Risks Abound with the New Technology
With the advent of self-driving cars, technology does not stop. And just as driver-less Google vehicles have become mired in controversy over car accidents, electric vehicles have other issues too.
Many of us know that Tesla has great dreams for the potential of self-driving cars, or SDCs. While the subject gets a lot of media attention, there is often less than meets the eye. Tesla’s reputation is brand new. It still has a lot to prove. This is especially the case with such a new tech.
In fact, there are more potential dangers than rewards at this stage of the game. When this will change remains anyone’s guess.
Look no further than Tesla’s website. A large scale pipe dream explains a few points but not much else. For families that put their lives in trust of their vehicle, this is not reassuring. Tesla has some information and photos on the site, but it is not nearly enough. The technology is clearly still years away. When will Tesla give firm answers to how it will put these aspects into motion?
Mired in Controversy.
Inverse reported on some of Tesla’s issues. So this includes complaints about poor conditions. The company singled out an employee for whistle-blowing. Also, this received a harsh rebuke from the United Auto Workers. If the company can’t even keep its factories in order now producing few cars, what will the future bring?
Most of all, the appearance of placing profits over people is never good for consumers. As a car accident lawyer, it is my opinion that reliability issues could put other motorists at varying degrees of risk. Now combine this with the fact that Tesla could replace Uber/Lyft’s human drivers, and we can see where this is headed.
A Smart Tesla Could Kill Off Taxi Services Altogether.
Instead of flagging down a human driver from the side of the road, Musk wants self-driving cars, like his revolutionary Tesla vehicles, to become part of a massive, robotic fleet of hyper-smart cars willing to take a fare along without a cabbie at the wheel. (See Footer.)
Accidents, injuries and a new cottage industry for attorneys will be the outcome. All of these factors have a firm foundation. No doubt, Tesla could help Uber avoid employment and work comp claims, and help create a whole generation of unemployed Millennials. With $15 an hour guaranteed for burger flippers, we have also seen fast food places go automated. All is not as it appears it seems.
Are Technology Lobbyists Pushing For Minimum Wage Increases?
In fact, many technologies and automation lobbyists are active supporters of forced, unmeritorious salary increases. After all, who stands to benefit when employers can’t make a profit? Indeed, potential new hires won’t be driving for Uber or flipping burgers as entry level jobs at this rate. The people making money are lobbyists and automated tech companies.
In any event, concerns remain about Tesla’s decades-old business model. Elon Musk’s big promises often come out flat. We don’t have time for falling short. Car consumers have high standards. Of course, with so many displaced workers, it is hard to see who will be able to afford these cars.
A Whole Generation of Poor Passengers?
And maybe that’s the idea? Maybe we have a whole generation who will be forced to ride in an Uber, driverless Tesla. Certainly, when a car accident takes place, the victims will rarely have jobs, or income to speak of. So what is a case like that worth to a PI lawyer? The answer, not much.
- Tort Reformers Win?
Of course, the defense bar would be happy. So tort reformers stand to win big on this deal. Tesla has an opportunity to come clean with the public. But much of this will only come after it unveils its new self-driving tech. However, if Tesla’s grand dreams are any indication, it is likely to be underwhelming.
- Consumers Win?
When the company can produce more than several thousand cars a year, it can gain respectability. Before that, point it might not be a good idea to get your hopes up. In any event, so far we have seen vehicle fires and other issues with car batteries.
Also, with the capability of producing hydrogen on site, and no need for coal energy, it seems lobbyists, rather than public interests have been placed at the forefront. In my opinion, the primary goal should be getting vehicles off of coal and petroleum as the basis for their propulsion.
“Tesla’s Self-Driving Uber Service Could Kill Off Taxis — and Car Ownership.” Inverse. Accessed February 13, 2017. https://www.inverse.com/article/23783-elon-musk-uber-tesla-self-driving-car-service-transform.