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Earth Day: A History of Vehicle Sustainability

Reducing the amount of plastic we use, spending less time in the shower, swapping fast fashion with second-hand; these are but some of the things we’re advised on to combat concerns surrounding the future of the planet. Due to the Earth’s negative reaction to rising levels of carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases, it… Continue reading Earth Day: A History of Vehicle Sustainability

Flash-Back to the Future! New DeLorean Teaser Sparks EV Intrigue

The year is 2022, 7 years after 2015 when Back to the Future 2 was set, and we’re still waiting for the popularisation of hover vehicles… *sigh*… but for now, we can get excited about the unveiling of a teasing new trailer from DeLorean as the brand’s regeneration means a potentially new take on the… Continue reading Flash-Back to the Future! New DeLorean Teaser Sparks EV Intrigue

Pilot Scheme Could Recharge EV Owners’ Pockets

A radical new scheme, introduced by the National Grid in partnership with Octopus Energy, is being piloted on an initial 135 households across England and Wales. As the announcement by Ofgem in early February sees energy prices rise by 56% from last year due to the global energy crisis, the idea behind the scheme seeks… Continue reading Pilot Scheme Could Recharge EV Owners’ Pockets

Big 5 EV makers VS Big 5 Automakers – Comparing the most expensive and cheapest models on the market

As the world’s auto-market begins to see major change on an industrial scale, not seen since the revolutionised automotive assembly production line by Henry Ford in 1913, the electrifying excitement surrounding the growth of the up-and-coming Electric Vehicle (EV) market means that buyers have a multitude of motors to choose from. As of 2020, more… Continue reading Big 5 EV makers VS Big 5 Automakers – Comparing the most expensive and cheapest models on the market

“Watt” Next – Could Surging Energy Bills Short Circuit U.K. EV Plan?

With both society and the economy struggling for some form of normality post-pandemic, the gloom looks set to continue as a fresh blow dealt by the U.K.’s regulatory body, as The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), announced that energy prices will continue to rise. This disclosure is in relation to the energy price… Continue reading “Watt” Next – Could Surging Energy Bills Short Circuit U.K. EV Plan?

Tech Giants Look Set to Electrify the EV Game

The competitive automotive industry; with 14 major car corporations owning up to 60 global auto brands including the likes of Volkswagen, Ford and BMW, looks set to become increasingly more competitive due to the rise of global demands for the reduction of CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions. With the climate crisis remaining at the forefront… Continue reading Tech Giants Look Set to Electrify the EV Game

Self-driving Cars: An Exploration into The Future of Driving

Self-driving Cars: An Exploration into The Future of Driving

Humans, as a species, have an innate motivation to constantly seek out easier means of living through technological advancement. Due to this evolution, the world we live in today is dominated by methods of efficiency, with the automotive industry being a leading example of developing and upgrading their products to supply customer demands. From the first car manufactured in 1886, the exponential rise of automotive ingenuity saw the prototype for the first “autonomous” car developed in 1925 and the evolution of this idea has remained at the forefront of vehicular technology since. In a modern setting, the incremental growth seen by Tesla, founded in 2003 and named after famous inventor Nikola Tesla, under the leadership of Elon Musk, brought about the introduction of their model of “Autopilot”. This function took the market by storm by 2015; which, according to reports, grew company revenues from around $4 billion in the same year to approximately $31.5 billion by 2020.  Boasting features like the installation of 8 cameras providing 360 degrees of visibility at up to a range of 250 meters with 12 ultrasonic sensors, Tesla advertises their vehicles as having “full self-driving capabilities’ and poses an idealised revolution of the way we drive. 

 

However, there have been several tragic examples of vehicular deaths via autonomous driving being recorded since their introduction on roads internationally. Notably the recent crash in December 2021, when a Parisian taxi, a Tesla Model 3, was said to have stopped at a red traffic light and suddenly sped forward, “hitting and dragging with it a cyclist who later died” according to a police source, also confirming a further 20 injured. A representative of the French government stated that Tesla claimed “there is no indication that a fatal accident in Paris involving a Tesla Model 3 taxi was caused by a technical fault”. 

 

The ensuing inquiries from national governmental agencies worldwide reflects escalating concerns about the philosophical debate regarding whether it is the fault of the vehicle or its operator when investigating autonomous vehicular-related deaths. In July 2020, a German court ruled that Tesla made misleading claims about Autopilot’s current and future capabilities, calling into question the USP of Tesla Autopilot vehicles as the need for physical human intervention is paramount to public safety. Members of the U.S. Congress also highlighted the morality of Tesla’s marketing strategy to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Labelling their vehicles “a threat to motorists and other users of the road” due to overstated claims about their vehicles’ advertised self-driving competencies, they attacked the colossal car company and its CEO for a perceived lack of self-accountability. Subsequently, in an interview with Times Magazine after being named their ‘Person of the Year 2021’, Elon Musk responded to this growing pressure by saying “you’re not going to get rewarded necessarily for the lives that you save, but you will definitely be blamed for lives that you don’t save.” While Consumer Reports warned users that “Autopilot” claims is a “misnomer”, this debate continues to develop after the publication of a official report by the Law Commission for England, Scotland and Wales; implying that drivers of self-driving cars should face leniency in potentially fatal and injury-related incidents involving the vehicle. Moreover, they propose “the creation of an Automated Vehicles Act to reflect the “profound legal consequences” of self-driving cars”.


We at Pocket Box promote innovation especially through forward thinking companies like Tesla but would like to remind to all self driving car owners and potential purchasers of an autonomous vehicle to always be aware while operating ANY vehicle and remain vigilant of unforeseen technical issues which may affect the functionality of your vehicle. 

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