Monday, February 13, 2017
Self-driving cars are on the way but one feature of their computerized systems still doesn't work. That is handling road construction. Lane change signs and traffic cones confuse the systems set up for straight-through driving. It presents a major marketing and PR challenge for auto manufacturers as well. How do you sell a feature that works some of the time? What kind of PR must one do to teach people that construction zones require hands-on driving? Vehicle manufacturers have a major step to make before they put autonomous systems into cars and trucks. Somehow they will need to teach their software to guide around barriers or to slow or stop until someone puts a hand to the wheel. One can imagine the dangers lurking in this hand-off from automatic to gray-cell driving, especially if the human has been distracted. The manufacturers will find a solution but it might delay the debut of autonomous driving, which would be a pity.