Looking Ahead to an Autonomous Future | Talking Cars with Consumer Reports #126

Looking Ahead to an Autonomous Future | Talking Cars with Consumer Reports #126

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All. Right everybody, welcome to a special edition of, talking cars I am Wendy bounds I'm the editorial director and chief content officer here, at Consumer Reports I am so pleased to be a guest host here today along, with your favorite talking, car experts. As part of our annual meeting here, at the Auto test center in Connecticut. We are joined by a fabulous. Live audience you just heard them a moment ago they, are subscribers. They are our donors, our fan base for talking cars our employees. And our board members they've been getting a whirlwind. Tour and even a few laps around the track I hear so, our focus today is self-driving. Cars, and how that fast-moving, technology, is already changing the way we drive we, are going to be going to our audience for some questions at the end of the show so I hope you'll stick around a lot, of ground to cover I want to get right to it and introduce our folks here Jake Fisher all, your loyal viewers know you but for newcomers tell, us a little bit about what you do at the track I'm Jake, Fisher I'm the director of auto testing here which means they actually pay me to play with cars which is really great so. Under, me it's all the track, testing that we do out here as well as the stuff that we get in terms of survey, so a lot of people are very familiar with reliability. In that piece of it but we also do a lot of survey asking, about autonomous. Features, safety. Features and. Satisfaction. Of the whole vehicle great, June stock burger they call you the glue. The. Voice of reason for yet, I'm, Jennifer stock burger director of operations. Here at the Trax kinds of fancy term the, team that does the day-to-day operations. Here at the track reports to me I'm also a part of the safety team which includes, the tires the, child seat testing, and when, we're in the autonomous cars we're really thinking about are. They making us safer and in, some cases is, the implementation. Actually presenting. More risk than benefit, so we'll talk about some of that David. A true, safety expert and maybe the man with the longest, title at Consumer Reports. Thanks. Mandy I'm David Freedman I'm the director of cars, and product policy, and analysis here at Consumer Reports you, be the judge on the length. So. I work in Washington DC and what I'm trying to do is to make sure that, carmakers, product. Manufacturers. And policy. Makers are doing everything, they can to, make sure that your cars and products, are as safe as they can be as sustainable, as they can be and, are a lot more affordable, before. I joined Consumer, Reports I had the honor of running the office of energy efficiency and. Renewable energy at the, Department, of Energy lots of energy there and and. Before that I, had the honor of running, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Excellent. Good panel, all right let's dig right in when people hear the word self-driving, cars they think of a lot of things they think of no steering wheels I think of people asleep, behind the wheel or watching movies while they drive Jake, just very quickly what, is the vision is that our future well. It could be I mean it may be a long way away but I mean there's a lot of excitement about what that could hold I mean right, now we have human drivers driving vehicles and humans are really, good drivers however, they are human, so, if we get to a point where there really is self-driving, computers. Driving these vehicles maybe. That promise of zero fatalities could, be a real one but we're gonna have to see as we progress towards that you mentioned zero fatalities and, safety is a real component to this technology, and Jenn stock burger you have some statistics, that are just gonna floor all of us right, so so the recently released. 2016. And we'll talk about fatality, there's a lot of injury David and I were talking you'll hear the stats come, up when they talked about autonomous, driving, 94%. Of those were human, error and. When you look at them it. Makes some sense thirty thirty, four hundred of them and a little more distraction. Ten. Thousand, more than ten thousand people didn't put a seatbelt on alcohol.

