In light of the news that Motorists could ‘watch films and sleep’ behind the wheel in driverless cars by 2021, David Emm, Principal Security Researcher commented below.
David Emm, Principal Security Researcher:
“Technology continues to enhance our lives in so many ways, and people are quick to adopt technology where it brings tangible benefits. However, I think people are – and should – be more apprehensive when it comes to something like driverless cars, where safety is paramount. Historically, driving has always been an aspect of life where human control has always been paramount, so the idea of watching a film, or sleeping, while a car transports us, feels ‘wrong’ to many people.The driverless car fatality in Arizona has shown that there is a very real danger with autonomous vehicles, and it is reasonable to question whether it is wise to resume the use of these autonomous vehicles so quickly. On top of this, there are safety concerns about pedestrian and driver safety – as stories this year about autonomous car testing has demonstrated. There are some worrying issues that society needs to tackle before driverless cars hit our streets.”
There are various levels of autonomy with self-driving cars – from add-on features such as parking assistance through to completely driverless cars. There’s a ‘grey area’ between the two, where the driver has very little to do, but has responsibility for the vehicle and might need to take control at some point. But, as we know from motorway driving, there’s a danger that the driver will switch off because they have very little to do and might therefore be unable to regain control in a timely fashion in an emergency.”