An autonomous vehicle is a complex system relying on various technological concepts to operate autonomously without any human interference.
If you see, in any robotic technology industry, robots are usually provided with certain limited tasks in a specified area or zone. However, autonomous vehicles are quite controversial due to their approach to being on the road without any control from a human driver, they are not going to drive in a limited zone or area, but they are quite limited and thrown into an uncertain world.
Till now, technology has been under the control of human beings and has only been used for a particular operation, but now we are letting technology be completely free and make decisions, or even expecting them to make smarter decisions than human beings can.
One of the significant risks associated with autonomous vehicles is their malfunctioning technology. Due to its reliance on a complex system of sensors, software, and hardware, malfunctions or failures of the components may lead to massive accidents or other safety issues. If sensors fail to detect obstacles in the road, they may fail to detect a pedestrian or another vehicle.
So, we can see how important the detection system is for AVs; if it fails, then it is almost like a blind person driving a vehicle with hazardous results. Also, at night, if the system fails, it needs to park itself somewhere on the corner to get it rectified.
However, what about the safety of parking at such corners in a known or unknown area for a longer time?
Another risk associated with it is the identification of the pedestrian. Are all pedestrians to be stopped? Well, on an empty road or at night, will you stop for anyone on the road, as we are aware of a lot of misfortune or unfortunate accidents happening on the road?
I don’t think it will be a wise decision to do so. But how can an AV differentiate between the intention of the people and what action needs to be taken to counteract such mishaps?
Hacking and cybersecurity threats are prominent risks associated with autonomous vehicles. Autonomous vehicles are vulnerable, compromising the passenger’s safety and the vehicle’s safety as well.
If somehow the vehicle’s control systems got hacked, that’s not out of the question, but it is happening in day-to-day life with potential hackers aiming to prove their superiority, which can lead to massive safety issues and other major accidents. Also, privacy concerns are a major threat that could be compromised due to potential data collected by the vehicle’s sensors.
Maintenance will be a core theme for such autonomous vehicles that are completely powered technologically. A new set of technology groups needs to be addressed for proper maintenance and reliability so that they don’t create any malfunctioning activity.
Regulations and policies need to be stringent for the use of autonomous vehicles to address the potential risks and follow clear guidelines governing their use.
Adverse weather conditions, unpredictable road conditions, traffic rules set by different countries, and the kind of roads used in every country make it quite complicated for autonomous vehicles to navigate safely.
Autonomous vehicles are quite risky due to their threat to compromise the privacy of customers as well as their lack of capability to differentiate pedestrians.
It is technically quite advanced and futuristic, but mainly for idealistic towns or cities where too many compromising scenarios are present. For any technology, it will be challenging to differentiate the threat of not stopping in front of some people, and maybe sometimes you have to roll over them to not get stuck in the whole process.
Even though autonomous vehicles present themselves with lots of benefits, you cannot deny the fact that they are not able to counteract solid life-threatening scenarios.
Any technology does present itself with numerous benefits, but the challenges somehow contradict each other in a major way.