* Tribune editorial…
Transportation planning experts have told us Chicago isn’t doing enough to ready itself for a driverless future. The [mayor’s mobility task force report] agrees. “Chicago is behind many other cities in (driverless) technology deployment,” the report states, adding, “without active engagement by the city … technology deployment will likely be disjointed, poorly organized.”
The task force suggests setting up a working group that can brainstorm what infrastructure changes the city needs for the advent of a driverless world. It also recommends that the city should consider pilot projects that introduce Chicagoans to driverless vehicles and “help build trust” in the technology.
Cities shouldn’t have to alter their basic infrastructure to accommodate “driverless” technology, which doesn’t even exist yet. As if there’s even room to do that in places like Chicago.
If manufacturers think they can make driverless cars, then they need to work in the real world. If your car can’t be trusted to drive itself down Western Ave. and navigate a school-zone pickup, then don’t put it on the street.
And there is zero reason for state and local governments to “help build trust” in what is now vaporware. Let the for-profit companies which are spending billions on this project handle the public relations.
Assistive driving is great. Don’t get me wrong. Things like automated parking and radar work pretty well in good weather. But there’s always a line like this buried in otherwise breathless stories about these so-called autonomous vehicles…
Two Kroger markets in Houston are rolling out a self-driving car program, in which orders can be placed online and delivered right to your home without a driver. […]
“There will still be safety drivers in them.”
* And the tech is not just around the corner, either…
Many luxury cars now have level two autonomy, as defined by America’s Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
It includes partial automation in some situations, but still requires a driver to be in control at all times, something most level two cars warn drivers of.
The dream of full autonomy — known as level five — appears many years away.
Last month BMW and Mercedes-Benz — two of the most advanced manufacturers with driverless technology — announced they would be joining forces on the development of autonomous technologies.
However, the two German automotive giants are only forecasting level four autonomy by 2025.
The goal of having no driver at all appears well beyond that.