Course MDIA2003_18 MDIA2003_VoxPop_18 Projects Rose-AnneThur10.30_2003_18 Section Technology Tutorials_2018

The Race to safety

By Jill Tengco


Society continues to be divided around the up-and-coming driverless cars. Many of the public have issues with the idea of putting the lives of passengers and pedestrians in the hands of, or lack thereof, Artificial Intelligence.

Priscilla Marlow is a 49-year-old Architect residing in Stanhope Gardens and stands firm in her opposition of the autonomous cars.

“It’s not safe,” says Priscilla. “How can you make a car that is driverless, safe?”

“I would rather have flying cars where humans are still the drivers and using their brains than have driverless cars.”

On the other hand, Jason Fernandez, a 25-year-old UNSW music student from Castle Hill, has high hopes that safety issues can soon be resolved. “Yeah, autonomous cars shouldn’t be readily available until it’s 100% safe,” he says. “But we’re pretty close! Maybe 10 years? Machine learning and AI’s gonna help speed up the process a lot.”

“I think it’s the future and I can’t wait for it to be consumer ready,” says Jason.

Vicky Lee, an 18-year-old International Studies student at UNSW sees both the pros and cons of the cars. “Theoretically, it’s awesome,” she says.

“I kind of want to see it happen someday. But realistically, I feel like a lot could go wrong. All my technical appliances have failed me in one way or another so why would AI cars be any different?”

Joey Teigan a 54-year-old civil engineer from Parramatta is also concerned about safety, but says he is “all for it, as long as they do 100,000 hours of on-road testing”.

“It will cause less car accidents,” says Joey. “Using iterative algorithms eliminates human errors and conditions, like being tired and sleepy, and human emotions, like being angry and sad.”

He says driverless cars will cause a broader “paradigm shift” in society and the workforce. “The skillset of the workforce needs to shift from manual work to technology oriented work,” says Joey. “It’s not hard. It’s happening over the last few decades already. People don’t become watches and clocks craftsmen they become LED, LCD experts.”