Would You Trust a Self-Driving Car?

Imagine if you were able to rush into your car and get to a set location while finishing that last homework question, completing your makeup, or texting a friend that you’re on your way. Today, these things would be impossible to do, unless a driver is available or if you’re willing to risk being so dangerous on the road. With self-driving cars advancing, the impossible may one day become a reality.

With a plethora of companies including Google, Volkswagen, and Tesla racing to create the best self driving car to take the streets, the advanced cars are in the near future. However, there are still a number of questions remaining concerning how the public feel about letting these machines drive, no matter what the research says about safety.

According to the Wall Street Journal, having self driving cars could potentially reduce 90% of injuries and even deaths due to mistakes from humans. While self driving cars are not perfect, research does say that they would make the streets a safer place. Some people agree that it is easier to blame machines for mistakes rather than humans, for they were made to lack of any imperfections.

With all these facts known, many do still struggle with trusting self driving cars. This may have to do with the fact that the cars are not yet on the road, depending on a machine can be quite scary, or that change is difficult to visualize when it has not yet occurred. All of these have been felt by a handful of students here at West Career and Technical Academy.

When asking a total of 20 West Tech students, 75% felt that they would feel comfortable in a self driving car. Some issues were the fact that other humans and autonomous cars both driving side by side may create more danger than intended.

Colette McClanahan, freshman, feels that she wouldn’t trust a self driving car, because she thinks that machines could fail at one point and should not be dependent on. She thinks people should know how to drive, for it is an important skill, and does not want the future to rely on the cars alone. McClanahan said, “ I don’t feel too safe on the streets now, but with machines blended with regular drivers may be worse,” and added, “I would only think they could reduce so many accidents if everyone had a self driving car”.

Arianna Adjini, sophomore, disagreed, saying, “I think self driving cars would be a great way to get things done while staying safe. I mean, if the science is there, then why worry if I were to be in more harm driving myself?” Adjini feels that no matter what, self driving cars are a part of the future in technology, and with that, people can advance into changing our lives for the better.

Meanwhile, Matthew Gamboa, senior, is hesitant, but believes he would personally enjoy a self driving car. Gamboa said, “I could get so much done if my car could drive me places, just imagine what you could you with that”. He continued by adding, “If the smartest scientists worked hard over such a long period of time and are confident in their work, then I would probably feel the same way being in one (autonomous car)”.

As demonstrated, self driving cars are slowly zooming into our lives. Scientists and engineers continue to perfect these machines to become a part of the future, but may struggle gaining the trust of others to use their product. Overall, it is likely autonomous cars will be seen in the next few years, so prepare to live life like a character in a sci-fi movie.

WAYMO self-driving car prototpye.

Photo Credit: WAYMO

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