Vehicles

Driverless Cars: On The Road To Nowhere Soon?

Posted on July 11, 2018
The world of driverless vehicles is dominated by discussions around the six levels of autonomy. The Holy Grail would be Level 4, as Level 3, at which drivers need to be constantly aware of what the car is doing, has proved to be unsafe because the person at the wheel becomes inattentive and fails to intervene promptly. (Wikimedia Creative Commons)
The world of driverless vehicles is dominated by discussions around the six levels of autonomy. The Holy Grail would be Level 4, as Level 3, at which drivers need to be constantly aware of what the car is doing, has proved to be unsafe because the person at the wheel becomes inattentive and fails to intervene promptly. (Wikimedia Creative Commons)

If the more extreme claims were to be believed, we would already be adapting to the new reality of driverless cars. And what a reality it is supposed to be. We are told by the likes of Uber and Waymo, Google’s autonomous vehicles wing, that we will forego our individual cars for the delights of being transported in driver-less, shared-use electric vehicles reminiscent of the new dockless hire bikes or car–sharing companies like Zipcar.

This is a strange conflation of three separate revolutions, electric, shared use and driverless, each of which on its own would have enormous societal impact and yet are presented by the tech companies and some politicians as desirable and inevitable. In truth, all three concepts are fraught with obstacles, not least the shortage of battery capacity in the world, people’s natural desire to own their own vehicles, and everyone’s understandable hesitance about putting their lives in the hands of a computer.

The Spectator article here

Related Topics: autonomous vehicles, driverless cars, mobile technology, research and trends, self-driving vehicles

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