A study out today throws cold water on the accident-free paradise that proponents of autonomous cars have prophecied.The commenters pile on.
Not only may robocars never be as safe as the best drivers, their growing pains may temporarily lower overall road safety, say Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle, psychologists at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute.
They note that some accidents will still be caused when human beings make mistakes for which robotic cars cannot compensate. If, for example, a child darts in front of a car from out of nowhere, even instantaneous braking may not stop the car in time.
Nor is it a foregone conclusion that the strengths of autonomous cars will outweigh those of good drivers. True, autonomous cars never tire or get distracted, and they can respond to new information almost immediately, but these factors wouldn’t necessarily “trump the predictive experience of middle-aged drivers.”
Middle age is the sweet spot for safety, because by that stage in life drivers are less likely to take risks and knowledgeable enough to intuit what other people are likely to do.
Then there is the problem of system failures, which, even in today’s human-piloted cars, cause about 1 percent of fatal accidents....MORE
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
"Has Robocar Safety Been Hyped?"
From the brainiacs at IEEE Spectrum: