Self driving cars need human back up

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death, especially for younger, inexperienced drivers.
In light of that fact, a self driving car may seem like a good thing to help keep the roads safer, not only for those still learning to drive, but for those with years of experience behind the wheel.
Here in Pearl River County, vehicular deaths unfortunately occur regularly. Having lost a loved one to a vehicle accident, I agree that every safety precaution should be implemented to keep motorists, their passengers and pedestrians as safe as possible.
Most everyone has heard that self-driving cars are being developed. As we inch closer and closer to the future of getting from point A to point B, I am more concerned with what could go wrong with such a new technology.
On paper, a car capable of driving you without assistance to your destination sounds like a great thing. The combination of GPS, sensors and all the latest technology may sound like a safe way to get to work while taking a much need nap, finishing your makeup or reading the day’s emails, but anyone who has spent any time behind the wheel knows there’s no replacement for the human ability to react quickly to unexpected situations.
That’s why I feel humans could never be replaced by automation. Maybe in 50 years I could be proven wrong.
In light of this view, I am confused with Google’s disappointment with California’s proposed regulation mandating a licensed driver be in the driver’s seat of a self driving car, even when the car is driving itself.
If the unexpected were to occur, could we really trust an automated car to utilize the proper evasion method?
Also keep in mind that there’s the possibility a problem with an automated car could be the cause of the accident.
While the thought of a taxi service devoid of human interaction may make many people swoon, we should avoid letting cars drive around unattended, at least until the technology is proven to be safer than having a human behind the wheel.

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