What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Two questions about automated automobiles. Look at the “self-driving” van below, then think about these issues:

  1. How many ways are there for external physical events to interfere with the operation of the various doohickeys on this thing?
  2. How expensive will the operations performed by these doohickeys be, if and when they ever get miniaturized and sufficiently shielded from external shocks to be truly salable on an industrial scale?

It’s not very mysterious why these massively hyped things aren’t arriving a whole lot faster than the hoary old — yet still frequently promised — flying car.

“Self” Driving: Not Easy

Mostly to automate long- and short-distance delivery driving (i.e., to further reduce labor costs), the overclass is sponsoring a huge and massively hyped research project, in hopes of coming up with robo-trucks and robo-taxis. So, imagine a triple trailer running on “AI” as you watch this video of a Tesla driver saving at least two cars full of people from “autopilot” catastrophe:

Turns out that successfully driving automobiles — and success kills 40,000 a year in the USA and 1.25 million worldwide — is extremely complex.