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Five reasons why driverless cars aren t coming anytime soon

Five reasons why driverless cars aren t coming anytime soon
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A row of Google self-driving cars are lined up outside the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., on Tuesday, May 13, 2014. (AP / Eric Risberg)

Published Monday, April 22, 2019 2:38PM EDT

PITTSBURGH -- In the world of autonomous vehicles, Pittsburgh, Phoenix and Silicon Valley are bustling hubs of development and testing. But ask those involved in self-driving vehicles when we might actually see them carrying passengers in every city, and you ll get an almost universal answer: Not anytime soon.

An optimistic assessment is 10 years. Many others say decades as researchers try to conquer a number of obstacles. The vehicles themselves will debut in limited, well-mapped areas within cities and spread outward.

The fatal crash in Arizona involving an Uber autonomous vehicle in March of 2018 slowed progress, largely because it hurt the public s perception of the safety of vehicles. Companies slowed research to be more careful. Google s Waymo, for instance, decided not to launch a fully autonomous ride-hailing service in the Phoenix area and will rely on human backup drivers to ferry passengers, at least for now.
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