Self driving cars in India may sound like a distant dream for the uninitiated. But you’d be surprised to know that there are more than a few start-ups working at this moment on automatic vehicle technology for trucks, minibuses and cars. They are even aiming to export their products. A few years back, Infosys had announced that it was developing a driverless car at its Mysore centre. Though the global view on self-driving cars is divided, they are going to be on our streets sooner or later.
How exactly will these marvels of technology change our lives? Let’s look at some self driving cars pros and cons and try to understand their implications.
Curbing air pollution
Self-driving cars are likely going to be electric. This means less utilisation of fossil fuels, lesser smoke and cleaner air. Self driving cars in India will be a blessing for a country with multiple cities in the list of most polluted cities of the world.
Reduced traffic jams
One important point to note about self-driving cars is that they can communicate with each other. Human driven cars can’t do that, and can’t foresee traffic jams or calculate their moves. The reaction time of self-driving cars will be quicker than regular cars. The sensors and software will minimize potential danger.
A centralized system
If all driverless cars are linked to the same network, managing traffic will become way easier. One car will always know where all the other cars are and what they are doing. Governments and traffic police teams can use this to their maximum advantage and make traffic management seamless. Further, this network could also be linked to car insurance companies, so that they get immediate information when anything goes wrong with the car. While the current car insurance paradigm could change with the advent of self-driving cars, car insurance will always be an essential for both self-driving and standard cars. If you don’t have a policy already, you can check out Bajaj Allianz Car Insurance, available on Finserv MARKETS. It has a swift claim settlement process with Motor OTS wallet for instant claims.
Linking to traffic lights
If driverless technology is worked upon and developed further, there could be an opportunity to link these cars to traffic lights. They will be able to navigate through traffic much better and avoid traffic jams and bottlenecks.
Increase in productivity
Indians spend a lot of time travelling. A good number of them drive to work every day in cars they own, facing long journeys caused by intense traffic. With driverless cars, they will be able to use this time to work. Overnight journey? You can even catch up on sleep. Driving fatigue and losing track of directions will also end.
Of course, self driving cars pros and cons go hand in hand. There are a good number of reasons why we should be skeptical about them.
Man-made safety issues
All cars are not going to turn driverless at once. There will be driverless and driver-operated cars at once on the road. Human drivers could take the driverless network system for granted. They could consider it a leeway for negligence. Some might even try to fool around with driverless vehicles for fun. This could lead to accident risks in the short term.
Possibility of the system getting hacked
All new technologies come with loopholes. The danger of a driverless car’s network being hacked is real. This makes an entire city vulnerable to threats and attacks. Self driving cars in India would especially have to be looked after with the constant risk of large scale destruction and calamities.
Changes in directions
A driverless car will follow GPS, which does not account for potholes, recently changed locations, newly posted signs, etc. This would require human intervention, which defeats the purpose of a driverless car.
Claiming responsibility for accidents
If a driverless vehicle gets into an accident, the responsibility could fall upon either the passenger, or the owner, or the person designing the network. This is a grey area. Of all the self driving cars pros and cons, this is the most crucial one.
Indians have seldom been the first adopters of new technology. The good thing about this is that we will learn from the mistakes of other countries. That being said, we are still going to have our own trial and error phase with driverless cars.
Self-driven or manually driven, a car needs to be insured. If your car doesn’t have a car insurance policy, you can check out the Bajaj Allianz Car Insurance available on Finserv MARKETS. It provides round the clock assistance and cashless services across 4000+ garages in India. Once automatic driving cars are secured with foolproof insurance, risks won’t bear down too heavily upon owners. Think about it. Are you ready for the four wheeler revolution?
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