Sunday, October 23, 2016
Self-driving cars may follow the rules of the road — but people won't!
One of the great advantages of self-driving cars is how scrupulously they follow the rules of the road.
But because of the nefarious behaviour of some human drivers, it may also prove a major disadvantage.
A new study into drivers' attitudes towards self-driving cars has found that some drivers intend to "bully" autonomous vehicles when they hit the road — driving aggressively around them in the assumption that they will have to stop and let the bully through. We first heard about this study from The FT.
It makes sense: Imagine there are two cars waiting at a junction, one self-driving, and one human-driven. The self-driving car has right-of-way — but the human goes anyway. The self-driving car, programmed to protect its passengers and avoid harming other drivers, will stop itself — letting the aggressive human driver go.
Of course, this kind of behaviour is illegal. But that doesn't stop some drivers from defying the rules of the road today. Faced with a predictable autonomous vehicle with lightning-fast reflexes, it will likely encourage this behaviour even more.
The study — conducted by researchers from the London School of Economics in partnership with Goodyear — had 12,000 respondents from 11 European countries. It found that the majority of people are on some level uncomfortable with autonomous vehicles — whether riding in one or just being on the road alongside one while driving a manual vehicle.
Read the full story at its source: