Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Any Day Now

Really really close.

And then there's the public. It's an open question about whether the public is ready to adopt robotic cars. Even if they're open to the idea — and Waymo's data suggests about half of them are — they're likely to have plenty of questions about how they will use such cars, how they will work, and how they will handle particular driving scenarios.

In that area alone, Waymo seems to have a lot of work to do. When asked by reporters how its cars would handle particular situations like obstacles in the road that might block traffic, representatives gave conflicting answers. One even suggested that the cars might not move until an obstruction — a moving van that was double parked, say — were cleared out of the way.

The technology will get better and better and closer and closer, but until these scenarios are not an issue these things will just be annoying to use. The focus on the hardest problems - like anywhere-to-anywhere taxi service - is just bizarre to me. Well, maybe not. Other workable applications are basically driverless buses (quasi-fixed route services) and while there might be some useful applications for that...just not that many.