I won’t go as far as Anthony Levandowski and say that AV trucks and cars are a “hobby” and not a business or make statements like, “we’ll get there when we get there,” as reported in this article from Bloomberg.
However, I will agree that after $100 billion-plus in investments, we should be further down the road than we are. I also agree that there are many issues still to be overcome. Not the least of which is that humans are better drivers than computers. A lot better.
The pigeon example in the article is perfect as it describes that humans just know and react without going through a stream of logic code – regardless of how fast it can be processed.
You don’t have to slow down for a flock of pigeons – they’re gonna move, but an AV will slam on the brakes; at least until it learns. AI is actually just memorization.
Simple enough. I mean certainly, we will think of every possible scenario in order to teach the AI how to process a deer or tree or mailbox or person that is stationary by the side of the road. Go ahead and take a moment and think about posture, lighting, facial expressions, snow, rain, wind, tree movement, grasses, etc. Oh, and define “road.” What about an intersection? Is there a deer on the other side of the road? Or is that a dog with a human holding it back? Is it on a sidewalk? Are there sidewalks in the area? Is the dog barking at the deer or sniffing a spot on the ground? Is the human big enough to keep the dog from running into the street?
Who takes the legal blame for teaching the system to save the passengers or the “person” on the side of the road? The system will have to be taught to make that decision.
For now, let’s forget all that nonsense. Here is the real question. Why? With the exception of safety improvements for a vehicle driven by a human and select situations, what is the benefit?
Follow the dollar. Period.
I’ve got an idea; How about we do something useful with the $100 billion spent so far on AVs – like pump up the anemic $1.5 million invested in something useful and impactful to life on earth?
I’m talking about a road that actually charges an EV as it drives along. With a driver in it! Yes, wireless charging is a thing even in motion. You have a phone, right?
I know, it is way more important to create an autonomous car or truck to get those crazy humans out of the driver’s seat. I mean 1 death per 100 million miles driven, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is not gonna cut the mustard.
Did I say follow the dollar? Oh, wait – we’re solving the driver shortage. Sure.
How about using the pressure of the EVs riding on the road surface to create green energy to power those very same EVs?
As reported in Transport Topics, this is what they are testing in Michigan. Why not put wind turbines in the median as well? Because we’re spending billions of dollars on an AV for no reason at all, that’s why.
But AVs are more efficient! Which helps what? Oh yeah, someone’s bottom line.
They get goods to market faster. Again, for what?
Maybe we can do it and we can get investments and make money. Seems to be the only litmus test.
Pity, we have really important stuff to figure out.
Peace and love.