Why Driverless Cars May Face Safety Hurdles

How long until driverless cars are 'safe'?Driverless cars might one day promise us a future where accident rates plummet downwards towards insignificance. However, there are still many safety hurdles that driverless cars must overcome before such a future is possible.

There are still too many questions surrounding how driverless cars will handle adverse weather events, such as snowstorms and heavy rain. For those who have lived in Lafayette for a considerable amount of time, you know that rain can seemingly appear out of nowhere, meaning this hurdle for driverless cars applies to our town.

An article published in The Atlantic raised this point and interviewed several experts in the field of robotics to get their input on adverse weather conditions and driverless cars.

According to the head of robotics at Duke University, driverless car testing needs to incorporate adverse weather and traffic conditions. At the moment, Google’s driverless cars pull over during stormy weather.

Some manufacturers have attempted to overcome these hurdles by carrying out testing in places like Michigan, which gets lots of ice, snow and freezing rain. In addition, Ford has developed an algorithm that can identify snow and rain drops. Presently, many driverless cars being tested mistake snow and raindrops for objects, and cannot effectively operate in bad weather. Keep in mind, that even though progress is being made, driverless cars may have difficulty interacting with human motorists driving in bad weather. There are many ‘unknowns’ surrounding this technological safety hurdle.

Will Driverless Cars Improve Safety?

Why is this information important? Driverless cars have the opportunity to drastically increase pedestrian and motorist safety. These highly accurate vehicles could possibly eliminate many threats on our roads today, such as distracted, drunk and drowsy driving. Many pedestrian and car accidents are caused by human error or bad driving habits. Driverless cars promise a future where these two factors may no longer exist.

The Lafayette personal injury attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat encourage everyone to practice safe driving habits while traveling this summer.


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