Autonomous cars will be a reality in a few years. Several companies, such as Tesla, Google, Apple and even Samsung are already doing practical tests with this type of vehicle. So now I ask you: if someone offered to give you a 100% autonomous car, would you accept it? Would he have the courage to walk wherever he went?
This was Gartner’s survey of 1,500 people in the United States and Germany between April and May of this year. And the result was surprising. More than half the people said they would not have the guts. To be more exact, 55% of respondents would not even consider riding in an autonomous car. However, if the car is only partially autonomous, with the driver being able to take over the wheel at any time that percentage rises to 71%
The reasons, of course, are mistrust with the safety of such vehicles. Mike Ramsey, research director at Gartner, wrote:
“The fear that driverless cars will be confused in an unexpected situation, safety concerns about the equipment and the fear that the car or its system will be invaded are among the main concerns around the autonomous vehicles.”
And, in fact, this concern is not unfounded. Researchers at the University of Washington have concluded that stand-alone cars pose a great security risk because they can easily be confused. For example, they are programmed to recognize and obey signage signs, such as “Stop” and “No parking”. However, a slight change in these plates can make the car not recognize them or understand them in a different way.
In the study the researchers put the image recognition system to the test. They took a “Stop” sign and glued two stickers on it, one above and the other below the name. The result was that the standalone vehicle no longer recognized the board as an indication of stopping, but rather of speed limitation. Simple stickers glued to traffic signs. That alone was enough to make the car interpret the plates in different ways.
But Ramsey points out that the whole industry is investing a lot of money in that market. Research to improve steering systems, safety and recognition of objects and people on the street is being improved day by day. So, according to him, in 10 years the autonomous cars will already be being accepted more. The same thing happened with the current cars. At the beginning of the 20th century, many people said that they would not replace horses. And look what they did.