‘Self-Driving Cars 2.0’ Are Getting Scary

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As technology in cars continues to advance at light-speed, there’s just as much room for concern as there is excitement.

After all, haven’t you seen Maximum Overdrive?

All kidding aside, new safety features such as cruise control driving assistance, auto-braking, and blind-spot warning are surely making the highways safer. And what’s not to like about self-parking cars?

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Automation Advances

But what manufacturers recently released at CES, while it sounds cool, could potentially be terrifying.

We’re talking about fully autonomous vehicles, “self-driving cars 2.0”; the technology is already here; it just needs a little time to be integrated into the market.

They’re features Mashable called “Autopilot on steroids.”

Daimler showed this off at CES with its new trucks that can auto-brake, self-steer, turn on windshield wipers, and gradually bring the car to a complete stop — basically, drive without you.

Also, companies like Tesla and Veoneer have an autopilot system that will give drivers the option to allow the vehicle to completely take over itself while driving. Qualcomm has a new face detection feature that will be able to know if you’re driving drowsy or distracted. Some steering wheels will even have built-in EKG to measure your heart rate while driving.

We want to believe in all of this. These features will surely save a lot of lives. However, we all better pray these companies have built-in firewalls that rival the Pentagon.

What Could Go Wrong With Self-Driving Cars 2.0?

Just to start:

  • If a car can read your face, what would prevent hackers from being able to watch your every move?
  • Could hackers tell the car to drive itself off a cliff with you inside?
  • What if you and your girlfriend are just trying to “celebrate” your anniversary and the EKG machine calls 911?

Okay, we’re stretching it a little bit. Who are we kidding? Give all these self-driving cars a retro-look, call them “Kitt” and let’s go wild.

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Josh Helmuth is a sports guy in St. Louis who contributes to Mandatory.