Autonomous Cars: From Danger to a Savior

The public will become increasingly aware of progress in the development of self-driving automobiles this year, according to Wikistrat’s Dr. Bruce Wald.

New York traffic

Flickr Photo/Joiseyshowa

The continued advancement of the capabilities of artificial intelligence through the convergence of big data, powerful computers and domain-agnostic machine learning has previously been largely invisible to most people — though nearly everyone understands the cognitive skills required to drive an automobile in traffic.

Not only has the public become aware that Google’s autonomous vehicles have accumulated many miles on public highways (with their few accidents in fact caused by other drivers), but major car makers have also announced their own efforts to build self-driving cars. Some have even demonstrated their prototypes.

Although fully autonomous cars will not be offered to the public until more experience is gained, by late 2015 some manufacturers were boasting that their new models are incorporating some of the underlying technologies, including collision-avoidance and lane-keeping capabilities. These trends will have an important impact on the public perception of autonomous vehicles. One of the main issues is the fear they will make the decisions instead of the driver — and not always the “right one.”

The introduction of collision-avoidance capabilities and other lifesaving technologies will increase their value and image of AI with the consumer public in 2016, pushing companies to invest more in it.

Click here to read all of Wikistrat’s predictions for 2016.

About the author


Dr. Bruce Wald
Wikistrat Senior Analyst
Former Director for all NRL C4I and military space technology and systems at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

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