While self-driving cars are a new feature that greatly improves how shipments are being transported over long distances, it looks like they are still suspect of sudden system failures from excessive snow or even large heat levels.
What is the major threat?
It has been seen that solar storm affect the connection that self-driving cars have with the satellites that give them the location information they need in order to complete the shipment transport. Solar storm s are the sudden bursts of energy created by the Sun which travel the long distance to Earth, causing increased levels of radiation and a spike in geomagnetic activity.
What do scientists think about this?
Scot McIntosh is a director at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. He wanted to say that self-driving cars should stop relying so much on GPS systems that get them from one point to another. He wanted to add that it is very dangerous to let trucks that are operated by this system go on highways since, if the connection suddenly fails, can cause accidents.
What is being done to correct this issue
It looks like the engineers that created these self-driving cars are already looking towards creating new pieces of technology that can outsmart these solar flares. They want to get these cars to use maps in order to track their route to the destination point. This would mean that the will stop relying on GPS and use their own internal system, a factor that will stop future accidents from happening.
At the very least, before this new technology can be fully implemented, cars still have a failsafe trigger in the case of a possible disruption. If due to a sudden solar flare that stops the GPS connection, a self-driving car is unable to find the route, it will pull itself over and wait for the connection to be established again. This feature is a life-saver for drivers that are on the road near these cars since it ensures that no accidents will happen.