My Automated Vehicle Safety Prediction for 2024

 My 2024 AV industry prediction starts with a slide show with a sampling of the many fails for automated vehicles in 2023 (primarily Cruise, Waymo, Tesla). Yes, some hopeful progress in many regards. But so very many fails.

At a higher level, the real event was a catastrophic failure of the industry's strategy of relentlessly shouting as loud as they can "Hey, get off our case, we're busy saving lives here!" The industry' lobbyists and spin doctors can only get so much mileage out of that strategy, and it turns out it is far less (by a factor of 10+) than the miles required to get statistical validity on a claim of reducing fatality rates.

My big prediction for 2024 is the industry (if it is to succeed) will get a more enlightened strategy for both deployment criterion and messaging. Sure, on a technical basis, indeed it needs to be safer than comparable human driver outcomes.

But on a public-facing basis it needs to optimize for fewer embarrassments like the 30 photos-with-stories in this slide show. The whole industry needs to pivot into this priority. The Cruise debacle of the last few months proved (once again; remember Uber ATG?) that it only takes one company doing one ill-advised thing to hurt the entire industry.

I guess the previous plan was they would be "done" faster than people could get upset about the growing pains. Fait accompli. That was predictably incorrect. Time for a new plan.


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