IELTS Essay 1237 - In the future all cars, buses and trucks will be driverless

IELTS Writing Task 2/ IELTS Essay:

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

In the future all cars, buses and trucks will be driverless. The only people travelling inside these vehicles will be passengers.

Do you think the advantages of driverless vehicles outweigh the disadvantages?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words. 

Model Answer 1: [Band 8 level sample answer] 
[View: Advantages outweigh the disadvantages]

With the rapid technological development, driverless vehicles are becoming a reality, and within a couple of decades, all cars will run without the intervention of a human driver. I personally believe that driverless cars will bring far more benefits than the possible drawbacks they have.

To begin with the drawbacks, driverless cars pose some risks, including accidents and casualties, should the technology malfunction. Since the vehicles would be run and controlled by software and technology, the risk of devastating accidents due to bugs or hacking could not be eliminated. It will make us more susceptible to hackers and software glitches. An accident, in which a woman died, caused by a driverless car while still in beta mode, caused a great uproar a few years ago. Moreover, not all roads, especially those in poor nations with ditches, holes and insufficient road signals, are suitable for those automated cars to run smoothly.

However, technology-made mistakes are astronomically fewer than man-made blunders when it comes to road safety and casualties, and this is where driverless automobiles can make a significant improvement. Though we point out a single accident made by a driverless car, human drivers are responsible for hundreds, if not thousands, of casualties each day all around the world. With the introduction of automated cars, accidents would reduce remarkably making roads safer for all. On top of that, millions of hours could be saved each day since we would no longer need to sit behind the wheel. It will increase our productivity and boost the national economy. 

In conclusion, driverless vehicles have many great benefits including road safety and economic benefits, and it is expected that we could eliminate the software related issues to reap the maximum benefits of this marvellous technology.

Sample Answer 2:
[View: Advantages do not outweigh the disadvantages]

Driverless cars, thanks to the phenomenal development of technology, are no longer fiction, but a reality, and it is expected that most vehicles will be autonomous in the future. Despite both benefits and demerits, the writer of this essay does think that the advantages of driverless vehicles do not outweigh the disadvantages. 

One of the major advantages of driverless vehicles is that they reduce the number of accidents on the road. Such cars provide better traffic efficiency since the driverless vehicles can travel efficiently at an optimized and safe distance from each other by communicating among themselves in real-time, on the road, and by telling which routes to take. It reduces accidents and casualties to a great extent.

However, the systems or the technologies, used to operate driverless vehicles, can malfunction or stop working at any time, without any prior notice. And, if that happens, an autonomous vehicle could actually put the passengers in more danger than if a human driver was driving it. Besides, self-driving cars lack the ability to make judgments among multiple unfavourable scenarios and outcomes. For example, let’s say that a self-driving car had to face a situation with only two possible options: one is to veer to the left and strike a pedestrian, and the other one is to turn to the right and hit a tree, potentially injuring the passengers inside the vehicle. Now, since both options are undesirable, which option would the driverless car choose? The Moral Machine, developed by a group at MIT in the USA, is seeking to address this critical issue by collecting data on real-life people’s decisions, but the data collected, so far, shows broad differences amongst different groups of people, making it very difficult to programme any definitive answer for autonomous cars. Thus autonomous cars are good to have but are not great to ride in!

So, based on the discussion above, we can fairly conclude that the shortcomings of driverless automobiles outweigh their possible benefits.

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