This is what the Tesla CEO Elon Musk seems to be saying: opposition to self-driving cars can kill people. He was reacting to the media’s questioning of self-driving cars and cars moving on autopilot and how some of such cars have met with accidents.
“If, in writing some article that’s negative, you effectively dissuade people from using autonomous vehicles, you are killing people,” Elon Musk said.
He says that self-driving cars will be at least twice as safe as cars driven by humans. He criticized the media for blatantly ignoring the fact that almost 1.2 million people all over the world die every year while driving human-driven vehicles but raising hue and cry when a few self-driving cars have met with accidents. Recently there has been a lot of hue and cry about self-driving cars crashing and in an incident, even causing death, although it hasn’t yet been established whether the cause of the accident was the fact that the car was being autonomously driven, or something else. A few months ago even a Google self-driving car met with an accident.
Every new technology goes through hiccups. The same holds true for self-driving cars. Most of the contemporary self-driving cars use artificial intelligence to learn how to manoeuvre and how to drive around and as is the nature of artificial intelligence, the more you use it, the more evolved it gets. It doesn’t mean people need to die while the artificial intelligence of self-driving cars evolves, but some sort of accidents are bound to happen. It doesn’t mean the technology is bad.
Having said that, people like Elon Musk shouldn’t be so sensitive about media covering accidents involving self-driving cars because after all such accidents need to be reported so that problems can be solved. People pointing out errors and problems with self-driving cars doesn’t mean they are against them.