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Road To Self-Driving Cars Goes Through NC

Flickr / NACTO

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Is a driver-less car in your future?  Maybe way down the road, but they’re coming. Mike Collins talks with experts about the state of self-driving technology, and North Carolina's role in its development.

The road map for bringing self-driving vehicles to streets and driveways is still being drafted, from Silicon Valley to Detroit to Washington, and even North Carolina. Raleigh’s Triangle Expressway toll road has been chosen as a testing ground for driverless technology.

Plenty of money, research and experimenting - and hype - have gone into putting autonomous vehicles on the road. So how close are we to it becoming commonplace?

Not by a long shot, says Missy Cummings, director of the robotics program at Duke University, which will be involved in the self-driving tests in Raleigh. Cummings, an expert in human/tech interaction, says driver-less vehicles aren’t ready for widespread deployment. There’s still a place for humans behind the wheel, she says, until the kinks can be worked out.

What are the potholes in the road to self-driving vehicles? How far along is the technology, and is regulation ready to catch up?


Dr. Mary "Missy" Cummings, director, Duke University Humans and Autonomy Laboratory (@missy_cummings)

Cecilia Kang, technology policy reporter, The New York Times (@ceciliakang)

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