Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Self-Driving Cars: It's Unacceptable for Machines to Kill Humans

Self-driving cars will be here within the decade. Google (NASDAQ: GOOG  ) , (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) has already logged hundreds of thousands of accident-free miles with its car, and Nissan promises more than one autonomous vehicle for sale by 2020.

The self-driving revolution is expected to drastically reduce auto fatalities, and yet one of the issues holding back the adoption of this technology is... safety.

Michael Toscano, president of the non-profit Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, or AUVSI, spoke with Motley Fool analyst Rex Moore about this issue. In this video, Toscano explains why driverless vehicles will be safer, but the rollout will be slow as long as these machines still have the capabilities to harm humans.

A full transcript follows the video.

3 stocks poised to be multi-baggers
The self-driving revolution is but one major trend we as investors must be aware of.  In fact, the one sure way to get wealthy is to invest in a groundbreaking company that goes on to dominate a multibillion-dollar industry. Our analysts have found multi-bagger stocks time and again. And now they think they've done it again with three stock picks that they believe could generate the same type of phenomenal returns. They've revealed these picks in a new free report that you can download instantly by clicking here now.

Michael Toscano: Someplace between 87 and 93% of all accidents are caused by a human being. The major factor of these accidents is us, so if you take the weak link out of the system then you make the system tremendously more efficient and effective, and obviously safe.

If you can avoid having the accidents, then you can take a lot of the weight off the car. If you can take a lot of the weight off the car, then you're going to have better fuel economies and you'll have better systems.

The fact that you would not have to have stoplights, because if all the cars had the ability to communicate with each other -- this is called vehicle-to-vehicle, and also vehicle-to-infrastructure -- just like on your phone when you have a purple line that says, "I want to go from here to Starbucks," if everybody knows what their purple line is, I can make sure that I don't bump into you because I know where you're trying to get to and where you're going.

The technology is maturing and eventually, at some point in time, you will have self-driving, automated vehicles, driverless cars -- whichever term you want to use for that technology.

Moore: As Amazon will try to deliver packages with the quadricopter or flying vehicles, I'm guessing that some of the delivery companies will try to deliver with the self-driving vehicles?

Toscano: Sure -- and it may be a marsupial type of approach, where a big van comes out to a certain point and then a smaller vehicle either can fly from there or drive from there to a location.

The Amazon portrayal of what is the potential -- and that's what I think is powerful, is that this is the potential that we have now, with this technology. No one questions whether we can fly, drive, or navigate. The maturation of the technology is such that, for the most part, we can do it. Now the question is, how safe? How much can we assure that we've considered all conditions?

Now, because there is a human being, and we accept the fact that human beings make errors, that's not the same acceptance that we have for machines. It is literally in our DNA at this point in time that it is unacceptable for a machine to kill a human being -- so that's going to be one of the issues that we'll have to understand, as time moves on and as this technology matures.

That's why I say, I think in the beginning what you're going to see is those applications for which we have a higher assurance that the systems will perform as designed.

Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On June 29, 2014, at 2:57 PM, wereew wrote:

    But it's acceptable for machines to expose human passengers to involuntary radiation?

    Self-driving cars are supposedly going to be a "shift" but not everyone can use them. Therefore, some people will have no mode to travel if they take over the market completely. Some people become impaired from magnetic and wireless fields. To sit in such a car would make them ill. In fact, Radiofrequency and Microwave Sickness used to only occur in radar and telephone operators. It is a growing scourge that is yet to be recognized and averted. Mechanical non-transmitting cars and other devices work fine. Without these options a whole group of people will be left behind.

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2903670, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/3/2015 7:17:32 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Rex Moore

Rex Moore spent his formative years in Texas, and fought beside Davy Crockett at the Alamo. He currently travels the globe for TMF, bringing back video reports on conferences and companies that matter for investors.

Today's Market

updated 10 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,351.38 293.03 1.82%
S&P 500 1,948.86 35.01 1.83%
NASD 4,749.98 113.87 2.46%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/2/2015 3:59 PM
AMZN $510.55 Up +14.01 +2.82% CAPS Rating: ***
GOOGL $644.91 Up +15.35 +2.44%
Google (A shares) CAPS Rating: ****
NSANY $17.54 Up +0.29 +1.68%
Nissan Motor CAPS Rating: ****