[LINK] Will humans be banned from driving?

Jim Birch planetjim at gmail.com
Wed Jun 1 16:19:08 AEST 2016

This autonomous off-road vehicle navigates rough terrain.  It has not
collided with another vehicle in 5 years operation and has no steering
wheel for human override:


Mind you it's not the fastest, 10 km/year.

Back on earth, it's a matter of horse for courses.  If a driverless taxi
with no steering wheel arrived to take me 5 km across town I'd get in.  i
think this sort of commodity task will come first.  I think the primary
push into driverless cars will not the oo-ah of a robot driver but will be
economic: lower cost driverless vehicles owned by a fleet manager.  A lot
of people would be happy to not own a car.  Or not own the second car which
is used around town.  This kind of capability is more or less available now
in terms of technology but there are social, legal, political, acceptance,
investment and production steps still to sort out.  The technology will

At the far end, there are some driving tasks that will stay with human for
a long time, maybe for ever, eg ambulances, transporting non standard
things to non standard locations, picking a camping site.  Machine vision
can distinguish between the road and the ditch but it can't look into the
operators head.  Anything where the vehicle positioning is more than an
A-to-B trip may need human intervention.  (At least until the robots do the
whole job, say drive to the accident site, clean up the mess, generate the
human error story, collect the bodies and bring it all back to base.)


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