“Eyeballin’ It” vs. AI—which would You Choose for Your Regular Drive?

By Shelia Dunn, NMA Communications Director

Who decided that we wanted driverless cars anyway?  More people drive than ever before even though there are coalitions upon coalitions trying to get us out of our cars, and some even want to prevent us from leisure driving during the current crisis.

An opinion piece came out this past week entitled Can We Get Serious Now? by Colin Barnden of the EE Times (Electrical Engineering Times). I think he puts all of this driverless car speculation into perspective. I encourage you to read the entire think piece. Here is an excerpt:

“Yes, humans do suck at driving. But humans also drive a lot, and the idea that replacing human drivers with AVs will result in road deaths magically dropping to zero isn’t education. It is propaganda.

After five years of development and the incineration of tens of billions of VC dollars, the AV industry today proposes a range of ideas, including last-mile delivery, autonomous trucks, fixed-route AVs, and robo-taxis. When we ask Who needs AVs? the answer still appears to be who knows? Reality seems a very long way from the promised land of saving lives.”

A machine will never be able to do what a human can do well—eyeball it…improvise when the situation requires. That’s one thing that makes driving so incredible. That’s one reason why big tech and the automakers can’t finish their promise of driverless vehicles.

Why would we ever want to give up that autonomy?

There is a real reason why motorists don’t want to ride in a driverless car, and I don’t think any amount of education will change that.

My advice to automakers: Stop spending millions of dollars on something that few of us really want. Work instead to design and manufacture more efficient and healthier engines for vehicles, which don’t cost as much as a house. That’s what we really want!

Here are ten other interesting Auto Tech Watch stories from the past week:

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