Driverless cars


Technological advancement has shaped most of the society ranging from social interaction, the education sector, and the health sector. Recently there has been innovation geared towards changing the transport sector, and technology experts consider the concept of driverless cars as the future which will revolutionize the transport sector. Currently, there is the use of app-based car services such as Uber and Lyft (Schaller 2017). The driverless cars have not been introduced in society, but there are debates concerning the benefits and limitations of allowing such an invention. The leading proponents of the idea are the technology experts who view technology as the solution to the accidents experienced which are usually caused by human error. The individuals in the transport sector are however against the idea of driverless cars because of the view that the technology will bring negative impacts mainly in the employment opportunities which will negatively affect the economy. Driverless cars should not be allowed in society because the negative consequences are more significant than the anticipated benefits.

The main advantage that the proponents of driverless cars suggest is the idea that human drivers are known to cause road accidents because of their errors. By implementing the technology cost reduction will be realized in the health sector and maintenance which is affected in the occurrence of road accidents (Schoitsch 2016). The dark side of safety, however, outweighs the brighter side, this is mainly because there is a rise in cybercrime currently which can cause manipulation and alteration of software. Driverless cars primarily rely on software developed to ensure its control, given the cybercrime individuals may alter the braking system of the vehicles which leads to accidents and risks the lives of those in the car. Furthermore, cars rely on sensors to make decisions and communicate with the control office (Millard-Ball 2018). In the occurrence of natural disasters such as earth tremors, the sensitive part of the car will be interfered with which ends up causing accidents because of wrong signals. Hence the safety which the proponents argue out is more threatened from the existence of the driverless cars compared to human-driven vehicles. Another safety concern by the driverless cars is that the controller of the car might be distracted when operating the vehicle which may lead to accidents which could have been avoided by a physical driver.

The issue of safety has contributed significantly to the delayed legislation of the self-driven cars. The motion was brought to Congress towards the end of 2018, and the action was not passed mainly due to safety concerns (Litman 2017). The legislation for the development and use of driverless cars is hindered by the fact that there are no federal regulations and framework in place which are concerned with the concept of driverless cars. The absence of the standards will make it difficult for the offenses committed by the driverless vehicles to be identified. The legal issues which need to be addressed before the legalization of the autonomous cars include, identification of the individual to be held responsible in case the vehicle is involved in an accident (Wadud et al. 2016). Currently, there are no laws which stipulate whether the software developer, assembling company or the controller is to be held responsible in case of an accident. Insurance policies are also a big concern when it comes to the legislation of autonomous cars. There are no guidelines concerning liability and even issues addressing reckless driving which will be used to determine the insurance compensation in case the vehicle is involved in an accident (Lari et al. 2015). The current laws stipulate that an individual should not operate or drink while driving, given the autonomous cars there is no legislation which has been put in place concerning what an individual should do and should not do in the car. The autonomous cars do not have policies and regulations in place concerning how the privacy and security of customers data will be ensured since the vehicles are software dependent. Moreover, there is no legislation on what should be done in case the car experiences cyber-attack.

Driverless cars will significantly impact on the economy of various countries. A significant population of individuals gets their income from driving cars is it; truck drivers, taxi drivers or delivery guys. The introduction of driverless cars will also limit mechanics because driverless cars will be automatically repaired. The introduction of driverless cars will increase the rate of unemployment which is fought by most countries to help in poverty reduction (Fagnant and Kockelman 2015). Also, the cost of maintaining driverless cars is anticipated to be on the rise because of the need to update software. Just like personal computers the driverless cars will require effective materials to enhance their interactivity and operations. The body parts of the vehicles may be expensive when compared to current vehicles which are fixed by mechanics.

The leading cause of greenhouse gases is mainly from fuel combustion from cars. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide leadss to health effects in individuals. Although driverless cars will not have a driver, they will still have a human controller who will regulate their operations. Fuel combustion is mainly caused by a high number of vehicles on the road. The proponents of driverless cars argue that the use of driverless cars will contribute to environmental conservation because they will run on electricity. However, energy conservation is an ecological aspect; the idea of introducing driverless cars will mean that high energy power will be used (Greenblatt and Shaheen 2015). Driverless vehicles may reduce pollution by reducing emissions, but it will also increase pollution through the exploitation of resources to produce the energy needed. Also, the fact that humans do not drive the cars will reduce the need to rest which will significantly impact on energy consumption by long distance trucks. Car ownership will also be more accessible because there will be no license required which will lead to an increase in energy consumption since every family member will have a car.  The high number of car ownership will significantly contribute to congestion in the cities. The time which was anticipated to be saved by the use of driverless cars will be lost in the traffic jam (Alessandrini et al. 2015). The autonomous vehicles will also contribute to high congestion in the cities because they cruise as they wait for customers. The cruising will require the cars to operate at low speeds which add to heavy traffic in towns as they expect to be ordered because of the elimination of parking space.


The technology of autonomous cars may be useful in the future. The current situation, however, does not allow for the operation of such vehicles because a lot of issues have not been addressed concerning the operation of the cars. Legislators should ensure that all matters concerning autonomous cars are well discussed before the development of such cars is allowed. The negative impacts outweigh the positive effects of implementing the use of autonomous cars that the technology will bring.


Alessandrini, A., Campagna, A., Delle Site, P., Filippi, F., & Persia, L. (2015). Automated vehicles and the rethinking of mobility and cities. Transportation Research Procedia5, 145-160.

Litman, T. (2017). Autonomous vehicle implementation predictions (p. 28). Victoria, Canada: Victoria Transport Policy Institute.

Greenblatt, J. B., & Shaheen, S. (2015). Automated vehicles, on-demand mobility, and environmental impacts. Current sustainable/renewable energy reports2(3), 74-81.

Millard-Ball, A. (2018). Pedestrians, autonomous vehicles, and cities. Journal of Planning Education and Research38(1), 6-12.

Lari, A., Douma, F., & Onyiah, I. (2015). Self-driving vehicles and policy implications: current status of autonomous vehicle development and Minnesota policy implications. Minn. JL Sci. & Tech.16, 735.

Wadud, Z., MacKenzie, D., & Leiby, P. (2016). Help or hindrance? The travel, energy and carbon impacts of highly automated vehicles. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice86, 1-18.

Schaller, B. (2017). Unsustainable? The growth of app-based ride services and traffic, travel and the future of New York City. Schaller Consulting.

Schoitsch, E. (2016). Autonomous vehicles and automated driving status, perspectives and societal impact. Information technology, society, and economy strategic cross-influences (IDIMT-2016). 24th Interdisciplinary Information Management Talks45(1), 405-424.

Fagnant, D. J., & Kockelman, K. (2015). Preparing a nation for autonomous vehicles: opportunities, barriers and policy recommendations. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice77, 167-181.