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