For several years, companies have been pumping billions of dollars into the technology for self-driving cars, and self-driving cars have been a discussion point for several groups, including those of us who are car wreck attorneys wondering how safe these cars can be.
Recently, the future of these cars was cast in doubt when some of the pioneers of the self driving car technology also started questioning whether the technology can ever work. Anthony Levandowski, who helped co-found Google’s self-driving car division, did an interview with Bloomberg where he gave the opinion that the industry is going nowhere despite the billions of dollars invested. In that same interview, George Hotz, another leader in the industry, concurred, saying the industry is a scam.
There were several things that each of these leaders pointed to that led them to their conclusions, but the main issue is that the technology still has problems with too many common conditions, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to fix that. For example, the cars can be confused by changing weather patterns, such as overcast skies, construction zones, animals, crossing guards, and most common and most important, unprotected left turns, which are obviously critical.
Hotz points out the problem that the entire premise of the self-driving car industry is the notion that self-driving cars are more safe than human drivers. But it turns out that self-driving cars are having a more difficult time handling conditions than were expected, and at the same time, humans are really good driving and making split second decisions without thinking about it.
It will be interesting to see what the future holds, as companies continue to be optimistic, but technology pioneers seeing a different future.
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