U.S. in ‘Valley of Death’ as Autonomous Cars Write Checks the Tech Can’t Cash, Warns Pete Buttigieg

“It feels like the widespread use of autonomous driving is seven years away, and it’s been seven years away for 10 years,” says U.S. Department of Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg. “So the question is, will it be seven years away 10 years from now, or will we actually be getting somewhere?”…

Buttigieg says: “There is a very serious danger right now in this kind of valley of death between where we started and where we’re headed, where these technologies do run the risk of making things worse. Especially if people see ADAS, which is an automated driver assistance system, and treat it like a driver replacement system….

Because of this jumbled messaging, consumer perception of self-driving cars is in a risky place.Buttigieg warns that we are approaching a “dangerous transition” before we reach the self-driving “promised land.” If we ever make it there, he believes that self-driving tech could be an important tools that we should use to cut traffic deaths here in the U.S.