Network breakdowns are one of the biggest safety risks in autonomous vehicles. While better artificial intelligence (AI) and precise reactions are part of a better self-driving car, a safe, continuous network connection is how those improvements can be implemented. The best contender for a safe, continuous network that can keep an autonomous car moving, improving, and on the road, is blockchain technology.
Internet connected toasters are the face of hacked devices. While it might not seem that concerning if a hacker knows you toasting preferences, the network vulnerability and the use of your toaster as part of a larger mining operation, mean impacts larger than lost toast settings.
Poorly secured devices can be hacked, which means any sensitive information you have may be used for nefarious purposes. If you keep no information on your device, it may be hacked to be used as part of a network. That means that while your love of medium toast may be valuable information for you, it not be why your toaster got hacked. It may have been hacked so it’s computing power can be used to mine bitcoin or as an entryway into your network. This isn’t terrible for toasters, but for cars, driving on the road, making thousands of precision decisions, a momentary break can have catastrophic consequences.
Why It’s Worth It
It’s worth it to invest in self-driving cars. They can change the world of transportation in the U.S. and can save lives. In the U.S. there are 40,000 people who died in automobile accidents in 2017, or about 110 a day. Since an estimated 81 percent of car crashes happen from human error, we could be talking about saving 89 lives a day. That impact would be like ending murder in the U.S. multiple times over.
It would also be amazing if lives could be saved, but there are also huge economic advantages to self-driving cars. What if you didn’t have to spend time driving? The average commute is 25 minutes. What if instead of spending 50 minutes driving everyday, you could read or enjoy your coffee, or catch up with a family member? Imagine having 50 minutes a day to relax (or even start work early) instead of driving. If your time is worth minimum wage ($7.25), then you’re saving six dollars of your own time a day!
There’s some really cool stuff happening with self-driving cars. From the quick expansion on Google X’s autonomous car initiative to GM eyeing blockchain as the platform of choice for its autonomous fleet, there are big things on the horizon for this technology. With Jaguar trying increase trust with googly eyes, movements towards increasing consumer trust are at the forefront of getting autonomous cars on the road. Blockchain and reduced hackability play a big part in those goals.
Autonomous cars can save lives and time. As autonomous cars grow in popularity, their digital security must be increased as well. Blockchain technology is the next step in a future of autonomous cars ruling the roadways.