Related Ten, thousand, speed-related, ten, thousand, but I think that the potential, of even where we are in, autonomous. Building blocks right now is for. Those moments when, we're. Not at our best Jake, said it were human drivers, we, do checkout at times if we have systems, that will help back, us up as drivers or even. Back, us up if someone else transgresses. You know in our driving lane that's, the key to where these features whole safety, potential. And, David you've devoted your career to all those safety let's take one step back. Our cars in general protecting. Us enough today, I mean. Sadly the short answer is no I think the statistics, Jen mentioned just really, bear repeating in 2016. 37,000. 461. Lives were lost on our roadways about. 2.5. Million, people were injured, in over six million. Crashes. This is the definition of a public health epidemic our, cars. Aren't protecting, us enough in a crash and they. And drivers aren't doing enough to avoid those crashes in the first place that's why this, automation, is so exciting. Because it, could eliminate that it could also provide, mobility, for, folks with disabilities, that bar them from even driving and and our parents and grandparents, I mean the opportunity, is huge but yeah are we going to get there or not and then we're going to get there responsibly, or not that's the question and you say could an opportunity, but this isn't all about the future because some of this technology already is coming, to the market and Jake you have driven thousands. Of miles and cars with these autonomous features, what. Are some of the most important, advances. That you're seeing and from which brands well, first of all there aren't autonomous vehicles right I mean that doesn't exist right now so anyone, who reads the story about autonomous vehicle crashing it's, this not true but, we do see this technologies. In the building blocks this John says they're coming, to fruition and some of them are being implemented really well, so so some of the situations. Where they could they, could be the vehicle to react for you automatic. Emergency braking forward, collision warning it's, a warning system but also when, you look at the lane departure stuff, there's a lot of people who go off the road and that could cause a fatality we've, got vehicles they can steer you back if you go over those lanes those are really important things but, we are seeing these kind of semi autonomous features. And we've, seen we were doing some demos today about you know Tesla. Volvo. Mercedes-benz, they have some of these things and we. Really kind of get talking about is this a convenience, feature is this kind of a gizmo is this kind of some toy, or is this something that's gonna make you safer and right, now the implementation, is a little, bit you. Know not, not quite standard, not quite really, proven it figure out what's gonna make people safe or not and David jump in a little bit there I mean what from your perspective, what are some of the most exciting outcomes, and some, of the risks are things that aren't quite there yet what the features Jake's mentioning, sure well I mean no surprise Jake nailed it there I mean, automatic. Emergency braking, and forward collision warning our, friends at the Insurance. Institute for Highway Safety, show, can reduce rear-end, crashes by about 40 percent I, mean that's incredible and and what's, so amazing about that is you don't even know they're there until. You get into that emergency, so you don't over depend on them and that's one of the biggest risks of some of these convenience, features, is people.

Overestimate, How. Much they can do for you when, the reality, is every car that's on the road today if you're, a driver your job is still to drive you, can't hop in the backseat you can't go to sleep you can't start texting you've got to pay attention to that road keep your eyes on the road your hands on the wheel and especially keep your brain engaged, and. Jen do you want to say. You know and when you think about you, you all drove here today on our rural, windy, roads and and those, are the type of roads where you're very engaged you have to make I mean you're making a turn but, those long highways. And those are those, are where some of this semi-autonomous. Has potential. That. The. Roads where we're most likely. To check out from fatigue or, boredom. Or just. Inattention. Are the places where it's these semi-autonomous, building blocks could work but it's all about, implementing. Them to those areas, only and and implementing, them you know responsibly. Well, let's take that one step further and dig in a little bit to how the technology. Will work because we hear some of these common questions from people and one one, I often hear and I'll Jen, or Jake this could go to you but how, will, an autonomous, car know how to follow traffic, signs and traffic signals some of the things that obviously we do today as humans yeah well. Look I mean they have there's different ways of doing it a lot of us do with cameras, right you're looking at lines you're, looking at the. GPS data, one. Of the most interesting vehicles, and kind, of break it right now we just got delivery, of a new Cadillacs which has supercruise what's another one of these systems and they're, actually using some mapping, that they actually drive, these and actually have a very high. High. Accuracy. GPS, to, map the the vehicles. Trajectory. But. The problem, is not those situations, the problem is the situation, of what is you know what happens when there's the the policeman there in the intersection, waving you through how, is the computer, going to figure out one, now, it could go through the red light -, is it really a policeman, or some random person weaving, at someone, else so I mean there's a very much, high level order stuff that we do and we take for granted this, this this talking, to other drivers weaving. Weaving people through that we're not even beginning, to understand, how, computers can do these things you're. Talking about you know something, that might throw the system off the way it's programmed, and and, what about in a situation, since since these cars do rely. Heavily on their vision systems the cameras the radars would, they be able to function say after a natural disaster or, a hurricane which we have unfortunately seen a lot of this year if the, landscape, is dramatically altered right. And that gets to what Jake saying what happens when things change, right be it napped now a camera, system couldn't, see that assuming. There's not torrential rain or snow which are some of the limitations of the systems right now but. Yeah it's, when and that's the the iffy area, is you. Can map all the roads in this country and have a pretty good handle until, they change and, that's work and. I would just add look let's be frank what we're talking about here is artificial, intelligence yeah we're talking about a car that's supposed to have the smarts of a human and the repeatability, that a human can't even match in the reflexes, that a human can't even match that's, a tall order it's, again this amazing, possibility. But we shouldn't underscore. We, shouldn't underestimate the. Challenge, here if we can break, that nut that's fantastic, but this isn't easy to get it right so with all those challenges, and you're saying how it's not easy to get it right and maybe you guys don't even aren't even gonna agree on the answer to this question but how. Long, until we potentially, turn, our roads over, totally. To cars is it 20 years is it 30 years is it is it 15, like what do you think Jake well, for first of all you know, 99%, of the driving it's, easy we're, there the technology's there that, 1% those. Random things that maybe, so, far honestly. It may be never because. Really, for a auto, Etana, car to drive in any, situation, we would drive I don't think there was any programmer, that would ever program a car to do some of the stuff that we do you. Know whether it's you know driving the snow and whiteout conditions, it's just they're not going to be capable of doing what we do naturally, I don't, know it could be a very long time maybe never. Yeah. And I would say think that it'll, be a very long time to get through this middle ground there's the fully autonomous.

