3 Issues Limiting Self-driving Cars Mass Market Appeal

3 Issues Limiting Self-driving Cars Mass Market Appeal
google_car by sam_churchill on 2012-05-21 08:33:10

Self-driving cars can be synonymous with independence, freedom from the steering wheel and safety if you are not good yourself in driving. The notion of getting from one place to another without actually driving the car seems imaginary, but the self-driving car would let you do so. The only complication is – the autonomous vehicles are still a long way from being adopted by the masses, says a report from Huffington Post.

With many tech firms (Google Inc, Apple Inc., Baidu) and automakers (Tesla Motors Inc, BMW etc.) foraying into the self-driving cars segment, it is estimated that by 2020, more than 10 million self-driving cars will be on the road, but the Huffington Post gives out three reasons why most of the customers will have to wait to drive a fully- autonomous vehicle –

Self-driving car is very expensive

Automated cars are just what hybrid cars used to be before. They do provide a more efficient means of driving, but they cost way more than a middle-class consumer can afford. Constant refinement and the availability of cheaper materials will ultimately make the self-driving cars more affordable, but it will take a lot of time, and customers will have wait years for that day to come.

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It is estimated that by 2025, the consumer’s expenses on vehicles having self-driving features will increase by at least $7,000-$10,000.

Man vs. Machine

Just imagine hundreds or potentially millions of cars travelling from one place to another. Half of the vehicles are automatic while other half operated by humans, there are chances of mishaps or mistakes, so who would you blame? Also, there is the possibility of technological warfare taking place on a regular basis. Imagining a computer programmer hacking into your vehicle and taking its control is just scary.

Insurance and Legal ramifications

Who is going to be deemed at fault when an automated vehicle collides with a human operated vehicle? Is the human going to be blamed who is completely capable of making rational and complex decisions or will it be a computer which can account for a million different possibilities based on pre-set algorithms? It is a tough question to answer, but important nonetheless. Lawyers and the insurance companies will be prompt to blame the technology, the report says.

Therefore, if you are one of those people looking forward to driving the self-driving car in 2020, then do not just look at the advantages, but also the disadvantages.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at [email protected]
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