As autonomous vehicles become more prominent in the news, so do the myths and
misconceptions. Sure, autonomous
vehicles are and will be disruptive to
society, much like automobiles were
in the late 1800s, however, we’ve fully
evolved to accept and in some cases
cherish our cars today, and the same
will go for self-driving cars in the future.
Believe it or not, autonomous cars will make driving safer
and more efficient. With this, I am here to debunk some of
the myths and misconceptions that are floating about.
1. Autonomous vehicles won’t become a reality for like, years.
Of course there are technical challenges with the creation
and evolution of autonomous cars, however, they’re workin’
on it. Who, you might ask? (See: page 10, page 14, and
even page 17) From Google to Apple to Intel, Tesla, BMW,
Audi, even Uber has been testing driverless cars in public.
As of late, fully autonomous cars and buses are being trialed
and tested in cities all around the world, and, if all goes as
planned, we may even see self-driving cars on the road as
early as 2018.
Semi-autonomous cars, however, are due to come even
sooner. For instance, Tesla’s current Autopilot is considered a
Level 2, meaning it requires constant human monitoring, but
plans to have its Level 5 fully autonomous driving software
update late in 2017. Once its Level 5 hits the ground
running, Tesla cars will include additional cameras, ultrasonic
sensors, a more powerful computer, and forward-facing radar.
2. Autonomous vehicles are not safe.
Fear is a very real thing. However, in the case of autonomous
cars, fear not fellow friends, automating the not-so-simple task
of driving will be safer without human error (no offense).
Of course we’ve all read an article or two about accidents
involving self-driving cars, but, yet again, all signs (and
evidence) point to the fact that autonomous driving is
enormously safer to operate than cars driven by me, ehem, I
mean humans. In fact, Google’s self-driving cars have been in
16 crashes in over two million miles and in every single crash,
a human was to blame. Figures, huh?
I know it’s not always easy to throw caution to the wind
and trust in the fact that driverless cars are the cars of the
future, but it’s happening. Another thing that’s happening
over here at Electronic Component News (ECN) is my
departure. It’s never easy leaving behind such a boundless
brand, a tireless team, and especially you, ECN’s remarkable
readers, but I thank you immensely for listening and riding
along with me during my time as Editor in Chief. It’s truly
been a great ride.
All my best,
Janine E. Mooney
Editor in Chief, ECN
Editorial Content Director, DEG
Twitter: @JanineEMoon + @ECNonline
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD
Jeff Bader, Micron Technology
Harrison Beasley, Global Semiconductor Alliance
Carlos Castillo, Engineering Manager position,
Midmak Medical Device Division
Stacey M. DelVecchio, 2014 President, Society of Women Engineers
Tom Donofrio, Central Semiconductor Corp.
Christian Fell, FRABA Inc.
Joshua Israelsohn, JAS Technical Media
Dan Jones, Motor/Motion Controls expert
Anthony Le, Spansion
Ron Moore, Avnet Electronics Marketing
David Niewolny, Freescale Semiconductor
Robbie Paul, Digi-Key
Steve Sargeant, The Marvin Group
Aung Thet Tu, Fairchild Semiconductor
Rick Weitfeldt, Qualcomm
6 JANINE E. MOONEY | EDITOR IN CHIEF
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