‘Hands off the Steering Wheel’ Explores Where Driverless Cars are Heading

Dri­ver­less cars – also known as self-dri­ving cars and autonomous vehi­cles – have recent­ly become a heat­ed top­ic in the US. In the wake of Google’s launch of a test project fea­tur­ing its own self-dri­ving pods, debate has gone viral on the inter­net. There’s fear of pri­va­cy being vio­lat­ed, hack­ers tak­ing over con­trol of the car, and loss of per­son­al free­dom behind the wheel. On the oth­er side, there’s been much enthu­si­asm for the tech­nol­o­gy solv­ing huge prob­lems com­ing from car crash­es and wors­en­ing traf­fic con­ges­tion and grid­lock.

The polar­ized debate calls up two images – com­put­er­ized arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence sys­tem HAL 9000 becom­ing an antag­o­nist mur­der­ous­ly attempt­ing to take con­trol of the space­ship in “2001: A Space Odyssey;” and there’s KITT, a black Pon­ti­ac Fire­bird Trans Am that safe­ly trans­ports do-good action hero Michael Knight in “Knight Rid­er.” A new white paper on the sub­ject, “Hands off the Steer­ing Wheel – The state of autonomous vehi­cle gov­ern­ment poli­cies, test­ing projects – and when these vehi­cles will like­ly make it to roads,” explores these polar­iz­ing issues and what to expect in com­ing years.

Since Google’s announce­ment in May of this year, there’s been a wave of debate and analy­sis over this ground-break­ing tech­nol­o­gy and when it’s like­ly to show up in large num­bers on our roads. Beyond Google, Nis­san and oth­er car and truck mak­ers are mak­ing bold state­ments about it, and stud­ies have been released this sum­mer shar­ing per­spec­tives from con­sumers and trans­porta­tion and tech­nol­o­gy experts. High­lights of this white paper include details on states that have adopt­ed autonomous vehi­cle test­ing pro­grams and poli­cies, along with where it stands in the US gov­ern­ment and oth­er nations; and the role Google has played in self-dri­ving cars being test­ed in states, and the com­pa­ny poten­tial­ly enter­ing the auto­mo­tive busi­ness with its own car. Gen­er­al Motors has played a key role in the his­to­ry of autonomous vehi­cles dat­ing back to its

1956 short movie, “Key to the Future.” Tech­nol­o­gy sup­pli­ers like Cis­co and Con­ti­nen­tal are also play­ing an impor­tant role in devel­op­ing these autonomous vehi­cle sys­tems.

“Hands off the Steer­ing Wheel” also presents the lat­est in aca­d­e­m­ic, engi­neer­ing, and pol­i­cy stud­ies on the sub­ject mat­ter from orga­ni­za­tions includ­ing IEEE, SAE, and Nav­i­gant Research. Pub­lic opin­ion trends are explored that will like­ly influ­ence autonomous vehi­cle resis­tance and sup­port in the near future.

The white paper was writ­ten by Jon LeSage, edi­tor and pub­lish­er of , and media con­sul­tant at . The con­sult­ing prac­tice cre­ates con­tent, mar­ket­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and mar­ket intel­li­gence in clean trans­porta­tion, advanced and autonomous vehi­cles, and urban mobil­i­ty. Green Auto Mar­ket delves into these issues on a week­ly basis.

“Hands off the Steer­ing Wheel” digs deep into the sub­ject mat­ter that read­ers are very pas­sion­ate and opin­ion­at­ed about – and need to stay cur­rent and well informed on where it all stands. While the char­ac­ters of HAL 9000 and KITT come from sci­ence fic­tion, the top­ic of self-dri­ving, autonomous vehi­cles has late­ly been stir­ring more pas­sion­ate com­ments on social media, blogs, and edi­to­r­i­al think pieces than any­thing else seen for years in the auto­mo­tive and trans­porta­tion space.

 

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