How many travelers will actually agree to ride in a robo-taxi? And how will motorists react when a self-driving vehicle pulls up next to them?
Now that automated fleets are hitting the streets, computer-chip giant Intel is taking steps to prepare a wary public. In recent months, the company:
Launched a TV ad campaign featuring basketball star LeBron James getting his first ride in a self-driving vehicle.
Proposed a standard industrywide "do-no-harm" software program to ensure safe operation of automated vehicles.
Confirmed plans to deploy a fleet of 25 self-driving vehicles for road tests this year in California and Phoenix, giving journalists and the public an opportunity to see the vehicles up close.
"We have to get people used to the idea that this is coming," said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, in an interview with Automotive News.
"When I talk to people, not everybody believes that it is coming as quickly as those of us in the industry know."
Starting late this year, Intel will roll out a batch of 25 vehicles every three months until it has 100 automated cars on the road in Europe, the United States and Israel.
The fleet will include a mix of models from most major manufacturers. Each car will be fitted with Intel's Xeon processor, which calculates vehicle routes, paired with Mobileye's EyeQ chip, which analyzes sensor data to map the road.