The Biggest Problem for Self-Driving Cars? Humans


Skeptics of self-driving cars say what's holding up the technology is that drivers don't want it. But some experts say demand isn't really the question yet; they say we're really not close to having safe autonomous cars -- despite what Tesla and Mercedes claim.

David Cole is chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research. He says the benefits would be obvious.

"A 90% reduction of accidents, fatalities, serious injuries; secondary benefits -- lower insurance costs; less expensive emergency rooms and hospitals."

But Cole says although Tesla is close, it's not close enough.

"People will say 'well, if it's 99% good that's sufficient,' but that's not even close; it's got to be 99.999999 and so on."

Cole says truly autonomous cars are probably decades, not years, away.

"The people that I think are really quite knowledgeable in this area, that I've talked to, talk about 20 to 30 years; now it may be sooner than that but it's not like in two years, in the model year."

The good news is Cole says you may not need a hundred grand to buy one of these cars. He says GM and Ford lead the way in self-driving technology -- not Tesla and Mercedes.


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