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Driverless cars have major unsolved problems

Problems for driverless cars

Not to rain on everyone’s happy dance about the wonderfulness and inevitability of driverless cars, but I will anyway. Driverless cars are nowhere near ready for mass usage. Serious unsolved problems include 1) identifying and reacting to pedestrians, animals, construction workers on or near the road. Will a driverless car be able to recognize that thing is front of it is a cat not a paper bag and react correctly? 2) Inability to handle bad weather, especially snow and ice. and in limited visibility. Dunno about you, but I do not want to be on the Mass. Turnpike in a driverless car when a sudden blizzard hits.  3) Robot ethics. Given a choice to two bad outcomes, which will it choose?, 4) Given a choice between obeying the law and swerving into the ongoing lane to avoid a hazard, what will it do?

A BBC commentator yesterday said drivers in driverless cars will become increasingly inattentive and may even fall asleep, which means they won’t react to crisis situations quickly. This will be made worse by new “drivers” who may have little or no actual driving experience at all.

There is a reason commercial airlines have two pilots, including one who is always paying attention.

Read the infographic in the linked article for more.

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