Self-Driving Cars

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Self-Driving Cars

A self-driving car is considered a driverless car capable of detecting the surroundings and moving effectively and safely with less human input. These cars combine different sensors to check on the surroundings. The additional sensors include the inertial measurement units, odometry, GPS, sonar, lidar, and radar. The sensory information is interpreted effectively using the advanced control systems to tell the imperative signage, obstacles, and navigation paths. Possible implementation includes long-distance tracking, connected vehicle platoons, shared robotaxis, and personal self-driving cars (Sivak et al. 20). Multiple projects have been established to manufacture these types of cars. Waymo was one of the pioneers of these cars in Phoenix, Arizona. Companies such as Nissan, Tesla, and Google, among others, have announced in the previous years, their desire to establish autonomous vehicles or self-driving cars.

Advantages of the self-driving cars

Environmental gains

Energy consumption can be decreased in the transportation sector. One of these cars’ advantages is that there is more safety when the vehicle moves all by itself than when an individual does. The vehicles have established cruise control that can be used to save gas when in electric mode. Emissions can be decreased due to computerized systems’ ability to brake smoothly and accelerate equally (Shariff et al., 695). These systems have been programmed to select the best affordable and convenient fuel option. These cars would require to be replaced after a long duration resulting in reduced service costs and maintenance. The aerodynamic drag, electricity demand, and the added weight of the computers and the sensors used in these cars are critical to their greenhouse gas emissions and lifetime energy use. Notable, these cars’ design requires a focus on energy efficiency such that the transformative technology is visible. One primary argument is that self-driving vehicles have reduced greenhouse emissions compared to cars with combustion engines. The reduced emissions result from the fuel combustion inefficiencies when producing electricity.

Congestion reduction

The introduction of self-driving cars has benefits with the available road systems. The advantage of having a practical and comfortable transport system is to avoid any road violence, decrease the needed number of vehicles on the roads, and optimize traffic flows. The cars are the most effective considering the highway and the freeways with established interaction frameworks. This type of interaction helps in the decrease of visible congestion.

Keeps to the lanes

Additionally, autonomous vehicles stick to the required lanes when on the roads and do not have to sway, unlike humans when they are in control of cars. The case means that the cars can use narrow lanes. In the end, these cars will stick to one lane, which will require fewer infrastructures. Autonomous vehicles are characterized by lane controls, blind-spot monitoring, collision avoidance systems, and automatic braking. A reduced number of lanes are needed for self-driving cars that help save on the available infrastructure.

Moreover, no extra parking is required for these cars since the available parking can be saved. More autonomous vehicles will be used to offer transport services that will require people to disregard parking. With the other types of combustion-engine vehicles, the relevant authorities would require to add multiple lanes every time, which means more vehicles, could be dumped as quickly.

Societal cost savings

Autonomous cars have an advantage on the societal cost savings annually. These benefits are both societal and economic due to the autonomous vehicles’ full deployment. Examples of such cost savings due to the adoption of the technology are better transportation access, fuel efficiency, and reduced crashes. Even though these cars help decrease the different errors and behaviors, the number of such mistakes would have been increased in combustion-engine vehicles. Achieving a reduced number of road-related deaths can be achieved by self-driving cars.

Cons of self-driving cars


Self-driving vehicles are essential on the roads due to the technological change that cars offer. The issue comes with the expensive nature of the technology and its growth. Modern technology has its disadvantages when it is matters concerning the cost. The technology becomes cheaper when the public accesses it. Not multiple companies have stated the prices for their cars.

Tech has gone wrong

Since programming plays a central role in self-driving cars, some issues could arise with unexpected tech errors. Self-driving vehicles are flawless during the manufacturing point and need to be operated with competence. Reaching navigation needs a complex environment, and thus on auto-pilot, they require the sensor systems. The required information is combined on board with various sophisticated systems that need to assess the vehicle’s position and the weather reliability. The vehicle map position needs to be reliable and precise in real-time. Particular situations are challenging with the blocked GPS signal, hand gestures, head nods, four-way junctions, unusual signage, and obscured lights that affect the computerized system. Overcoming all these situations and conditions need to be overcome with the need for computer algorithms, sensors, and improving maps.

