Driverless Cars

In the glorious future, we are assured that driverless cars will save lives, reduce accidents, ease congestion, curb energy consumption and lower harmful emissions. These purported benefits contain elements of truth. But the data is nowhere near complete. Even stipulating that all the claimed benefits will one day materialize, the near- and midterm picture from a public-interest perspective is not the same favorable one that industry sees. Legitimate areas of question and concern remain. ...
Many of these new-generation cars require smooth roads, with clearly painted lines, to safely position themselves. Potholes, worn paint and other irregularities — standard fare on too many of today’s roads — will potentially become even greater safety hazards than they are now. Where will the resources to maintain and repair roads and bridges, an effort already underfunded by more than a trillion dollars, come from?
And have we thought about security? Today’s cars can be hacked easily. New protocols must be agreed on, and even then, nefarious actors will learn how to remotely start and stop cars, steer them, steal them, crash them or even take them hostage.
- Jamie Kitman, Google Wants Driverless Cars, but Do We?, NYT, Dec. 19, 2016

Over the course of several months, I often asked people at Tesla, as well as those working on autonomous technologies elsewhere, how far away the self-driving future might be. There was no solid consensus beyond somewhere between two and five years.
- JON GERTNER, Tesla's Dangerous Sprint Into The Future, NYT, NOV. 7, 2017

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