This past week, Elon Musk said that the current version of Tesla autopilot can do fully self-driving on the high ways. But Sam says there isn't a single car on the road, with the exception of test vehicles that are fully self-driving. The technology simply isn't reliable enough without a safety driver. Leo says he can't wait for it to happen because he would like to never have to drive again. Sam says that people's perceptions of loving to drive are changing, preferring to have someone else do the driving. That's why Uber and Lyft are becoming so successful.
self driving cars
Sam is back to talk about the difference between auto pilot driver assist and self driving calls. It's fool hardy to assume that you can climb in the back to take a nap while your car drives itself. Cars aren't completely automated yet and mostly, the self driving car needs human input from time to time. Most cars are a level 1 system which detects cars in front of you slowing down and slowing down your cruise control. A level 2 system has an auto pilot, but the driver needs to be engaged to take over control at any moment, and the system is designed to rely on that.
April has been a bad month for self driving cars, as both a driver and pedestrian have died from accidents. Leo says that California is giving Google a permit for a self driving car called WayMo, which will have no safety driver. The irony isn't lost on Leo, and while he believes that self driving cars are better than human control, they're never going to be 100%. There's more testing that needs to be done and they should have a safety driver until the bugs are ironed out.
An interesting fact emerged from the US Highway Safety Investigation of the Tesla on Autopilot that killed its driver. While it didn't save the driver in this case, the data from all Teslas with autopilot show that it does save lives. The driver of the vehicle in question wasn't paying attention, and as a result, was the victim of his own negligence.
At CES Mercedes Benz says that they will have a self driving car by next year and are working with NVidia to develop it. Leo says that CES often announces things that don't happen for years, if at all. He thinks that it'll be 5 to 10 years before we see self driving cars on the roads as common place.
Uber is poised for a fight against new regulations in the city of San Francisco that requires all self driving cars to have a special license. They can afford any fines since estimates are that the company is worth $66 Billion. Leo says that Uber really loves to fight.
Michigan became the first state in the union to pass laws that would pave the way for autonomous self driving cars. But in doing so, they made it only legal for auto manufacturers to do so. Leo says that no driver will be required and that Google and other companies pushing for the laws applauded the move even though they can't create them just yet. But Leo suspects there's a loop hole in there somewhere. Next comes Florida.
Clarence is a truck driver and he's been hearing about autonomous trucks that will be coming in the future. 8,000 lbs of freight rolling down the highway with nobody behind the wheel. And they're testing them now already. Leo says it's interesting, but scary. But with sensors like the On Guard system to sense how fast a car in front of you is traveling and reacting automatically, it's only a matter of time before this happens.
In Mountain View, CA this week, Google will begin to test automated self driving cars that have no steering wheel at all (except for a detachable one, just in case). The cars will drive around town at a max speed of 25 mph, giving people rides.
Dick's Giz Wiz entry this week is an RV. The NY International Car Show is in town and he saw the Mercedes Benz Self Driving car. Interesting because it has a feature where it will drive around if you can't find a parking spot. But what really caught his eye was the American Coach American Eagle motor home. 43’ motor homes with extending sidewalls with 450 square feet. $695,000.
Giz Wiz Video: https://youtu.be/c5pqGfw61mE