Recently, Uber announced that it was selling off its self-driving cars subsidiary, following many years of championing the technology.
Uber’s move out of self-driving cars could signal that the automotive market is falling out of love with the time-saving tech.
Once heralded as the ultimate time-saver, self-driving cars have become the butt of jokes over recent years. Self-driving cars often have spectacular fails, which, whilst funny, could also affect drivability, car insurance premiums and more, as this informative and funny article highlights.
Culpability Can Be Tough To Prove
Probably the biggest driver of Uber’s sale of its self-driving arm was the recent charges levied against the operator of one of its self-driving vehicles.
The test car was involved in a fatal crash in 2018, but the legality of pursuing charges against the back-up driver who was operating it has been in dispute. Recently, however, prosecutors in Arizona, where the crash occurred, charged the ‘driver’ of the self-driving car.
While Uber wasn’t held liable, the man in charge of the car was, which shows that self-driving cars still require human input, and without it, drivers could face a costly fine and penalties.
Self-driving cars were initially designed to remove human error, but as they can cause issues of their own, many companies might find them not fit for purpose. If drivers have to continue to watch the road and override the system at regular intervals, then companies might not think that the tech is worth the cost and time it takes to develop.
Self-Driving Cars Take The Fun Out Of Driving
Uber isn’t the only company that hasn’t achieve the self-driving technology success it had hoped. Many companies, such as Tesla, have invested millions into self-driving technology, but have achieved woefully little in return.
Completely autonomous vehicles are still many decades away from being a reality if they ever do become one.
While some drivers welcome the idea of cars that can drive them around, leaving them free to relax, many others fear that self-driving cars will sap the fun out of driving.
After all, if your car drives itself, then what will you do? You might get more time to read or watch TV, but you might miss the thrill of the open road and the joy of executing a perfect three-point turn on the first try.
Being chauffeured around by a machine won’t appeal to many petrolheads who enjoy driving and like to put their cars through their paces.
If customers aren’t completely on-board, then companies might face obstacles in getting their self-driving cars sold after they’ve invested millions and many years into their development.
Conclusion: Uber’s Sale Is A Major Blow To The Self-Driving Car Market
As Uber was once one of the most prominent champions of self-driving cars, the move to sell its subsidiary shows the firm’s lack of faith in this once-promising technology.
While autopilot functions remain a part of some new cars and there are still many companies making the tech, moving forward, it’s clear that companies and drivers alike will be warier of using and investing in self-driving cars.