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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

Self-Driving Cars Are Doing More Harm than Good

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An engineer designs an autonomous vehicle on a computer.

Credit: Getty Images

Since at least 2012, tech companies have been promising that self-driving cars would revolutionize our transport system, and yet not much has actually changed, nor does it appear set to change anytime soon. Uber pulled out in 2020, making a $400 million investment in Aurora Innovations to persuade the company to take Uber's flailing self-driving division off its hands, while Argo AI, a respected autonomous driving startup backed by Ford and Volkswagen, shut down in October.

Meanwhile, it has been impossible to ignore the ongoing troubles at Tesla, whose CEO Elon Musk has a tendency to promise that full self-driving capabilities are right around the corner, only for them to never arrive.

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