Why Don’t We Have Self-Driving Cars Yet?

Why Don’t We Have Self-Driving Cars Yet?

More companies are trying to bring
self-driving cars to the masses than ever before. Yet a truly
autonomous vehicle still doesn’t exist. And it’s not clear if, or
when, our driverless future will arrive. Proponents like Elon Musk have touted
an aggressive timeline but missed their goals and others in the
industry have also missed projections. Well, our goal is to
deploy these vehicles in 2019. So you’ll have the
option to not drive. It’s not happening in 2020. It’s happening today. We
wanted to check in. Where exactly are we
with self-driving cars? And when can we expect them to
be part of our daily lives? The current state of driverless cars
is very interesting because we’ve passed what people refer to as peak
hype and we’ve entered what’s called the trough of disillusionment. Which is, even people within the industry
are saying, gee, it turns out there’s a lot harder than we thought. We’re definitely not anywhere near as far
along as a lot of people thought we would be three years ago. But I think over the last 18 to
24 months, there’s been a real injection of reality. There was a sense maybe a
year or two ago that our algorithms are so good, we’re ready to launch,
we’re gonna launch driverless cars any minute. And then obviously there’s been
these setbacks of people getting killed or accidents happening and now
we’re a lot more cautious. Several big players have begun to walk
back their predictions on how soon we could see this technology. Even Waymo’s Chief External Officer admitted
that the hype around its self-driving cars has
become unmanageable. The technology has come a long way, but
there’s still a lot of work to be done. There’s the perception, which is,
using the sensors to figure out what’s around the vehicle, in
the environment around the vehicle. Prediction, figuring out what those road users
are going to be doing next in the next few seconds. Turns out the perception and especially
prediction are really, really hard problems to solve. Companies tackling
self-driving today are taking two general approaches. Some are building a
self-driving car from the ground up. Others are developing the
brains that drive the car. An early leader was Google, who
started its self-driving car project in 2009. Known as Waymo today, the
company is developing hardware and software that can function as the
brains in a self-driving car. Aurora is taking a similar approach. Founded in 2017 by early players
from Uber, Tesla and Google’s self-driving initiatives, it’s already raised
$620 million in funding from Amazon and other big name investors. Aurora is testing vehicles on the
road in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and out here in the Bay Area. We don’t
yet let the public in our cars. Our cars are on the road, we have
two of our test operators in there. The technology we’re building can operate
from a compact electric car, to a minivan, to even a
big, long haul truck. Argo AI and Aptiv are examples
of other companies taking a similar approach. Lyft is developing its own
self-driving systems now too and offering self-driving rides on its
app through partnerships in select areas. Self-driving is too big for
just one company and one effort. And if you look at our strategy,
that is why we’re working with partners on the open platform, Aptiv and Waymo,
and why we’re building the tech here. Companies like Tesla, Zoox and
GM, with its Cruise division, are making their own vehicles. Aiming for self-driving cars that
can operate in all environments. This is the engineering
challenge of our generation. We’ve raised seven and a
quarter billion dollars of capital. We have deep integration with both
General Motors and Honda, which we think is central when you’re building
mission critical safety systems and building those in a way that you
can deploy them at very large scale. Cruise, which was acquired by General Motors
in 2016, has been testing its fleet of vehicles in San
Francisco with safety drivers onboard. To give you a sense for the
magnitude of the difference between suburban driving and what we’re doing everyday
on the streets of San Francisco. Our cars on average see more activity
in one minute of San Francisco driving than they see in one
hour of driving in Arizona. Zoox, led by the former chief strategy
officer at Intel, is working on creating an all in one self-driving taxi
system with plans to launch in 2020. Instead of retrofitting cars with
sensors and computers and saying, hey, here’s a self-driving car. We think there’s an opportunity to create
a new type of vehicle that from the very beginning was designed
to move people around autonomously. Nissan and Tesla both have semi-autonomous
systems on the roads today. Tesla’s has been available in beta on
its vehicles since 2015 and drivers have been known to use
the current system hands-free. Tesla’s promising full self-driving software
is just around the corner. It’s going to be tight, but it still
does appear that we’ll be at least in limited, in early access release, of
a feature complete full self-driving feature this year. I think Tesla is
actually a lot further back than they would like the world to to believe they
are because they are, in fact, so much more limited in
terms of their hardware. Others are making self-driving shuttles
that operate along designated routes only or focusing on trucks
with long haul highway routes. And then there are companies
like Ghost and Comma.ai working on aftermarket kits. Essentially hardware that could be installed
in older cars to bring them new self-driving capabilities
one day. For all players in this space, the
path ahead is filled with challenges. Chief among them, proving
the technology is safe. Driverless systems have to meet a very
high safety bar that has to be better than a human before
they’re deployed at scale. There are no federally established
standards or testing protocols for automated driving systems in the U.S. today, but there have
been fatal crashes. A woman named Elaine Herzberg was killed
by an autonomous Uber with a safety driver who was
paying no attention. This woman was crossing the street,
walking her bicycle, should easily have been seen by the autonomous
vehicle, was not, was run over. Nobody stepped on the brakes. In 2016, a Tesla fan named Joshua
Brown died in a crash while using autopilot hands-free in Florida. Other autopilot involved accidents
