The This time, it’s our self-driving cars, powered

The first iPhone was a technological breakthrough which
changed the way we interact with our phones. More than a decade later, technology
is well on its way to make an impact in our lives yet again. This time, it’s
our self-driving cars, powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). As UK transport
minister Johns Hayes once said, “driverless cars offer huge benefits to
motorists such as reduced delays and more reliable journey times” (GOV UK,
2017), but are we ready for this change? No doubt it is the future, but
everyone has to play a part to tackle the pressing issues in order to fulfil
the true purpose of driverless vehicles.

 

            With
technological giants across the globe like Google & Apple testing their own
form of autonomous vehicle technology, Singapore is no exception. A committee
was set up by the government back in 2014 to research & develop this technology
(MOT, 2014). Just last year, ride-hailing company Grab & nuTonomy announced
their partnership to bring eco-friendly driverless taxi rides to the public, by
starting an invite-only trial (Annabelle, 2017). We can see this initiative as
a good effort to promote the usage of public transport for road users, and to reduce
the number of car owners on the road.

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            But
what about safety? A recent study by US-based non-profit Eno Centre for
Transportation showed that if more than 90 percent of the cars on American
roads were driverless, the number of accidents will decrease from 5.5 million
to 1.3 million (Annabelle, 2017). Reducing the risk of accidents is certainly a
step in the right direction, with AI being programmed to be safe and law
abiding on roads.