Stories

Robo-cars will still require lots of human work

Eric Risberg / AP

"Self-driving cars prove to be labour-intensive for humans: Building the road to autonomous vehicles requires a lot of costly manual input," by Financial Times' Tim Bradshaw in S.F. (subscription):

  • "Most companies working on this technology employ hundreds or even thousands of people, often in offshore outsourcing centres in India or China, whose job it is to teach the robo-cars to recognise pedestrians, cyclists and other obstacles."
  • "The workers do this by manually marking up or 'labelling' thousands of hours of video footage, often frame by frame, taken from prototype vehicles driving around testbeds such as Silicon Valley, Pittsburgh and Phoenix."
  • "[H]umans will still be needed behind the scenes for many years to come, drawing boxes around trees and highlighting road signs, in order to keep these systems fresh."