Driverless vehicles are the big fear of late, not so much in relation to the dangers they pose but for the economic impact they will have an automating driving jobs. But is the fear warranted?
The first sectors to be significantly impacted will be taxi's and freight trucks which transport people and good across countries. In Australia mining companies are already implementing the tech to transport minerals and mine related activity but no reports of failures or deaths have been announced.
Recent reports have emerged from the US where a 2019 Tesla vehicle failed to navigate a bend sending the vehicle off road and into a tree killing the two people on board.
It has been reported that the vehicle had no one in the driver's seat when the accident occurred. It is believed the occupants sadly perished not when the vehicle crashed but when the Tesla battery malfunctioned in the wreckage and caught alight.
The fire was so intense that the fire department needed to call Tesla to know if they knew of anyways to extinguishe the flames.
This comes off the back of a recent tweet by Tesla CEO Elon Musk that Tesla driver less cars are 10x safer than driver vehicles.
This maybe the case but the general public and investors will see the latest incident as a caution on the tech. The alarming part which is still pending a formal investigation is that it is believed the fire was the may cause of death. With no method of evaluating a crash or the ability for assistance the vehicle was reduced to a molten pile of steel and plastic.
While the tech is being pushed as ready and capable of changing the world it is still a good 10 years+ away from being fully operational. Crashes like this should not result in a fire that is unstoppable and requires added safety features to prevent such incidents.
No doubt Tesla stocks will take a hit once trading reopens today in light of recent news and Tesla sales will also plummet.
I can't see many transport and logistics companies buying into such tech in any hurry in Australia or specifically Victoria we have industrial manslaughter laws. Had an accident such like this occured to a worker behind the wheel of a Tesla Elon Musk would find himself before a court on Manslaughter charges.
My personal view has always remaind the same on such matters, I do not believe the tech is at a level that can be safely and with confidence rolled out to the general public and still requires further investigation and development.
At best driverless tech is at a standard for robots in supermarkets that clean floors. A sad development costing workers their jobs but I would hope companies do the right thing and invest in Australian manufacturing or the country in which they operate.
I send my condolences to the families impacted by this tragic incident. May they rest in peace.
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