Self-Driving Cars are Not Imminent!

EW:  The title of the article could have been more appropriate but it is: “The Real Problem With Self-Driving Cars: They Actually Follow Traffic Laws

The driver of the nearest car has accelerated hard past our vehicle, on our right-hand side, to race us for the gap to pass the truck. He has started to change lanes but never gave any signal. If we had been in a self-driving car and we were being badly tail-gated, what would the self-driving system have done, and when? This strikes me as being a potentially complex scenario in which I could not trust a computer to inevitably get it right.  In this case, the driver in question is also taking himself into a bad area, ‘blocked’ alongside the large truck, but that is another issue.   (Copyright photo taken by me from the passenger seat!) Eddie Wren.

One quote I really dislike is this:

Excerpt:  “There’s an endless list of these cases where we as humans know the context, we know when to bend the rules and when to break the rules,” a Carnegie Mellon University professor in charge of autonomous car research told the Associated Press.

EW:  Depending on whether the journalist paraphrased or edited the comment, the professor would appear to be endorsing acceptability and even a need to break driver safety rules, but that inference, whoever caused it, is far from good.

Excerpt:  “It’s hard to program in human stupidity or someone who really tries to game the technology,” a spokesman for Toyota’s autonomous driving unit told the AP.  When we hear about autonomous vehicles crashing with human-piloted vehicles, the cause is usually a human error that the software didn’t account for, like when a Google-programmed car didn’t recognize that a human driver had run a red light.

EW:  Google hasn’t thought through the issue of other drivers running red lights?  Really?

Revealingly, though, the article ends with:  “…[E]xperts think that we have at least a decade and a half before cars can safely drive themselves among humans. It might take even longer to safely operate the vehicles in cities with especially chaotic traffic, like Beijing.”

Read the full article, from The Consumerist, here.

Comments added here by Eddie Wren, CEO & Chief Instructor of ADoNA

Author: EddieWren

Eddie Wren is the CEO and Chief Instructor at Advanced Drivers of North America. His driver safety background is given at: http://www.advanceddrivers.com/ceochief-instructors-resumecvbio/

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