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Where are our self-driving cars?

vox.com

Not ready for self-driving cars

In 2015, the Guardian predicted that self-driving cars would be the norm in 2020. The Business Insider announced in 2016 that there would be 10 million self-driving cars on the road by 2020.

Yet, engineering teams are still struggling to make fully autonomous cars work properly.

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The idea behind self-driving cars is to fit a vehicle with cameras that can track all the objects around it and let the car avoid those objects. Then teach in-car computers the rules of the road and let them navigate to their destination.

But driving is more than a list of rules.

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Self-driving cars rely on artificial intelligence (AI). In the 2010s, there were considerable advances in AI. This progress drove optimistic predictions for self-driving cars. 

But the limitations of AI became evident. One problem is

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A world with self-driving cars

In the future, it is likely that taxi and ride-hailing companies will offer self-driving cars instead of paying drivers. Self-driving cars can also make a difference in people with disabilities who can't move around freely.

However, polls show that most Americans don't want to be dr...

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Many major car manufacturers have tested the waters with self-driving car research.

Two statistics are helpful in evaluating how advanced a self-driving car program is: 

  • How many miles it has driven (training data and investment to get cars on t...

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Safety issues with self-driving cars

In 2018, a self-driving Uber car ran down and killed a pedestrian walking her bicycle across the street. The near-range cameras and ultrasonic sensors were not in use at the time of the crash. The system also had false alarms and failed to identify her because she did not cross at a crosswalk.

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Some advocates claim that self-driving cars may reduce car trips as car ownership may become redundant. Others argue that people drive in a wasteful way.

But there's not much evidence that computers are more fuel-efficient drivers. Studies also show that people will go on more trips if the ...

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The future of self-driving cars

It's not uncommon for technology to be dangerous when it is invented and then refined into a valuable part of life. The first aeroplanes were dangerous and commercially useless.

While companies boast about their progress, they hesitate to put their cars on the road when the...

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