Google's VC arm is funding a startup, Merlin Labs, that is developing an autonomous airplane.
“What we’re working on is creating a truly autonomous digital pilot,” Merlin Labs CEO Matt George told The Verge.
My son, Teddy, is now three months old. I predict that he will never need to get a driver's license. He will probably not even be allowed, because in 18 years cars will be so much better at driving than humans that we won't be allowed to do it.
We might do it on occasion for fun, but not on roads with other vehicles and pedestrians. Instead on a track, where an AI assistant probably will help keep the car on the road as we feel like rally drivers.
In Star Trek: The Next Generation a supersmart computer that you can talk to runs everything on the ship – but a human pilot must press buttons to steer the ship...
Right now there is a lot of pessimism around self-driving cars. It is a very hard problem to solve, but eventually we'll get there. Likely much sooner than most people believe.
The reason is that we have now started to collect more and more real-world data to feed the neural network that is training the AI doing the driving. The computers are also getting more powerful at an exponential rate, doubling in capacity every two years or so.
And not just cars, every vehicle: Airplanes, boats, trucks, buses, drones, trains, trams, motorcycles.