Are Self-Driving Vehicles in our Near Future?

Flying cars might not be in our near future, but it looks like autonomous vehicles might be here sooner rather than later.

During a hearing organized by the House transportation committee, this new technology was a hot topic for discussion.

“It’s not a question of if, but when,” said Carnegie Mellon professor Raj Rajkumar, who emphasized the safety upside of autonomous vehicle technology. “This technology will basically prevent human beings from hurting themselves.”

In fact, Nissan’s Andrew Christensen noted his company has set 2020 as the target date for a roadworthy vehicle, though GM’s Mike Robinson anticipates a more gradual introduction of semi-autonomous components, such as his company’s “super-cruise,” which would allow for periods of self-steering on highway stretches.

But the real hurdles more social and economic than technical. The public will not only have to be convinced of the basic street skills of driverless cars — the technology will have to be secured against outside tampering. Additionally, manufacturers will need to know what the liability implications are going to be before making the investment needed for full-scale production.

Legislators were mixed in their opinions. Nevada Congresswoman Dins Titus noted her state already had laws on the books regarding driverless test vehicles, while New Jersey Rep. Albio Sires wondered how such a vehicle could possibly negotiate the streets of New York City and called such a future “scary.” Rep. Roger Williams, a Texas car dealer by profession, suggested any such vehicle would need to be able pull a horse trailer to sell in his state.

To read more, check out the original article from Hard Working Trucks.

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