Autonomous technology is currently one of the hottest things in the auto industry. It’s up there with electric motors as the technology everyone is talking about, but we are still a good few years away from seeing roads full of self-driving cars and no drivers.
Instead, we’re seeing cars that have self-driving features built into them. Tesla is almost the pioneer of this, at least, they’re the company that made self-driving popular. The idea with most of these features is that you can take your hands off the wheel and let the car handle things for you. It’s billed as a revolutionary technology, but before you start using these features in your new car, be sure you DON’T do the following:
Take your eyes off the road
When you have a car that can drive itself, you wonder why you need to pay attention to the road ahead of you. In some ways, drivers see these features as a way to let them safely focus on other things while still rolling along in the car. For example, you could go on your phone or eat something while the car drives itself. In theory, this is fine as the car is designed to drive for you. So, why would you need to pay attention?
It’s pretty simple. If you are not paying attention, you cannot step in if something out of the ordinary happens. There will always be a chance that errors can occur when technology is involved. You don’t have to be a car accident lawyer to recognize that you’re going to be blamed if your self-driving car crashes into someone. Specifically, you’ll be charged with negligent driving as well, and you may end up with a criminal record – depending on how bad the crash was, if someone was severely hurt, and what you were doing when you should’ve had eyes on the road.
If you are going to use this technology, be sure you always look ahead of you and keep an eye on what’s going on!
Use it on a busy road
Just because the technology exists, it doesn’t mean you have to use it. Many cars with self-driving features talk about how beneficial they are on long journeys across motorways. You can take your foot off the gas, relax a bit, and watch your car cruise along the highway.
This is only a good idea if the road is empty and you are still keeping an eye on everything. It is never a brilliant idea to use self-driving features on busy roads. Why? The more cars there are, the more chances there are for accidents to happen. Your vehicle will have to do so much to avoid crashes, dealing with cars on either side of it, people switching lanes, overtaking, and so on. It is too high-risk to use this technology in situations like this, regardless of how safe the manufacturers may make it sound.
If you want to use this technology, use it when the roads are quieter, and you don’t have dozens of other cars zooming around you.
Rely on the technology
Finally, you should never rely on self-driving technology. Right now, it is simply a cool feature that can come in handy in a few situations. For instance, it is kind of fun to see a car park itself in your driveway. Here, you don’t risk damaging other people’s property, so it’s fine to take your hands off the wheel and let it do its thing. You’re not moving fast enough for problems to happen, and everything should be fine.
Problems occur when you start relying on technology to do everything for you. You use it to drive yourself to work, or you always use the self-driving feature to park for you. It reaches a point where you can forget how to do these things for yourself, which is always dangerous if you have to do them at some point.
Plus, relying on self-driving technology is just a recipe for disaster. You can’t trust that it will always work, and the aim of the tech is not to completely take over your responsibility as a driver. Instead, it exists as a cool feature that can aid you in certain situations, making your life a bit easier.
All in all, self-driving technologies are going to be around for a while. Don’t get carried away if your new car boasts these features; be sure you always keep an eye on the road, you don’t use it when it’s busy, and you never fully rely on the tech.