Are Self-Driving Cars a Scam?
Self-Driving Cars Pros and Cons: 6 Doubts and Worries
Autonomous vehicles represent a hot, futuristic topic, and everyone is looking at two things: the self-driving cars’ pros and cons. However, there’s also a lot of potential for car buying scams on this topic, so it’s essential to understand how fraud works to prevent falling victim to it.
If you are considering buying a self-driving car in the future, here is a first tip: just like buying any new vehicle, it’s important to carefully check the car’s history to ensure that you’re making the right investment. And as new vehicle technologies become more mainstream, it’s important to look past all the media buzz that surrounds them and figure out what will be useful to us as the consumer.
The idea of a self-driving car or an autonomous vehicle can be very appealing. People today are busier than ever before. The very idea that a car could offer just the right amount of artificial intelligence to eliminate the need for the attention, or even the presence of a driver, certainly seems like a convenience that could seriously change lives.
Today, car manufacturing companies invest millions of dollars into research and development of autonomous features for their vehicles. Still, once you look closer at the phenomenon of self-driving cars, there are several scam-like scenarios that you should be aware of. What you will read below represents more than all the self-driving cars’ pros and cons, but some doubts and worries that came up recently. Here they are:
1. The Myth That Self-Driving Cars Do Not Need a Driver
Today’s modern cars offer a lot of automated features, many of which you may already use. These include blind-spot monitoring, crash-avoidance, automatic braking systems, lane-departure warning, cruise control, forward-collision warning, and more. These offer assistance and additional safety to the driver through the use of artificial intelligence.
However, the idea that a car will not need a human driver present is likely, not true. At the moment, there are no prototypes for this. While self-driving cars may require much less driver attention than traditional vehicles, all laws pertaining to driving automobiles require a driver. In autonomous vehicles, the driver’s role may be changed to more of an observational one, with the driver there to take manual control as and when needed.
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2. Self-Driving Cars Are Not Foolproof
News stories about self-driving cars tend to focus heavily on how much convenience they offer to modern consumers. However, most consumers would never sacrifice their safety for comfort, and it’s important to note that self-driving cars are not always completely safe.
Current models of autonomous vehicles have not always fared well in certain everyday situations such as driving over bridges or through busy neighborhoods. Besides, extreme weather often causes a safety risk for many of these vehicles.
This only serves to compound the fact that autonomous cars are unlikely to be completely self-driving soon since a driver will always be needed to take over in situations such as these to prevent harm.
3. The Problem of Pedestrians
Another reason why fully self-driving cars may never be commonplace on the roads is pedestrians. If all the vehicles on the road became autonomous and followed the same rules, they would still have to deal with unexpected actions from people on foot and people riding bicycles. While sensors and other technologies could be added to make self-driving cars safer for those around them, this would only add more cost.
The one exception to this has been Tesla, a company trying to do more with less technology than other autonomous vehicle makers. Tesla believes that it can find a way to get self-driving cars to work safely without a ton of expensive sensors, instead of relying on short-range ultrasonic sensors, radar, and video cameras.
However, not everybody is confident that this could be achieved. With Tesla’s latest self-driving cars only working on the particular road and weather conditions, whether or not this can be done is still yet to be seen.
4. Are Self-Driving Cars Being Used to Increase Interest in Autonomous Features?
One theory is that automobile companies invest in the buzz around self-driving cars to raise the standard for autonomous vehicle features and encourage further interest in them. In other words, some people believe that the ultimate plan is not actually to deliver self-driving cars.
However, they think that the media buzz is geared towards normalizing the concept enough to encourage consumers to pay more to get certain autonomous features on their next vehicle, some of which might not make a significant difference to safety or the driver’s experience not be necessary.
5. Do People Actually Want Self-Driving Cars?
Sure, the idea of a car that you don’t have to pay as much attention to on the road can be cool, but do people want a vehicle that can drive itself? While there is some demand from certain people for this type of vehicle, data shows that although self-driving cars make an exciting read in media, the percentage of people in the U.S. who want to buy these vehicles is relatively low.
In 2018, the Global Automotive Consumer Study found that almost 50% of Americans did not believe that a self-driving car would be a safe option for them, while nearly 40% reported being unwilling to pay more for an autonomous vehicle. Studies found that around 30% of Americans aged between 25 and 34 would be comfortable owning a fully autonomous vehicle.
6. What’s the Progress So Far?
There has been some progress with self-driving cars, with Ford saying that it is still on track to offer a commercial service by the end of next year, with an autonomous taxi service planned for some predefined regions.
The service is currently being tested in six U.S. cities, and self-driving shuttles are also being tested by companies such as Transdev, May Mobility, and EasyMile. Other car companies are no longer making predictions about when fully self-driving cars will finally be available.
If you’re interested in more self-driving cars’ pros and cons and their potential, it’s essential to do your research and separate the fact from the fiction. Meanwhile, you can also take a look at one of the biggest scams in the auto industry, as well as a few other vehicle purchase-related ones.