Of Some day and there's, the us driving engaged, of the past this, middle is going to be a very long time, to. Get through these things that Jake talked about and. We'll. Be doing this testing, right along while, we'd get through this transition, but I think in if. We ever really, get there it'll be decades. And David that middle any estimate, on how long that middle is well then they're all being way too wishy-washy. So. I'm. Gonna borrow from a colleague of mine and, paraphrase, we. Are gonna have everyone's, gonna have fully autonomous. Vehicles in, 17. Years three. Months to. One. Day, now. How do I know that why do I pick that number cuz it's as good as any other number anyone can can, pick the, reality, is you, know we really don't know and they're absolutely right we don't know how long this phase is, going to be but, I'll be honest I think I'm maybe a little more optimistic I. Think we can get there I think, the question is going to be what. Guardrails, are in place to. Help make sure that that happens but I really, do think we're gonna get there I, put. It in the twenty to thirty year mark but let. Me add something to it I mean you know whether or not we need to get there is another whole another question because the truth is that we're will be in a situation where we're partners, with our vehicles and as a Jen says there's, long highway cruises, you, know maybe. That sure. The car could completely, autonomously, drive there but then when you get in the back roads I'll, Drive you know what I like to drive there anyway so so. I think though, we're going, to be in a situation where we're partners sometimes, the car drives sometimes, we drive and maybe that's okay maybe that's enough to really change the landscape, no. He calls wishy-washy, you got a jack I was just yeah, those, are the handoff. This idea, of handoff, that's where that comes in and you'll hear these terms of, engagement. And handoff. And are you ready as the driver to, take back over when.

It's When it's no longer a long highway I also think we'll see it in dedicated. Applications, and David talked about if. There's a lane that, that's for disabled, autonomous. Driving to get disabled, people where they need to go that would be fantastic and, I do think we'll see that in a shorter period of time but for all of us here in this room to be driving an autonomous, car I think is still a long way away so, in terms of who's watching, over us lots of discussion, in the marketplace, about how involved the government should be or shouldn't, be in the regulating, and the testing of this technology David I'm going to look right at you are, the rules keeping. Pace with what the manufacturers. Are delivering, to consumers. Well. I mean the short answer is no, and. Actually the scary part about it is there's. Folks in Congress there's, folks in the auto industry and even in the administration, who are actually trying to roll back the protections, we already have right now under. The guise of accelerating. The technology. That, that's one of the things that I'm really worried, about I mean if, you think of the pace of innovation right. Now I'd. Argue it matches, and maybe even exceeds, the, innovation, we saw with, the invention of the automobile itself. So. Think, about that the, Model T came, out and about I think it, was 1908, it, took about 60, years, before the first auto safety, regulations, were in place at the federal level we can't afford 60. Years for the same thing to happen when. It comes to autonomous, vehicles so we've, got a lot of work to do to make sure that, automakers. And the government step up and protect, consumers, while. Also helping, to accelerate the the good things that the technology, can provide Jake do you agree with that on the pace of innovation, I, mean you've been testing, cars for a long time here have you ever seen the, speed, to market of this nature no. I mean, this is this it's, exponential. Because, everything is now software, now it's it's it's as you say it's artificial intelligence, and we're, just just, leap frogging into, how we're doing this stuff and it's not about just you know getting another 10 horsepower a year or or 3 miles per gallon here but it's getting this situation, where you know you're, handing, over the steering, wheel I mean it's. Complete, fundamental. Change when. Now the cars steering for you and it's just completely, changing, the landscape yeah it's. Amazing time, so. Many, of these broader implications. About self-driving cars come down to matters of safety, insurance. Ethics privacy, there's no way we can get to them all in 45, minutes but I do want to tap, a one that's critical to us here at CR and that is data security, and Jake. I am gonna go back to you quickly because unlike the cars that most people grow up with autonomous. Vehicles, will, rely heavily on software, so what are the, privacy, implications if, the car knows what, you're doing what about hacking this, is gonna take a few beats here so Jake you start well absolutely I mean you know many. Of those heard of a black box you know this whole idea that you crash and they could go figure out what happened but we're getting to this a situation where the, vehicle, knows where you are knows, who you're talking, to on your phone, it's, no worse where you've been it knows, potentially, what you said and. It has a cañedo, connection, going, to the car company back and forth and recording. That so it's. Not very hard to figure out this wow that's a whole lot of data about me that I don't want to necessarily enhance. Exist. Now, you. Think of vehicles. Now that's already happening, this over-the-air, update, that, you talked about they already or do they already have that connection, I think that the question is who that belongs to, is, that your data that needs to be protected somewhere, or does it belong to the insurance company or the car company, and and, what are they allowed to do with it anyway.

