DeAnn Owens
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The AP Says Autonomous Cars Do Not Exist

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2021 Cadillac Escalade
2021 Cadillac Escalade interior equipped with Cadillac Super Cruise
Photo: Cadillac

Since talk, speculation, and opinions about self-driving vehicles are ever-present in the news, it’s easy to believe that they’re running rampant on roads today. Although self-driving vehicles may become a reality sometime in the near-ish future, the truth is, fully “autonomous” vehicles aren’t actually in operation. Vehicles that boast driver-assist tech that help with specific driving operations are available, but that tech offers “assistance” not complete control. In other words, fully autonomous vehicles are yet to dominate the automotive industry.

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Because of this, the be-all-end-all authority on the English language and its rules of grammar, the Associated Press, is urging people to abandon terms such as autonomous and self-driving until they apply to vehicles that actually exist.

On Twitter, the AP also explained that the term semi-autonomous isn’t accurate either because the term implies self-driving capabilities. But even with the most advanced tech that appears to take over driver controls, a human driver still has to be present in case the tech fails. Don’t use driverless either says The AP. You can use the term partially automated, though.

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Tech like Cadillac Super Cruise, which earned the 2019 Autoblog Technology of the Year Award and the Best of What’s New Award from Popular Science in 2018, can fool you into believing we’re living in a driverless society. But, even with this innovative tech, your driving focus and skills are necessary at all times. Until you can fully check out when driving allowing tech to safely do the work for you, avoid using words that give cars more credit than they deserve.