This is the dark side of self-driving vehicles.
We knew that autonomous vehicles would arrive on public roads sooner or later. Mercedes-Benz and Tesla (among others) have helped birth this new technology with futuristic and eye-opening concept cars and the pretty cool but creepy autopilot feature, respectively. A lot of people are excited about the future now that autonomous vehicles have arrived. However, there’s always a dark side of the moon and in this case, it’s very dark. No matter how great they may sound we still found five reasons to fear a future filled with self-driving cars.
1. They’re ugly: We don’t understand why but the few autonomous cars built look terrible compared to the nice looking cars we currently have. Look at Mercedes-Benz; all of its cars look gorgeous. Compare those models to its F015 concept car and the Vision Tokyo concept. Both cars look futuristic but are pretty damn ugly. We know that it’s all because of aerodynamics and futuristic design languages but in all honesty, they don’t look great.
2. They're dangerous and untrustworthy: Jeremy Clarkson said that comparing the BMW i8 to the 2015 F80 M3 is like comparing the very first computer to a typewriter; it’s revolutionary for our time but for everyone else, it's just not ready to be taken into serious consideration. The same goes with autonomous cars and cars people drive. At this early stage autonomous cars are prone to hacking and the AI making mistakes, no matter how advanced they might be. In a world with dangerous drivers and big accidents, autonomous vehicles are just not ready yet. Imagine human error plus hackers plus AI mistakes...yowza.
3. Self-driving cars are expensive: Because the autonomous vehicle industry is so young, new technology needs to be created and developed constantly. You can't just improve upon existing technology when it comes to something as radical, innovative and futuristic as self-driving cars. We have the skills and knowledge to make and implement new technology. We just don’t have the equipment to make it economically efficient yet.
4. They take away jobs: Once autonomous technology trickles down to more affordable cars, driving jobs will become extinct. Chauffeurs, cab drivers, hearse drivers, bus drivers…all of them will be replaced with robots and AI technology! Let's face it, some people are only good at driving cars. If you take away their ability to drive then you take away their only way to make money and support themselves. You think a robot cares if humans go hungry?
5. We'll lose the automotive culture: Gearheads love to drive, simple as that. If people can't drive their own cars then the love for driving will be diminished. In the future, near or far, driving a “manual” car may mean a completely different thing. Today it’s defined as driving a car with a manual transmission. However, in the future it can mean just controlling a car yourself, never mind shifting gears. That is a sight we are not and most likely never will be prepared to see or live with.