AI is coming my friends, whether we are ready for it or not.
Courtesy of the San Francisco Examiner:
Only months after self-driving cars were given the OK by the DMV to test drive without drivers, another California regulator has cleared them to carry passengers.
But, there’s a catch.
While the California Public Utilities Commission voted to approve pilot programs for self-driving cars to carry passengers Thursday morning, the commission nixed a proposal to allow those companies to charge passengers.
So if Waymo, Lyft or other companies want to let riders hop into a self-driving car, that ride will be free.
The CPUC decision was written by Commissioner Liane Randolph, who has led months of deliberations with ride-hail companies, self-driving automakers, and other interested groups to inform the commission’s vote Thursday. Though the California Department of Motor Vehicles cleared self-driving cars to test-drive without drivers earlier this year, the CPUC plays another regulatory role securing the safety of passengers in those vehicles.
In her decision, Commissioner Randolph reasoned that a fee-less program would “differentiate” the pilot program “from any final program we accept.”
The free rides will signal to the public that the pilot program is “different from ordinary transportation,” which will hopefully encourage the public to be “more mindful of their experiences and provide critical feedback to the Commission and the permit-holders,” she wrote in her decision.
The data requirements will help the public assess the safety of autonomous vehicles, the commission wrote in its decision. Data that the commission will make public include: collision reports, total vehicle miles traveled, miles traveled during passenger service, and the total number of rides accessible to the disability community, among other data.
I remain ever intrigued by the progress of AI, and the possibilities that it soon provide.
On the plus side, this will allow the elderly to get around freely without concern that their age will be a hindrance to their ability to navigate a motor vehicle safely, drunk drivers will no longer pose a problem, and once the autonomous vehicles become the norm car accidents will virtually disappear.
On the downside of course this opens new opportunities for hackers, driving will be yet another skill set that will become obsolete in the future, and of course, once the machines turn on us they will simply drive all of us over a cliff and then take over the world.