For years, automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have been working towards realizing the dream of self-driving cars that travel without interruption on public roads, carrying their passengers in comfort and safety to their destinations.
There have been major strides towards this new reality. Many automotive companies are already embedding software with varying levels of autonomous capability into their vehicles, although only a handful currently have made such features controllable by the driver.
What’s holding things up? Availability of the technology needed for autonomous cars is not usually a problem – indeed, the technology is already installed in many cars currently on the road. A more significant barrier to progress in this area is posed by issues around the regulation and interoperability of the technologies.
It’s also well known that some companies have run into serious trouble after making autonomous driving functionality accessible: There have been injuries and even fatalities among drivers and pedestrians. Terrible outcomes such as these further complicate the legal issues surrounding the development and deployment of the technology, potentially setting back the rate of development by years. So how can we safely accelerate towards an autonomous driving future?