Essays & Articles


The driverless car revolution must proceed with caution


Recently, one of Uber's autonomous automobiles was involved in an accident where a pedestrian was killed. What lesson should we learn from this incident? The potential for autonomous vehicles to produce tremendous saving of lives and injuries while increasing our quality of life provides strong s...

March 24, 2019

4 minutes read

Seeing the unforeseen follies of autonomous vehicles


Fully autonomous vehicles? Programmed to be safe, not to crash into me? Hey!  I can ignore it. Drive or walk the street in front of it, regardless of traffic lights.  Deliberately stand in front at...

August 18, 2017

1 minute read

The Challenges of Partially Automated Driving


I am pleased to say that my paper with Steve Casner and Ed Hutchins, The Challenges of Partially Automated Driving, has been published in the Communications of the ACM. The creation of most-automated vehicles provides major challenges for us. For a long time I( have argued that the most dangerous...

May 1, 2016

5 minutes read

Interview: Is Tesla Racing Recklessly Towards Driverless Cars?


Chunka Mui wrote to say he was writing an article on autonomous cars and asked for my thoughts.  He published his article in Forbes , and before I knew it, I was suddenly front and...

April 23, 2016

2 minutes read

Ready or not, the fully autonomous car is coming


My Op-Ed piece for the San Diego Union-Tribune for September 26, 2015. ... Ready for cars with computers as driver? No? Good, because the computers aren't ready either. But have no doubt, they are coming. ... The tremendous saving of lives and injuries is strong support for the development of aut...

October 18, 2015

1 minute read

Automatic Cars Or Distracted Drivers: We Need Automation Sooner, Not Later


I have long argued that we need to go slow with automation in the automobile. There were still too many unsolved problems. I have now changed my mind. Why? Because there are far more problems with the increasing number of distractions for drivers, too many new devices, too many new temptations. I...

June 3, 2015

5 minutes read

The Human Side of Automation


The technological requirements for self-driving cars are extremely complex, and although we are now able to succeed in a very high percentage of the situations, those last few percentages contain the most difficult, the most daunting challenges. As automation gets better and better, then the prob...

December 25, 2014

16 minutes read

Stupid Smart Stuff: Watches and Automation


Whenever you see something labeled "smart" or "intelligent," be assured that it is actually rather stupid. It is time to for the designers and engineers of this coming automated world and take heed from the lessons learned over the years in the field of Human-Systems Integration, in studies of au...

March 8, 2014

6 minutes read

Automobile Reviewers: Stuck in the Past


Like many of you, I live in the 21st century, a time when society is recognizing the damage done to the environment through our inattention to the side effects of our technologies. But one specialized niche of the world still lives in the 20th century: those who write the automobile reviews for m...

May 31, 2012

3 minutes read

The Future of Automobiles (An Interview)


I was interviewed by Neil Briscoe for an article in Is the love affair about to end? "Are cars as we know them to become a thing of the past?" asks the article. Where is the room for "Driving passion"? The question, Briscoe points out, is whether we can continue to have single p...

May 16, 2012

1 minute read

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