Heralded as the future of personalized transport, autonomous cars have caused much excitement among car companies, industry journalists and some segments of the public and government. Unquestionably major advances have been made but the future in which drivers are redundant remains some distance away. Despite the expected wait, a lot is changing. China is maneuvering to become the leading global player, catching up to rivals in the US. New infrastructure is being discussed and the regulatory environment is undergoing significant reform. Yet doubts remain as to how soon any promises made by car companies will materialize in a commercially viable form.
Driverless cars are emerging but much work remains to achieve
Autonomous cars are frequently advertised as being much safer than any human driver could be over a reasonable time span. Yet for the claims to be met in reality requires the needs of cyclists and pedestrians to be intimately involved with the decision-making computers contained within driverless vehicles.