Tesla Crash And Self-Driving Cars: Solution Or Problem?

Tesla Crash And Self-Driving Cars: Solution Or Problem?

New technologies can bring both solutions and problems.

With the constant introduction of new stuff into our everyday lives, it’s easy to get excited about new technologies and opportunities without thinking about the possible flaws or problems that come along with these new technologies.

One of the most recent technological advances are semi-autonomous cars -- or cars who drive themselves. Recently, there was a car accident that the auto industry knew was bound to happen, but feared. On May 7, Joshua D. Brown died in an accident in Williston, Fla. He was driving a Tesla Model "S" and using it in semi-autonomous, or "autopilot," mode. The car's cameras failed to differentiate the white side of a turning tractor-trailer from a bright, light colored sky and didn’t activate its brakes. Brown didn’t activate the breaks either.

Automakers and analysts have spoken about the need to be cautious when introducing more semi-autonomous features, like automatic braking and adaptive cruise control. It’s easy for people to quickly become dependent on these features and assume they work better than they actually do. The developers and workers in this particular auto industry were always concerned about the possibility of an accident like Brown’s.

Bryant Walker Smith, a law professor at the University of Southern Carolina and expert on autonomous driving issues spoke about the understanding of these new technologies. “For years people have been saying that the technology is ready and it’s one of my pet peeves, because no it’s not,” he said.

Tesla has stressed the newness of the autopilot system, declaring that drivers have to manually enable it and “must maintain control and responsibility for your vehicle” while the system is in use. Tesla released a statement saying, “Autopilot is getting better all the time, but it is not perfect and still requires the driver to remain alert.”

Karl Brauer, a senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book, spoke about the consequences of this accident for Tesla’s reputation. “They have been touting their safety and they have been touting their advanced technology. This situation flies in the face of both,” he said.

There is still much skepticism regarding semi-autonomous and autonomous driving, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing. Walker Smith spoke about the inevitability of a car crash involving these self-driving technologies. This accident can help to bring forward a necessary discussion of regulations on this technology and its future limitations. Smith also said that it would be unfortunate if this accident turned the public’s opinion to be against driver-less cars and the potential for these cars to save lives.

When it comes to new technologies, it’s important to be somewhat cautious about them but to also remain open minded. The potential of these driver-less cars to save lives is amazing, and the public should not become closed-minded to this technology because of this accident, but rather maintain awareness of its limitations. Technology will never be perfect and we cannot depend and rely on it to be. Smith summarized his thoughts by saying, “Driving today is dangerous... Every solution creates its own set of problems."

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Top 5 Things 'Fallout" Fans Know To Be True

It's always a fun time in the wasteland.

In the gaming world, no title is as popular or as revered as "Fallout." Set in an alternate future ravaged by nuclear war (and imagined by the 1950s), you are tasked with taking on a wasteland filled with mutants, raiders and irradiated creatures. "Fallout" constantly leads the pack in sales, it's most recent title, "Fallout 4," sold over 12 million copies in the first 24 hours at retail, generating over $750 million in sales.

"Fallout" has become something of a cultural icon now, finding its way into stores such as Hot Topic and even Target! If you're anything like me, you'll know these 5 things to be true if you're a "Fallout" fanatic:

1. You check every nook and cranny for valuable loot, even if the containers are empty

I know it says empty, but you can never be too sure!

2. You listen to the radio while shooting down any enemies in your path

Listening to "Anything Goes" while mowing down raiders into a bloody paste is quite a relaxing experience

3. There's always a settlement that's in trouble, apparently

Preston Garvey, a companion and Minuteman in "Fallout 4," is always there to tell you that there's a settlement in trouble. Don't worry, he'll mark the location on your map for you.

4. Deathclaws are your worst nightmare

When you see it charging at you with the velocity of a freight train, it's time to run the other way.

5. Nothing is better than goofing off after a long day of questing

Whether it be strategically placing buckets and barrels on people's heads or dragging around dead bodies, it's always fun just to mess around in the wasteland.

Cover Image Credit: Bethesda / YouTube

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Fortnite On Your Phone? It's Here

"Fortnite" on mobile. Need I say more?

"Fortnite," the popular PC/Console game that everyone is talking about, has just done the unthinkable. They released to mobile. You heard me right. MOBILE. It's been a long time since any PC/Console game went to the mobile platform or was even popular enough to do so. In fact, there were so many people who wanted to sign up for the "Fortnite" mobile beta that Epic Games' site, the creators of "Fortnite," actually crashed just a little bit after the sign up was posted because so many people tried to access the website, overloading their servers. And it takes a lot of people to do that. And from the gameplay previews that have been released by Epic Games, the mobile version looks pretty decent.

And to me, this model doesn't look bad at all. The controls look clean and sleek, and questions about buttons for mechanics like building are answered by the photo. And I've gotta say, I'm impressed by the initiative Epic Games is taking. They really are revolutionizing the gaming industry. And I signed up for the mobile beta, so hopefully, I'll get an opportunity to try the game out for myself.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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