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10 Possible Pitfalls of Autonomous Vehicles

Posted by Nadeesha Thewarapperuma

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Jun 20, 2017 12:45:19 PM

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The hype surrounding autonomous vehicles is almost always positive, and that's understandable. The thought of actually seeing a Jetson's-like vehicle (minus the airborne features) is pretty exciting. It means we're living in the future. Ten years ago, the thought of a self-driving vehicle was just a concept, but already, companies have progressed at alarming leaps and bounds, paving the way for a future filled with driverless vehicles.

But now that we're on the subject of autonomous vehicles, what are some of the potential downsides that will accompany them?


1) Companies like Uber may no longer depend on human drivers.

Instead, they will have a fleet of automated cars, ready to transport a rider at just a moment's notice. 

2) We will be bombarded with in-car Ads.

When you take public transport, such as the bus or the subway, often times there are ads placed over the windows. Similar ads will likely be pervasive on autonomous public cars.

3) Product placement

Imagine a public car that will only have Coke in its minibar. No Pepsi!

4) Video advertisements through the infotainment system.

While you're watching your favorite TV show in a public car, there will be mini-ads to promote certain products. It will be like the 30-second ads you see on YouTube or Hulu.

5) The billboards on the more used 'routes' will cost more.

And since you aren't driving, it makes sense to window watch at some point. As always, the idea is to think outside the box car and come up with creative ways to make a profit.

6) Companies may ask employees to work during the commute.

7) Green house gas emissions will increase.

Getting from point A to point B will be easier than ever.

8) Demand and wait times will both grow increasingly.

The good thing about having your own car is that it's always available, but during instances of peak demand, you might have to wait until a public car is available for you. This will happen during instances of bad weather or at the end of an event with high attendance rates.

9) Tiered pricing systems will be available.

And this makes sense. Uber already has this in place. UberX is the more expensive ride option and offers only luxury rides; meanwhile, UberPOOL is the cheaper option, allowing two riders going in the same direction to car pool together.

10) There will be system malfunctions.

Companies will also need to think of the legal ramifications of a system malfunction. Who is responsible for an accident? Does the blame lie with the car company that manufactured the vehicle? Does it lie with the company that designed the ADAS system? Or does it lie with the company or person who owns the vehicle and is responsible for regular maintenance check-ups?


Car ownership will decline with the widespread availability of automated cars. In today's economy, owning a car is a significant monthly expense. Gas, maintenance, and insurance are a hefty cost, but once the cost of owning a car is removed, your monthly expenses will be significantly lower.

Besides, an autonomous car will be more expensive than a normal car. With all this hi-tech hardware and software squeezed into the car's infrastructure, an autonomous car will be seen as an investment that needs to be recouped.


EarthTron is invested within the autonomous vehicle industry. FPGA are part of the hardware used to power some of the hi-tech features in autonomous vehicles. The high-end FPGA used to power these features includes Xilinx FPGA's Zynq-7000 SoC line, and Intel's Stratix 10 FPGA.


Check out some of our other blogs on autonomous vehicles:

4 Popular FPGA Applications for 2017

Intel provides a Deeper Understanding of Vehicle ADAS Systems


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Topics: FPGA, Autonomous Driving

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