Self-driving cars, sometimes called autonomous vehicles, appeal to many people because they can be operated without someone using the accelerator, brake and steering wheel. However, because self-driving cars come with many risks, it’s likely the reason they’re not mainstream yet.
In 2016, Google tested an autonomous vehicle that crashed into a bus. Luckily, no one sustained injuries. That being said, it doesn’t change the fact that they carry hazards. Here are five dangers of self-driving cars:
1. Fire/gas dangers
Self-driving cars contain lithium-ion batteries, which are flammable materials. The National Transportation Safety Board notes that if a strong force destroys a lithium-ion battery, it causes combustion. It also releases toxic gases that can suffocate someone or damage their skin.
2. Inclement weather vulnerability
A downside to self-driving vehicles is that they’re not impervious to inclement weather. Heavy snow or rain can ruin their laser sensors, preventing them from working properly — or at all.
3. Hacking dangers
Self-driving cars are prone to hacking because they’re Internet-powered devices. Therefore, once a hacker gets access to a vehicle, they can program it to carry out any malicious deed.
4. False sense of security
Since autonomous vehicles can mostly operate by themselves, human drivers might become complacent and over-reliant on them. It can put them in danger if they’re about to collide with something, and their reaction is too late to take control.
5. Poor regulations
The autonomous car industry is in its infancy, so it’s currently an unregulated niche. And because it’s an unregulated industry, manufacturers can escape the consequences of their actions if consumers become injured from vehicle malfunctions.
Self-driving cars are excellent in theory but risky in practice since there are still kinks to work out. Did you or a loved one get hurt in an autonomous vehicle accident? It may be time to seek legal guidance to best protect your rights.