Get a load of this... General Motors will be testing their autonomous cars in New York City. Of all places!
This feels a lot like one of those times when your dad threw you in the deep end of a pool to teach you how to swim. Hopefully this is less traumatizing.
This trial run makes GM the first to test these self-driving vehicles in the state.
Governor Cuomo is full on board with the innovative leap, noting that such technological advances should save the city time and even lives.
Engineers will be in the cars, observing the trials and making sure everything works right, as well as monitoring/evaluating overall performance. Which is comforting, because many of us worry that even the best in autonomous vehicle technology, will be able to handle the irrational and often road raged drivers of NYC.
Manhattan is one of the most populated cities in the world. Think about the types of behaviors we see out on the streets every day around here... People running to cross the street in front of cars at the last minute, bikes nearly running us over dodging between cabs.
These vehicles will have to adapt and react to so many different situations, and essentially learn how to foresee human stupidity.
In one sense, we can assume that these cars would operate almost perfectly with other autonomous vehicles of their kind. But do they have the ability to accurately predict irrational driving by human drivers? It is possible that this system won't work to its full potential until the day that most (or all) cars on the road are self-driving.
This could go one of two ways... For now, let's have a little faith in the professionals, and wait and see just how smart these robot cars are.
Anything is possible, right?
[via The Verge]
[Feature Image Courtesy Michael Langille]