Last week we reviewed the prospective benefits of a driverless car future, where computers and other sensors take charge and all we do is sit back and enjoy the ride. But there are concerns over privacy issues and hackers hijacking overly-computerized cars. Today we will evaluate the risks and other concerns over autonomous cars.
It’s already complicated enough in today’s world to determine who’s at fault in an automobile accident. Not only are the drivers involved, but other factors such as mechanical malfunctions, inclement weather and so forth. Can you imagine a collision involving a self driving car? Who would be liable? The car company? The software maker? This is a serious questions that would have to be answered before this technology becomes mainstream.
Today, our concerns over car security mainly refer to unintended individuals getting physical access to our vehicle. We all fear our beloved cars being stolen or broken in, and we have some security devices in place to minimize these situations. However, driverless cars continuously broadcast their locations and have sensors that communicate back and forth with other cars, servers and their users. Security researchers have already hacked into vehicles computers using the OBD port (the one used for car diagnostics) and using cellular networks.
As always, our laws are the last elements of society to catch up with technology. Because of the fast paced nature of computer innovations, early regulations may have unintended consequences that may benefit or affect future developments. As of today, only a few states allow us to test autonomous cars in open roads, and the ones that do, require a human to be ready to take control of the car, which kills the whole purpose of it.
These concerns are just scratching the surface of what might come in the near future. Unsurprisingly, we won’t know the real risks until we put these things on the roads in great numbers. By then, hopefully the laws will me more relaxed and allow this technology to propagate faster. Keep your local dealership in mind when the time comes to purchase your self driving car!
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