What’s Putting The Brakes On Autonomous Cars?


We’re steadily heading into the future, with electric cars quickly becoming commonplace, but some auto enthusiasts feel like one of the great promised breakthroughs is still way behind schedule. Autonomous, or self-driving, cars have generated a lot of attention, publicity, and hype, so how come we don’t all have one yet? Here, we’re going to highlight some of the major issues pumping the brakes on any plans you have to sit back and chill during your commute.

The regulatory nightmare

Already one of the biggest issues even in the testing phase is how exactly we’re supposed to regulate these cars. As https://jalopnik.com/gms-plan-to-test-autonomous-cars-in-new-york-city-seems-1828945330 shows, General Motors recently had its plans to test its own autonomous cars in New York stalled because there aren’t any regulations in place for them. Questions like who, exactly, is liable in an accident involving an autonomous car and what standards these cars need to live up to in order to be considered road legal are still up in the air. However, there is good news with things like the AV Act, paving the way for further testing, as well as preventing autonomous cars from being outright banned.

The very real risks

We can all agree that, if they get it right, autonomous cars can be a huge step in making our roads much safer. Unfortunately, they have famously got it wrong a few times. You might still need services like https://attorneyguss.com/pasadena-car-accident-lawyers/ just yet. There have been four fatalities as a result of self-driving cars so far in four separate tests and there’s a lot of clear hesitation about giving tests the okay when it could mean potentially harming or even killing people in the process.


The way ahead isn’t clear

There is already a lot of tech on the market that can help cars automatically navigate, brake, and help correct your course. When it comes to getting from point A to point B, however, that’s a much bigger calculation. Autonomous car creators rely on routes being laid out completely ahead of them, and mapping is a long, laborious part of that. What’s more, many of the projects mapping out roads for self-driving systems aren’t sharing their information with each other. A little cooperation could help us have fully mapped out automatic routes a lot sooner.

The human element

There’s only so much a machine can do. Already, automated cars are developing technology to help them recognize hand signals from cyclists and to recognize stop signs even when they’re not present on the map. However, these systems are imperfect, which has been demonstrated by the fact that other drivers and pedestrians have successfully trolled autonomous cars into stopping or navigating under false information. Without the intuition that humans have, it’s still quite hard to imagine a machine being able to take care of the entire drive by itself.

The barriers facing autonomous cars are high, but they’re not insurmountable. There are at least 46 different companies working on these machines right now, and plenty of capital already invested in them. They’re not going to let go without a fight.

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