AI and Self Driving Cars

In this episode, Byron talks about autonomous vehicles.

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Science fiction has always kind of envisioned the day when there would be self-driving cars, and self-driving planes, hopefully.

And in their imaginings, they would whisk us away where we wanted to go while we watched TV or did other things.

But it always seemed like it was science fiction, like something that was far away, no idea that, you know, when you might actually see it. Then it seemed like that all just changed a few years ago. It seemed that almost instantly you could see videos of cars that were self-driving, navigating complex situations effortlessly.

And then suddenly, it seemed like it was real. You couldn’t go down to the corner store and buy a self-driving car, but all of a sudden, it seemed like someday not too far in the future, you would be able to.

Why did this happen? How did it happen so quickly? Well, there had to be breakthroughs in sensor technology. There had to be advances in batteries, and even advances in the material sciences.

But the real reason that the world of self-driving cars is going to happen is because of artificial intelligence. The world, our streets, and how we interact with them is a messy, analog thing. But we still have to build digital systems that can take billions of miles of driving data, and, here’s the tricky part, flawlessly understand and navigate within it.

It’s a hard problem, but one that we’re in the process of cracking.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at