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This is an IELTS writing task 2 sample answer essay on the topic of driverless vehicles, cars, buses and trucks from Cambridge IELTS 16.

Find all the other Cambridge 16 essays and tips for studying in the complete IELTS Cambridge 16 guide here.

Please consider supporting me on Patreon.com/howtodoielts to receive my exclusive IELTS Ebooks – you can even sign up for private live lessons with me!

Dave

IELTS Cambridge 16 Essay: Driverless Vehicles

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?

A future filled with driverless vehicles is an inevitability. In my opinion, though there are concomitant moral risks, the practical import for health of such a seismic shift will be positive on the whole.

Critics of this trend suggest that machines should not be responsible for the potential loss of human life. This argument rests on the fact that when there is an accident involving humans, it is possible to either assess blame and assign punishment or accept that human error played a role. In contrast, an individual severely injured as the result of a collision caused by a machine may justly feel that all human autonomy and free will is absent from their fate. This is analogous to a natural disaster with the crucial distinction being that humanity has engineered the situation. It is human nature to prefer to control a situation rather than surrender the outcome to an autonomous machine.

Proponents of automated vehicles, on the other hand, argue the tangible ramifications concerning public safety. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that driverless vehicles cause fewer accidents than humans. The reason for this is that humans are prone to errors related to fatigue, distractions such as smartphones, and, in some cases, altered states. Machines might experience the occasional technical error, however, they are far more consistent by comparison. In fact, the few accidents that have occurred with automated vehicles were the fault of human drivers. If all cars were driverless, this would enable a greater level of sophistication that could, theoretically, all but eliminate automobile accidents.

In conclusion, though many accidents will occur without human agency playing a role, safer roads fully justify this innovation. Companies and consumers must be wary of the influence of automation while also embracing its most transparent benefits.

Analysis

1. A future filled with driverless vehicles is an inevitability. 2. In my opinion, though there are concomitant moral risks, the practical import for health of such a seismic shift will be positive on the whole.

  1. Paraphrase the overall essay topic.
  2. Write a clear opinion. Read more about introductions here.

1. Critics of this trend suggest that machines should not be responsible for the potential loss of human life. 2. This argument rests on the fact that when there is an accident involving humans, it is possible to either assess blame and assign punishment or accept that human error played a role. 3. In contrast, an individual severely injured as the result of a collision caused by a machine may justly feel that all human autonomy and free will is absent from their fate. 4. This is analogous to a natural disaster with the crucial distinction being that humanity has engineered the situation. 5. It is human nature to prefer to control a situation rather than surrender the outcome to an autonomous machine.

  1. Write a topic sentence with a clear main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your main idea.
  3. Develop it with specific examples/argument.
  4. Vary long and short sentences and switch to a second reason.
  5. Stay focused on the second main idea.

1. Proponents of automated vehicles, on the other hand, argue the tangible ramifications concerning public safety. 2. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that driverless vehicles cause fewer accidents than humans. 3. The reason for this is that humans are prone to errors related to fatigue, distractions such as smartphones, and, in some cases, altered states. 4. Machines might experience the occasional technical error, however, they are far more consistent by comparison. 5. In fact, the few accidents that have occurred with automated vehicles were the fault of human drivers. 6. If all cars were driverless, this would enable a greater level of sophistication that could, theoretically, all but eliminate automobile accidents.

  1. Write a new topic sentence with a new main idea at the end.
  2. Explain your new main idea.
  3. Include specific details and examples.
  4. Continue developing it…
  5. as fully as possible!
  6. Conclude with the furthest possible result.

1. In conclusion, though many accidents will occur without human agency playing a role, safer roads fully justify this innovation. 2. Companies and consumers must be wary of the influence of automation while also embracing its most transparent benefits.

  1. Summarise your main ideas.
  2. Include a final thought. Read more about conclusions here.

Vocabulary

What do the words in bold below mean? Make some notes on paper to aid memory and then check below.

A future filled with driverless vehicles is an inevitability. In my opinion, though there are concomitant moral risks, the practical import for health of such a seismic shift will be positive on the whole.

