Trusting Elevators – DR003

In this episode of Driverless Radio, Robert and Zaira discuss trust in autonomous vehicles.  A vehicle is a device that transports people or goods from one place to another and based on this definition, many of us ride in autonomous vehicles every day. Although they are commonplace, elevators, escalators,  and light trains are already fully autonomous….We often ride them without thinking twice about it. What will it take for passengers and society to develop the same level of trust in fully autonomous cars?

Although we use terms such as driverless or self-driving to describe future autonomous systems, most cars already have a certain degree of automation. These levels of automation can be described as levels 0 through 5.

  • Level 0: No automation
  • Level 1: Driver Assistance (basic cruise control)
  • Level 2: Partial Automation (advanced cruise control systems that stay in lane and identify other cars or obstacles)
  • Level 3: Conditional Automation (such as current Tesla vehicles)
  • Level 4: High Automation (experimental cars such as Waymo, General Motors, Uber, etc.)
  • Level 5: Full Automation (experimental cars)

In this episode, Robert and Zaira also interview Robert’s parents, Vic and Dot. They discuss their experiences with elevators in the 1950s and also give their opinions about future driverless cars. Vic, an old NYC taxi cab driver, says that driverless cars can never replace human taxi cab drivers. While Dot, someone that has never driven her entire life, is more willing to give it a try.