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Driverless Cars Need Some More Sensing Power

In 2018, the question of driverless cars is no longer “if,” but rather “when,” writes mobility entrepreneur Amit Nisenbaum

Amit Nisenbaum  :  2018-10-02T08:12:35..

For a century, the automotive industry advanced at a measured pace. Then the vision of the driverless car roared onto the scene and things changed.

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Three factors were at play: companies like Uber and Lyft successfully brought to the market sharing models capped in value by the need for a human driver; adoption of electric vehicles, which can benefit from driverless technologies, increased; and finally, Tesla cars with partial autonomous capabilities attained high market visibility.

These market trends were complemented by technology breakthroughs in the field of computer vision, and more broadly in artificial intelligence and in computation architecture.

In 2018, the question of driverless cars is no longer “if”, but rather “when.” Autonomous vehicles are already hitting the roads in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, and Jerusalem. Even the heightened attention to the involvement of these cars in accidents highlights the intense public interest.

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To fully realize autonomous capabilities, vehicles will need to get some additional sensing power. They will need weather agnostic sensors, and also a way to get more information from their surroundings and roads.

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Developers will also need to address the needs of a hands-free driver, for the in-between phase in which a designated driver will still be required. Public trust will have to be earned, possibly with successful pilots on designated roads, and regulators will need to be won over.

Amir Nisenbaum is the CEO of Israel-based mobility startup Tactile Mobility.

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