Self Driving Cars Are Going Nowhere

Great article on how little progress has been made in self-driving cars.

I have always thought most self driving systems were too ambitious. There are so many variables, and you can’t account for all of them. I have for years thought that they should set their sights a bit lower.

Here in Colorado we have various HOV/toll lanes on many of our highways. Why don’t we start out with self driving in those lanes? I, as a driver, can handle the city driving, the accelerating to highway speeds, and the changing lanes. But after that? Let the computer do most of the work from there on out.

All the adaptive cruise control shows most of the work is ready for highway driving. And on a highway there are far fewer corner cases to consider, no turns, no bicycles, no pedestrians. If you encounter a cone zone, you hand it over to the human driver. If there’s inclement weather, sorry, you’re driving yourself.

Sure. It won’t “revolutionize” travel. But as a car owner, it would make a lot of difference on road trips. And if I still commuted, it would help probably for about 30% of my commuting.

But then no idiot is going to pay Musk or anyone else thousands and thousands of dollars for a system that just helps on the highways. And the billionaires can’t commoditize all the Uber/taxi/bus/truck drivers and suck out billions of dollars in profit for themselves. And that’s the main reason self driving needs to be complete. If there’s a driver involved, they can’t print money by hijacking a major part of day to day life.