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The Four Main Roadblocks Holding ­p Self-Driving Cars


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Google's self-driving car.

According to New Scientist, four major obstacles face developers of autonomous vehicles.

Credit: Google

There are four major obstacles facing developers of autonomous vehicles.

First, the transition between human and software control is a big challenge in automating all kinds of processes. Human-robot interaction is difficult and the ability to do tests in this area is limited by the number of robots already performing real-world tasks. One possible solution is to make driving systems completely autonomous, which already has occurred in self-driving trains.

Another problem facing autonomous vehicle developers is the weather, as modern machine-vision systems that use ordinary cameras cannot see as well in wet and misty conditions, which hinders the cars' navigation software. Equipping cars with a wider array of sensors, as well as embedding sensors into the environment, will help advance the technology.

Security also is a major concern for autonomous vehicle developers. Car companies will thoroughly examine their software, but they will still have problems, and when issues arise, companies will need to fix them as fast as possible. Autonomous vehicle software also should require minimal effort on the part of the user.

inally, there are legal and personal issues, as manufacturers will have to show the cars are at least as safe as conventional vehicles. However, to demonstrate equivalent safety for self-driving cars, manufacturers will have to cover billions of miles autonomously, which is unfeasible without mass adoption.

From New Scientist
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