It’s a very exciting time to be in the auto industry, at Tiro
we’re working with market leading companies developing self-driving car
technology. But is the general public really ready to embrace this revolution
in car travel?
Auto-pilot has been long used in aircraft, so why is a car without
a driver such a big deal? Driverless cars offer many potential uses, personally
I can’t wait to jump in a driverless car after having a few drinks with
friends. Plus many of us just cannot contemplate sitting in the driver's seat
of a vehicle with no driver controls (no pedals or steering wheel). So why are
many of us so nervous?
Let’s look at the positives:
A driverless vehicle will be revolutionary for people that can’t
usually get around unaided, surely the aged and disabled should
be the early adopters of self-driving cars?
Self-driving means self-parking! No more stressful experiences in
the multi storey trying to find a space, your car will deal with that for you
If full autonomy freaks you out, surely you could see the benefit
of using the driverless mode for long road trips in low traffic areas, with the
ability for drivers to regain control of the car in busier environments?
And the stuff we are all concerned about:
Of course with deaths at the hands of both Tesla and Uber we are
right to be concerned! But Autonomous-driving
technology has already been credited with saving lives. Major automakers have
agreed to make automatic braking -- which detects when a vehicle ahead stops
and automatically applies the brakes if the driver doesn't -- standard
equipment on all new cars. And Volvo is promising death proof cars by 2020.
Preventing car hacking and unauthorised remote control is top of
my list! And not just in the driverless vehicle, cyber-security and terrorism at
airports through hacking of programmable driverless systems is pretty damn
The Cambridge Analytical scandal has put this on the top of the
agenda, passengers needed assurance around privacy such as location tracking.
So what does the autonomous future look like?
Fully automated planes are
now in development
In the defence sector, in-air, on-land and under-water robotic
unmanned vehicles are being developed
Driverless trucks are commonly used in mining and
other high risk environments.
Fully automated cranes have
been created for use in the construction sector.
Driverless cars are also being considered for food
My personal view is that yes, in 2018 we still have a long way to
go before we can feel confident in a self-driving car, but let’s not let out nervousness’s
stop innovation. As autonomous technology develops, more needs to be done to
ask the public what we need to feel assured about use of driverless cars. The
focus should be on what level of automation is socially acceptable in specific
situations and how our views evolve - user perceptions need to be monitored and
tracked through time.
The global race to be leader in driverless car production will
certainly push innovation boundaries, so let’s enjoy watching this exciting new