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Having lived in Arizona, it is a perfect place to train autonomous vehicles. Most of the Phoenix region is a grid with wide roads. No inclement weather. Very few pedestrians. Clear road markings, isolated turn lanes. Basically no crazy scenarios like turning right on market street in SF. Given that autonomous cars are struggling in the most friendly environment tells me that they are decades away from ubiquitous rollout

All of those make it sound like a pretty terrible place to train autonomous cars, given how narrow the space of driving situations is. Cities like SF, where driving is kind of miserable, seem a lot more suited to training generalized models.

Though I do agree with you: I recently took a job with a self-driving car co, and am starting shortly (due to the technical challenges and great pay); but the assumed timeline most people are operating under seem pretty optimistic to me. That being said, I think much of the industry isn't expecting fully autonomous vehicles until at least the 2040s.

There's plenty of difficult places to train the robocars and I see them there often.

I rarely (if ever) see them on the westside where the roads are nice, logical grids but mostly Tempe, Scottsdale and Chandler where they aren't so nice and neat. Nothing like driving around SF admittedly.

I actually happened to spend the week of Thanksgiving in Scottsdale (incl a lot of time in old Town), and yea, it doesn't really compare. Weather, hills, pedestrian density and behavior, complexity of street signs and road rules, etc etc etc.

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