The long road to the autonomous cars

The technology and trade media is abuzz with deadlines for the arrival of autonomous cars, but pundits and technology observers are clearly missing a point: it’s evolution, not revolution. The fact that the Traffic Safety Administration has defined five different levels for self-driving cars — complete driver control to complete autonomy — is a testament to the evolutionary approach. Autonomous cars embody a hugely complex proposition with basic building blocks coming from multiple technology realms. There are so many intricacies in a labyrinth of technologies — sensors, cameras, LiDARs, mapping, algorithms, deep learning, artificial intelligence, etc. — and that makes self-driving vehicles a gigantic undertaking that will most likely evolve in the coming years. BMW’s semi-autonomous cars aim to put safety first. The autonomous driving technologies seem within reach, but…


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