DENVER – State lawmakers will consider a law that would allow driverless cars on Colorado roads with only one very simple requirement: if it can follow traffic laws, it’s street legal.The state senate already passed SB 213. On Wednesday afternoon, the bill gets its first house hearing in the transportation committee.The bill as passed by the senate relies somewhat on the honor system.To put a self-driving car on the road, it does not require any certification of roadworthiness. However, if the vehicle is not capable of obeying all traffic laws, it does require the state transportation department and state patrol to sign off on tests of the self-driving system.
When this all goes awry and our few surviving ancestors trace back the origins of the robot revolution, they’ll find this moment as a major milestone of The Before Time: robots delivering pizza. Domino’s Pizza is teaming up with Starship Technologies for a pilot program that will roll out pizza delivery in Europe courtesy of a cute little robot that looks like something that would be friends with R2-D2. SEE ALSO: Leaked video shows ‘nightmare inducing’ robot from Boston DynamicsAccording to a Starship, the little robot – let’s call him Buddy because terrifying futures always start with innocuous cuteness – will deliver Domino’s pizzas to locations within a mile of select stores in a handful of Dutch and German cities.
The new Autopilot has been approached cautiously after its first iteration faced international scrutiny and a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation after the first self-driving car fatality last year. But the HW2 hardware kit is much more advanced than the previous generation. According to Tesla, its cars on the road right now have the capability for Level 5 autonomy (full on, hands-off self-driving) as soon as more data is collected and the software has been fully rolled out. Musk famously set a goal for a fully autonomous cross-country trip by the end of this year.
Fewer accidents: Could car accidents become a rarity? KPMG, the audit and professional services firm, estimates the adoption of self-driving cars eventually could reduce accidents 80% in coming decades, to just one accident for every 1.6 million miles driven by 2040. By 2030 or 2040 accidents may become so rare that stand-alone car insurance could become a thing of the past. Auto coverage simply could be a rider on your homeowner’s policy.Smaller vehicles?: Fewer accidents also means cars could become lighter – and cheaper. No longer will safety-conscious parents feel compelled to drive mammoth SUVs. (It remains to be seen how this will impact warehouse-store shopping trips.) As self-driving cars become cheaper to build – and then to operate – we’ll see new alliances formed between traditional automakers, Silicon Valley players who understand software interfaces and the ride-sharing services that are eager to deploy fleets of autonomous robo-taxis.Robo-Taxis? If the fares for any future fleets of urban taxis became inexpensive enough, city dwellers might choose to forgo automobile ownership. (Think about this as an Uber model on steroids.)If that sounds like bad news for automakers, fear not. Yes, moving from a culture of car ownership to one where we use urban taxis could mean fewer vehicles in circulation. But if the future is filled with robo-taxis being driven around the clock, they’ll need to be replaced more frequently.While Americans today hang on to their car for an average 11.4 years, frequently used vehicles will need to be replaced every three years. That’s good news for carmakers.
It’s amazing how quickly design can move from groundbreaking to formulaic. Just a few years ago, we began seeing some of the very first visions of autonomous car cabins – and they were awesome, completely disrupting the forward-facing, driver’s-seat layout that has dominated for generations.
John McMillan, a sophomore from Vadnais Heights, Minn., is one of a handful of students on the NDSU software design team. Each student works on a different aspect of cybersecurity, including management of vehicles if there is an accident; identifying and dealing with emergency vehicles; control among vanets (groups of vehicles) and identifying attacks; security systems for individual cars; and security for roadside units or towers that coordinate the transit system.The challenge is magnified by the fact that there are no fixed systems in place. But that is also the allure, McMillan said.”To really be the first people to research into this was super appealing,” he said. “We’re defining this as we go and defining questions no one has looked at yet.”Straub said the initiative has not required a lot of money, so it has been funded by NDSU. But as self-driving car coordination evolves, Straub hopes NDSU is positioned to receive federal funds for advanced research and real-world testing.Freshman Abdullah Almosalami, is working on protecting vehicles when they are not connected to a network,.