(NC) Technology has brought change to almost every industry, including transportation. While the idea of a self-driving car may have seemed impossible years ago, most experts think we’re close to the day when this type of “driving” will be widespread.
The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) outlines some of the benefits and drawbacks that the progression to the connected vehicle will present:
Driver safety. As humans we make mistakes. Human error is one of the leading causes of collisions and injuries on the road. The intricate technology of self-driving cars will provide more safety for occupants, minimizing incidents involving alcohol, distraction, speeding, and fatigue.
Reduce traffic. Sensors in an autonomous car would allow vehicles to drive closer together, making room for more cars on the road and therefore shortening traffic times and relieving congestion.
A happier driving experience. The stress of being stuck on the road during a long commute could be minimized as drivers could let their vehicle do the work and safely tune out and even focus on other things.
Loss of privacy. Vehicles will be recording huge amounts of data about you, from where you’ve been, to how you drive, to what’s wrong with your vehicle, and will be able to transmit all of this data wirelessly. It’s still unknown how much control consumers will have over this information, leading to questions about privacy and consumer choice.
Technological malfunctions. Though technology allows us to do many previously undreamed things, there is always potential for glitches. Even if a self-driving car performs seemingly flawlessly at first, it is possible for programming and software errors to develop. While errors like this with a computer can be an annoyance − when it happens on the road, it could be a matter of life and death.
No rules in place. Regulators need to not only ensure that the vehicles themselves are safe, but that consumers will be able to have control and choice over the wireless personal data that will be produced.
The CAA will be an advocate for consumers to remain in the driver’s seat when it comes to their own data in this world of new vehicle technology.