How Do you make sure crash investigators. Can get access to I mean you want consumers to be able to protect their data but, you also want crash investigators. To be able to gain access, appropriately. The data so, they can figure out what happened because that could truly be the difference between life and death with these technologies is, if you find a problem or a defect you got to get that information out there so they can fix it and, who's whose, role, is it to protect, us from hacking. Like who is that going to be David well. This, is a critical, issue and actually back when I was at NASA. The. Auto industry at the time this was in in, 14 was saying you know we're. Not going to do a lot on this cybersecurity, issue because none of our cars have been hacked yet. Yeah. Exactly. So I admit. I'll admit that scared the heck out of me, and thanks to one, of the great folks there NAT, Beus he. Asked. Us to really push the auto industry and write letters to every, single CEO in the auto industry pushing. Them to create something called an AI sack which is an information, sharing and analysis, committee. That, pulled together all of the auto industry, to start sharing cybersecurity. Information and, working together to, solve this problem and my convinced, they're doing enough right now no, but they're starting, but, a lot more needs to be done and I think nitsa, and. Department. Of Homeland Security and others need to keep pushing on this issue it's, a critical safety issue, June. When you were rattling off some of those statistics, in the beginning about safety, you, know it cuts to I think potentially. An expectation you guys tell me if this is true there is there an expectation in, the marketplace, that accident, avoidance software. Will be, 100%. Effective. Right and then the second part of that is if someone, is in an accident in a self-driving, car who. Who do they sue, who's, at fault. And. I think these conversations, are already happening, and it becomes who's the definition, of the driver at, the moment if it's you I think, it would still be similar, to the legal implications we have today that you, were in control of that vehicle if you aren't, and you're in this autonomous, mode the driver is technically the car at that point and and perhaps, the manufacturer, is liable at that point so, it changes. Who the driver is and, what about the insurance market, David does it change that oh I think, it could change the insurance, market, I think ultimately this is something that either is gonna have to get settled in the courts or, state. Or federal, legislators. Are gonna have to step in and create some definitions, here I mean we're. Already seeing this in. Real time I mean there was this really, sad, crash, with a Tesla, where it ran into an 18-wheeler. And on the one hand you could argue well the driver was ignoring all the warnings, the driver was operating, the vehicle, conditions, the vehicle should have been operated on so, it's the drivers fault right well, on the other hand the. The NTSB, the National Transportation, Safety Board did, an investigation. Into this crash and found, well the automaker was also partly at fault because, they let the driver operate, under these conditions, and they didn't stop the car when the driver continued. To ignore. The warnings so, the definition of who's responsible, is a lot grayer right now and that that's why someone. May need to step in I would, argue at the end of the day car. Company should do everything they can in those situations, to protect. The driver and make it safe for them, this shouldn't be a legal question on some, level it should be an ethical question and ultimately to protect themselves Yeah, right an, unrealistic.

