What are the dangers of self-driving cars?

Self-driving cars – it’s strange to think that at one time they were depicted as the most basic form of travel in sci-fi movies with many people scoffing at the very idea that self-driving cars would ever become a reality. Fast-forward just a few short decades and we already have big car manufacturing companies putting their own self-driving models to the test before they’re available to the public. What seemed like a far-reaching idea is due to be a reality and a part of everyday life within years.

The idea of a self-driving car is exciting, to say the least. The possibility of getting a little extra shut-eye during your commute to work or catching up on TV whilst you’re traveling to Grandmas. We wouldn’t have to worry about finding a car parking space, or the danger of drunk drivers. The possibilities are endless, but before we get bogged down with the prospects and the visions of designers and big car manufacturers, we need to ask ourselves, are self-driving cars really safe?

A high profile death a few years ago saw an innocent woman killed by a self-driving car. This proves that these vehicles have a long way to go before the public can get their hands on them. You can click here to find out more about how cars of the future could avoid crashes. 

With this in mind, we’ve gathered some simple points that highlight the potential dangers associated with self-driving cars.

The industry is not yet regulated 

As mentioned above, many companies are vying to be the first manufacturer to produce and sell the world’s first self-driving vehicle. It’s great that so many companies are looking into ways to make our lives easier and getting around much more convenient but as this is unchartered territory, the industry itself is not officially regulated. Industry regulation ensures that products that are being manufactured are of a certain quality and standard and basically, safe to use!

Hacking and remote controlling

The world of cybercrime is always changing, leaving most of us in a scramble to catch up and protect our digital devices. How can we be sure that a self-driving car could be safe from hacking or remote controlling by someone with less than honorable intentions? Not only that, but the software itself could be susceptible to viruses, making you more than just late for work! 

Accidents may not be reduced

One of the main factors in developing self-driving vehicles is the hope that it will reduce the likelihood of crashes. However, the possibilities, risks, scenarios and situations that could occur on the road are endless, which means that many self-driving vehicles, despite their artificial intelligence, may not know how to react in these situations thus causing more accidents and putting people in dangerous situations.


Driving along and getting a flat tire is daunting, but at least you can fix it yourself. Being stuck at the side of the road because your self-driving car has malfunctioned, however, is a whole different ball game. Potentially stranding passengers and leaving them incredibly vulnerable. 


Tom Brown
Tom Brown is an automotive market enthusiast living in the United States. He holds a diverse background in automotive marketing and enjoys utilizing that to produce insights into the inner workings of the industry.