“The Guardian” stated in 2015 that by 2020 we would all be “permanent backseat drivers” after General Motors, Waymo, Toyota, and Honda announced that their fully autonomous, self-driving car production would begin by 2020. The indomitable Elon Musk had chosen 2018, then changed to 2020.
What Was Achieved By 2020?
Special trial programs have started but not production. Assisted driving exists that has automatic braking for computer-anticipated collisions or for keeping you in your lane. Tesla’s Model S has assisted driving for highway driving. The reported trouble is that some users become too trusting and stop observing their surroundings thereby driving into other vehicles and stationary obstacles resulting in costs, injuries and death.
Driving is a complex, multifaceted task requiring the intensely powerful calculations of a human brain combined with subtle observations of human intent.
Uber runs “driverless” taxis driven by drivers to gather more data to add to their petabyte of existing data. Some cities being used are San Francisco, Dallas, Toronto and Cape Town.
What Is The Hold-Up?
The complexity and the deaths have given the industry and legislators a shake-up. Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) is impressive today, but it has not reached human decision-making levels yet. It needs more years of training and data collecting, which is expensive. Also some events are rare and A.I. only knows what it knows, and it can’t use “instincts” to make an alternative, unknown split-second decision. Yet.
Waymo cars in Arizona have no one behind the wheel and are booked by a small test group, but progress is slow.
How Will They Change The World?
Reading emails or napping on the way home from work in rush hour would be appealing; people with disabilities could be more mobilised; costs could be cut – for example ride-hail companies would save a projected 70% by not using drivers.
However current polls show that only 50% of the market is interested in getting a self-driving car as the other 50% enjoy the thrill of driving.
It is also argued that major changes will be required to our streets (for easier information gathering for those cars) which is expensive and needs national agreement.
When self-driving cars arrive in the future, we will help you get the best car finance available but for right now, just enjoy your fun,regular road trips and give Zep Finance a call for any car financing assistance you may need.