Challenges Implementing Autonomous Vehicles

Pete Weishaupt
2 min readFeb 4, 2021

Right now the phone is an accessory to the car, but soon the car is going to be an accessory to the phone.” — Marc Andreessen

In an interview with CCTV, NYU Stern Professor Arun Sundararajan discussed some of the challenges with implementing autonomous vehicles in the future.

Professor Sundararajan thinks the single biggest challenge facing automakers is the perceptions of safety among consumers. He notes moving to autonomous vehicles is a significant behavior change many auto owners will have to go through before they can fully embrace the technology.

He says understanding those barriers, and removing them, is perhaps the single biggest challenge facing automakers. Regulation is another big barrier for implementation. Professor Sundararajan notes the number of entities that have jurisdiction over autonomous vehicles and infrastructure is potentially huge. The technology side needs to make sure it’s ready too. You can view his full comments here.

Yes, the psychological hurdles to riding around in a vehicle without a “driver” are an obstacle. They will slowly recede in time. We’re used to flying in the back of a plane without seeing the pilot. The bigger barrier is government regulation. It will be the same as it is with affordable housing. We have the technology to prefab affordable housing for nearly everyone. A myriad of unelected public officials with antiquated zoning laws are what’s holding progress up. With education, it’s the teacher’s unions standing in the way.