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The Future of IoT: What’s Really Happening with Driverless Vehicles?

The Future of IoT: What’s Really Happening with Driverless Vehicles?

Driverless cars have created a lot of buzz over the past few years. Google, Tesla, Daimler, and many other mainstream competitors are fast headed over producing an autonomous and safe electric vehicle that would forever change human transportations systems.

Just recently, Tesla announced a step forward in manufacturing intelligent commercial vehicles.  Various other industry giants have unveiled similar ambitious plans to build autonomous cars, claiming they are more energy efficient, safer for the passengers and more importantly, they can help reduce the carbon footprint on our environment.

Despite all the commotion and advancement, we can notice a salient skeptic behavior towards adaptation of the breakthrough technology. Yes, it’s more than the threat these autonomous vehicles pose to eradicating driving positions.

With the fatal accident caused in a Tesla vehicle, partly due to lack of the driver’s attentiveness and partly due to sensor failure, the concept of autonomous self-driving cars has left many in bafflement. Therefore, the question remains – What is really happening with driverless cars?

In today’s fast-paced era, there is an ongoing technology war between industrialists and the pioneer always seems to bag the trust and money. However, with technology so fascinating and convenient, the adaption is quite low. Perhaps, the world did not anticipate this technological breakthrough so soon. We, humans, seek Artificial Intelligence (AI), but at the same time dread it equally. Nonetheless, AI is playing an increasing role in our lives these days.

Almost every bit of technology is being tweaked to accommodate AI for making better and rational decisions in split seconds. That is what we expect from AI, to make the wisest and most logical choices in the quickest possible time. However, what happens when a machine that is known for its precision, makes an error? Imagine the criticism and harsh judgment that stands in store for a mistake made by AI and imagine that our very fate and lives will be handed to AI for safety and transport.

The Electronic Error

At this stage, there is a lot of debate over the rise or fall of autonomous vehicles. While technicians and people with a strong scientific background have good faith in the technology, many are skeptic about driverless cars. While Tesla’s self-driving vehicle was cleared of its charges, putting the blame on the driver’s lack of attentiveness, there are other noticeable challenges faced by other manufacturers.

For example, Uber’s self-driving vehicles jumped six red lights last year in San Francisco. Given the magnitude of risk that is associated with missing a red light, passengers would feel somewhat unsafe in relying on the technology entirely.

The fact that crossing the red light is one of the significant factors behind road accidents and is considered a felony in many states that is often punishable by financial penalties and usually jail term, how would the blame be distributed when a self-driving vehicle jumps a red light? To top it off, the rational decision-making in AI can conflict the ethical code of humans, which is an aspect many institutions and companies are hoping to tackle. But that is not where the problems end; there are many humanitarians against self-driving vehicles as it would result in a massive job loss for drivers in every category.

The recent announcement made by Tesla to launch a commercial line of self-driving vehicles by the end of next year has raised grave concerns for many. While it certainly demonstrates a strong leap towards scientific advancements, it also risks the jobs of millions of drivers. While some would be promoted to fleet managers, other would just need to look for a different profession.

In the U.S. alone, more than four million drivers are operating the taxi network, delivery busses, public transportation, and trucks. With a risk of losing so many jobs, the protests against autonomous driving are bound to happen. These losses, however, do not account for the chain reaction that will be caused by a full-fledged launch of self-driving electric vehicles, such as the jobs that will be lost at the gas stations, retail outlets, and motels relying on trucking routes.

For entrepreneurs, it certainly bears good news, as an autonomous commercial vehicle will result in increased efficiency and reduced expenses. People are cynic about the efficiency of commercial vehicles for a number of reasons such as the load carrying capacity, the mileage offered on one charge, and the charging time required for large batteries. These questions have yet to be answered by Tesla or other large-scale manufacturers.

Digital Crime Scene

As we transmigrate into an age where the Internet of Things (IoT) inspires electronic equipment and gadgets, the risks of cybercrime keep increasing. Similarly, with the rise of intelligent vehicles, the chances of losing the car’s control to a hacker is imminent and will give cybercriminals a new platform to mingle and cause havoc.

Of course, manufacturers would enforce restrictions and solutions to mitigate the risks of hacking into the vehicle, but the possibility remains. Imagine the magnitude of a several thousand cars under the command of an unethical and criminal minded hacker. Not only does that risks the lives of hundreds and thousands of people, but also gives criminals an edge in extortion techniques.

A single rampaging vehicle can destroy the lives of many, but with a fleet at their command, the hackers can be invincible. With so much going on with driverless vehicles, it is quite conceivable that people will remain reluctant in adapting to the new technology. The regulatory affairs and state laws pose another challenge to the widespread use of autonomous self-driving vehicles, due to security and compliance.

Due to new regulations in IoT integration, manufacturers now need to integrate electronic chips in the vehicles to facilitate communication with other similar automobiles. Secondly, State laws still require a licensed driver to operate a car, and at this point in time, a driverless vehicle directly conflicts with the law. Therefore, witnessing a fully autonomous vehicle on the road might be more challenging than what the manufacturers anticipated at first. Only time will unfold the mysteries driverless cars bring with them.

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