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Autonomous Vehicles… that’s so Last Century!

Several car manufactures have been busy developing #autonomous driving systems. To many of us this may seem the future of driving, but for an MIT teacher it sounds like an old 20th century idea that is doomed to fail...

According to the #car industry, 2020 will be the year when the driver will finally become just one more passenger who should relax and enjoy the autonomous ride.

However, there is one question no one seems to be answering (or thinking about it), but one that David Mindell (Professor of the #History of #Engineering and #Manufacturing at the MIT) considers to be the most important question of all: "Do we need to transfer completely to a machine the task of driving in order to live better?" According to him, the answer is no.

There is no evidence to suggest that such a #technological leap will improve our everyday life. Besides, delegating every decision that needs to be taken while driving a car to the company that built the driving machine is an outdated idea, one that resembles the 'futuristic' ideas of the 20th century...

"We need to rethink our notion of progress not towards complete autonomy, but rather focusing on the reliability and safety of autonomous #vehicles, while making them completely interactive" explains Professor Mindell, adding that "the car must do what I want, when I want it!"

Commercial airlines and space exploration are two examples quoted by Professor Mindell, where complex technology systems are used but need human inputs in order to be reliable, accurate and safe.

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