Raj Rajkumar, an expert on autonomous cars at Carnegie Mellon University, said the past decade of self-driving car development has been like an arms race, and the 2018 fatality was a wakeup call.
“Every company in the space basically got a slap in the face and said ‘Hey, can this happen in our context,'” Rajkumar said. “‘What are we doing to prevent a tragedy like this from happening?'”
Rajkumar said some self-driving car companies have misrepresented how long it will take to perfect the technology.
“Self-driving is not a simple activity, it’s quite complex,” Rajkumar said. “It’s going to take time, many years, so ‘customer beware.'”