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The future is now, and it’s found in self-driving cars. We’ve seen them in sci-fi movies and TV shows already, like in Disney’s The Love Bug and Inspector Gadget. While in theory, they’re good inventions, it stands to question whether or not having a fully autonomous car is a smart idea in practice. On the one hand, technological advancements are the reason we have the cars that we do now, and shying away from those advancements would have kept us from racing and driving. On the other hand, it’s a genuine concern that we may be relying too much on technology if we put our lives into the hands of a vehicle. 

 

The best we can do to decide whether or not it’s a good idea to have a self-driving car is to compare the pros and cons of such a thing.

 

Pros

 

  • There won’t be any more reason for drinking and driving. Granted, there’s never a reason for drinking and driving, but having a self-driving car takes the option of doing so completely out of your hands. Robots can’t get drunk, so there’s no possibility of your own car driving under the influence to get home. 
  • In a self-driving car, you’re less likely to get into traffic accidents due to distracted driving. Robots have no need to check their phone for a text message or dig through its console for something; their only job is to drive the car. 
  • A self-driving car will react quicker to sudden incidents on the road than a person would. If you’re even slightly distracted and a cat runs out onto the road, the likelihood of you having a quick reaction to keep from both killing the cat and damaging your car is small. Since cars don’t get distracted, this will be less likely to happen.

 

Cons

 

  • Like with most new technology, there’s always the concern (and possibility) of jobs being lost in favor of electronics. Why hire a human to drive a taxi when a computer can do it just as well—if not better—without being paid? Taxi drivers are already struggling with the rise of Uber and Lyft, so this is a very valid concern.
  • Though having self-driving cars is ultimately safer in the long run, nothing is perfect, and accidents will continue to happen. Malfunctions happen no matter how advanced the technology, and there’s bound to be injuries (or worse) due to one while on the road. This raises the question of whether or not operating such a dangerous machine should be left solely in the (metaphorical) hands of a computer rather than a person.