July 01, 2016      

Editor’s Note: This episode of The Robotics Trends Show originally aired March 18, 2016, just days after Missy Cummings testified before Congress that self-driving cars aren’t ready for widespread deployment.

We are re-airing this episode in light of the first fatal self-driving car accident, which involved a Tesla Model S driving on Autopilot. One of the discussions on this podcast was the irresponsibility of Tesla releasing Autopilot to the public. Fast-forward to 7:50 of the podcast to hear the Tesla discussion and let us know your thoughts.

It might not seem like it judging by her testimony to Congress this week, but Missy Cummings is a fan of self-driving cars. Honestly. She just wants everyone to pump the brakes on all the hype.

The head of Duke University’s robotics program told Congress that self-driving cars are “absolutely not” ready for widespread deployment despite a rush to put them to put them on the road. She said their inability to handle bad weather, including rain and snow, how easy it is for hackers to take control of the GPS navigation systems, and the fact they can’t follow the directions of a police officer all indicate the automotive industry isn’t “ready for humans to be completely taken out of the driver’s seat.”

Cummings joined the Robotics Trends Show to follow up on the heated Congressional meeting between auto executives and robotics experts.

She also weighed in on whether self-driving cars will overcome a fatal accident, the irresponsibility of Tesla’s Autopilot system, and when she’ll be ready to adopt an autonomous vehicle.

Listen to the podcast using the embedded player below and share your thoughts on self-driving cars.