The car of the future is taking years to emerge.

The car of the future is likely to be powered by electricity, although there is a chance that hydrogen will also play its part. We can see the shape of electric cars already. But fully autonomous cars look as far away as ever. One difficulty is that we seem to demand miles higher standards of safety out of autonomous cars than out of human-driven cars. Another is that autonomous cars continue to be bedevilled by ‘edge’ cases. An edge case could arise as a result of a particular and rare weather condition or an unpredictable pedestrian. Either way, the autonomous car makes a mistake with potentially lethal consequences. Autonomous cars still rely on statistical methods of programming, just as most machine learning does. As a result, some would-be autonomous car producers are pulling out of the race. There’s still a very long way to go.

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