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Are AI Vehicles Here to Stay? Robo-Expert Chimes In

Are AI Vehicles Here to Stay?
Are AI Vehicles Here to Stay?

That’s a question many have been asking over the past few years in this new age of artificial intelligence. Companies like Tesla, Cruise, and Kodiak promise that the future of driving is autonomous. This causes many skeptics and supporters question how feasible it is.

Australian roboticist Rodney Brooks publishes an annual report with his predictions on where the future of self driving vehicles, electric cars, and other robotic advancements. Brooks is the founder of iRobot (creator of the Roomba), member of the Australian Academy of Science, and is a leading authority in his field.


Autonomous Taxis

In his report from January 2024, Brooks wrote about Cruise, the self-driving taxi service in San Francisco. Brooks took 40 rides in the robo-taxies and came close to an accident in one of them. “It seemed like when a Cruise was in an intersection and a car was heading right for it, the vehicle would stop dead,” he wrote in his report.

As a motorist, he also experienced struggles with Cruise and Waymo, another self-driving car. “As a driver in San Francisco during the day I was getting pretty frustrated with driverless Cruise and Waymo vehicles doing stupid things that I saw and experienced every day,” Brooks wrote.

After a Cruise vehicle hit a pedestrian in October 2023, the company “paused nationwide operations of our fleet to focus on rebuilding trust with regulators and the communities we serve, and to redesign our approach to safety”, according to their website. In the wake of that incident, the New York Times published a story that says, “with 1.5 workers per vehicle. The workers intervened to assist the company’s vehicles every 2.5 to five miles.” This caught Brooks’ attention as he pointed out the taxis weren’t as self-driving as they claimed.


Cruise Robo-Taxi


Self-Driving Consumer Cars

Brooks’ report also pointed out that companies like Tesla have been promising self-driving cars for years and still haven’t delivered on it. Brooks referenced an article by Rolling Stone that points out that Tesla’s Autopilot still needs human intervention if it faces any danger. Once again, a human is needed to intervene when the AI is in trouble.


Waymo self driving car


So What Does This Mean for Trucking?

Companies like Tesla, Aurora, and Kodiak boast that their big rigs have autonomous capability. This could mean faster deliveries and potentially reduced costs for transportation companies. However, this could come at the cost of safety if there isn’t a trucker behind the wheel to correct when the autopilot faces obstacles. Considering the struggles that AI four-wheelers are facing, it seems natural to conclude that AI big rigs will face the same.

The Mighty Trucker is no expert in the field of robotics and AI. Though, we will continue to report the innovations that are made in the trucking industry, no matter what the future holds.



See these videos about AI vehicles:

Robo-Taxi Wrecks With Semi

Electric Semi Hauls Like a “Work Horse”

Self-Driving Truck Responds to Tire Blowout



Rodney Brooks’ report

Cruise’s Website

“Elon Musk’s Big Lie About Tesla Is Finally Exposed” by Rolling Stone

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