Of all the technology that exists today and all of the technology that is still to come, the most talked about and perhaps controversial is the driverless automobile. It’s something that fortunately I won’t need to deal with in my lifetime and something that actually removes, for those of us who LOVE to drive and cars in general, one of the joys of life. However, this site has never been simply about giving opinions. So listed are what I believe to be the most important pros and cons of driverless cars.
First the Pros: 1) It will probably save lives in the distant future but until every single car in the country is sans driver, the life saving argument is negligible. 2) It will afford older people and those with disabilities greater mobility. Probably the most compelling argument. 3) It will create new jobs. One of the greatest challenges facing our economy is that we have been moving away from manufacturing for many years and our workforce needs to be retrained in order to keep up with future employment opportunities. Coal mining is not the future of the United States. 4) The cool factor. The ability to program or verbally enter a destination and be taken there is pretty cool.
The Cons: 1) There are many people who Love driving. Cars are a passion and driving a passionate experience. Loss of that excitement is not an option. 2) There’s no such thing as flawless technology. Everything has a shelf life. If people became entirely dependent on their cars to keep them safe and a computer was to break down, go offline, be hacked, whatever the terminology, lives might possibly be in jeopardy. 3) Privacy-If cars are completely tied in to technology, then it would not be difficult to trace people’s movements. Some may not have a problem with that, others might find it very disturbing. 4) Early on, these cars will be prohibitively expensive. Companies aren’t investing billions of dollars in this technology simply to keep people safe. In order to recoup that money, they will need to charge consumers a premium price. This could easily lead to ownership of an automobile being available only to the wealthy. 5) Anyone who has ever used a navigation device understands that more often than not, the device chooses a less than satisfactory route to a destination. Putting the entire process in the hands of technology could prove frustrating.
Draw your own conclusions.