An article today made me realize that the race to develop driverless cars is not just with automakers, Google, Apple, Uber, etc….. it’s between countries too! This article describes the progress made by Japan versus the United States versus Germany. I’m surprised that it doesn’t mention the United Kingdom or Sweden because they seem to want to be the leaders too. It seems most governments are showing their support by encouraging testing – either at test sites or on public roads. They are also engaging and establishing partnerships with the technology developers (auto makers, Google, etc.). Sweden seems focused on establishing the infrastructure requirements and understanding human behavior. It seems Japan is most interested in the progress the countries are making with standards – not necessarily safety regulations or technological advancement. As stated in the article “Japan is hoping that the collaboration will allow them to establish common parts specifications and safety regulations (including crucial protections against car hacking) that could be adopted globally.”
I’m heartened by the fact that all of the countries seem to see the value in driverless cars and, in fact, want to see it happen quickly. Let the race continue!