Legal, Liability, and Ethical Issues

There are standards needed to ensure that the law is followed with the need for self-driving cars. Certification and Highway Code standards are required to ensure the law regarding such cars’ production is followed. The E.U. legislation is characterized by multiple challenges that these cars exhibit. One of the elements is the issue with the accident liabilities. If an accident occurs, the question to ponder will be based on who the automakers are, the car owner, and who bears the vehicle’s liability. The automakers’ liability should not be found on the obstruction of the improvements made but on the issues that help with the moral problems that arise with algorithm behavior and imminent crashing. Deep learning may assist with unpredictable situations, as human-like decisions could be passed to the autonomous vehicle’s system. The case requires a long learning duration, leading to delayed implementation. The infrastructure also needs to be adjusted to suit predictable road conditions. Due to the need for GPS data and high-precision maps, GPS satellite constellations need to be integrated.


One of the unexpected consequences of self-driving cars is rendering many drivers jobless. These drivers depend on driving vehicles for their livelihood. The drivers and their families will be significantly affected, and some may even break up. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 19.9 million individuals were trail truck drives in 2018. Also, 370,400 drivers worked as taxi and delivery while 680,000 were employed as bus drivers. The summation of these two categories of drivers implies that a total of 2.9 million jobs will be lost. Once these jobs are lost, it may prove difficult for them to switch to other well-paying jobs because driving is classified as a low-skill job. Therefore, getting a new job will be expensive due to the training required to acquire another job. Such statistics will significantly impact millions of lives and the economy as well.

Insurance premiums and accident reduction

Autonomous vehicles can have reduced accidents, as the cars are not prone to slow human reaction periods, bad driving behavior, and distraction. Therefore, it is expected that these cars require reduced insurance prices. Insurance firms will be subjected to different challenges with accidents. Thus, the insurance companies will have to eliminate the accidents cover and suggest establishing the National Insurance Fund to settle every damage due to the system failures and cyber risk.

The issue with anticipating the future is that when changes such as autonomous vehicles occur, innovation becomes increasingly embraced. Considering the pros that self-driving cars pose regarding reducing traffic and safety, these cars stand to change the world significantly. Multiple people, old and young, are influenced by automobiles due to the perception that these vehicles are commonly used as a source of transport. Therefore, if technology provides an approach that makes traveling convenient and efficient, then the said changes must be embraced. Due to their various capabilities, utilizing self-driving vehicles will help guarantee the pedestrians’ safety and confidence in drivers. Perhaps where the technology could help significantly is in the people’s lives. If people could consider autonomous vehicles’ ownership, there may be maintenance and sobriety on the roads. As discussed, sobriety on the roads includes road carnage reduction, decreased environmental pollution, and reduced traffic congestion levels.

Works Cited

Badue, Claudine, et al. “Self-driving cars: A survey.” Expert Systems with Applications (2020): 113816.

Boeglin, Jack. “The costs of self-driving cars: reconciling freedom and privacy with tort liability in autonomous vehicle regulation.” Yale JL & Tech. 17 (2015): 171.

Daily, Mike, et al. “Self-driving cars.” Computer 50.12 (2017): 18-23.

Greenblatt, Nathan A. “Self-driving cars and the law.” IEEE Spectrum 53.2 (2016): 46-51.

Hecht, Jeff. “Lidar for self-driving cars.” Optics and Photonics News 29.1 (2018): 26-33., Azim, Jean-François Bonnefon, and Iyad Rahwan. “Psychological roadblocks to the adoption of self-driving vehicles.” Nature Human Behaviour 1.10 (2017): 694-696.

Shladover, Steven E. “The truth about “self-driving” cars.” Scientific American 314.6 (2016): 52-57.

Sivak, Michael, and Brandon Schoettle. Road safety with self-driving vehicles: General limitations and road sharing with conventional vehicles. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Transportation Research Institute, 2015.Urmson, Chris. “Self-driving cars and the urban challenge.” IEEE Intelligent Systems 23.2 (2008): 66-68.

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