A decade ago, the cars that can drive themselves were just a subject of sci-fi movies.  But today, due to companies like Waymo, Tesla, Ford and many others, autonomous vehicles are quickly becoming a reality.  Here’s a glimpse of where we are beyond the headlines.

There are five benchmark levels established to define autonomous features.  They range from Level Zero, where the vehicle is not automated at all, to Level 5, which means it can drive itself on all roads and in all conditions, making the human behind the wheel – and the steering wheel itself – redundant.

Current “driver assistance” systems are Level 2 in the jargon, and the driver is meant to keep his or her hands firmly on the wheel.

We review the two major technologies being tested: lidar sensors and camera sensors and discuss the pros and cons of each of them.  Will there be a winner or will the two technologies co-exist with cars using both of them sharing the roads?

KPMG Study: The study rated countries on 26 variables within 4 pillars:

  • policy & legislation
  • technology & innovation
  • infrastructure
  • consumer acceptance

Netherlands, Singapore, USA, Sweden and the UK are the top five countries best prepared for autonomous vehicles.

Meanwhile, Elon Musk claims Tesla will have 1 million robo-taxis on the roads next year.  However, we acknowledge that he’s missed the mark before and legislation may not be ready for such claim.

On the commercial side, self-driving technology may be ready sooner rather than later and it could take jobs away from people like truck drivers, delivery drivers and other individuals working in the transportation sector.

Always and interesting topic that we will very likely revisit in the near future. Take a listen and let me know what you think!

Check our other stuff out too:

The Edge

Autonomous Vehicles - Beyond the Headlines - MGR Unplugged Podcast