A Danger of Self-Driving Cars: Falling Asleep

Many major manufacturers, such as Google and Tesla, are hoping to create vehicles that are 100 percent autonomous. A self-driving vehicle should be able to drive passengers to designated locations without requiring them to physically drive the car themselves.

There has been numerous questions raised about the possible issues that could come with self-driving vehicles, and the most recent one discusses the dangers of passengers falling asleep.

Many companies are testing out many autonomous options, and there has been several potential pitfalls pertaining to semi-autonomous vehicles. Back in 2012 and 2013, Google tested some of the vehicles in its Waymo autonomous division, and unfortunately, they had to pull the plug on the tests after they found that many people were falling asleep at the wheel. It may, in theory, be possible for people to do these things once vehicles have proven to be completely autonomous. But at the moment, people still need to pay attention to what’s happening around them, even when using autonomous features because cars are not yet 100% foolproof, so Google decided to stop testing on experimental Waymo vehicles.

This will be an interesting aspect of autonomous vehicles to monitor moving forward. On the one hand, companies like Google want to do as much testing as possible on them in order to develop them further. But on the other, autonomous vehicles still require drivers to be able to stay alert and focused on the road at all times in the event that something goes wrong and they need to manually take control. Google will likely need to focus on creating vehicles that are more autonomous while educating people about the dangers that could come along with using an autonomous vehicle improperly to avoid accidents and serious injuries.

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