*Update 10/31/14: A segment from the BBC world changing ideas summit can be found here.
Bryan Reimer, Research Scientist at the MIT AgeLab, spoke as part of a panel entitled “Self-driving Cars - How to Clear the Major Obstacles” at the BBC Future World-Changing Ideas Summit in New York City. As part of his comments, Dr. Reimer highlighted the need for consumers, regulators, automakers and technologists to set realistic expectations for vehicle automation and the movement towards self-driving cars. He suggested that the complexities of the transportation system make it unlikely for a shift to self-driving vehicles to happen quickly. He stated “that perhaps what is needed most is a set of stepping stones that we can effectively reach for.” One approach, he suggests, could be setting targets for mitigating then preventing forward collisions and then moving on from there. “Vehicles with the capabilities to support highly automated driving are coming quick, but it may be some time before you sit in the driver’s seat in your driveway, punch in a destination and the car just takes you there,” says Dr. Reimer. “Perhaps the most difficult issue that remains in developing more highly automated vehicle technology is an effective interface to the driver/operator”. Additional thoughts on the topic can be found in a recent article “Driver Assistance Systems and the Transition to Automated Vehicles: A Path to Increase Older Adult Safety and Mobility?" authored by Reimer.