You Gotta be Kidding


You Gotta be Kidding

Here’s the deal.  An article from USA Today posted on says that autonomous vehicles coming off the assembly line will be light colored. It seems that the sensors on existing vehicles can’t see darker colors quite as well. Oh, they can add additional sensors to see darker cars, but that’s expensive and drives the cost of the cars up.

We are assuming that autonomous vehicles are going to be driving on the same streets as existing vehicles. As I look out my window into Neutrogena’s parking lot I see that easily half of the cars are black, or some other dark color. What are these new autonomous vehicles going to do, only see other autonomous vehicles and hope to miss the regular cars already on the street? Or, as mentioned in the article, are we going to channel Henry Ford and allow you to buy any car you want EXCEPT black.

Then there’s this interesting little paragraph:

In addition to color considerations, paint companies must also adapt their products to help vehicles avoid dirt buildup, which can clutter sensors and give false signals to self-driving cars.

Look, I’m as into technology as the next guy, but please. To be safe, only drive when surrounded by light colored vehicles, or pay the premium and buy the AV with and ‘extra’ set of sensors. And for goodness sake don’t drive through that mud puddle, gotta keep those sensors clean and clear. I’m told rain and snow cause AV problems. But rain might just wash mud off the sensors or it might add to it.

GM, the article says, wants to begin testing AV’s with no back up driver or steering wheel. Yikes. Where will they be testing these, in Phoenix with nice clean streets? I think Waymo has the valley of the sun locked up.

I know I’m a cynic. But wouldn’t it be better if the auto companies solved all these issues before they issued the press release.

Note: In keeping with my theory that everyone has an ax to grind, the article quoted a company that provides paint for automobiles.



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John Van Horn

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