Autonomous cars aren’t quite ready for:

● Sensing hand signals: Autonomous cars detect a construction worker or police officer as an obstacle they have to stop for, but they aren’t ready to follow hand gestures in case of an accident or a construction zone.

● Navigating adverse weather conditions: The sensors can be fooled by sun glare, heavy rain and snow-covered streets.

● Reading traffic lights and what other vehicles will do: A developing communication technology will help cars link up and drive together on the highway, or slow down at a traffic light that they detect is red.

● Navigating any setting: In order for cars to be fully independent and autonomous, without having to connect to other cars or traffic lights, they need detailed maps that build a working environment for them to navigate.

● Full autonomy: Some car manufacturers have envisioned concept cars that don’t have the standard features of a vehicle, like a steering wheel, brakes or gas pedal, but technological limitations and safety issues are holding them back for now.

Click here to see PublicSource’s in-depth story on the future of autonomous cars in Pittsburgh.