Oh, please. All the handwaving in this article is so fast that I’m amazed the writer didn’t take off from the ground and fly through the air like a jet.
“The combustion vehicle won’t disappear gradually — it’ll happen in the space of a year or two.”
More like a GENERATION or two. You have multiple major hurdles to overcome, not the smallest being “trust the machine” (and “trust the people who own and control the machine”).
Autonomous vehicles? No, not yet, not soon. They talk about the ability to detect and recognize obstacles, but that’s only *PART* of driving — and by far the easiest part. The HARD part is UNDERSTANDING what you’re doing — looking forward and seeing that guy swerving sixteen cars ahead, that’s going to cause the accident that you need to start braking for NOW. Seeing the load on that semi in front of you vibrating and shifting, and realizing you need to back way, way off or have the load dropped on you. Watching the way that tree is moving and realizing that it might be getting ready to fall across the road.
I work in this area. I know *exactly* what they can, and can’t, do with their autonomous vehicles. And just how very much they are constrained by assumptions and conditions.
Machines do not UNDERSTAND what they are doing, yet. They are just crunching numbers. They can’t abstract and make decisions based on anything we would recognize as judgment.
And this is leaving aside the HUGE problem of “and how sure are you this can’t be hacked or suborned?”. There’s a lot of evidence that even NON-autonomous vehicles of the more modern vintages can be hacked and controlled remotely. Do you want to get into a car that’s ALREADY driving on autonomous, where you can’t even notice at first that something else is driving?