Two relevant news about self driving cars in the recent days:
Ford, VW-backed Argo AI is shutting down (Techcrunch)
Argo was the joint venture between Ford and VW for autonomous driving
This is what Ford statement read:
Ford said in its third-quarter earnings report released Wednesday that it made a strategic decision to shift its resources to developing advanced driver assistance systems, and not autonomous vehicle technology that can be applied to robotaxis.
Tesla is under criminal investigation in the United States over claims that the company’s electric vehicles can drive themselves, three people familiar with the matter said.
As early as 2016, Tesla’s marketing materials have touted Autopilot’s capabilities. On a conference call that year, Elon Musk, the Tesla chief executive, described it as “probably better” than a human driver.
Last week, Musk said on another call Tesla would soon release an upgraded version of “full self-driving” software, allowing customers to travel “to your work, your friend’s house, to the grocery store without you touching the wheel”.
A video currently on the company’s website says: “The person in the driver’s seat is only there for legal reasons. He is not doing anything. The car is driving itself.”
However, the company also has explicitly warned drivers that they must keep their hands on the wheel and maintain control of their vehicles while using Autopilot.
If you are a frequent reader of this blog, you might recall my opinion “Autonomous driving: the right technology for the wrong problem”
Perhaps, the killer app of autonomous driving technology might be not getting rid of drivers, but getting rid of bureaucracy, driver’s licenses, etc.
It would be an adoption path that can coexist with the current regulation and environment and would expand the market, by making driving a car easier than riding a bike.