Self-driving vehicle companies are hitting the brakes...
...with some executives admitting that consumer-ready level 5 autonomy is much further away than previously anticipated. As we’ve pointed out before, it will take decades for full autonomy to clear the many technological and societal hurdles in its path.
You heard it here first.
We got loads of "Oh-You're-Just-a-Luddite" flak when we first questioned the absurdly accelerating timeline announced by Silicon Valley and Detroit for the introduction of fully autonomous vehicles to the general market. (See: "Have Autonomous Vehicles Hit a Roadblock?" and "Driverless Cars: Unsafe at Any Speed?")
Now, it seems, pretty much everyone (even Waymo CEO John Krafcik) is agreeing with our objections. Uber is considering abandoning its driverless car project altogether. And it now turns out that nearly every driverless car enterprise (Uber especially) was overselling the reliability of its trial data.
More broadly, the public seems to have difficulty understanding what AI is--and is not--capable of. This is the subject of an interesting new book by computer scientist Meredith Broussard, "Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World."
In the long run, sure, everything will come to pass. We'll get our driverless car. We may even get our cryptocurrency. Meanwhile, those who've been burned by an overhyped technology can always take solace in the "Gartner Hype Cycle" (see below), which enables you to see beyond your current disillusionment and peer into a future in which your dreams are finally realized.