There is a great deal about the rise of autonomous vehicles that can be learned through experience borrowed from the aviation industry. That was the premise of Christopher Hart, who until January had served almost 10 years the chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
Hart counted himself as a big believer in autonomous technology and safety.
“Are driverless cars doable?” Hart asked rhetorically. “Absolutely.”
He said it’s absolutely vital to discern how to introduce such technology with a minimum of “missteps.”
Probably because of previous missteps, some segments of the general public are skeptical, but he insisted such doubt can be overcome with work. In fact, Hart said the rise of AV will only increase exponentially.
“I’m not going to say that in two or three years you’re going to see large amounts of driverless cars, but it’s coming,” Hart said. “We need to get better.”
He pointed to the successes of the aviation industry, including the importance of collaboration that brought many parties to the table to share their talents and information and come up with processes that worked for everyone. Hart said he saw “huge” opportunities for collaboration in the autonomous vehicle industry.
Hart emphasized the importance of testing the vehicles on the streets to make sure that’s exactly where they will be reliable when they are deployed.
Hyneman invoked some straight-faced humor into the AV conversation when he injected an observation about drivers and cars today.
“You sometimes wonder, ‘What’s going on in those other cars? Are they drunk or insane?'”
Part 1: Velodyne LiDAR’s Safety Summit
Part 2: Let’s get it started
Part 3: Look, up in the sky!
Part 4: It’s a learning process
Part 5: And now, what about the DMV?
Part 6: Regulations. Responsibility
Part 7: Watch what you drink
Part 8: The driverless car rides
Part 9: That’s a wrap