Elon Musk

Poor Road Conditions Confuse Driverless Cars, According to Dept. of Transportation Study

The Bay Area is the prime spot for testing driverless cars, but in a new report out Friday the Department of Transportation says infrastructure problems, like potholes, and hard to see dividing lines make it tough for autonomous vehicles to find their way.

At issue are crumbling roads and local cities with less money from gas taxes to fix them. We're known for developing driverless cars, but with less revenue coming in, cities are struggling to keep the roads smooth.

“When the state cut back on the gas tax, the cities just got hit really hard. They get something like 30-40 percent of their funding from this,” San Jose Mercury News “Mr. Roadshow” columnist Gary Richards said. “Now they're missing $740 million."

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been known to complain about bad infrastructure hindering the ability of self-driving cars to recognize what they're trying to avoid. He recently referred to the issue of faded lane markings as “crazy,” according to Reuters.

NBC Bay Area reached out to various companies for their reaction to the study. Google said it’s still able to test cars in the Bay Area because its technology is not affected by those kinds of road problems. Mercedes said it's spending extra money on more sensors because of the crumbling roads.

Contact Us