Friday, June 5, 2015

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Google's Self-Driving Car Raises Privacy Concerns

One of the most impressive and interesting projects at the moment is without a doubt Google's self-driving car. This vehicle is considered to be the car of the future and is much awaited by numerous people who would love the comfort that this vehicle can provide. Well, it seems that there also are some people who are not that confident in the benefits that the self-driving car could come with.

Some concerns were actually raised during Google's annual meeting, by shareholder John M. Simpson, who is also working for an NGO, Consumer Watchdog. Simpson alleged that Google might be using the smart car with the purpose to collect even more data from its customers, stripping away people's privacy. Simpson also brought into discussion the fact that the company's self-driving car has already been involved in no less than 11 accidents.

The Consumer Watchdog activist also raised concerns on the lack of important capabilities that only a human driver would have. Simpson claimed that among the flaws and limitations of this smart car are included the fact it cannot make out hand signals from a driver in another car.

Simpson also brought into discussion the fact that no other company has in plans developing a similar project to the Google self-driving car. What Simpson was trying to share is the fact that usually when companies see an impressive development in a new device, they quickly pick it out and develop their own product. The idea of a self-driving car has been on the market for quite some time and no tech or
car maker has announced its intentions to work on this area.

Simpson alleged that other companies have seen technology as a way to help and complement the driver, while Google has seen it as a way to eliminate the need of a human driver.

"We think there always needs to be the ability of a human to take over if need be," Simpson claimed according to The New York Times. 

Google has been working at its self-driving car for years. In fact, the development of this vehicle has lasted no less than 6 years and it still continues. During this great period of time, Google has constantly tried to understand how to improve its technology to make its device not only comfortable, but extremely safe, too.

Google revealed until now that its car has been involved in 11 accidents. The famous company claimed that it will give months updates on the number of accidents and the conditions in which they occur. The tech giant alleged that none of these accidents has been severe and claimed that the Google car was not responsible for any of the incidents.

However, Consumer Watchdog criticized Google for offering too little details on the accidents, claiming that no official accidents reports were revealed. In many of the accidents the Google car suffered some damage itself, but the value of the repairs or any other details were not exposed, either. Now that Google plans on informing stakeholders on the accidents in which its car is involved, it is yet to see exactly what challenges Google faces in developing the most secure car ever.


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