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BMW Doubts Fully Autonomous Vehicles Will Ever Be Permitted

Governments may not allow fully autonomous vehicles on the roads, according to BMW’s special representative in the UK, Ian Robertson.

Even if the governments say ‘ok’, the regulators, when studying all the circumstances, will curtail, the top manager believes. People will always be responsible for life-and-death decisions.

Even though the car is more than capable of taking an algorithm to make the choice, I don’t think we’re ever going to be faced where a car will make the choice between that death and another death.

BMW has extensive experience in the use of autonomous vehicles. It has several fleets of self-driving cars, including one in Germany, which regularly passes 1000 km between Munich and Trieste in northern Italy.

Each such car of BMW registers 40 terabytes of data every day, 20 times more information that a Airbus A380 records when it crosses the Atlantic Ocean. And still, Robertson considers technology immature. According to him, success is measured by how often engineers have to be involved. At this stage, this happens thrice every 1000 km, which is not bad, but not perfect.

In addition, the current traffic rules do not provide for the existence of autonomous vehicles on the roads, they need to be changed, and this is not a fast process. In Great Britain, for instance, the driving laws are unlikely to be changed until 2021. Although the 3-year review into regulations has been recently announced.

BMW is not the only car maker to doubt the future of fully autonomous vehicles. A few months ago top management of Hyundai also expressed the opinion that the use of fully autonomous cars on the roads would not be expedient.

Source: Auto Express

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