David Yi Oxford Academy 11th Grade
The multi-billion dollar company Uber owned by Travis Kalanick has long been considered the transportation innovation of the decades. Implementing affordable taxi-style rides for passengers to utilize has also built an entire, inner economy for paid drivers in itself. Now, Uber is beginning to introduce a state-of-the-art self-driving technology. Yes, you heard me correctly. Hawkings didn’t lie when he said our world would be overtaken by robots in the next few decades. On a brighter note, the self-driving technology would eliminate the need for human drivers which would create a much cheaper and peaceful experience. An autonomous system would be navigating the car from location to location, eliminating the potential for heated driver-to-passenger encounters. In addition to this, there would be no need for the millions of Uber drivers being paid wages that force Uber deeper down into their well of yearly debt.
But self-driving technology seems a bit too ambitious for the 21st century. At least, as of now. There have been numerous tests of these robot cars being utilized across test cities with not exactly the best of results. On March 19th, an Uber vehicle was even found to crash into a local pedestrian in a test city within Arizona, sparking outrage across the public community. The reason behind this is due to there being too many factors to attribute to create a safe autonomous driving experience. From weather patterns to geographical locations to bustling traffic on specific parts of the day, a robotic car could create major safety hazards to the people. Simply put, a human can just track and understand certain signals that a robot can’t. On a more serious note, what would happen if there were crime scenes being undergone during a self-driving Uber ride? Robots wouldn’t know whether or not to contact the police department or undergo the best possible action for the current situation. It’s simply too risky to be placing robots out on the streets.
In order for Travis Kalanick’s ambitious autonomous driving project to become a reality, there’ll have to be a whole lot of convincing to ensure the safety protocols within these self-driving cars. Uber definitely has something going here; if they play their cards right, this has the potential to become the next big thing.
<David Yi Oxford Academy 11th Grade