Critics of this trend suggest that machines should not be responsible for the potential loss of human life. This argument rests on the fact that when there is an accident involving humans, it is possible to either assess blame and assign punishment or accept that human error played a role. In contrast, an individual severely injured as the result of a collision caused by a machine may justly feel that all human autonomy and free will is absent from their fate. This is analogous to a natural disaster with the crucial distinction being that humanity has engineered the situation. It is human nature to prefer to control a situation rather than surrender the outcome to an autonomous machine.

Proponents of automated vehicles, on the other hand, argue the tangible ramifications concerning public safety. The evidence overwhelmingly suggests that driverless vehicles cause fewer accidents than humans. The reason for this is that humans are prone to errors related to fatigue, distractions such as smartphones, and, in some cases, altered states. Machines might experience the occasional technical error, however, they are far more consistent by comparison. In fact, the few accidents that have occurred with automated vehicles were the fault of human drivers. If all cars were driverless, this would enable a greater level of sophistication that could, theoretically, all but eliminate automobile accidents.

In conclusion, though many accidents will occur without human agency playing a role, safer roads fully justify this innovation. Companies and consumers must be wary of the influence of automation while also embracing its most transparent benefits.

Answers

For extra practice, write an antonym (opposite word) on a piece of paper to help you remember the new vocabulary:

filled with full of

driverless vehicles cars that drive themselves

inevitability will definitely happen

though despite

concomitant related, coming from this

moral risks ethical considerations

practical import actual impact

seismic shift huge change

positive on the whole good overall

critics detractors

trend pattern

suggest say

responsible have a duty

potential loss possible death

argument rests on the fact that position is based in

involving having to do with

possible potential

either assess blame one option is that you can say who is responsible

assign punishment sentence them

accept recognize

human error mistakes by people

played a role had a part in

in contrast however

severely injured hurt badly

as the result of because of

collision accident

caused by happens because of

justly fair

human autonomy people choosing

free will choice

absent lacking

fate what will happen to you in life

analogous comparative to

natural disaster hurricanes, tsunamis, etc.

crucial distinction key difference

engineered the situation created the event

human nature how people are

prefer would rather

control have power over

rather than instead of

surrender give over power to

outcome result

autonomous freedom

proponents supporters

automated vehicles driverless cars, self-driving cars

on the other hand however

argue claim

tangible ramifications real impact

concerning having to do with

public safety the health of people

overwhelmingly clearly

driverless vehicles self-driving automobiles

prone have a tendency to

errors mistakes

fatigue tiredness

distractions ways to lose attention

in some cases sometimes

altered states drunk, under the influence of a substance

occasional sometimes

technical error computer mistake

far more consistent much more reliable

by comparison compared to that

in fact actually

occurred happened

fault mistake

enable allow for

greater level higher

sophistication complexity

theoretically hypothetically

all but eliminate automobile accidents nearly gotten rid of

safer roads fewer accidents

justify give good reason

innovation change

wary worried about

influence effect on

embracing welcoming

most transparent benefits very clear advantages

Pronunciation

Practice saying the vocabulary below and use this tip about Google voice search:

