About the author

Paul Feldman is a FairWarning staff writer.

3 comments to “Lots of Love for Driverless Cars, Except From One Group–Drivers”

  1. Alan Kandel

    Taking an autonomobile out for a spin; perhaps. The vehicle taking the occupant(s) for a spin; more likely the case. But, “test driving”? No how, no way!

  2. Spiffy

    “cautionary tales as the May 2016 death of a motorist using Tesla’s “Autopilot” system that steered his car into a tractor-trailer truck in Florida.”

    This comments is why the public is less trusting of AV’s these days: media hype. The system didn’t steer the car into a truck, it failed to stop when a truck pulled directly in front of the driver. They were going straight and not paying attention. At least you put “Autopilot” into quotes, as it’s not an auto-pilot any more than an airliner’s “autopilot” is.

    There’s nobody currently driving a retail auto-pilot system since they don’t exist. The media is quick to write about all the testing failures. The public would be weary of any product that was getting so much scrutiny.

  3. Matthew Mabey

    If the industry, and government cheerleaders, wants to convince the public of the viability of autonomous cars they need to be pointing out all the existing autonomous systems out there that operate in complex, open environments (i.e. something akin to public roadways with debris, construction, animals, vehicles driven by people, and pedestrians of all ages).
    What is that I hear? Crickets. There is no existing autonomous system that provides even a slight approximation of what some are claiming they will be able to achieve with automobiles in only a few short years.
    Instead, what the public does see is phones and computers that exhibit random behavior and frequent failures. We see car entertainment systems that don’t reliably (i.e. 99.999% of the time, 99+% isn’t good enough for autonomous cars) reconnect with the Bluetooth on our phones. We see systems at all scales, and levels of security, that are vulnerable to malicious intrusion and disruption. We see airlines that come to a grinding halt because of computer system failures that take hours, or days, to remedy. We see a steady flood of recalls, of all sorts, regarding every make and model of car available. The public is right be be skeptical.
    The industry may be able to accomplish what they claim they will. But there is little evidence to support their claim at this point in time. That one Tesla incident matches our experience with technology at all levels. The explanations of the Google Car incidents belie a culture of explaining away problems. The old adage is proven true millions of time every day: “To err is human, but it takes a computer to really foul things up.”

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