The Opposite Point of View

I am a big fan of self-driving cars and hope they come to a street near me as soon as possible. Tomorrow, even.

So it’s helpful to remember that there are well-intentioned people, smarter than me, who are decidedly more skeptical.

Missy Cummings, a robotics professor at Duke, is one of those people. And yesterday, Cummings testified to Congress to that effect.

I am decidedly less optimistic about what I perceive to be a rush to field systems that are absolutely not ready for widespread deployment, and certainly not ready for humans to be completely taken out of the driver’s seat.

According to reports, Cummings’ objections focused primarily on driving in bad weather, and on cyber-security.

Both of those seem to me like known and solvable problems. And, in that vein, representatives from Google and GM testified that they were much more optimistic about self-driving cars.

But it’s helpful to remember that all the smart people aren’t 100% in agreement about this.

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