Jake For four people consumers, to expect this technology, to be 100%, effective, and protecting them in a crash right. I mean there's some situations, gonna be able to do to to mitigate, or and. Let, me use that word mitigate I mean even even when you look at front. Crash protection. We look at automatic emergency braking they're. Not always gonna stop the vehicle, I mean there's testing, that does on the we, that's being done on these cables and maybe, at 20 miles per hour maybe at 25 miles per hour but if you're going 50 don't. Think for a second, wow I don't have to have to break this is gonna do it for me because it may. But, it may mean that you're, going to the hospital instead of instead. Of a fatality and. And that's a I mean it's a good thing that they're there mitigating, and they're helping these situations, but, know they're not gonna prevent every crash well and that's the overconfidence. Issue that you talk about both of you talk about a lot right is if, a driver doesn't really understand, what it does and thinks. That it's gonna protect them both at 25 and 50, and 80 miles an hour they may drive more recklessly and we've seen that in the past right I mean with, things like abs. Where. Consumers, were like hey my, car's gonna take care of me in a breaking incident so I'm gonna drive a little more aggressively, and we didn't really see a lot of safety benefits, from ABS because the. Driver, overestimated. What this technology could do we don't want the same thing here that's an added risk of things moving so quickly too is we haven't gotten a chance to catch up to even know what what they all can do there, were there was an incident with it was a Mercedes and they were on a test and the, the. Salesperson. In the Mercedes so, as they approach the cars that you know donate the brakes you can see how the ABA EB will work and they've, rear-ended, this whore girl center to the hospital and it's like this this misunderstanding. Even. At the dealership level, you, know it's it's it's it's really, problematic yeah so. A lot of people also wondering there are a lot of auto enthusiasts. Obviously in the live audience here and clearly. Of the talking cars fans who watch the show regularly. But. People who love to drive right like I still drive a manual transmission car, I love I can't imagine the, day I'm not gonna drive a car but, is there a future, for us were self governed, driving, ie us we. Humans, behind the wheel on public roads could. Be outlawed. Could be illegal is that possible. No. Yes. You could clap. Now. And. This is goes back to the estimate of when is this really going to happen so, I think it'll be a situation where would be partners, and that's, just fine because you let the computer drive of the places where you don't want to drive and stop. And go traffic and all that stuff that's pretty repeatable, and and then we could go drive we want to drive you. Know it's gonna be way in the future if you ever get in this situation you, know if you were gonna restart, the auto industry with, the technology that we have yeah, maybe maybe, you would start in this situation, where all the cars are self-driving they all talk to each other and they all play nice but, we're not going to go backwards we can't we can't reinvent. Everything and I. Think, that's not a bad thing I, would. Have to so two things he touched on so one is this ability of the cars to talk to one another that we didn't talk about today this v2v that's. Where, there's another. Level of potential, for, when things change, when these routes change and all of a sudden that, there's been a hurricane, and there's been a washout, now, either. Infrastructure. The vehicle or vehicle the vehicle could say there's no road here anymore be ready for that that's the next step, in this and, the other is it's. Gonna be such a long time I had this vision you know that you'll go in in, 50, years from now my, daughter rides horses I think I told you so you go to a horse show, horses at one time we're transportation. You went to a horse so now you go to a horse show to ride maybe, we go to a, car, show to, drive so. That was like oh we'll go and it will compete in cars but, that's where you go to a dude ranch but it's a car. We. Were to talk to some yeah I know we didn't know we were going to we. Are we're this are, called racetracks. I. Was. Getting the horse thing, David. You got anything to add to that I, can't. Top that, all. Right we're, gonna go to our audience and questions in just a few moments but before we do I want to spend a couple of beats here on what, consumers should do if they are shopping for a car right now right should they be, waiting because the technology, is evolving so fast that, whatever they might buy could be quickly obsolete and, and if, not what what are the key features to look for right, now Jen you want to start yeah so so we've already touched on it and these are the ones where the data exists because that's the other piece that's missing right now there's not the data that says hey these semi autonomous functionality.

Are A, huge, safety benefit, that data is but there is data as David mentioned automatic. Emergency braking, forward. Collision warning lane, departure. Mitigation. Or Lane Departure warnings. Those. Have real data behind them that say these are a benefit, these are safety benefit and driving and people, should be looking for those, building, blocks as we go so. Those are the ones and you know unfortunately it's difficult it's difficult, you know trying to figure out which vehicles, have, that equipment and we've run our website and you can look at it but even if you know the vehicle has that as an option you, go to the dealership and they're like oh it's got the safety package, well, the safety package doesn't come, with that it comes with something else you know and it comes with a just full steering wheel in a big sunroof so, it's so confusing and. You know all all we could just ask you as a you. Know to go and and, figure this stuff out you know unfortunately we try to help as much as we can but, it's like trying to figure out it's like yes you want a a B you want a marauder Matic emergency braking and even if you get the technology package three it may, not have it and that's unfortunate, the confusion that exists, right now which is part of why we can, swear reports, are. Including. Benefits. In our in our chorong for cars that make those standard, equipment it's our our, push, to the industry, saying hey you really need to put these on every trim, level forget these technology, packages, make sure everybody, gets but, we buy, cars we buy the cars that we test and yeah. We have these experiences, and you were like we're looking for this this, this piece of safety equipment they're like no the crash protection is really good it's got airbags I don't need that. I've. Started right, well, I'd put it this way one safety, should never be a luxury I mean that's exactly what what what Jen, and Jake are talking about these features should come standard, in every, car. Out there. It shouldn't be something that only the people who can afford to be safer, can get I, I'd, also argue one, other thing and maybe Jake you could talk a little bit about this one, emerging, technology, that we're really curious, about again. Don't have the data yet but is, technology. That maybe it'll make folks a little uncomfortable on the one hand on the privacy side but. It could save your life is, driver, monitoring, technology. They could actually start to tell are you, distracted, are you drowsy maybe, if they can do it well enough and combine it with some other technology, are you, drunk and should you just not be driving, so, that's. Something else that you know we need we need some more time and some more data but I'm pretty excited about that potential. Last. Question before we go to our audience, questions for. People who have not driven any of the cars I mean you have the luxury of this fleet of cars and you get that we buy the new cars that come into the track that have some of these new advances, in itself. I'm putting this in quotes self-driving, technology right, because we are not there what. Is what would you tell people what is the most fun, and interesting thing, or. The the safety feature you love most personally, each of you when, you get behind the wheel of these cars and Jake, we'll start with you I'm, gonna be boring I I. Still like to drive you, know I mean I like to drive a car that has that, and, see. You. Know what a great safety feature is that may do transmission, that you still drive because you know what it does it keeps you still engaged, in, the driving experience you, know what's going on you know what speed you're going you're not drifting you see these people a lot texting your dad physically. It's not anyway. But. It's like you see these people and, we all we all see the people in front of us that that we know they're on the cell phone they starts slowing, down and they start drifting you saw your a stick shift you, you need to know that because I'd only get to change a gear so so certainly. For my teenage kid. They're, driving a stick because I think there's a safety feature and I think there's a lot of stole, you know having, good brakes having, a car that goes around corners well, and and that, stuff stole is important, Jen.

