State Of Autonomy: September 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.

The big news this month? Our fair government has put together a surprisingly informed set of (voluntary for now) guidelines on the development and operation of autonomous vehicles. Obviously it’s no short read, and if you’re like me, there’s a low ceiling on how important any litigious perspective can be in an era where technological growth outpaces the human capacity to implement it. That said, the Department Of Transportation could have royally screwed the pooch with such a policy, but they successfully avoided doing so. Certainly deserving of a hat tip.

This Month’s Highlights:

Market Predictions:

SoftBank added to Self-Piloted, 2019, Speculation: SoftBank is a Japanese telecom company who knows enough to be pursuing AI and autonomous transportation. Their recent market claim (the first from them I’ve seen) purports to have self-driving shuttle buses in Japan starting 2019. I haven’t come across any publicized demonstrations of their work to date.

Otto added to Hybrid-Piloted, 2017, R&D Demo: Fresh off their recent acquisition at the hands of Uber, Otto announced that they will have their tech in commercial trucks at some point in 2017. That “tech”, as far as it plans to be implemented, is pretty innocuous — highway cruise under self-driving mode, with all other driving (including on/off-ramps) still left up to the guy or gal in the greasy flannel shirt behind the wheel.

Coming In October:

  • Can You Solve These Driverless Car Problems? (early October)
  • Fumbling The Hand-Off Pt. 2: Driver’s Ed In The New Era (late October)
  • Your suggestion? Send a tweet to Mitch Turck

Reactions From The Public:

Re: Releasing An Aftermarket Self-Driving Unit For Consumers

Re: Autonomous Cars And The Future Of Employment

Re: Connected Infrastructure For Autonomous Transportation

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