Autonomous Cars — Are they ready for Prime Time?

While some companies are moving headlong into autonomous vehicle design, is it time to ask are we moving to fast on this front?

The driving force for many of these advancements in technology is artificial intelligence, uh, excuse me, I meant to say, machine learning. That is actually where we are currently in the industry.  The possibilities fully exist that these technologies completely understood.

Are marketing and stock value forcing the deployment and implementation of technology before it has gone through the basic engineering design, and testing phases in hopes of being first to market?

There is an enormous number of technical issues that we still must tackle before we are going to have an ultimately successful launch of a truly autonomous vehicle. First and foremost is our ability to place enough trust in the machine’s automation, and this will be tested over time. Additionally, we must address and resolve all the ethical, political, and legal issues involved with any automation platform.

Take, for instance, Tesla’s advanced driver assistance system.  According to the article that follows from Consumer Reports, “the automatic lane-change feature on Tesla’s Navigate on Autopilot is “far less competent” than a human driver and they cautioned it could pose safety risks.”

Our challenges, today, are not insurmountable. However, we cannot gloss over them if we want to reach the full potential of autonomous vehicles.

My take – Slow down, develop, test, improve, test, implement, test, and test again.

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