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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

'Self-Driving' Cars Begin to Emerge from a Cloud of Hype

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futuristic illustration of couple being driven in a fully autonomous car

Cars are far less relevant for automation today than trucks, buses, and shared-ride vans.

Although some observers may perceive that the bloom is off the rose for automated driving in this post-hype environment, the current situation actually marks a sign of progress. More realistic views of the opportunities and challenges for automated driving will motivate better-focused investment of resources and alignment of public perceptions with reality.

We should expect some limited implementations of automated long-haul trucking on low-density, rural highways and automated local small-package delivery in urban and suburban settings during the current decade. Automated urban and suburban ride-hailing services could become available on a limited basis as well, but the location-specific challenges to their deployment are sufficient that this is unlikely to reach a national scale soon.

From Scientific America
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