This year has seen a lightning fast advance in self-driving technology. What will 2017 hold?
We’ll take a break from the usual critique or support of autonomous cars and try to look at the current state of affairs without judgment. That’s because thanks to Wired magazine’s video report car, we now have a pretty good idea of how autonomous cars did during 2016. As turbulent as the year was, there’s no doubt that it was a necessary year full of a lot of change for the industry, and at the forefront of that change has been robotic cars.
On one front there is Google, which has crossed the milestone of having its self-driving cars travel over 2 million miles. Despite the breakthrough, the Google Car may be facing some roadblocks that will likely keep it from coming to fruition, but for now it seems like Google has wised up and stuck to focusing on the software aspect of the autonomous car.
On the other hand there is Tesla, which saw the highly publicized death of Joshua Brown, who had relinquished control of his vehicle to the Autopilot system. Following the tragedy, Tesla rolled out an improved version of Autopilot’s hardware and software, which Elon Musk promises is nearly ready for full autonomous use on public roads. And then of course there is Uber, which is toiling around the clock breaking rules and dodging regulations to put its drivers out of a job. And why shouldn’t it? It stands to move its share of your last Uber ride from 20 to 80 percent if it can pull it off.