fɪld wɪð 
ˈdraɪvələs ˈviːɪklz 
ɪnˌɛvɪtəˈbɪlɪti
ðəʊ 
kənˈkɒmɪtənt 
ˈmɒrəl rɪsks
ˈpræktɪkəl ˈɪmpɔːt 
ˈsaɪzmɪk ʃɪft 
ˈpɒzətɪv ɒn ðə həʊl
ˈkrɪtɪks 
trɛnd 
səˈʤɛst 
rɪsˈpɒnsəbl 
pəʊˈtɛnʃəl lɒs 
ˈɑːgjʊmənt rɛsts ɒn ðə fækt ðæt 
ɪnˈvɒlvɪŋ 
ˈpɒsəbl 
ˈaɪðər əˈsɛs bleɪm 
əˈsaɪn ˈpʌnɪʃmənt 
əkˈsɛpt 
ˈhjuːmən ˈɛrə 
pleɪd ə rəʊl
ɪn ˈkɒntrɑːst
sɪˈvɪəli ˈɪnʤəd 
æz ðə rɪˈzʌlt ɒv 
kəˈlɪʒən 
kɔːzd baɪ 
ˈʤʌstli 
ˈhjuːmən ɔːˈtɒnəmi 
friː wɪl 
ˈæbsənt 
feɪt
əˈnæləgəs 
ˈnæʧrəl dɪˈzɑːstə 
ˈkruːʃəl dɪsˈtɪŋkʃən 
ˌɛnʤɪˈnɪəd ðə ˌsɪtjʊˈeɪʃən
ˈhjuːmən ˈneɪʧə 
priˈfɜː 
kənˈtrəʊl 
ˈrɑːðə ðæn 
səˈrɛndə 
ˈaʊtkʌm 
ɔːˈtɒnəməs 
prəˈpəʊnənts 
ˈɔːtəmeɪtɪd ˈviːɪklz
ɒn ði ˈʌðə hænd
ˈɑːgjuː 
ˈtænʤəbl ˌræmɪfɪˈkeɪʃənz 
kənˈsɜːnɪŋ 
ˈpʌblɪk ˈseɪfti
ˌəʊvəˈwɛlmɪŋli 
ˈdraɪvələs ˈviːɪklz 
prəʊn 
ˈɛrəz 
fəˈtiːg
dɪsˈtrækʃənz 
ɪn sʌm ˈkeɪsɪz
ˈɔːltəd steɪts
əˈkeɪʒənl 
ˈtɛknɪkəl ˈɛrə
fɑː mɔː kənˈsɪstənt 
baɪ kəmˈpærɪsn
ɪn fækt
əˈkɜːd 
fɔːlt 
ɪˈneɪbl 
ˈgreɪtə ˈlɛvl 
səˌfɪstɪˈkeɪʃən 
θɪəˈrɛtɪkəli
ɔːl bʌt ɪˈlɪmɪneɪt ˈɔːtəməʊbiːl ˈæksɪdənts
ˈseɪfə rəʊdz 
ˈʤʌstɪfaɪ 
ˌɪnəʊˈveɪʃən
ˈweəri 
ˈɪnflʊəns 
ɪmˈbreɪsɪŋ 
məʊst trænsˈpeərənt ˈbɛnɪfɪts

Vocabulary Practice

I recommend getting a pencil and piece of paper because that aids memory. Then write down the missing vocabulary from my sample answer in your notebook:

A future f_____________h d____________________s is an i______________y. In my opinion, t_________h there are c______________t m____________s, the p________________t for health of such a s_____________t will be p__________________e.

C_______s of this t______d s________t that machines should not be r____________e for the p____________s of human life. This a_________________________t when there is an accident i___________g humans, it is p__________e to e__________________e and a__________________t or a_____t that h_____________r p________________e. I_____________t, an individual s_______________d a_____________________f a c_________n c___________y a machine may j________y feel that all h________________y and f__________l is a_________t from their f____e. This is a_____________s to a n______________r with the c__________________n being that humanity has e_____________________________n. It is h________________e to p_______r to c________l a situation r___________n s____________r the o_________e to an a______________s machine.

P___________s of a_________________s, o__________________d, a_______e the t________________________s c_____________g p_______________y. The evidence o_________________y suggests that d___________________s cause fewer accidents than humans. The reason for this is that humans are p______e to e_______s related to f_________e, d____________s such as smartphones, and, i_______________s, a_______________s. Machines might experience the o____________l t___________________r, however, they are f______________________________________n. I__________t, the few accidents that have o____________d with automated vehicles were the f_______t of human drivers. If all cars were driverless, this would e________e a g_____________l of s_______________n that could, t______________y, a___________________________________________s.

In conclusion, though many accidents will occur without human agency playing a role, s___________s fully j__________y this i___________n. Companies and consumers must be w____y of the i__________e of automation while also e____________g its m_________________________s.

Listening Practice

Learn more about this topic in the video below and practice with these activities:

Reading Practice

Read more about this topic and use these ideas to practice:

https://www.wired.com/story/guide-self-driving-cars/

Speaking Practice

Practice with the following speaking questions from the real IELTS speaking exam:

Public Transport (Model answer available on my Patreon)

  1. Does your city use a lot of public transport?
  2. When was the last time you used public transport?
  3. Will you still use public transport in the future?
  4. What would you like to change about the public transport in your city?

Writing Practice

Practice with the same basic topic below and then check with my sample answer:

Today different types of robots are being developed which can serve as companions and workers to help at work and at home.

Is this a positive or negative development?


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