Despite some recent setbacks, self-driving cars are still moving forward.
- Many car companies have been rushing to make self-driving cars and robotaxis, but the autonomous cars might be further out than expected.
- Ford and Volkswagen have both pulled the plug on self-driving-car divisions, but that doesn’t mean the movement is over.
- Despite setbacks that many automakers are facing, autonomous cars could still be in store for the future.
Why it’s news
Car makers across the world have been racing to create a self-driving car. There have been successes and failures, but not everyone is giving up just yet.
Ford hit a major roadblock with the startup Argo AI. Ford invested a hefty amount of money into the company, but ultimately pulled the plug saying that self-driving cars are further out than expected.
That marked a big blow for the self-driving car industry. Other companies are still going full steam ahead on autonomous cars and will be riding the wave when the opportunity catches on.
What’s the point?
Self-driving cars have always been something people thought would be in the future.
The cars make things easier, can help with traffic efficiency and many other things. THe main thing is—they’re safer.
There are 6,420,000 auto accidents in the United States in a year and 98% of crashes are caused by human error, according to the U.S. office of motor vehicle management.
Self-driving cars could allow roads to be safer. Companies are working on programs that know the roads perfectly and can handle any situation, thus eliminating human error.
“Technology is not always the answer to everything,” said transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg. “But frankly, it would be hard to do worse than human drivers when it comes to what we could get to theoretically with the right kind of safe autonomous driving.”
Self-driving cars have accidents too, but considering that 98% of accidents are human error it is possible that the technology could fix that.
“If robots killed 10,000 people a year on the roads, there would be an uproar. But that would represent a 75% reduction in roadway deaths compared to where we are now. So we’ve got to make sure the reality and the perception of it is moving in the right direction,” says Buttigieg.