are now under investigation. Still, the industry is hopeful that
autonomous vehicles will make the roads far safer than they are today. Really, the kind of zero to one moment
for the industry will be when we can remove those safety drivers safely
and the vehicle can operate without the presence of any human. Others, like
Elon Musk, have said it’s almost irresponsible not to have these vehicles
out there because they are safer and will be safer than human drivers. Even if we could say that an
autonomous vehicle was better than a human driver, it doesn’t mean that an autonomous
vehicle is better than a human driver plus all of the advanced
driver assist systems we have. When looking at when the tech could
actually be ready one of the principle metrics touted by companies is the number
of miles driven, but not all miles are created equal
when testing automated systems. You could take an autonomous vehicle and go,
put it on an oval track or just a straight road, and you
could drive 100 million miles. But that’s not really gonna tell you
much about how well the system actually functions because it’s not encountering
the kinds of things that are actually challenging in
a driving environment. Testing self-driving vehicles out on
public roads isn’t enough. They need to be exposed to every
imaginable scenario, so companies rely on simulation. We can create situations that
we’re basically never going to see or very rarely see. So, for example, we might want to
simulate what happens as a bicycle comes through an intersection, runs a red light
and crashes into the side of our car. Turns out that doesn’t happen very
often in the real world, but we want to know that if that happens,
our vehicles are going to do something safe. Basically allow the car to practice
up in the cloud instead of on the road. When you’re testing autonomous
vehicles out on public roads, not only are the people riding in that car
part of the experiment, but so is everybody else around you. And they didn’t
consent to being part of an experiment. I remain concerned that humans
will be used as test dummies. Instead of self-certification and de-regulation
I want to see strong independent safety regulations from the agencies
in front of us today. The self-certification approach did not work
out well for the Boeing 737 Max 8 and now Boeing
is paying the price. We should heed that lesson when it comes
to finding out the best way to deploy autonomous vehicles. Lawmakers held hearings this month to figure
out how to keep the public safe without holding
back self-driving innovation. In September, the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration released new federal guidelines for
automated driving systems. But they’re only voluntary
suggestions at this point. State legislation is farther along. As of October, 41 states have
either enacted laws or signed executive orders regulating
autonomous vehicles. With regulatory questions looming, it’s
no surprise that self-driving companies are proceeding
cautiously at first. What we’re going to be seeing in
the next several years is more limited deployments in very specific areas
where there’s confidence that the technology can work. I think we’ll
see limited deployments of self-driving vehicles in the next
five years or so. You’ll see these moving goods and
you’ll see them moving people, but you’ll see them specifically
in fleet applications. Aurora says its systems could be
integrated into any vehicle, from fleets of taxis to long haul trucks. The cost of self-driving technology is
another deciding factor for how it will be deployed. Most consumers are never
going to own a vehicle that’s really autonomous because the technology is
expensive and there’s a whole raft of issues around product liability
and making sure that it’s properly maintained and sensors
are calibrated. That’s one reason ride hailing companies Lyft
and Uber are getting in the game. We have
two autonomous initiative. One is the open platform where
we’re connecting Lyft passengers with our partner self-driving vehicles. And so this is Aptiv in Las
Vegas and Waymo in Chandler, Arizona. And then also kind of the product
experience for the tech that you see here, which is Level 5. As AV
companies inch toward the mainstream public perception, simple understanding of the tech
has become another issue that could impact progress. Some in particular in the industry have
done a disservice to the public in overhyping the technology before
it’s really ready. It’s still not very clear to most
people what we mean when we say driverless car. Waymo and General
Motors Cruise Automation are very close to having what they referred to as
level five cars most of the time. In other words, again, they can
in theory function all by themselves. But so far, it seems that they function
like a 15 year old driver hoping to get a driver’s license. There’s a lot of people who think
that you can buy autonomous vehicles today, especially when you can go out and
buy a car, buy an option that’s called full self-driving and
pay for that. You expect that it actually exists. And the fact is, it
does not exist today. With an uncertain timeline and a
history of missed targets, public confusion is no surprise. Despite big developments, most companies
have recognized we are still years away from having truly self-driving cars
as part of our daily lives. One big question is when
is the car ready? You have to have a good sense of
all of the scenarios and all of the situations that the vehicle
will need to encounter. And that just takes time. We expect level four vehicles to
be feasible in small quantities within the next five years. And what that means is you’ll probably
see hundreds or maybe thousands of vehicles out either delivering packages
or moving people through neighborhood or maybe hauling
goods on our freeways. And now, even the experts hesitate
to make promises on when true self-driving will get here. You always have to assume that the user
is going to find a way to misuse the technology. Assume the worst
and then design for that. I think it’s a mistake to be
over promoting the technology, over hyping it when it’s still very much
a work in progress. This is something we need to do
with society, with the community and not at society. And we
take that very seriously. We’re building mission critical safety systems
that are going to have a huge positive impact
on people’s lives. And the tech adage of move fast
and break things most assuredly does not apply to what we’re doing here.


