A proposal for a new site has appeared on Area51 - Autonomous Vehicles.

Its rationale being:

Proposed Q&A site for professional, amateurs and enthusiasts engaged and interested in the development and core technology relating to self driving vehicles.

Although repair and maintenance of these autonomous systems are presumably on topic here, development of vehicles is off-topic. To quote the "What topics can I ask about here?" help page:

Questions related to the maintenance and repair of motor vehicles and their accessories, internal combustion engines, even in applications other than automotive so long as the question is related to engine or engine accessories.

Clearly, the example questions under the Area51 proposal are off-topic here under the above criteria. I just wonder, is it worth considering allowing questions regarding autonomy here?

Not necessarily developing or advancing the AI itself but more how it installs and interacts with the vehicle mechanics. How to determine which module is faulty, etc. Sooner or later, home mechanics will be trying to maintain, repair and eventually restore classic self-driving cars.

Or would that just open a can of worms that is best left closed?

  • I added the featured tag to put this at the forefront. This is a really interesting question. Personally, I think if the AV site could get off the ground, it would be awesome. As you probably know, I'm pretty protective of this site, but really, you're right in that the AI and integration into a vehicle is something which is going to be quite a bit different than what we're used to ... I'm not sure it makes it off-topic though. I don't know which part of the topic quote you're keying in on to state it wouldn't be on-topic. Oct 13, 2017 at 12:10
  • I was concentrating on the "maintenance and repair* being exclusive of development. Maybe I'm being too picky in that, but I thought it was worth airing the subject.
    – Chenmunka
    Oct 13, 2017 at 12:15
  • 1
    To me, the things which make a vehicle "autonomous" are accessories, which are clearly on-topic for the site. Mind you, the AV.SE site is more about the integration of said accessories on motor vehicles. Oct 13, 2017 at 12:29

2 Answers 2


An autonomous vehicle is still a vehicle, and vehicles still need to be maintained. As long as the question pertains to maintenance of the automotive side of the vehicle, sure, I'd call it on-topic and it would be best served here.


The majority of questions would seem to be about design/development questions (which seem distinct from repair/maintenance). They will also engage a different set of experts. These questions may not warrant a dedicated site, since I anticipate most of that work will be non-public (and potentially controversial) - but don't seem a good fit here.

I see nothing in the scope of this site that would make the maintenance of autonomous vehicles off-topic here, but I expect that if the dedicated site is successful, maintenance questions for those features would also be on topic there (with a more relevant pool of experts).

Nothing prevents these type of questions from being a good fit on either of several sites.

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