Michael Harris

Apr 30, 2021

2 min read

Autonomous Vehicles Breakthrough Will Happen — It Just Takes Time

By Ian Maddox — Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=67227170

Yesterday, Elon Musk admitted that expectations about autonomous vehicles are premature without a breakthrough in artificial intelligence.

This is positive development and not negative as some may think. Realizing the problem sets the stage for the next breakthrough. Not realizing the problem but instead trying to change the world to fit current autonomous car technology, as some companies are attempting, is the wrong approach.

If we decide to redesign cities and roads for autonomous cars to work based on current technology, we will have wasted resources when the next breakthrough in artificial intelligence occurs and it can match the performance of humans in classifying images and making decisions. We will be stuck in cities and roads with limited possibilities.

Realizing the problem, as Elon Musk just did, allows directing resources to the right field for research.

Now, let us go back a few years to remember what we have said when all mainstream media thought autonomous vehicles were a reality.

Undoubtedly, with his statement, Elon Musk has marked the start of intense research and competition in artificial intelligence that will probably lead to the next major breakthrough. It will take time and a full solution to the problem may not be achieved soon but intermediate developments will allow significant progress to take place. Autonomous vehicles will happen, trips to Mars will happen, transhumans will be reality, but it takes time.

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