost 3 percent of all working American are drivers of some sort.  This also decreases the need to own a car, which has a crippling impact on the economy.  Like all technology, driverless cars can be susceptible to hackers, cyber attacks, or malfunctions.  Stepping foot into these vehicles could potentially be a death trap.  While the concept of driverless cars may seem like a fantasy for many, we must realize the dangers that this tipping point can pose to the public.

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