Articles on Autonomous vehicles

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Car owners’ attachment to driving and the willingness of others to switch from public transport could confound rosy predictions for autonomous vehicles. Steven Giles/Shutterstock

How we feel about our cars means the road to a driverless future may not be smooth

Scenarios based on a survey of Adelaide commuters and analyses of traffic flows show it's possible the congestion could get worse in the transition to driverless vehicles.
As our worlds are become increasingly digitised, we’re starting to rely more on machines and devices for everyday tasks. But in an age when even pacemakers can be hacked, how do we know when and who to trust? SHUTTERSTOCK

Would you notice if your calculator was lying to you? The research says probably not

Research shows we're pretty gullible as it is. And our increasing reliance on machines for completing everyday tasks makes us all-the-more vulnerable to being exploited.
One of two underwater gliders is deployed from a research ship into Antarctic waters. NOAA

Waiting for an undersea robot in Antarctica to call home

Sending autonomous vehicles to the Southern Ocean can be fraught with anxiety, especially if one of them doesn't make radio contact when it's supposed to.
People expect drivers to stop for them at pedestrian crossings, but what if they know autonomous vehicles will stop any time someone chooses to step in front of them? Varavin88/Shutterstock

Nothing to fear? How humans (and other intelligent animals) might ruin the autonomous vehicle utopia

How will people respond once they realise they can rely on autonomous vehicles to stop whenever someone steps out in front of them? Human behaviour might stand in the way of the promised 'autopia'.
Cities have a choice of autonomous vehicle futures: cars or mass transit vehicles. Which one we adopt is likely to determine how people-friendly our cities are. SueBeDoo888/Shutterstock

Autonomous transport will shape our cities’ future – best get on the right path early

Autonomous mass transit vehicles like 'trackless trams' are a better bet than autonomous cars to give us people-friendly cities that capture the value created by infrastructure for the common good.
What would Artificial General Intelligence make of the human world? Shutterstock/Nathapol Kongseang

To protect us from the risks of advanced artificial intelligence, we need to act now

We're on the road to developing artificial intelligence systems that will be able to do tasks beyond those they were designed for. But will we be able to control them?
CRRC’s version of the optically guided bus, now operating in Zhuzhou, is more like light rail than its predecessors. CRRC

Looking past the hype about ‘trackless trams’

The autonomous rail rapid transit (ART) system developed in China might make buses sexy, but the technology alone won't resolve the issues of road space and right of way in Australia.
Charging six cars at once is fine. Charging 60 million might be a bit tougher. Nadya Kubik/Shutterstock.com

Switching to electric vehicles could save the US billions, but timing is everything

Ensuring that everyone doesn't charge their cars simultaneously will make a big difference.
A self-driving car heads into the woods. Matthew Doude

Driving autonomous cars off the beaten path

One-third of roads in the U.S. are unpaved; plenty more have faded or obscured road markings. Today's self-driving vehicles can't go on them, and will need new algorithms to handle those conditions.
A cleaner future with autonomous vehicles is not a sure thing. AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Spread of self-driving cars could cause more pollution – unless the electric grid transforms radically

The spread of ride-hailing services and autonomous vehicles will lead to higher energy demand, a study finds. Electric vehicles and a much cleaner grid are the only way to avoid more emissions.

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