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Why Autonomous Cars May Take Longer Than Anticipated

Why Autonomous Cars May Take Longer Than Anticipated

Countless automotive and software companies are burning the midnight oil to bring self-driving cars to the market. While some of them have projections for release in the early 2020s, some industry experts are saying that may not be the case. A generous timeframe puts autonomous car releases at around 10 years away, whereas some believe we have decades to go before we see the technology perfected.

Self-driving vehicles have many obstacles still to overcome, as shown by the fatal Arizona crash involving an Uber autonomous vehicle. These challenges will take time to resolve as the brightest minds come together to build promising autonomous vehicles. In order to move past the hurdles, researchers have some work to do before cars can be trusted without human intervention.

Acceptance

Ever since the aforementioned incident involving the death of a pedestrian at the wheel of Uber’s autonomous car, many drivers are reluctant to hand over control to a smart vehicle. A survey conducted by AAA found that 73 percent of Americans would be too afraid to ride in a completely autonomous vehicle. That number is up from 63 percent the previous year.

Vehicle companies have begun giving passengers autonomous car tests so they can experience it for themselves. According to Waymo’s Krafcik, after an initial skeptical period, most riders resorted to playing on their phones, even falling asleep as the car navigated.

Weather Conditions

Varying weather conditions give rise to a whole new set of issues. Autonomous cars rely on cameras and sensors to navigate over roadways. If snow blocks the pavement, the car sensors can no longer view lane lines. Additionally, heavy fog and rain have the potential to disrupt the view of cameras.

Light beams used to locate obstacles could mistake snowflakes as obstacles in heavy snowfall. Radar is capable of seeing through the […]

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