No One Has a Clue About How to Define ‘Self-Driving Car’, and It’s Becoming a Problem

No One Has a Clue About How to Define ‘Self-Driving Car’, and It’s Becoming a Problem

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  • “Hey! You in the driver’s seat! Are you driving that car?”


    I don’t see the difficulty.

  • The way I see it is if a vehicle has a steering wheel, brakes and accelerator it is *not* a self-driving vehicle. It is a manually operated vehicle that has various levels of technical “driving assist”. You must have driving lessons and be licensed to operate such a vehicle. And you’d better pay attention when operating it in self-drive mode or you will be at risk of grave injury or death. To me a level 4 autonomy vehicle is actually *more* dangerous than straight up manual driving.

    If the vehicle has no manual controls it is a self-driving vehicle. You do not need driving lessons or a license to utilize this vehicle. You get in and tell the vehicle where to go with your voice or perhaps on an app on your mobile. You are not concerned with any aspect of the operation of the vehicle. You arrive at your destination in safety and comfort. This is what is defined as a level 5 autonomy SDV.

    I would also add that in a vague sort of way, I don’t consider a vehicle with an internal combustion engine to be truly self driving. There are still far too many things that could go wrong. All SDVS must not only be level 5 autonomy but *electric* as well. Even “hydrogen fuel cells” seems a bit dodgy to me.

    It’s time to start thinking like we are in the 21st century and not 1975.

  • Language takes time to adjust to new technology. Horseless carriages became “auto-mobiles” and later “autos” and “cars” and “trucks.”

    Eventually the cumbersome phrase “self-driving car” will morph into a single-syllable word. What that will be I have no idea. Perhaps one day “Lyft” or “Uber” or even “Taxi” will come to signify the typical robotic cars for hire. Level 4 cars will be basically all cars, so we might just continue to refer to them by make and model, “Tesla” or “Bolt” and so on.

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