Driving Consumers Toward Automated Vehicles

Nov 3, 2017 | 09:00 GMT

A fully autonomous Ford Fusion wends its way through a test course in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Ford Motor Co. is just one of several companies hoping to bring automated vehicles onto the roadways. But the technology required to operate self-driving cars is evolving faster than public policy and opinion are.



  • Recent technological developments will keep automated vehicles on track for a limited commercial launch in the 2020s.
  • Despite the advancements, however, policy initiatives to facilitate the use of automated vehicles — including regulations over the technology and over data privacy — will continue to lag behind.
  • Public acceptance of automated vehicles will be the biggest obstacle to their incorporation into the global fleet and will probably limit their use over the next 10-15 years. 

The phrase "self-driving car" is a bit of a misnomer. Despite what the name suggests, automated vehicles do have a driver -- just not the kind we're used to. Developing a computer that is robust enough to operate an automated vehicle, small enough to fit in the car and efficient enough not to drain its power source is a difficult and costly endeavor. But California-based computing company NVIDIA seems to have solved the riddle with its latest-generation processing platform, Pegasus. Roughly the size of a license plate and 13 times more powerful than previous iterations, the newly unveiled system will meet the requirements to run a fully automated vehicle and will be available starting in mid-2018. Pegasus is just one of the rapid-fire developments in computing power, data processing and artificial intelligence that will bring the automated vehicle industry closer to its goal of releasing the technology onto select markets...

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