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Self-Driving Cars?  What is the future of Transport?

Cheeky Employee

 

The Future seems so far away and yet we have cars that can autonomously drive themselves ready to hit the streets.  There are just pesky transport regulations standing in the way of a new driver-less society, right?  Well, maybe not.  Let’s have a realistic look at what transport might look like in the future.  They got us once with ‘Hover boards’ (dream-killers!), but they won’t fool us again!

transport hoverboard

Those wheels are touching the ground!!!  So what aren’t they telling us about autonomous cars?

 

Edge-cases:

Smart cars are SUPER safe, right?  They cause a lot fewer accidents than humans, right?  Uum, statistically, they are currently the safest form of transport.  But, that’s like saying the sun is the safest place in the world.

Deaths on the sun: 0%.

Deaths on earth: 100%

Yea… we can’t trust stats.  It’s also true that the smart cars are not exposed to reckless drivers, massive potholes, random pedestrians or taxies.

People have been killed by smart cars in so-called edge cases.  These are events that had not been anticipated and the AI could not respond without the necessary programming.  So a woman, tragically,  died walking next to her bike on the side of the road…

Edge cases are infinite and unpredictable.  The autonomous transport cannot respond to anything it has not been trained to respond to.  This is why self-driving cars are, currently, impossible.  Only human involvement can react to the very random.

 

 

A more likely path:

Public transport is far more likely to be the way of the future.  Services like Uber are gaining traction and with the Gautrain’s success, it is not so far-fetched.  Even if self-driving cars work better than anyone can imagine in the future, it makes no sense for each individual to own their own taxi.  We can share the pricy and autonomous transport between each other.

transport gautrain

So that’s my two cents on the future of transport.  Comment your thoughts below.

4 Comments

  1. Jaci says:

    Paying for vehicle maintenance is so 2017 🙂

  2. Declan says:

    As mentioned above, potholes and taxis will be a major complication to introducing these cars to South Africa as there is an abundance of both. Also the roads in South Africa are not smooth so the car may be going 60 and wreck itself because of the bumps. African countries have a long way to go before this can happen. Another issue is wildlife and animals on the roads of South Africa, the self driving cars will be prone to accidents in this case as it will not have the awareness a driver has. Self driving cars would be useful for those that tend to go somewhere and drink and then drive drunk, it will greatly reduce the amount of accidents from drunk driving but a complication is that these cars will not be cheap and will become the target for theft as they have a high value never mind the electronics inside of it! A good read and its a topic that is still very open to discussion for all.

  3. Reeve says:

    This works in countries that have a more stable government and economy, there is also the issue of cost. As it is a good idea there would need to be proper backing and planning for it to work.

  4. #pretzel says:

    This might work for a first world country. But not for South African Platteland. Imagine a smart car on the grondpad.

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