Safety Case of Autonomous Cars in Kenya
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Safety Case of Autonomous Cars in Kenya
Autonomous cars are meant to replace human drivers and reduce the rate of accidents, energy consumption, pollution and congestion (Anderson et al., 2014, p. xxiv). Policymakers should permit the technology if it is superior to average human drivers. These cars have a range of sensors (such as cameras, LiDAR, GPS, and Radar) that might sometimes be limited by weather conditions. For instance, LiDAR cannot work in fog, and GPS works accurately on clear sky only (Anderson et al., 2014, p. xxiv).
For the Kenyan government to accept autonomous cars on Kenyan roads, software vendors and service providers should meet some safety precautions. For example, in 2016 one of Tesla Motors Model S drove into an 18-wheel truck when one of its sensors failed. And in the process, a 40-year person was killed (Levin & Wong, 2018). This shows any fault in one of the sensors can lead to accidents where people can be injured. Without proper testing, the prototypes should not be allowed on the Kenyan roads (Dam & Siang, 2017). The software vendors and service should be able to convince the minister that the software is error proof and that the sensors cannot malfunction. If they malfunction, it can be disastrous for other road users.
Another critical factor to consider is that the software vendors should be able to explain how the autonomous car’s software will be tested and adapted to Kenyan roads (Richtel ; Dougherty, 2017). This is because the software adapts to the different local condition that cannot be replicated in other areas. Therefore, if Google would like to introduce the autonomous cars in Kenya, they should, first of all, test their prototypes on the Kenyan roads to see how well they can perform. Without this pre-testing, no autonomous cars should be allowed into Kenya. Some of the places where the vehicles have been developed and tested are very different from the transport situation in Kenya.

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Anderson, J. M., Nidhi, K., Stanley, K. D., Sorensen, P., Samaras, C., ; Oluwatola, O. A. (2014). Autonomous Vehicle Technology: A Guide for Policymakers. Rand Corporation.
Dam, R., ; Siang, T. (2017, August). Stage 4 in the Design Thinking Process: Prototype. Retrieved June 15, 2018, from
Levin, S., ; Wong, J. C. (2018, March 19). Self-driving Uber kills Arizona woman in a first fatal crash involving a pedestrian. The Guardian. Retrieved from
Richtel, M., ; Dougherty, C. (2017, December 21). Google’s Driverless Cars Run Into Problem: Cars With Drivers. The New York Times. Retrieved from