In an interview with Reuters, the head of Volkswagen commercial vehicles has warned that the cost and complexity of rolling out fully autonomous vehicle technology globally will serve to undermine the business case for doing so.
Thomas Sedran told Reuters that he believes Level 5 automation will never happen globally, given the need for the latest-generation mobile infrastructure, constantly updated high-definition digital maps and near-perfect road markings. “The complexity of solving this problem is like a manned mission to Mars,” he said.
Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto has issued an executive order outlining the city’s objectives and expectations for the safe testing of autonomous vehicles. The order, called the ‘Pittsburgh Principles’, will require transparent lines of communication between the city and companies testing autonomous vehicles, as well as annual reports on the implementation of AV policies.
The Utah Senate has approved a bill giving companies the green light to begin testing autonomous cars on the state's roads. Deseret News reports that the bill, which outlines regulations for autonomous cars and sets procedures for when they're involved in accidents, was passed in a unanimous vote.
New research has found that drivers often fail to spot hazards missed by automated vehicles, and that this failure only gets worse the longer drivers spend riding in them. The study was conducted by researchers from Rice University and Texas Tech University, who examined the behaviour of 60 licensed drivers operating an automated car in a simulator.
Prosecutors have ruled that Uber is not criminally liable for a fatal crash involving one of its self-driving cars last year, reports BBC News, although the car's back-up driver may still face criminal charges. According to the article, Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Sullivan Polk wrote: "After a very thorough review of all evidence presented, this office has determined that there is no basis for criminal liability for the Uber corporation."