4 min readFeb 24, 2019


I’m definitely no expert on this stuff and I see where you’re coming from but here’s some counter thoughts:

If driving was that different in the UK from the US than they wouldn’t let foreigners drive in the UK and vice versa.

And the current AI is definitely better on orders of magnitude than a human driver.

The Tesla self-driving system is based on the fact that driving has relied on vision since the inception of the Model T. Thus Tesla has taken the same approach. As long as the car can see what a driver can see it should be able to act accordingly. And AI is already way better and faster at processing and responding to visual data, the more data we have to process in any given second the better the AI is than us.

For instance AI can now find Waldo in a picture of thousands of distinct objects in seconds. Can your brain do that? Mine can’t.

Also I’m limited to two eyes facing forward. The new Tesla’s have 8 eyes in a 360 circumference around the entire car, even if I had 8 eyes, I still wouldn’t be able to respond as quickly.

Human’s quickest reactions take about .5 seconds to process new info such as a dog running into the road and slamming on the breaks. A computer can literally respond in 100ths of a second in the same scenario. And that’s today. Right now. Not sometime in the future.

On another note, contrary to popular belief there are roundabouts in America…lol

But in reality do I need to drive around every roundabout that ever exists with an instructor in the car before I’m ok to handle one? Really I only need a sample of x amount before I feel comfortable driving one and it becomes routine.

Let’s say that sample amount is 1000 times around a roundabout. It is more than likely that Tesla data set has millions of samples of someone driving a roundabout.

As for other side of the road argument — I say this with quite some confidence-that is irrelevant to machines. Humans have an extremely difficult time switching their learning and behavior after years of trained experience driving on one side of the road rather that the other. In machines it’s a simple matter of telling the machine to invert a few processes.

Finally, although driving laws are different between countries, even cities (NYC doesn’t allow right on red but it’s legal in the rest of the country) I would argue that it’s one of the easiest things to overcome because laws are not dynamic and don’t change on a whim like the weather. Once gathered and input into the logic of self-driving mechanisms in the AI they won’t have to be messed with until Congress changes or updates the level again, which is a simple thing to update on a change by change basis in the AI.

Look it’s not that I don’t see your point — I got my drivers license in the US at 18 and then immediately had to learn to drive a manual in Athens, Greece — and sure driving is different between countries. But given the exponential rate of development in this field and given that everyday there are more Tesla’s on the road the data set is growing exponentially and you don’t need to be on every road and experience every condition to follow the rules of driving and the law.

If that were the case human beings wouldn’t be allowed to drive on certain roads because of their lack of experience. Yet an 18 year old can get their license and is expected to be able to navigate any road in the world, with much less data and much worse processing and reaction times than a Tesla these days.

Like others have mentioned I would argue the biggest hurdles are going to be figuring out moral dilemmas that machines will inevitably have to make and the bureaucracy to get it fully approved. Once politicians can be convinced that a self-driving car is 2 or 3 or even 10 times safer than a human being driving then it will be a lot easier to pass.

Tesla already has that data.The book Freakonomics talks about how there’s a car death for x amount of million miles driven — maybe like 80 million…I can’t remember….Tesla is already way way past that in terms of safety….its hard to argue with evidence like that which shows they safety rate being so much higher. Have there been deaths in Teslas…yes. How many compared in percentage to any other manufacturer….already way below…in fact the Model X just receive the first perfect score for safety. Perfect. The frame of the Model X is so strong that it literally broke the industry standard machine built to test the frame strength of cars.

I’m willing to take my chances in a self-driving Model X.

Alas only time will tell.




Human Being, b. circa 1990 ~ planet Terra, Via Lactea Galaxia