Driverless cars propel us into an uncharted future

When federal auto regulators this month opened the door for development of Highly Automated Vehicles – the rest of us call them driverless cars – the news emphasized a need for strong oversight. The step is significant. But the real happening could be a historic public policy embrace of the arrival of artificial intelligence, the real driver of such vehicles. The guidelines issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation make some interesting observations related to artificial intelligence, or AI: ▪ Highly automated vehicles “hold a learning advantage over humans.” ▪ At their best, “the automated system can perform all driving tasks, under all conditions that a human driver could perform them.” ▪ The speed with which technology is advancing “threatens to outpace conventional regulatory processes and capabilities.” The development and acceptance of driverless…


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