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Please Stop with the Autonomous Car Fear Mongering

I like to drive. I’ll always prefer driving over riding. I’m sure that’s the case for car enthusiasts out there. But I’m also not fearful of the future. It seems like some people are.

I’m talking about autonomous car fear mongering. In the future, autonomous cars will be safer. Fewer people will die in motor vehicle accidents. Human error will no longer exist.

If you didn’t see the news, Uber recently had a spat with California about testing of autonomous cars. Not only they did not apply for the proper permit, but one of the cars ran a red light.

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The fear mongers came out in force. “We are the beta test,” one claimed. Because an autonomous vehicle made a mistake, all progress should stop.

Autonomous Vehicles are Safer

If we accept the premise that one near-miss incident should shutter a program, then we shouldn’t be driving. Why? According to statistics, 3,287 people die a day globally in car crashes. We should shut that down.

I’m sick and tired of hearing about how autonomous vehicles, in testing, are making mistakes and how that’s bad. Humans make mistakes every single day. That’s the whole reason why autonomous vehicles are moving forward.

If you remove the human from the equation, far fewer mistakes happen. Drivers can be as distracted as they want to be.

The machines aren’t sentient. They aren’t going to take over Skynet style. They aren’t going to kill us all. If anything is going to end life as we know it on planet Earth, it’ll be the humans.

I do want to hear news about autonomous vehicle development. Everyone wants to see the progress. I want to report the progress. People want to know what’s going on in this world and in this arena.

I don’t want to scare people to death because of the bias of the person writing the story.

About Chad Kirchner

Chad Kirchner is the Editor-in-Chief of Future Motoring, along with the main host and producer of the Future Motoring podcast. In addition to his work here, he's a freelance automotive journalist for outlets around the world.

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