I Got, a build and I'm gonna kind of flip what he said on I said I'm, engaged, I'm probably, the most cautious of, all, the drivers here I'm the one who's like said I'm the voice of reason so, but. I have those features okay so I have them. I'm. Engaged, I'm paying attention I'm, steering. But, the guy around me is not, he. Is the person, who is. The. Person who's doing it's mascara, as he's moving. But. Exactly, that's. Who I want protection right Rob I can be a, hundred percent engaged, but when he's all over the road or coming. Into my lane and I have this stuff to back me up that's, to me the greatest greatest, benefit and I just, hear. Hear I, just. Quickly add dinner. To what all they said but I also just want to mention a technology, that's close to my heart. Which is in some ways a small and simple technology. But it's back up cameras. Or. There, is this, tragedy. That, happens, year after year I get. Choked up even trying to say it we're parents sometimes we'll back over their own children, our. Grandparents. And it's, just horrific and, it was a huge, fight to get that technology required, on all new cars by, 2018, and and, this was I was, at Nitsa when we finally got that across the line but I want to call out consumer, reports on that because Consumer, Reports pushed. Hard core to help make that happen and kids are safe. Hey. Thank you for that David and I think this is a good moment now let's take, take a few questions from the audience I, think we have some of our folks ready to go there. You are my name is Kelly and from New York so, uh but. Cemet honest features usually add are, bundled, in very, hyper optioned cars, like five to ten thousand dollars to the price of a car with, that in mind is it worth getting a car a semi-autonomous driving. Car now or is best to wait you, know a generation. To for technology to mature well. You know it depends, of the vehicles I mean I mean right now. They're. The system's out there they're convenience, at best and. You. Know it, just it's it's maturing, so quickly you know and I talked about the Cadillac super cruise that we have I mean that may very well change, the. Outlook on this technology, so, I would say really kind of hold tight and see what goes on I mean current cars right now there's so much safer than a car five years ago in so many different ways I would say just enjoy that but but. I would, not be rushing out right now to get, these semi-autonomous, features I'd. Be rushing out to get those building blocks right the a B the FCW yeah, I would also carefully, consider how you're, driving and where you're driving if you're someone who knows every. Day you're sitting in five, or ten miles or you know of a bumper-to-bumper, traffic, and you think they would benefit, you you may want to consider them if you're driving roads like these probably. Not, good. Question thanks so much for that I'm Paul from metouch in New Jersey and, the, question is have. You considered, that an, autonomous. Car encourages. Driver inattention and, basic, erosion, of their skills. Yes.

Anything. You don't do that regularly you're gonna do it here yeah I mean going, forward we may be living going. To a point where everyone is an amateur at driving everyone's, have rookie driver and that, won't, be a good thing if we're still, required. To, be there on that emergency, on that unknown, so, that is a concern acceleration, actually the the. Airline industry we, have seen some of this where, where, there's so much reliance, on the electronics, that. Honestly. Probably the pilots today are not as good the ones we've said in the rail transit industry, which I work in so okay Paul you're gonna need a train. Dude ranch and a plane. The. Horse riders, were better before. Paul. Thanks for that hi hi Greg from Connecticut, if a car, loses its brakes and had the choice between running, over a group of pedestrians, or hitting a wall, what, would a Thomas, Cardew well. So the, first and most honest answer is we don't yet know because. We don't know what decisions, automakers, are making what. You're asking, this is the the classic trolley car problem, that comes, up in all ethics classes where in this, case it's you know if there's, a trolley car heading for a track with five people and you have the ability to switch, it to attract with only one person what, would you do I know what I'd do if I was in that car, I'd. Want to hit the wall because. You'd save more more live so this is a fundamental ethical and, moral, question. And it's. Hard to underestimate how, challenging. This, is for the auto industry, sadly. Though the Secretary, of Transportation recently. Removed. Ethical, considerations. From guidelines, around automated. Vehicles so. When, I said we got a lot of work to do I'm not kidding it's a important, and important, question Greg thank you for that and David, thank you for that answer clearly lots of all the manufacturers is something they're gonna have to wrestle with this going forward I think we have time for one more question, sir hi I'm Jim from South Windsor Connecticut and, I'm curious what problems, you may four see when we have semi. Autonomous and perhaps eventually fully, autonomous, vehicles sharing.

