The Instigator
Nic115
Con (against)
The Contender
sboss18
Pro (for)

The Self-Driving Car

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Debate Round Forfeited
Nic115 has forfeited round #4.
Our system has not yet updated this debate. Please check back in a few minutes for more options.
Time Remaining
00days00hours00minutes00seconds
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/26/2017 Category: Places-Travel
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,413 times Debate No: 99344
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

Nic115

Con

Since Google led the introduction of self driving cars, there have always been concerns about the safety of these cars. I believe that the risks outweigh the rewards on this.

For starters, a self driving car would be piloted by a GPS system, which, in the past, has led daydreaming people off the road, or even worse. And that was with the people in control. Now imagine if the GPS made a mistake, and you were powerless to stop the vehicle from plunging into the ocean, or ramming into a group of people, or other similar cases.

As well as that, you have the fact that the whole entire car is controlled by one main computer. The computer breaks, and you have no way of getting anywhere. This could be a problem, if, for example, you were in the middle of the desert.

And lastly, cyber-terrorists. Not only could they hack into the main computer, but they could do whatever they want with it. ISIS wouldn't have to send their men off to drive a bus into a group of people, but instead they could do it from halfway around the world.

I won't be getting a self driving car anytime soon anyway...
sboss18

Pro

I thank Con for starting this debate. I will begin by rebutting some of his statements made in his Round 1 post.

Virtually every argument made against self-driving cars Con made can also be made against all cars.

"the whole entire car is controlled by one main computer. The computer breaks, and you have no way of getting anywhere. This could be a problem, if, for example, you were in the middle of the desert."

As stated, I will make the same argument against all cars by changing a couple words around...

Virtually all cars on the road today run on gasoline. You run out of gas, and you have no way of getting anywhere. This could be a problem if, for example, (for some incredibly strange reason) you were in the middle of the desert. We should all just ride horses.

On a more serious note, every statement made by Con is hypothetical. How often do the computers malfunction on driverless cars? Is there even enough data that says one way or the other? Is this a realistic concern?

"Not only could [ISIS] hack into the main computer, but they could do whatever they want with it. ISIS wouldn't have to send their men off to drive a bus into a group of people, but instead they could do it from halfway around the world."

Again, you could say the same thing about any car made recently, since they all use computers to function. In fact, a hacker was recently able to, from 10 miles away, take control of a Jeep and drive it off the road into a ditch [1]. It was not a driverless car.

Self-driving cars have plenty of benefits that outweigh potential drawbacks. For example, every year, over 1.3 million people die as a result of a car accident, and there are more than 50 million reported injuries annually. Approximately 90% of these accidents are a result of driver error [2]. Driverless cars would severely reduce the amount of accidents caused by distracted drivers.

Sources:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk...

http://channel.staging.alertdriving.com...



Debate Round No. 1
Nic115

Con

Good argument Pro, but some flaws.

"Virtually all cars on the road today run on gasoline. You run out of gas, and you have no way of getting anywhere. This could be a problem if, for example, (for some incredibly strange reason) you were in the middle of the desert. We should all just ride horses." I agree. We should ride horses :). Anyway, my point still stands. Sure, it's similar to running out of gas. However, running out of gas can be prevented with gas stations. If the onboard computer were to fail, where would you go?

"every statement made by Con is hypothetical." Indeed it is. But only because there is nothing for you or me to base anything off of, since self-driving cars have not been released yet. This whole debate is just a theory. But if nobody asks questions, if nobody has any concerns, someone will get hurt. What I'm doing is questioning things that may happen, so that they could be prevented.

"a hacker was recently able to, from 10 miles away, take control of a Jeep and drive it off the road into a ditch [1]. It was not a driverless car" Of course all things can be hacked. But self driving-cars are completly different. Your source stated that the jeep went into a ditch. That would have been because current cars cannot be controlled remotely, only overridden. Regular cars are controlled by an axle and a steering wheel, which are unhackable. The hacker only pushed the brakes and turned off the engine, they didn't actually drive it. However, since self-driving cars are piloted by the main computer, that would mean that the computer has control over virtually everything, from lights to GPS to the gas and the wheel. It would be like driving an RC car.

