Blog: Freaky Friday? Ok Let’s Talk Autonomous Cars

It’s Friday so let’s talk about something completely different like Autonomous cars, defined by Wikipedia as ‘An autonomous car, also known as a robot car, self-driving car, or driverless car, is a vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and moving with little or no human input.’ When I was younger (yes a long time ago!) the closest you got to an autonomous car was Knight Riders KITT on a Saturday tea time, certainly as a 10 year old, the idea of a car that drove itself seemed pretty cool and that was without hitting turbo boost, but now what was once just a bit of automotive sci-fi is now heading towards become reality, the question is – is it a good idea?

The first issue has to be the technology, already we have read and seen video footage of horror stories with autonomous cars on test crashing and killing people so clearly the technology is not fool proof yet but if these cars are to become the norm on our roads they need to be able to talk to each other and the latest thing I hear is that different car makers are using different technology to allow cars to do this but this raises a problem because not all the tech is compatible with each other, like mobile phones, you have iPhones and Smart phones but dependent on which phone you have it depends on which app for example you need to download so if Car A is using one type of autonomous tech but Car B is using another then will they be able to talk to each other? Are we going to see some kind of VHS v Betamax (sorry another flashback from my youth!) war break out among the technology giants for supremacy?

So let’s say this is all sorted and everybody is happily being driven around in their autonomous cars, what happens to the cars when they drop you off at the local restaurant or wherever it is you have traveled too? Do they go off and park themselves, maybe they turn around and drive home until called upon again and do they simply switch off and stay wherever you have punched the destination in for? Which ever one of these it might be, hasn’t your car now just turned into nothing more than a taxi? It picked you up from home, dropped you at your destination then when you are ready to go back home it comes back and picks you up – like grabbing a cab?! Will this put taxi companies out of business if this is the case? Or will we stop buying cars because why pay road tax, insurance, maintenance fees and so on to really just have a taxi?

Well that’s enough thought for Friday, let me know what you think – have a good weekend everyone.

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