The Roadway with cars that have no vehicle autonomy, whatsoever. Pandamonium. You. Know this is this is definitely a big, issue so. There. Is an opportunity, so you, can. Almost, retrofit, some of the other vehicles that even if there aren't aren't. Aren't. Autonomous, I mean, V, 2 V 0 some people had a brushed upon but, it's that you can actually rush, refer some of the vehicle so that at least the our Tabas vehicles could see where they are but. But ultimately, this. Is the one of the fundamental, problems because humans, are not. Shall. We say, repeatable. We. Have a randomness, about us so, this. Is going to be a big problem. You. Can't start over fresh, but, that's gonna be a big issue going forward and potentially. Just, move this far, down the road when you could actually get to a fault animation like that. Well, we, actually some. Of the car companies who are experimenting, with these vehicles actually, see this problem already out on the road where people. Will be like hey there's an autonomous, car there why don't I jump in front of it to see what it does. That. Is actually, happening to them or you. Could think of ways you, could you could snarl up traffic if you really wanted to you just stand, in front of an autonomous car and what's it gonna do not, gonna run you over hopefully unless they failed their ethical test there. But. You, know these, are these are real challenges and it goes back to this is why we need guardrails. In place to, help make sure that automakers. Design, for exactly these situations. I was. Just gonna add Jim maybe maybe, these dedicated, lanes for, a while are part, of that you think of the HOV or high occupancy vehicle, lanes we have in Connecticut, and we repurpose. Those for. Just autonomous, cars or something along those but. Here's the fucked up of the issue is that if we're ready to give hand. Over control to the computers right they. Need to be better than us so. Humans, can deal with other humans we. Need to get to the point where they're better than us because they're not better than us we're, not seeing Abba safety benefit, of computers. At the wheel. Excellent. Question it's all audience questions were excellent I have one last one from you and I think this actually appeared, on our Facebook page at one point but someone wondered will, Consumer, Reports Auto experts, actually, still have jobs reviewing. Cars if they're all fully. Autonomous. These. Spotlight. On Jake I gotta. Work on my resume. Sure. I mean we absolutely will because, you. Know there's still gonna be vehicles there's gonna be stole transport, and it, certainly be better one so so, yes to say they're completely autonomous. We're. Going up to see how the cars ride noise. The. Comfort and you. Know we make it to the point where there. They drive is different you, know depending on what kind of car you get is it a aggressive, driver or a comfortable, driver I mean there's different personalities, so so there's gonna Philly gonna be a lot for, us to do and of, course making sure that these vehicles are safe Jen, are you optimistic about future employment oh yeah, certainly. Until I retire, based on timelines. Sources. But yeah and I'm, going to do know. But. Also as, as. We get there the implementation. Is what we're gonna test, yeah they're. All gonna do these these activities, like we're demonstrated, some of you you experienced, them today they're gonna navigate, the lines they're gonna stop for a target, but.

The Again. The two things that we talked about the the take over and then confirming, driver engagement. And the, implementation. Safely, is what we have years, of work, to do before we get to to the complete picture David. The contrarian maybe I don't know yeah well on one hand I I. Nod. To my colleagues and think they're they may be right but I got to admit I hope. I don't have a job I would love to get to the point where. These, vehicles can solve this problem and I don't need to do this stuff I can spend more time with my family and you know find other ways of employing myself so I hope we can get to that point where we don't need folks like me pushing, for change but we're, not there yet that's for sure it's, a great place for us to leave it there today thank you all so much for that amazing discussion, it's been my privilege to sit in with my colleagues, on this show and more, of your talking cars favorites, we'll be back for the next episode thanks. So much for being with us. You.

2017-11-24 13:50

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Never. I don't mind a few safety features but I would never turn over driving responsibility to a computer. Especially one made by auto manufacturers. Can you imagine putting your life in the hands of Chrysler/Fiat?

Hello, I'm looking for a three row family SUV to replace my 2005 Subaru Outback with 175,000 miles. I was pretty seriously looking at a 2014-2015 Kia Sorento with the 2.4L but the recent recall for engine failures with this engine has me worried. Long term reliability and fuel economy are my highest priorities. Is the 2014-2015 Sorento still a safe bet or should I just go with a Highlander with higher miles? My budget is $15,000 or less. Would appreciate any advice you could give, thanks!

I really don't like that new guy. He's part of the problem trying to get more legislation, more red tape, more control over everyone. No shit driving isn't 100% safe. Life isn't safe get over it and stop forcing everyone to buy new cars with stuff they don't want. Gone are the days of a basic car. It's a shame and it's people like him that's forcing everyone onto his views.

Finall! I've been looking forward to this for a couple weeks! Great discussion!

