[VIDEOS] Self-Driving Car Companies Work on Trust With Drive Videos
One of the largest problems that makers of self-driving vehicles have had with the general public is a question of trust. Consumers are leery of handing over control to a computer system, such as the koala cars that Google was working on (until its self-driving car division split off into its own thing).
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This distrust was not helped by the fact that developers like Google were not terribly open about how the process was going, which came back to be a problem when it was revealed in the press that the self-driving cars had gotten into 11 accidents.
So, it seems, current developers of self-driving cars won’t be staying quiet. Instead, Cruise Automation (a GM subsidiary) and self-driving system startup Drive.ai (the one where the car would talk to you with emojis on the roof) have elected to show off their systems in video form on YouTube.
So far, neither company has many videos online (Cruise only has two, while Drive.ai only has one). But all offer a good look at how well automated driving has progressed.
Cruise Automation’s first video, titled “Election Day,” shows a self-driving car running around San Francisco. It displays its ability to drive normally, stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk, and pull around a vehicle blocking the lane.
The second video, titled “Dolores Park,” follows a different one of Cruise’s self-driving fleet (a Bolt named Albatross) through a different San Francisco neighborhood, filled with more four-way stops than I have ever driven through.
According to Cruise, these kinds of tests, where the driver selects a random destination in the Cruise app and has the car drive them there, happens hundreds of times per day across GM’s fleet of autonomous prototypes. GM conducts these tests in San Francisco; Scottsdale, Arizona; and Warren, Michigan, with plans to expand testing across Michigan and especially in Detroit.
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However, there is one small thing that makes these videos a little less impressive–both are recorded driving during fair weather, when visibility was great. So, said Drive.ai, what if we did a video of how our cars do at night in the rain?
Not badly, it seems.
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