"SINCE Henry Ford turned it into a mass-market product a century ago, the car has delivered many benefits. It has boosted economic growth, increased social mobility and given people a lot of fun. No wonder mankind has taken to the vehicle with such enthusiasm that there are now a billion automobiles on the world’s roads.
But the car has also brought many problems. It pollutes the air, creates congestion and kills people. An astonishing 1.24m people die, and as many as 50m are hurt, in road accidents each year. Drivers and passengers waste around 90 billion hours in traffic jams each year. In some car-choked cities as much as a third of the petrol used is burned by people looking for a space to park.
Fortunately, an emerging technology promises to make motoring safer, less polluting and less prone to hold-ups (see Technology Quarterly). “Connected cars”—which may eventually evolve into driverless cars but for the foreseeable future will still have a human at the wheel—can communicate wirelessly with each other and with traffic-management systems, avoid pedestrians and other vehicles and find open parking spots.”
Oh, just what we need. Millions of people buying into the idea that these “driverless” cars are the safest thing ever! Hunny, let’s get two!
I can just imagine a scenario where sophisticated hackers are able to penetrate the firewalls of said cars and cause the biggest traffic jam ever recorded. Every major city at rush hour shut down as cars ram into each other at ridiculous speeds, killing thousands of people. If this recent iCloud incident teaches us anything, its that no one with technology is safe from an attack.