What about affordability? Not every one will be able to afford an autonomous vehicle. This transition with most of the population not having one of them could take a long time. Also, while I think some of these technologies are great, they also have a negative effect on people by making them even lazier. "My car parks itself! No need for me to learn how to parallel park!" "I have GPS, no need to learn my way around town" And so on....


Autonomous vehicles need clearly painted lane dividers, the large majority of the ones around her are hard to see cause they have not been painted in a long time, so how are these vehicles supposed to work?

Of course fully autonomous driving will happen, but like with collisionless networking, we need to design the road infrastructure to support it. Once it's in place, we won't need any AI in cars. Cars can be the dumbest of the elements in the equation. I don't understand why the panelist are fixated on cars being the impossibly intelligent element here. It is frustrating to listen to. Can you please get a networking person on stuff? Networks have done it ages ago. It is the same thing except on a slightly larger physical scale.

29:20ish jake what a dumb answer. Manual transmission? A safety feature? Fun? Yes! Safety? No! U might as well said the model t with its three pedals, a hand brake, a throttle on the shifter column, a hand crank starter, no radio. Now THATS safety. (eyes rolling)

Jake is absolutely correct. A manual transmission is a massive safety advantage because it compels active engagement in the driving process. The biggest factor in car crashes is inattention. That was undoubtedly the case even before smart phones made drivers dumber and less focused. Now we need manuals more than ever.


People drive like maniacs, way too fast, following too close. I'm ready for complete autonomous to take back our civility on the roads

I'm ready for sufficient law enforcement, red light cameras and photo radar to upgrade road safety.

I really liked the guest host. Really smooth and seamless transitions between topics and just over all great job! Bring her on again.

I agree. Good looking and smart. So few of us left.

When autonomous vehicles become a reality, we will all be transported in  Prius like vehicles.  I do not look forward to that day.

I use Cruise Control religiously and notice that many drivers do not maintain a constant speed.

Could the car companies unify, collaborated, and share expertise and knowledge to build technology that is universal across all cars? I mean isn't saving lives more important than a product advantage?

GM is writing legislation for the State of California that puts the onus/liability on the person, not the car. It's pretty disgusting. California is using the language drafted by GM! I thought government was for the people, by the people.

You are right to be alarmed. The problem of corporations or corporate think tanks writing legislation has been around for a long time. It will only get worse if we allow it. Democracy is not a spectator sport therefore citizens ought to accept their responsibility by fully participating in this great experiment in self-government.

“A very long time, maybe never.” Lol. 10 years, tops.

Seems it might all depends on marketing - "Buy the new ___! The only car you can safely fall asleep in and still get to your destination on time!'

Wes Perry midsize luxury will be autonomous in 10 years, which means volume cars will get in in 15. The only slowdown will be the red tape for Vehicle to Vehicle communications at a US state level

Innovation is happening at a very rapid pace. There will be fully autonomous vehicles on limited predefined routes first. This will happen very soon. Shuttle buses at airports or business campuses is a good example. Limited predefined routes can avoid many issues that will prevent a full roll out in all circumstances. Baby steps.

Automatic emergency braking will save many lives. Lane keeping and warning sensors are great features. Insurance companies should give discounts for having these features.

You will have to pry my manual transmission vehicle from my dead lifeless fingers

Dan Shouldn’t that be pretty easy, though?

I wouldn’t be caught dead in a autonomous vehicle

When you're too old to drive, you be grateful for autonomous vehicles. Think of all the cocktail parties you'll attend without worry of driving home drunk.

Dan I prefer dual clutch, automatic transmissions.

I have several questions. And also I'm a truck driver

The sad reality for people who love to drive is that when autonomous driving technology matures, insurance companies will likely only offer discount insurance for ppl who run their car in autonomous mode and a dramatically more expensive self driving insurance.

Every time they go longer than 2 weeks without a new episode, I get worried...

Thanks for inviting me to the event and taping. I had an awesome time. Keep up the great work.

it should be a button like cruise control

For the first time I could not stick with this video. Lost all interest at 20 min in.

It will depend on the software manufacturers and what they think is possible. What Waymo (Google) thinks is possible for autonomous driving may be different from what Cruise (GM technology) believes is possible. It also depends on what the government mandates (as it invariably does) over time.

Let everyone get this 100% autonomous tech. I'll stick my 2017 compact car that I can drive for myself. Keeping it until it dies.

Are you drunk? Well, that is EASY. Have a reaction test game on instrument cluster. If driver is unable to reach within specific time period (400ms?) car will not drive. Or will not drive at 50mph in case it measures half-good results like 300ms.

Typical old american skeptical mentality here. They are probably from GM

These idiots are so far disconnected from current reality. We already have autonomous cars and trucks in production. As soon as 5G network is in place, we will see a full blown autonomous diving.

Right U r WRONG!

Rodion Korniyenko I would second that. In fact I would butter her muffin!

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