Major Disadvantages of Self-Driving Cars

Sufyan Maan, M.Eng

Author’s Note

This article is fully-attributed in name to several publications and websites, including, environmental-conscience, and Highway. Direct links to all listed and attributed sources are included.


Many companies have invested billions of dollars in self-driving car projects. These companies have also been implicated in carrying out most self-driving car tests.

Google’s Waymo features an intricate overhead laser system that helps guide the vehicle. This laser system works closely with specific data to make the guidance more accurate.

This rapid growth in the technology involved in self-driving cars means that we are gradually entering the times when we would be able to take our naps. Even though autonomous cars have many advantages that come with them, we would not be just peaceful to dismiss their disadvantages.

1. The Cars Are Expensive

Driverless cars are a pleasant sight to behold because of the large number of efficient tech they feature. But with the cost of conventional cars in America pinned at $30,000 or more, self-driving cars would naturally cost more. The older a technology indeed gets, the costlier it becomes, so it may take up to a decade after its release to our roads for its price to come down.

2. The Technology May Malfunction

We are not picking on self-driving cars, but there is a possibility that the technology may malfunction along the way. Autonomous driving systems boast of incredible technology; we cannot possibly rule out that their system may experience a glitch. Updates in the basic programming of self-driving cars can, for example, initiate a collision with an object or even cause a greater misfortune for the car owner.

3. The Infrastructure for Licensing Self-driving Cars Is Not Yet In Place

Self-driving companies assert that their vehicles are safe. Still, their assertion is not the ultimate because there is also the part of the public to participate. Autonomous cars offer a problem for federal and state licensing infrastructure.

Also, all licensing companies that permit these types of cars must ensure that they perform as expected. We should be careful that our affection for these cars should not constitute a risk to the general public.

4. They May Impact the Economy Negatively

The progression from human-controlled cars to entirely driverless cars may present another difficulty. For instance, during the Industrial Revolution, steam power ripped off the job of millions of people in the textile industry. We are about to witness the same with the introduction of driverless cars in our society. Their inclusion on our roads may mean the loss of the job of most taxi drivers.

Also, self-driving vehicles would ensure that people who function at several parastatals that issue driver’s licenses would lose their jobs.

5. Could Eliminate The Pleasure of Driving

Many people derive immense satisfaction engaging their steering in the company of their most treasured family members and friends. When human-driven cars become a thing of the past, and driverless cars come to take over, the joyride that many people experience may also go with automotive vehicles.

The premise of representing style and individuality when you win a car would also go away.

6. Ethical and Legal Dilemmas

Even if we rule out all the technical questions about driverless cars, the question of morality and ethics would always linger. When the self-driving car engages in an accident, who takes the blame?

The truth is that there is not yet any legal provision and infrastructure that would help carter in such a case. Also, these cars may find themselves in a situation where they may be left with the option of who dies. For instance, should a self-driving car crush a pregnant but careless pedestrian or kill him to preserve all of its passengers?

7. They May Cause a Loss of Privacy

Although the auto companies that are aggressively promoting self-driving cars all assert that their cars only have benefits with no disadvantages, using these vehicles would mean that you may have your data hijacked by malicious hackers.

This is partly because your vehicle would communicate and receive signals from many data infrastructures. Also, your location is at the risk of being known by hackers and people you don’t intend to.


Generally speaking, autonomous cars can breed a plausible new wave of technological advancement and improvement in many people’s lives. They may even effectively reduce the risk of driving accidents.

The downsides of self-driving cars should also be stated clearly for all to see. With self-driving systems, we may witness lower data security issues due to the activities of hackers.

Thank you for reading!

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