Tesla's Autopilot uses a combination of sensors and cameras to monitor the car's environment. The recent crash of Tesla Model S under Autopilot control has raised some serious concerns about the safety of autonomous driving features on Teslas, in particular, and all cars in general. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)--the organization that offers the 5-star safety rating systems for new cars--is investigating the details of the unfortunate incident and may come up with more guidelines in this area, which many people believe is severely lacking in any real oversight. Much has already been written on the issue, but everything I've seen has ignored the key question that this incident has brought to our attention. Is it really reasonable or safe to offer a semi-autonomous driving mode, where a driver temporarily gives over complete control of an auto to computer-controlled systems within the car, but then needs to take it back under certain situations (such as a potential safety hazard)?
"The cutting-edge of autonomous driving has shifted squarely to deep learning. Even traditional autonomous driving teams have'sprinkled on' some deep learning, but Drive.ai is at the forefront of leveraging deep learning to build a truly modern autonomous driving software stack. "The leap from transactional automation to cognitive automation is imminent and it will forever transform the way we work," says Frederic Laluyaux, President and CEO of Aera. "At Aera, we deliver the technology that enables the Self-Driving Enterprise: a cognitive operating system that connects you with your business and autonomously orchestrates your operations." Said Luis Dussan, CEO of AEye.
How soon will we have access to vehicles that don't require human control? Are driverless cars just around the corner? What will our travel be like if we're spending a lot less time behind the wheel? What technology actually makes autonomous driving possible? What is autonomous driving, anyway, and what do the different levels entail?
General Motors Co. GM -1.12 % 's proposed purchase of tiny Cruise Automation Inc. for more than 1 billion would be one of the auto industry's biggest Silicon Valley acquisitions to date. And it would certainly not be the last. Auto makers and car-parts suppliers have hooked into tech startups in recent years to boost their in-vehicle connectivity and to accelerate autonomous-car development. The Bay Area already is dotted with auto-industry outposts funding or recruiting Silicon Valley engineering talent to keep pace with Alphabet Inc. GOOGL -0.36 % 's Google X and others working on self-driving cars. Carol Reiley, president of Bay Area autonomous-driving startup Drive.ai, said her company, which like Cruise Automation and Zoox has been operating under the radar, just raised 12 million from venture-capital investors.
Most car companies are remaking themselves into tech startups as they move toward offering fully autonomous self-driving vehicles. Yet thousands of tractors already use self-driving kits as do hundreds of tugs, lifts and trucks. Self-driving aftermarket kits are beginning to be offered in multiple markets. Cruise Automation just got acquired by GM for 1 billion. Up until now Cruise was known as the developer of a 16,000 aftermarket kit to turn select cars into self-driving cars.