The debate surrounding automated parking and driving vehicles has raged on for years. Trusting your life to the split second choices a machine makes is something most humans are uncomfortable with. The motoring companies developing these cars assure us all its safe and have set sights on the ambitious goal of 0 fatalities by the time the technology is integrated into the mainstream market.
This does still raise some scary issues. My apple merchandise intermittently will do random things I do not wish it to do. It has even at times just shut down and rebooted itself for no apparent reason. Granted the computer power running a car is likely to be superior to that of what Steves Jobs gave us, yet the question still lingers. It’s still run by computers and like all things in this world, computers fail.
The newish technology starts with the low risk tasks of driving a car. Parking it. Interestingly the most collisions claimed through insurance is from parking incidents. This is hardly surprising given the multiple directions vehicles are taking, the appalling layout of some of our local carparks and other factors such as pedestrians, stray shopping trollies, mobile phones, screaming children and those huge yellow pylons that, based off the amount of coloured paint on them, one would assume they randomly move in front of you whilst you’re trying to park your Chrysler Voyager.
The self-drive technology starts with the low speed, low risk task of parking your car. Many companies have developed this and have even begun adding it as features in the latest new models to hit the market. Look at what’s depicted here in this British promotion for it. This clip was released in 2013 so one can assume that the technology has advanced greatly in the years since.
This does still leave us with some doubts in our minds. What’s the fail safe? Has this system ever failed? Who is liable if it does fail?
This clip of Volvo demonstrating the self stopping system left us all doubting the new tech.
Ultimately this is the way of the future and there will come a day when cars will drive themselves. Eliminating the human error factor but possibly introducing the AI error factor. Can the computer tell us with confidence that an AI error is safer than a human error?
Ultimately do you feel safe with this technology?