State Of Autonomy: June Recap
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.
After some thoughts and scribbles on how to best document the market projections of self-driving vehicle technology, I landed on the graphic below, which you’ll see shortly after this overcooked explanation:
If the chart looks complicated, it’s because the industry is breeding complication. The idea here was to deliver some clarity while also emphasizing the importance of taking any claims with a grain of salt. Traditional auto manufacturers will tell any tech publication that they’re building towards “full autonomy”, while in the same breath addressing their customers with the ol’ “…but we’ll never remove the driver.” Those two concepts don’t mix. If the Tesla accident this month tells us anything, it’s that we need to be more critical of what the technology actually does vs. what the PR spin says it does.
The columns are my own perspective on the market, and don’t line up cleanly with the NHTSA’s “levels of automation” primarily because I think the NHTSA is wrong, but also because I think it’s useful for the average person to see the ADAS column and come to grips with just how much progress conventional vehicles have already made. It’s all part of the same story — though I do regret not finding a way to fit V2X in as its own column, since V2X alone is enough to revolutionize road traffic, even if we kept humans at the wheel.
Obviously this chart is highly subjective, as it’s difficult to say whose behind-the-scenes research is actually legitimate and who’s just patching together ADAS features for the sake of a sound bite. That said, it’s certainly not random placement — every company that is ahead of another is there because of what I’ve read or inferred. If you’re looking for a rationale as to why I put some company anywhere, or have a suggestion on updated claims, please shoot me a tweet so I can improve the visual.
This Month’s Highlights:
Coming In July:
- Why Can’t Consumers Stop Driverless Cars? (mid July)
- Humans And Machines: Fumbling The Hand-Off (late July)
- Your suggestion? Send a tweet to @mitchturck
Reactions From The Public:
Re: Tesla’s Reporting Of A Fatal Accident During Autopilot Operation
Re: Study Of Potential Passenger Behavior In Driverless Cars
Re: Announcement From A UK Insurance Firm That They Will Cover AVs