Driverless cars are a dangerous investment

Photo credit: Photo by Michael Shick, distributed under a CC-BY-SA-4.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons

Photo credit: Photo by Michael Shick, distributed under a CC-BY-SA-4.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons

Jessica Bonacci, Opinion Editor

Driverless cars may seem like the future of automotive technology.

At first glance, these cars may seem like the perfect creations. They eliminate human error by replacing a living, breathing navigator with a computer.

According to the New York Times, experts even claim that “traffic wrecks and deaths could well plummet in a world without any drivers.”

The Obama administration has recently proposed a nearly $4 billion spending plan to accelerate the development and assimilation of autonomous cars into everyday life, as reported by the Wall Street Journal. The plan “aims to have federal regulators work with automakers…to craft policies and rules for vehicles that can move without a driver at the wheel.”

Although technological advancement is great, investing in driverless vehicles would be a terrible choice for the government.

As many Americans know, the U.S. government is buried in debt, approximately $18 trillion dollars of it. Throwing nearly $4 billion dollars into developing an unsafe automotive technology is a financially irresponsible decision.

In what way are driverless cars unsafe? The answer is in the sensors.

According to The Guardian, the laser ranging system that allows these cars to identify objects can be easily confused, or hacked,  by  “a tool similar to a laser pointer and costing less than $60.”

Maybe with more funding research can be done to prevent driverless cars from being tricked by simple devices. But there is no telling if hackers will develop more complicated ways of gaining control of the vehicles.

Car hacking is a problem with the newer cars currently on the street.

Hackers are able to take advantage of vulnerabilities and gain control of the locks, the engine, and even the brakes, as reported by the Washington Post. Losing control over a car on a highway or any road, for that matter, can end in disaster.

For the well-being of the country, the government should focus funding on developing new medicines and other technologies to protect the welfare of the people. It may seem great for cars to go driverless, but a rush to move forward can send the country backwards.

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