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More Firms Join Self-Driving Tech Race — Are They Focusing On Safety?

Yet another automaker is joining the likes of Google, Uber, Apple, Audi, and many others by developing its own self-driving car technology.

According to several news outlets, Kia announced plans to accelerate its transition to all-electric vehicles, adding that it is working on a series of autonomous driving technologies the company is calling “AutoMode.” The set of self-driving features will be available starting with its 2023 EV9 line-up, Kia added.

Touting the safety of its features, the company explained that one of the many options offered by AutoMode is the Highway Driving Pilot, a feature that allows the vehicle to drive itself on highways without any intervention from the driver. The firm plans on enabling the technologies associated with AutoMode in all new models by 2026.

Autonomous Technology Promises To Help Prevent Serious Accidents

While many experts admit that self-driving cars would not entirely eliminate traffic accidents even if the autonomous technology becomes widely available, they still contend that eliminating human error in driving could help make serious accidents less likely to happen. But until that becomes a reality, autonomous car makers must do more to improve the technology. One of the important steps they must take to ensure accidents are prevented is to program the autonomous system to always choose safety over convenience.

Another issue companies like Kia will have to address with their self-driving technology is pedestrian safety.

In cities like Seattle, pedestrian accidents have been on the rise

To ensure the success of its efforts, Kia must keep in mind that autonomous car tech is often flawed when it comes to putting the safety of pedestrians first. Until then, drivers must not rely solely on car safety technology to avoid accidents. 

Ultimately, the responsibility lies with the driver. Following traffic law and avoiding distracted driving can help keep our roads safe with or without autonomous driving technology. 

For more on Kia’s latest announcements, follow this link.

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