Roadway Debris, Driverless Cars Watch Out!

Lance Eliot
10 min readApr 4, 2019

Dr. Lance B. Eliot, AI Insider

Roadway debris is a danger for both human drivers and AI self-driving cars

You are driving along on the open highway and enjoying the scenery.

There aren’t many other cars around and you have opted to put the pedal to the floor. With the top down on your convertible, you have the wind blowing through your hair and you feel like a million bucks. What could mar this perfect picture of driving on the open roads?

Roadway debris.

Suppose that you suddenly notice up ahead of you that there is an object laying on the road. Upon first spying the object, you can’t quite discern what it is. You can tell that it is in your lane. It seems to be several inches high and a few feet wide. Sitting in the middle of your lane, you are pretty sure that you will need to go around it, rather than trying to roll over it. Looking over your shoulder, you check to see if the lane next to you is available so that you can get out of your current lane.

Nearing the object, you can more clearly discern what it is.

It’s a blown-out tire. The rubber is torn and distorted, but it clearly is the bulky remnant of a tire. Looks like the type of tire that would be on a SUV, definitely larger than the tire on a regular passenger car, and smaller than a tire on a truck.

You steer your convertible into the next lane. Now, you are getting really close to the tire. You zip past it and can see more details of the ripped-up rubber. Your guess is that somehow the busted tire ended-up on the highway and probably other cars or trucks have bashed it time and again, rolling over it and pushing it back-and-forth.

You glance in your rear-view mirror, hoping that other cars upcoming will realize that the tire is sitting there in the middle of the roadway. At night time, it would be hard to see and likely cars and trucks will continue to run over it. Hopefully no one will get panicked and get into an accident because of the debris.

Roadway Debris Excess Galore

As a human driver, you undoubtedly see roadway debris quite frequently.

In my many years of driving the freeways in Los Angeles, I believe that I’ve seen most everything that has ever dropped onto the road.

Lance Eliot

Dr. Lance B. Eliot is a renowned global expert on AI, successful startup founder, global CIO/CTO, , was a top exec at a major Venture Capital (VC) firm.