At CES, self-driving cars dance with believers, skeptics, and governments

Never mind technology — it’s social engineering the automakers need now

By Chris Ziegler on January 10, 2013 04:52 pm

“Sensing what’s around you versus understanding it [are] vastly different,” said Lexus VP Mark Templin, waxing philosophical about the company’s so-called advanced active safety research vehicle — “AASRV” for short — at a dimly-lit CES event early this week.

From the unapproachable, awkward name, you’d probably never guess that the AASRV is actually a self-driving car, every bit as autonomous, advanced, and buzzworthy as the ones Google has been driving around California for the past several years. And that’s just the way Lexus wants it: as the legal and ethical challenges of these vehicles cast an ever-growing pall on the research arm of the auto industry, carmakers are quick to play down the capabilities of the self-driving car and play up the responsibility of the driver. “The driver must be fully engaged in the operation of the vehicle at all times,” Templin cautioned.

“WE MUST COMBINE THE JUDGMENT OF HUMANS WITH THE PRECISION OF MACHINES, AND THAT TAKES TIME.”

Read more: At CES, self-driving cars dance with believers, skeptics, and governments | The Verge.

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