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'NOVA: Look Who's Driving'
(DVD / PG / 2020 / PBS)

Overview: Tech giants and car manufacturers alike are developing self-driving cars - and some of them are already on public roads.

But what must computers be capable of to truly take the wheel? And could they eventually be safer than human drivers?

DVD Verdict: After years of anticipation, autonomous vehicles are now being tested on public roads around the world. Dozens of startups have sprung up alongside established auto and tech giants - which are also testing the waters - to form what many hope will be a transformative new industry.

So, basically put, a self-driving car, also known as an autonomous vehicle, connected and autonomous vehicle, driverless car, robo-car, or robotic car, is a vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and moving safely with little or no human input.

But as innovators rush to cash in on what they see as the next high-tech pot of gold, some experts warn there are still daunting challenges to overcome - like how to train computers to make life-and-death decisions as well as humans can.

As we watch and learn for 60 minutes, the development and mass production of self-driving cars, also known as autonomous vehicles, has the potential to revolutionize transportation mobility and safety.

Currently, motor vehicle operating laws, impaired driving laws, insurance laws and most other laws addressing the operation of vehicles in every state are premised on a significant assumption—that a human is behind the wheel, operating the vehicle.

State lawmakers around the country are considering the ramifications of driverless cars, including how existing laws and systems may need to be modified in order to facilitate the implementation of this new technology.

NCSL compiles and develops up-to-date information of interest to state legislators related to autonomous vehicle policy.

The information includes articles, databases and research studies with a focus on compelling issues facing state policymakers related to autonomous vehicles.

That all said, 'NOVA: Look Who's Driving' decides to check things out for themselves and peers under the hood of the autonomous vehicle industry to investigate how driverless cars work, how they may change the way we live, and whether we will ever be able to entrust them with our lives. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.