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Advantages and disadvantages of autonomous vehicles

3 min. reading
Mobility, New Gen, Self-driving vehicles / 30 August, 2021

Edgar Mondragón Tenorio Journalist

Since the first motor vehicles were born, the automotive industry has not stopped evolving. In recent years, with the launch of the first electric cars on the market, this pace has accelerated even more. The automotive industry has shown a dynamism in line with the trends and demands of present and future society.

This capacity for adaptation on the part of the automotive industry has led it to seek new forms of mobility. To this end, it has sought to combine new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and the internet of things, leading to the new great revolution in the industry, the emergence of autonomous vehicles.

Advantages of autonomous vehicles

Let’s look at the main advantages brought by autonomous vehicles:

  • 360° vision. Thanks to high-precision technology, autonomous vehicles possess the ability to view the environment in a 360° range, twice as much as humans, who have a viewing angle of only 180° horizontally.
  • Reduced accidents. Thanks to 360° vision and vehicles being interconnected with each other and in constant communication, accidents will be significantly reduced. Although (at least initially) accidents will not be reduced to zero, they will be much less than accidents caused by human driving.
  • Higher traffic efficiency. Although it is estimated that their speed in big cities will be lower, their traffic efficiency will be higher.
  • Access to the disabled and people with reduced mobility. Thanks to the fact that the automobile will be autonomous and will require practically no human interaction for its operation, even people with visual or hearing disabilities will be able to have one, i.e., they will become inclusive.
  • Sustainable vehicles. It is expected that these vehicles will operate based on clean energy, so carbon and greenhouse gas emissions will be practically zero.

Disadvantages of autonomous vehicles

Let’s look at the main disadvantages of autonomous vehicles.

  • Data protection issues. The first problem that arises, is in that, being connected all the time with the whole environment, it can become a cyber problem of data protection. Even the correct handling of road networks can be compromised.
  • High cost of implementation. Autonomous vehicle infrastructure revolves around 5G network coverage, which is still expensive, so it may take governments considerable time to invest in sufficient infrastructure for optimal performance of autonomous vehicles.
  • High cost of vehicles. Although significant progress has been made in reducing the cost of producing their implements, these cuts are not low enough to make them a financially viable alternative for the average family. It will be some years before they become an everyday reality within the reach of the middle class.

Pending debates on autonomous vehicles

But as cutting-edge as this technology may seem, it is still far from perfect. This assumes that there will be failures at some point. When this happens, the problem will be to define the responsibility for the accident, whether the vehicle, the driver, or the vehicle manufacturer. This is a debate that has yet to be resolved for the launch of autonomous vehicles on a massive scale.