The Daily Telegraph’s business reporter has written a damning article about driverless vehicles warning the dream is “all but dead”.
In a piece headlined “Silicon Valley’s driverless car dream is on the road to disaster“, Andrew Orlowski says another nail in the coffin was the announcement last week that America’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is investigating Tesla vehicles because of crashes with ambulances and fire engines with flashing lights on.
“When the obituary is finally written for the autonomous car, we should ask not why it failed, but why people ever thought it would succeed,” Orlowski writes. “When the public was asked what problems a self-driving car might encounter, the concerns raised were sensible. No one is more aware of danger than a driver. But drunk on their sense of destiny, the engineers seemed oblivious.
“As a Bloomberg report last week drily noted, “small disturbances like construction crews, bicyclists, left turns, and pedestrians remain headaches for computer drivers” adding that “right now, no driverless car from any company can gracefully handle rain, sleet, or snow.” Those “last few details” as the magazine (possibly sarcastically) calls them, remain insuperable.”
He writes about companies selling their interest in driverless technology and sceptic Christian Wolmar’s comments about how driverless cars cannot function if there are pedestrians around crossing the road.
He finishes his report saying that seven years ago when Google announced their car, “I mused that this may be an elaborate joke by Silicon Valley to bankrupt the established auto industry, wasting its resources in pursuit of an unachievable dream. But now the joke’s on Silicon Valley.”
(Picture – Yay Images)