This Week I Learned: Self-Driving Cars Edition

Self-driving cars have been gathering momentum in the news lately. Last month Nissan announced it would be ready to bring them to the market by 2020, and more recently, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk stated that in the next three years, his company would prepare an autopilot that could handle 90% of miles driven.

Perhaps the best overview of the topic is Popular Science’s primer on its technology, regulation, and commercialisation. As to what it might enable, Ryan Avent at The Economist has some suggestions (scroll down to the bottom of his piece), and also check out the comments thread.

That said, there will be hurdles, both legal and psychological. Per Bloomberg:

Ninety percent of respondents in a survey sponsored by insurer Chubb Corp., and released by ORC International Ltd. today, said a licensed driver should be in the driver’s seat of a driverless car. Of the survey’s 1,000 respondents, only one-third said they’d feel safe on a road with autonomous vehicles.

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