Safety of autonomous vehicles called into question
As automotive manufacturers and technology companies alike continue to push forward with the development of self-driving vehicles, residents in Florida will have to decide just how comfortable they are with these new modes of transportation. Many studies have been done in the last few years measuring the general comfort level among consumers with autonomous vehicles. Some of the most recent of these studies have shown that consumer confidence has waned in the wake of some rather high-profile accidents involving these vehicles.
One of the main premises on which the development of autonomous vehicles is based is that these cars offer a primary means of reducing or even avoiding accidents. This is based on the fact that human error is a major contributor to serious or fatal crashes. However, it seems that human actions and choices are still able to impact safety with the use of autonomous systems.
As explained by CNBC, the Autopilot system built into Tesla vehicles is supposed to still require the supervision and attention of the human driver. This system is not yet designed to fully replace the human. Among the things the Autopilot system can do autonomously are making lane changes, braking or speeding up in a single lane, or steering within a lane.
Some people have posted videos of drivers supposed to be completely asleep while behind the wheel of their Tesla vehicles. There are questions about the validity of all of these videos, but they nonetheless highlight the concern about people putting too much faith into the systems.
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