It has been a rough few weeks for those betting big on autonomous cars.
On March 18, a women was fatally struck by a self-driving Uber vehicle. Now, Uber's self-driving efforts are hanging by a thread. Chip giant and Action Alerts Plus holding Nvidia (NVDA) has decided to halt its self-driving tests in the aftermath of the Uber crash. Meanwhile, Tesla (TSLA) has regulators sniffing around after a fatal accident a week ago involving the company's autopilot mode.
Despite the bad headlines, BlackBerry (BB) CEO John Chen remains optimistic on driverless cars. BlackBerry, which has made a push into the connected car under Chen, has some skin in the driverless car game. Nvidia tapped BlackBerry QNX's safety-certified operating system as the basis of its AI self-driving development platform in January.
"[The arrival] of autonomous cars may push out a little bit," Chen told TheStreet. "I always say this will be a matter of when not if because it has proven to have a lot of economic value -- not only about saving people time and avoiding traffic jams but also making life more useful while in a car -- that wont go away."
Chen says the recent series of events will force tech companies to go back and think harder about safety and security. The government may also need to get better involved in regulating the space, says Chen.
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