Cheaper parts, infrastructures, regs needed for driverless cars

Cheaper parts, infrastructures, regs needed for driverless cars

No one doubts that autonomous cars are coming. The question is how soon and at what cost, financially and otherwise. For instance, there could be privacy concerns. Participants at the Intelligent Transportation Systems World Congress last week in Detroit discussed all these issues.

One obstacle is the cost of the sensors put in cars to enable them to be –driverless.” The price of a system for one car currently ranges from $8,000 to $25,000, John Lauckner, General Motorsê chief technology officer, said during a panel at the congress, according to

–The cost of sensing and processing is going to have to move down a lot if weêre going to make a manageable and a large-scale deployment of autonomous automated vehicle technology over the next few years,” Lauckner said.

But Verizon chairman and CEO Lowell McAdam predicted weêll see driverless cars in three to five years, if infrastructure can be built and federal regulations put in place.

Although many may like the idea of letting their car find the most efficient, least traffic-choked route to work, privacy could be a concern. What if federal agencies were able to use the technology to pinpoint driversê location and businesses were to inundate them with ads? Lauckner brushed aside such concerns, saying 80 percent of the information would be collected anonymously.

Some cities are already moving ahead on infrastructure. The Michigan Department of Transportation announced this month it would add vehicle-to-road communication to 120 miles of area highway starting next spring.

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