Thanks to Bill Gutelius from Active Imaging Systems for the tip on this detailed article in the MIT Technology Review on the time frame for widespread availability of driverless cars. Given some of the hype around Google’s autonomous vehicles some might think they are just around the corner, so to speak, but the author of the article identifies some key roadblocks – couldn’t resist.
For example, “For one thing, many of the sensors and computers found in BMW’s car, and in other prototypes, are too expensive to be deployed widely. And achieving even more complete automation will probably mean using more advanced, more expensive sensors and computers. The spinning laser instrument, or LIDAR, seen on the roof of Google’s cars, for instance, provides the best 3-D image of the surrounding world, accurate down to two centimeters, but sells for around $80,000. Such instruments will also need to be miniaturized and redesigned, adding more cost, since few car designers would slap the existing ones on top of a sleek new model.
See what it was like to go for a test drive in a BMW on the Autobahn.