Ironically racing is probably a better defined operating environment so easier to successfully automate.
I work for a company that automates vehicles (ASI). We specifically target controlled operating environments like vehicle proving grounds, mines, and commercial harvesting operations. These places all have one thing in common: ten foot fences (aka, no toddlers in the vicinity).
The biggest struggle we have had is obstacle detection; it only works at distances less than 50m. The various vision devices aren't accurate enough beyond that range (or get lost in smoke, fog, dust, shakiness, etc.) And differentiating small objects (aka, 20cm cube) from standard terrain is neigh impossible with current technologies. The algorithms used to process that information can't run in real-time on embedded hardware.
I'm excited for a lot of recent progress in electronic vehicle control. Look for your favorite auto-manufacturer to introduce electronically controlled steering, transmissions, and throttle over the next few years. The pedals, knobs, and wheels will soon be fancy computer joysticks.
Observing an apparent deficiency in demographics is not proof of bias, it is merely an observation of what is.
No doubt, brother. The group that gets the most discrimination in the tech world is "women". Every other week the ACM publishes an article to the effect of "Where are all the women in tech?" Who the freak cares? Quit pressuring them. Maybe they don't want to do tech. Let's leave them alone. Maybe tech jobs aren't fun for them. Maybe their natural tendencies and talents take them on some other road. And I give the same criticism to the interracial tech concern.
As a Canadian, I wish our government would partner with the US to fund super awesome science mega-projects
Well, as an American I wish that the rest of the planet could understand this stuff should be done by private companies and organizations. If you want to do some awesome science, start the company yourself ask for donations to be received out of good will. Don't wine about the government's lack of initiative -- that's the last thing any government needs. Personally, I don't want is some government official pocketing my tax money in the name of science. I can do it better myself. It's not in the proper role of government as it has nothing to do with maintaining liberty and justice for all.
The optimal way would be, of course, to use tax dollars to provide health care to everyone.
You're forgetting the other effects of that policy. First, you've brought in force. Everyone has to pay regardless of whether or not they want the service. Second, you don't get "health care", rather you get the "health care" that the public deems prudent to provide you at the time. In other words, you have no options. Third, when you take this decision out of the hands of the citizens, everyone suffers due to the general atrophy that overtakes society. We're already struggling with that in America. Read Bastiat's fantastic "Private and Public Services" for further arguments in that regard.
One of the original proposals by Obama was to follow the Dutch system where insurers cannot refuse to take on a client, that makes for a plain level playing field.
It also takes away the profit motive. In essence, it destroys the free market system that would drive down prices for the rest of us. It's favoring the few at the expense of the many. It's socialism at its worst: unlike schooling, the program requires no effort on the part of the beneficiary. It's robbery. It's legalized plunder. Read Bastiat to get a grip on the unseen effects of this stuff. His writings are free online.