And yes, there are awesome reasons for why we should all get a self-driving car. I love them. They have huge potential. But a small part of me is sceptical about if it is really worth it. If the risk is worth the reward.

Oh, by the way. If I didn't make it clear, I'm talking about the first few models of self-driving cars. Over time, all of these points would be cleared up with newer models. Sorry if I didn't say so.
sboss18

Pro

I thank Con for his timely response.



"If the onboard computer were to fail, where would you go?"


Con failed to provide any evidence that supports this even being a concern. There are no statistics shown that would identify how and how often the computer system in a driverless car would simply "fail".



"Regular cars are controlled by an axle and a steering wheel, which are unhackable. The hacker only pushed the brakes and turned off the engine, they didn't actually drive it. However, since self-driving cars are piloted by the main computer, that would mean that the computer has control over virtually everything, from lights to GPS to the gas and the wheel. It would be like driving an RC car."


Some driverless cars do still have steering wheels built into them, meaning there's probably an override function that lets you control the car on your own when you need to. They would also most likely be equipped with an emergency stop button. Also, cars already rely heavily on their onboard computers to function.



At the end of the day, driverless cars are safer than having a human behind the wheel [1]. "[They] are better at maintaining a safe distance and breaking sharply than human drivers."



Source:


[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk...



Debate Round No. 2
Nic115

Con

Where do I start?

"Con failed to provide any evidence that supports this even being a concern." Pro failed to provide any evidence that says so otherwise. Technology is not perfect. Samsung's phones had a faulty battery, and NASA has had several mislaunch incidents. Both of these were new tech that malfunctioned. Same could soon be said for the computer on the car.

"Some driverless cars do still have steering wheels built into them, meaning there's probably an override function that lets you control the car on your own when you need to." By the time you realize that you are being remotely controlled, it might be too late to override the computer. And even if you do, the hacker can still controll the steering wheel in a way. Think of it like this: If the steering wheel is the main way to control the car, then the computer will have access to it. Even if you override, you won't have full control, since the hacker would simply counnter the override.

"At the end of the day, driverless cars are safer than having a human behind the wheel" And this is a totally reliable source, right? Not really.

:)
sboss18

Pro

I apologize for the late response.

"Pro failed to provide any evidence that says so otherwise."

I would think the BoP is shared in this case. The Google driverless cars are actually relatively safe when compared to other self-driving car manufacturers like VW [1]. As this article points out, the number of instances where the driver would have to disengage the auto-driving function and drive manually was 272 between September 2014 and November 2015. This proves two things: 1. A computer failure, though still quite rare, is not in the least bit as dangerous as Con is claiming, and 2. Drivers have the ability to manually control the car should there be a technical glitch that prevents the car from driving itself.

"NASA has had several mislaunch incidents."

Yes, and some resulted in tragic deaths. However, I doubt anyone would say that because of those accidents, we should cease all future shuttle launches. Technology will always bear risk, that doesn't mean they aren't incredibly useful. Same can be said for driverless cars.

"And this is a totally reliable source [that shows driverless cars are safe], right? Not really."

Yes? I'm not sure what you're implying. How is Telegraph not a reliable source?

Source:

Debate Round No. 3
This round has not been posted yet.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 4
This round has not been posted yet.
This round has not been posted yet.
Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Nic115 1 year ago
Nic115
Oh jeez. I am soo sorry. I forgot my login, and couldn't log in. Grrrrr. Sorry.
Posted by sboss18 1 year ago
sboss18
Post a blank comment if you're going to forfeit the round, I will do the same and we can just go to Round 5 if you like.
This debate has 2 more rounds before the voting begins. If you want to receive email updates for this debate, click the Add to My Favorites link at the top of the page.