Gill Pratt of Toyota: Safety is No Argument for Robocars


The technology that will eventually make cars safe can be implemented in human-driven cars

Going for Level 4 autonomy—where the car drives itself, and you can go to sleep—is typically justified on the grounds that such cars will be very safe. And they had better be, or we’d never let them loose on the roads.

But the safety-first argument is flawed, says Gill Pratt, who heads up self-driving car research for Toyota. Reason: Safety can be obtained by other means.

“The reason for Level 4 being done—to save lives—is backwards thinking, even if you assume it’ll be 10 times safer,”

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