State Of Autonomy: December Recap

Mitch Turck
Jan 4, 2017 · 3 min read

Every month, I recap the news articles I’ve consumed around autonomous vehicles, calling out the highlights and keeping track of market projections. This is also your chance, dear readers, to nominate a topic for discussion in the following month.

Uber poked the bear again this month, launching their “Pittsburgh Project” in the mother land of San Francisco. California’s officials shut the project down within hours — a cock-block that Arizona and Florida governors swooped in on, hoping to lure the ridesharing tech giant inside their respective free-wheeling state boundaries. It was classic Uber theater, but also a much-needed cold shower on the term autonomous: California agreed Uber was following the letter of the law, but felt it was violating the “spirit.” In other words, no one in government knows what to make of these things.

The soap opera afforded us a peek into what the near-term legislative environment might look like: state governments posturing either as leaders or laggards, most of them doing so for reasons unrelated to the perspectives of their constituency. Still, it’s interesting as a long-term view: technology now scales so fast that laggards have little to fear. Then again, waiting for others to make a move becomes contagious inside company walls, so you could say its design is self-defeating: lagging behind may be a racing strategy, but as a business practice, it usually mutates into ankle weights.

This Month’s Highlights:

Market Predictions:

Auro added to Self-Piloted, 2018, Public Trial: Auro safely demonstrated its golf cart robocar at Santa Clara University, and in addition to planning full production in 2018, aims for trial rollouts in 15 campuses by end of 2017.

Coming In January:

  • How Transportation Companies Will Turn Your Town Into The Sims (late January)
  • Your suggestion? Send a tweet to Mitch Turck

Reactions From The Public:

Re: First Autonomous Drone Delivery By Amazon

Re: Google Giving Up On The Manufacturing Side Of Self-Driving Cars

Re: Michigan’s Favorable Autonomous Vehicle Regulations

Mitch Turck

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Future of work, future of mobility, future of ice cream.

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