Can Sully Transform the World of Self-Driving Cars?
The Drive interviews Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger about autonomous cars, driver distraction and a certain Hudson River water landing.
By Alex RoyMarch 14, 2017
Lost in the putrid cloud of self-driving car clickbait, the Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation held its first meeting on January 16th, 2017. One look at its members is all it takes to know whose lobbying dollars hold sway in Washington. The largest constituency? A bloc including Apple, Amazon, Lyft, Uber, Waymo and Zoox, all of whom profit from you losing your steering wheel as soon as possible. They may cite safety, but there is only one objective voice on the panel, a man with true life and death experience at the intersection of human skill and automation:
Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger.
In a world where political hacks and “experts” are increasingly replacing those with real-world experience, Sully’s inclusion on the panel is a revelation. Best known for The Miracle on the Hudson, Sully’s entire career has been devoted to safety. Look past the mythology, and his is the story of the opportunity, danger and cost inherent to sacrificing skilled humans on the altar of automation. Sully has written and spoken extensively on the criticality of training and compensation for airline pilots, and his insights have clear applications to the future of the trucking industry.
In a recent interview, Sully made clear three simple messages: 1) we need real standards for self-driving cars, 2) the industry needs to reboot its approach to semi-autonomous cars, and 3) drivers education “is a national disgrace.”
Sully also ends his interview with a singularly authoritative message about human driving. TL:DR? If you love driving, read this to the end.
One more critical point. For those unfamiliar with the term, “flight protection envelopes” automatically prevent pilots from exceeding a plane’s operational limits, akin to a car limiting how far you can turn the steering wheel, or push the gas pedal. Such systems are standard on all Airbus aircraft, but not Boeing. Debate has raged for decades over whether Airbus’s higher level of automation is actually safer than Boeing’s more human-centric approach. Although Sully’s miracle landing was in an Airbus, he’s experienced in both. Neither are capable of going gate-to-gate without human operators. Their differences highlight the lack of consensus not only in aviation, but on the ground, where Tesla differs with traditional automakers over the safe implementation of semi-autonomous features.
Interesting long read at:
http://www.thedrive.com/tech/8300/can-sully-transform-the-world-of-self-driving-carsxynthee, ThouArtThat like this
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