  1. Has to be better than a human? A prof race driver human, a teen who is just learning driving? There are huge differences between humans ability to drive/focus. Lately I see women on their phone in SUVs nonstop driving like a self-driving system from 2009.

  2. Ok, Imma call out the bs in this video. You spend the majority of time talking about companies that have not shipped anything, but spend a few moments on Tesla and CommaAI, that have actually shipped products?

  3. it's OK if people die from self-driving cars, as long as the rate of death is considerably lower than human driven cars? How hard is that to understand?

    A death by human driver is the same as computer driver. But if fewer people die under computer driven cars isn't that better? Both are/will be insured.

  4. they'll develop the software and then partner with a Chinese firm and give away the tech/algorithms through agreements of the partnership.

  5. They missed a very – important reason for why many people will not be able to afford to purchase a self – driving car; so many of them would have lost their fleet – driving jobs from self – driving taxis as well as self – driving, longer – haul trucks:-(

  6. 8:13 very dishonest politician.

    modern commercial airlines are VERY safe today from what they were 50-70 years ago. crashes used to be commonplace, but today crashes are VERY VERY rare. so actually the airlines industry is very very good and there are mistakes but overall people are being saved by technology and innovation. to paint the airlines industry and regulation as unsafe is dishonest. yes, a few people died, but the trend has been toward saving lives! it's night and day from 70 years ago.

  7. Very poor documentary! CNBC should give some comparison between safety of human versus autonomous vehicle. Instead they point out some fatal accidents and don't speak about the accident that happen everyday with human drivers.Technological improvement is exponential.not linear. looking back five years ago : self-driving was not existing. CNBC is working for their sponsors : GM and Ford who have nothing to offer for self-driving.

  8. Self driving cars need AI roads with AI stop lights all working as one to avoid traffic and reduce emissions. Will it get you out of a drive by or shooting ? Will cars with no drivers fill them selfs up with gas ? The answer probably is one day 🌯

  9. 1:19 I thought majority of those cases aren't the self driving cars fault? Just dumb people doing dumb things near the streets, Jwalk, appearing from blind spot, the usual stuff not even human drivers can predict, and probably perform worst with higher mortality rate.

  10. any kind of camera/laser/sensor on a car becomes useless and disabled whenever it is obstructed from rain/snow and dirt….I'm from Canada and I don't see that working here in the winter

  11. Every time you solve a picture capture with stop lights, buses, crosswalks, you are helping teach AI for self driving cars.

  12. 1:18 Avideh yada yada yadas "people getting kihhhld".. Such an annoying setback, right? I love soulless tone deaf people.

  13. How much thought is given to smart roads? Maybe a metal mesh grid, just below road surface, could be map cars follow, with "dispatcher" software sorting out which vehicle moves where, when.

  14. whole reason we drive cars is the driving part I don’t know why you’re wasting money and time making those self driving cars will make more polluted the earth Anyway

  15. I see some people here saying that some people like to drive. True, especially fopr those raised in car culture. But not only are young folks today less interested in cars and driving; when others realize they can go on their digital devices while autopilot gets them where they're going, I expect many who suddenly DON'T want to drive.

  16. Seems like everywhere but big cities, we're ready to go right now. All the interstates, all state highways and main roads, all rural and semi suburbs and small cities should all be no problem. 90% of the complexity is down to 10% of the roads in places with highly mixed environments of cars, bicycles, pedestrians etc.

    Also, that guy on the laptop with the hair horn looks absolutely crazy.

  17. The problem with self-driving cars is that the cameras only look directly in front of the car. I remember being in driver's ed at age 16, and we had to be concerned with the distance in front of the car as well as up to the sidewalk. We needed to have the awareness that somebody off the sidewalk might at any moment come in front of you. The problem with self-driving cars is that it wall only be aware of speed limit and just continue driving according to road signs only as well as the immediate path in front of the car. Self-driving cars need very wide lens cameras for sensing the path and the sides of the car. Long story short, a computer will never surpass the human brain in capabilities.

  18. The one dynamic I've yet to see is the result weather has on self driving cars. I'm looking through a snow storm with heavy snow ruts on the roads right now, how can the lack of traction be simulated?

  19. I have always presumed that self-driving car nonsense is just a way to scam investors. I mean, yeah, you can maybe program a computer to avoid a jaywalker. But how would a computer be able to recognize and maneuver around, say, a patch of black ice on the highway at night? It's no accident that all these cars are being tested in warm weather states. Driving when there's snow and ice on the road take a lot of skill.

  20. With Quantum Computing and Artificial Intelligence here and advancing. Fully autonomous self-driving cars will be on road very soon. I am waiting to purchase one!

  21. Another guy in a Tesla this morning, in the rain, on the 405 fwy, totally crashed out. I'm pretty sure he bought that particular car so he COULD sleep on the way to work. Why would you think you're that safe… not to mention other people on the road with you? I don't want self driving cars on the road with me, and what about when an accident occurs? You can't be a witness and you can't defend yourself. Sometimes people like Elon Musk are so smart they're actually stupid.

  22. People think. How are we going to have self operated cars when we don't even have self operated trains or planes? Which would be much easier to implement. Driving a car has way too many variables compared to trains.

  23. Uber doesn’t own any cars and will never own self driving cars. Drivers cost them nothing self driving cars will cost them billions

  24. The only reasons that's why we don't have them because we don't have a good internet and we still have a lot of potholes!

  25. American was late to start of the industrial revolution. Were in 2019 and America is still late to the technological revolution for the 21st century. What gives!

  26. It's all the fun idea until one drives through a gad station blowing up the fuel pumps and an entire city block! It's just a matter of time before one of these causes a serious event. Can you imagine what the lawyers will go through?

  27. The infrastructure has to be developed along side the autonomous vehicles as well.
    There are many areas where the roads change, where you have falling debris, wet leaves, and other unpredictable scenarios. The best place to implement this are in cities with a defined grid system, and highways that are well traveled devoid of the most extreme inclement weather. Also, you will have people will naturally fear giving up any control to autonomous system because that psychological transition will take a few generations. I'm optimistic we'll get there, but if your in your mid 30s as am I, we probably won't see this fully accepted and partially implemented when we are in our mid 50(s).

  28. This will put an end to the shenanigans that occur daily: 3 point turns, turning left from the right lane & vice versa, speeding, running red lights, running stop signs at pedestrian lights, disobeying traffic lane signals, failing to yield, driving the wrong way on one way street, random lane changes, random U turns, etc…

  29. In the distant future, when all vehicles on the road are mandated to be connected to a central network,
    This will be possible, since every vehicle can be mapped like an air traffic control unit.
    But we'll have to give up our privacy and all those little hoonigan fun moments, we ll have to make a decision and ask ourselves..

    "Is it really worth it ?"

  30. If Cars are self driven, Customer service is handled by software robots, Warehouses are operated by physical robots, Surgeries are done by Medical robots, all the humans just sit at home and increase population. There must be atleast something in human hands

  31. There is only 1 way to test these. If any developers have children, put their own kids in them. All i see is x box jerk offs.

  32. Tesla will try to deploy street-level supervised self-driving in the next few months. Waymo is likely to go fully driverless without employee backup drivers in Phoenix anytime within the next 1-12 months. Those both "count" as self-driving cars being deployed. Saying its five years out makes no sense unless you are talking about getting to unsupervised level 5 everywhere in the US.

  33. Despite Tesla being a leader in the self driving space, I wonder why they did not talk to any Tesla representative. Plus, they didn't talk about Tesla's unique advantages like a huge number of miles driven

  34. But why have self driving cars seriously?!?!? Don't ya'll just wanna drive your cars yourselves and maybe become more responsible about it?

    If we automate every aspect of life, what then would we become?

  35. No thanks I'll stick with my lifted 1985 Toyota SR5 pickup truck electric vehicles are a national security threat to the United States.

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