The race to bring the first robot car to market intensified with Baidu’s announcement. Google showed off a prototype self-driving car in December. Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen AG’s Audi unit are testing them, too. Others, such as Toyota, Honda and General Motors, are developing technologies to assist, if not replace, human drivers. Tesla Motors Inc.’s Model S has an “autopilot” mode. Apple revealed last month that it’s also working on an electric car, although it’s unclear what automated features it might have.
What’s also unclear are the regulatory hurdles the invention might have to overcome. Five US states have passed laws allowing them, with certain conditions, and six more are considering them, according to researchers at Stanford Law School.
I think driverless cars are the future for public transport. A train and a bus can only take you between two fixed points. A driverless shuttle can pick you up and drop you off door to door.
Once driverless cars become widely available as a form of public transport, people might well abandon their own vehicles. It’s inefficient to have capital locked up in a car which gets used for only an hour or so a day, if that.
Should we start planning for the future, such as dedicated lanes for driverless cars as well as buses?