Self-Driving Cars Gain Steam, But Are We Ready?


Who better to develop a self-driving car than a video-game company?

In video games, cars behave almost like real cars and are programmed to react to obstacles while racing around tracks or through city streets. Games today are essentially driving simulators, so it makes sense that the technology could transfer over to the real world.

Granted, when a car in a video game crashes, a simple reset results in a fresh car without any consequences from the accident. Real life is much different, but a company known for its role in video games is quickly becoming one of the hottest self-driving companies in the world.

A couple of videos from last week, though, prove that self-driving still has a long way to go.

A CNN article says,

Nvidia, a company most well known for graphics processing chips used for video games, has also developed the Drive PX autonomous car computer and Drive CX digital cockpit.

Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla, and Volvo are some of Nvidia’s clients, and the company’s automotive division is growing fast. That growth is further evidence that the line between the automotive and technology industries continues to blur.

Self-driving cars do, however, still present plenty of problems. The first is driver complacency. Check out this video of a man apparently sleeping behind the wheel of a moving Tesla:

Luckily for the sleeping driver, the car appears to be working as intended; but by no means should a driver *ever* sleep behind the wheel of a moving automobile. Even in autonomous cars, drivers need to remain alert and focused on the road in the event of a malfunction.

A second video makes that point very clear (beware of the German curse word):

Nvidia and other companies are investing billions of dollars in perfecting autonomous cars, but I don’t think the driving public is ready for them. As drivers, we are too quick to hand off responsibility to technology and then place blame when something goes wrong.

Until the day comes when autonomous cars are proven fail-safe, we should consider self-driving technology as a helpful aide but continue to remain alert and in control while behind the wheel.

Unless we’re playing video games.

Have you “driven” an autonomous car yet?


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