1. Elon Musk just Tweeted that Tesla’s autopilot function has been approved approved for global rollout.
Regulatory approvals received, so Autopilot rolling out to all countries! (Excluding Japan, which is still under review)
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 23, 2015
While it’s advised that drivers should keep their hands on the wheel even if this feature is engaged, this is definitely a major step towards the driverless road of the future. Of course, there are still some bugs that need to be worked out, such as the fact that…
2. Hackers are able to disable Audi airbags remotely.
You thought it was over after the Volkswagen fiasco, but high-tech cars continue to face problems created by their advanced software. In this case, the firmware of Audi cars can be replaced by foreign code allowing important things like airbags and brakes to be manipulated from a distance. Yikes! In response to horrific scenarios like this one, the U.S. is seriously considering passing pre-emptive laws that make hacking cars illegal.
3. Last but not least, ethics.
In a world of cars and pedestrians, it’s only a matter of time before self-driving cars will run across the infamous trolley problem designed to test the limits of utilitarian philosophy – do you sacrifice one to save many? The way MIT sees it: self-driving cars must be programmed to kill.
Of course, self-driving cars aren’t all gloom and doom. Here’s the good news:
- WIRED argues that even though malicious hackers can misuse the tech, tinkering ultimately makes cars safer.
- Domino’s Pizza is partnering with GM to create self-driving pizza delivery vehicles – AND they have pizza ovens in the back! Wow!
- The Florida Department of Transportation is preparing for a future that includes both autonomous and connected vehicles.