DRIVERS WANTED

Sean Smith, via Facebook

Amongst all the hype and all the back patting about how fantastic it is that cars can drive themselves, I have seen very little on the actual benefits of this “leap” of both technology and faith. Is it that we are eliminating driver error? If so, I am not sure the alternative of system or device error is better or safer. There are so many variables that I don’t believe have been considered.

The obvious ones are instant choice based on the conflicting circumstances such as swerving to avoid a car braking suddenly in front of you to then potentially hit a pedestrian or another vehicle. The more complex ones are not even rumoured in anything I have read – such as a ‘software virus’, a faulty microprocessor or relay within a vehicle, or an application update patch that is not done successfully in the vehicles control systems... Surely there are override functions built into these vehicle systems as a safeguard – and that in itself begs the question, what is the point?

Secondly, whilst car manufacturers do amazing things with the technology in their vehicles, the most sophisticated vehicles are those zooming around above us.

Commercial jet aircraft truly are on another dimension to motor vehicles... and yet, even though the inherent technical capability of these machines is at an autonomous level, we still stick at least two heads, four arms and four legs in the flight deck to fly them.