State Of Autonomy: January Recap

Where’s Waymo

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. If you’re interested in a broader and darker conversation around human obsolescence, try subscribing to my newsletter, The Whimper.

Deployment claims were the name of the game in January. While CES was very much more of the same from past years (apart from some brazen folks like Aptiv taxiing visitors around in Strip traffic), much of the pomp and circumstance happened in print.

Waymo announced “some thousands more” self-driving Pacificas, some of which are coming to a town possibly near you — namely, Atlanta. GM supported their recent and questionable claim of launching self-driving vehicles in urban areas by 2019, and teased media with a real-life photoshop of their Bolt, whose lack of pedals and steering wheel offer a joy-crushing experience for both front seat passengers. Not to be outdone, Uber went H.A.M. and claimed they’d have a commercially viable autonomous vehicle on the road in 18 months, as part of their plan to be profitable within 3 years. Then again, perhaps the Uber timeline isn’t so far-fetched given that they’re also lobbying to get privately owned vehicles off the roads of urban cores.


Two articles coming this month to make up for the delay in posting the SAE Levels Explainer video. Put your reading pants on. Update: in speculation that the SAE will soon release a new iteration of J3016, I’mma hold off on the video until then. Or until I get sick of waiting.

This Month’s Highlights:

Market Predictions:

Coming In February:

Reactions From The Public:

Re: Argo AI Test Vehicle Hit In Pittsburgh As Truck Runs Red Light

Re: At-Fault Motorcyclist Sues GM Over Collision With Self-Driving Car

Re: Man In San Fran’s Mission District Attacks Autonomous Car