Autonomous Vehicles: Have Manufacturers Addressed All Safety Concerns?
July 11, 2016 | Autonomous Vehicles, Hacking
Probably the two most talked about topics in the world of emerging technology are autonomous vehicles and the internet of things. Amid its ever rising popularity, intelligent technology is expected to shape our lives in the future. As a result, high-tech companies are relentlessly working on innovative ideas to bring out striking products into the market.
Take for instance; the autonomous technology—more commonly known as driverless vehicles. From the US tech giants, which include, Tesla Motors, Google and possibly Apple to Japan’s automobile manufacturing titans such as Nissan Motor Company and Toyota Motor Corp, automakers across the world are developing “smart vehicles” to wrest control of a small but fast growing market.
Come August, Japan is all set to introduce its first ever driverless bus service. A leading Japanese videogame maker, DeNA, in partnership with a French self-driving bus manufacture, EasyMile SA, will launch the service, dubbed as Robot Shuttle. The service, which will be initially available at Toyosuna Park located in Chiba’s Makuhari district, will enable public movement within universities, amusement parks and factories. Not only that, the firm has also envisaged to introduce self-driving taxis that will help facilitate movement along the roads.
The upcoming service has already generated lots of enthusiasm in the land of the rising sun. However, it has also raised safety concerns among experts.
As the recent crash of a driverless car in Florida suggests, autonomous vehicles are susceptible to fatal accidents. Last month, Tesla Motors disclosed that its Model S, was involved in a fatal accident. The driverless car rammed into a turning truck as it failed to apply the brakes.
The company in its statement tried to evade the safety concerns by using a very complex technical language, which did not blame its technology, however, in reality, the car while on the autopilot mode, failed to detect a turning truck.
The incident has raised one big concern: Whether the autonomous technology is advanced enough so that we can rely on computers for routine driving. Secondly, as driverless automobiles are embedded with software programming, such machines will remain vulnerable to hacking. In other words, it is vital that autonomous vehicle manufacturers pay more heed to cybersecurity.
Time will tell how manufactures of the autonomous technology will address these issues, in the meantime however, let’s look forward to have a ride on the Robot Shuttle.
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