Alphabet (the parent company of Google) held their annual shareholder meeting this week. Eric Schmidt was in attendance, and the usually unfiltered executive didn’t disappoint. An audience member asked Schmidt about self-driving cars and how close they are to being a reality for more people.
It’s very hard to know. The consensus I think within the company is that it’s some years, not decades, but it is very much dependent on regulation. And it also depends on where you are. It’s obviously a great deal easier to do this in areas that, for example, have ample parking.
It may seem surprising for such a high-up member of Alphabet to be so uncertain of the future, but his answer makes a lot of logical sense. Even if the self-driving technology was perfect right now, there are tons of regulations and limitations that would prevent it from being in every garage overnight. Our society and infrastructure are not ready for such a big change.
The good news is he does think we’re only years, not decades, away from self-driving cars being more prominent. We should see self-driving cars more and more throughout the next decade. Our patience will be rewarded.
[via The Verge]