In the year 2014, Google fired a shot heard all the way to Detroit. Google's newest driverless car had no steering wheel and no brakes. The message was clear: cars of the future will be born fully autonomous, with no human driver needed. In the coming decade, self-driving cars will hit the streets, rearranging established industries and reshaping cities, giving us new choices in where we live and how we work and play. In this book, Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman offer readers insight into the risks and benefits of driverless cars and a lucid and engaging explanation of the enabling technology. Recent advances in software and robotics are toppling long-standing technological barriers that for decades have confined self-driving cars to the realm of fantasy. A new kind of artificial intelligence software called deep learning gives cars rapid and accurate visual perception. Human drivers can relax and take their eyes off the road. When human drivers let intelligent software take the wheel, driverless cars will offer billions of people all over the world a safer, cleaner, and more convenient mode of transportation.
Although the technology is nearly ready, car companies and policy makers may not be. The authors make a compelling case for why government, industry, and consumers need to work together to make the development of driverless cars our society's next "Apollo moment."
Driverless vehicles are poised to usher in a massive disruption of our transportation system, our urban landscapes, our economy -- and quite possibly the very fabric of society. Anyone who wants to understand what's coming must read this fascinating book. -- Martin Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Robots Driverless is a great read for anybody interested in technological, societal, and ethical implications of self-driving cars. The book reaches across fields and issues thoughtfully, and presents a comprehensive view of the state of the art. -- Daniela Rus, Director, CSAIL, MIT Best explanation of deep machine learning for a general audience I've ever read. And I'd never realized how thoroughly driverless cars will reshape the country: no more ambulance sirens, no more road signs, no more drunk drivers. But they could also deepen economic inequality and enable scary new crimes. This book will help us all get ready. -- George Musser, contributing editor at Scientific American and Nautilus magazines, author of Spooky Action at a Distance As we anticipate the implausible once again becoming inevitable -- when in the near future autonomous vehicles take over our roads, Driverless presents an excellent and comprehensive assessment of this disruptive new technology and the issues and implications relating to its adoption. It's a great roadmap to help us achieve the smoothest possible transition. -- Steven Berkenfeld, Managing Director in Investment Banking, Barclays
Hod Lipson is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University. Melba Kurman writes about disruptive technologies. Lipson and Kurman are the authors of the award-winning book Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing.