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Artificial Intelligence, your car, and you – Part two

8 months ago

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David Twohig | Engineer


30 November 2023

Let’s talk autonomous driving. There, I said it. I am about to talk about self-driving cars in a publication whose readers are here precisely because they love driving themselves. But I would be deserting my technical and journalistic duty if I did not at least touch on autonomous cars while we’re discussing the topic of Artificial Intelligence.

Because autonomous driving is a great example of the famous maxim, often attributed to Arthur C Clarke or Bill Gates, that people often overestimate what will happen in the next two years, but underestimate what will happen in 10.

As in part one, I have to be boringly specific with definitions here, so please bear with me. When I use the acronyms AD for autonomous driving, or AV for autonomous vehicles, I am talking about true autonomous vehicles. To get a little geeky (and I promise I won’t get too deep into this – that would take a whole other article) I’m talking about those vehicles qualified as Level 4 and Level 5 autonomous by the SAE, or Society of Automotive Engineers. I am not talking about the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) fitted to various Teslas, Audis, Mercedes, Cadillacs, Hondas, Nissans and so on that can take over steering and braking control temporarily on a well-marked highway, or at slow speeds in an urban setting. These are defined as Level 2 systems by the SAE. Any vehicle that requires driver input at any time, under any circumstances, is not, repeat not an autonomous vehicle.

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