Let’s Build Self-Driving Vehicles

Photo by Travis Vanderstad

Ah yes, 2016 is among us as are autonomous vehicles. Let’s drink and be merry, eat and be fat (Just today though and not too much. Some of us have work tomorrow) because we’ve come rather far. They’re no longer a novel concept belonging in movies like I, Robot. They’ve been slowly integrating into our lives via assisted driving, mass transportation, etc. Louis CK once commented how can one be bored when the answers to the universe can be found in our personal cell phones. Here’s one question to which you can find the answer on your phone: how to build a self-driving vehicle? It’s simpler than you think and because of DriveAI, anyone will be able to do it. What we’re all embarking upon is not only the next step in transportation, but also how we solve problems: in an open source team effort.

Relatively few Fortune 500 auto manufacturers and tech companies are involved in developing autonomous vehicles to some capacity. That’s a lot of capital being thrown around and man power being applied. It’s not enough. Leaving the responsibility of developing the system of literally moving each other from point A to point B to a select few won’t get us very far. We need to tackle this challenge together. An open-source project allows researchers across the world to collect and analyze data in real time. Suggestions and adjustments can be made when the system isn’t up to par with the demands of the people.

When I was a child I spent some of my afternoons playing with puzzles (after my daily dose of Dragon Ball Z of course). I would connect as many pieces I could, no matter how seemingly small. After having placed together groups of connected small pieces, I had an easier time visualizing the larger, more complete picture. Let’s take a similar approach to the technical challenges being encountered with autonomous vehicles. Writing a bunch of proprietary code results in wasted time and effort, especially if everyone is doing the same thing. You don’t have to be an all around safety and vehicle expert, but when you plug in what you know and how things operate, we’ll drive farther than we initially intended.

So yes, it’s a celebration of how far we’ve come, but I ask you to raise your glasses and toast to taking it all even further. It’s time we build.

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