Autonomous Accidents

By: Devin Fussa

The Ford Auto Industry just invested nearly $1 billion into the development of disaster. They join the likes of many other corporations, including Tesla, Uber, and Google, in the search to perfect the self-driving car. It will cost money, time, and more money, but it will be worth it. That is, of course, as long as we survive the coming storm.

It seems that the tech moguls of the world have decided that humans just aren’t capable enough. Either that, or our laziness has grown to the point at which we no longer care to grab a steering wheel or press a pedal. Oh, how Henry Ford must be rolling in his grave. Granted, this technology seems revolutionary and quite beneficial; however, for every possibility to forward transportation, there are plenty of detractors.

For starters, self-driving cars would rely on a GPS system to navigate travel. These systems are often inconsistent in their rates of success. Take, for example, the time I went skiing in Virginia, but took an hourlong detour through Amish country due to faulty directions. With a new autonomous car, these “adventures” could become a regularity.

Additionally, a 2014 study by MIT claimed that self-driving cars are so reliant on detailed maps, they couldn’t get around 99% of America safely. It seems teenagers are soon to be replaced as the world’s worst drivers, by the vehicles themselves. And who is to say your car will know the difference between the state of Georgia, and the Middle Eastern country of Georgia? It would be best not to drive across the Atlantic Ocean in search of the wrong destination.

The failure of stoplights also presents an issue. As do accidents on the road, animals, pedestrians, and bikers. Other than those minor inconveniences though, there should be no worries. Except for maybe fallen trees, road construction, or specified traffic laws. Ford aims to see these autonomous cars on the road by 2021, and I wish them the best of luck. They’ll certainly need it.