The State Of Driverless Cars
Written by Lucy Black   
Sunday, 05 July 2015

A new TED Talk from the head of Google's driverless car program indicates that we might be closer to the big revolution than we think.

 

"Statistically, the least reliable part of the car is ... the driver"

What is more, Chris Urmson thinks that we have already proved that driverless cars are far, far more reliable than even the best driver.

In this Ted Talk he explains how driverless cars see the outside world and gives lots of examples of things that might go wrong - except for the fact that they don't!

Is this proof that the driverless car really is up to the job or a scary suggestion that there might be more human silliness it has yet to encounter?

Watch the video and see what you think:

 

 

I still don't get what the scooter and the ducks were all about!

The argument about driver assistance not being the step-by-step way to get to a fully driverless car seems to be reasonable, but there are still some concerns about going straight to the best solution.

When driverless cars first start to be used the biggest danger is still going to be the error-prone human driver. As a result driverless cars are going to have to predict what might happen with a particular set of parameters that assume a human response time and a human tendency not to do the right thing. 

As more and more driverless cars come onto the road the parameters will change. Suddenly cars will do the right thing and potentially have reaction times that are not characteristic of humans. Only recently the encounter between two driverless cars made headline news simply because it sounded as if one had interfered with the others maneuvers. One car was about to make a lane change when the other driverless car beat it too it. No sweat - this is what is suppose to happen and the headlines of robot danger were a bit premature at best. 

However how driverless cars interact with each other is a matter for concern. After all the thousands of miles and hours of testing are in an environment with nutty humans. What about the perfect environment of logical drivers? Doesn't the testing have to start over?

 

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Last Updated ( Sunday, 05 July 2015 )