Robert Maxwell wrote:
Autonomous self-driving cars exist today and could be a common sight in the next decade or two. Central control of them makes very little sense, though.
Some central control makes sense. There is an interesting new[er] GPS driving app for Apple and Android devices called, 'Waze.'
Waze using input from multiplle different drivers all logged in calculates not necessarily the shortest route to your destination but rather the fastest using current/realtime traffic conditions.
In a similar effort to control traffc congestion, the city of Los Angeles completely sychronized all of its traffic signals - all 4,400 of them - in theory permitting someone to drive from dwtn Los Angeles to Santa Monioca without ever stopping.
LA synchronizes traffic signals
In an ideal world any driving assist or completely driverless car would also interface with some additional technology to optimize the route to drive, minimizing traffic.
Wouldn't some global coordination have to exist to make this feasible?
That's not "central control," that's still a car (computer) making decisions based on the information available. The kind of central control being discussed is one in which every vehicle's speed and movement is regulated by an outside source. That just doesn't make much sense because it doesn't offer any significant advantages to contemporary driving parameters.