Glossary

What to call it?

One question in coming up with verbiage for this blog has been what words to use.  “Driverless Car” seems to be the most popular.  Below are the Google search stats for each.

Automated Car: 253,000 hits.

Autonomous Car: 490,000 hits.

Driverless Car: 674,000 hits

Uncrewed Car: 29 hits.

While, as an automation engineer I love the word “automated,” in this instance, the word “Automated” doesn’t necessary seem to have the suggestion of a computer network piloting the vehicle.  It could also suggest a vehicle that has advanced cruise control, automated parallel parking, and/or other technologies that still require a capable human driver.

On the other hand, “Autonomous Car” has the complete sense of being driverless.  Driverless, or self-driving, are self-referential in not needing a human pilot.  Unfortunately, “Driverless” has, a scary or at least unsettling, connotation similar to “headless.”  I happen to prefer “Uncrewed,” as it doesn’t carry an unsettling connotation, and it denotes that there is a human involved, just as a programmer instead of a pilot.

That said, since “uncrewed car” has only 29 google hits, I am going to revert to the more common phrase “automated car” (or A-car) throughout this blog.  Incidentally, it happens to be the phrase that Wiki uses for it’s page.

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