After the Tesla accident, an argument for LIDAR

July 5, 2016
So it has happened. The first traffic death caused by a commercially available autonomous vehicle has occurred.
Allen Nogee 720

So it has happened. The first traffic death caused by a commercially available autonomous vehicle has occurred. Well, actually a semi-autonomous vehicle, but you get the picture. Joshua Brown died May 7 when the Tesla Model S in “Autopilot” mode failed to correctly identify a tractor trailer that had crossed into his path.

Tesla has turned their new Autopilot feature off by default, and for a driver to turn it on, they must acknowledge that the feature is still in beta, and that they will keep their hands on the steering wheel and stay alert at all times. There is some current proof that Mr. Brown was not staying alert of the driving situation before him, but for this discussion that doesn’t matter, what matters is that an autonomous vehicle broke two of the three Isaac Asimov laws of robotics: The robot failed to protect its human occupant and the robot failed to protect its own existence.

So what went wrong? Read the full blog by Allen Nogee on the Strategies Unlimited website.

Related article: LIDAR nears ubiquity as miniature systems proliferate, by senior editor Gail Overton

About the Author

Allen Nogee | President, Laser Markets Research

Allen Nogee has over 30 years' experience in the electronics and technology industry including almost 20 years in technology market research. He has held design-engineering positions at MCI Communications, GTE, and General Electric, and senior research positions at In-Stat, NPD Group, and Strategies Unlimited.

Nogee has become a well-known and respected analyst in the area of lasers and laser applications, with his research and forecasts appearing in publications such as Laser Focus World, Industrial Laser Solutions,, and Laser Institute of America. He has also been invited to speak at conferences such as the Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO), Laser Focus World's Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar, the European Photonics Industry Consortium Executive Laser Meeting, and SPIE Photonics West.

Nogee has a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology, and a Master's of Business Administration from Arizona State University.

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