POWER OF DATA BLOG

Humans vs. Robot Cars: Preparing for the Showdown

Driving in the 21st Century
Dec 07/2016 Published by:

In “The Art of War,” the ancient Chinese general Sun Tzu said, “Know your enemy and know yourself, find naught in fear for 100 battles.”

This means if you understand your opponent as well as yourself, you will succeed. As cars become increasingly automated on the way to driving themselves, we’re probably not in danger of an all-out war with the machines. But humans and computers will eventually have to coexist on our roads—and that means they need to understand each other.

With 253 million cars and trucks on American roads, it will be a long time before humans are no longer in control. One of the key lessons we learn from the data we collect in our video-based safety solution is how other people behave in various driving scenarios, which helps drivers manage road situations and minimize conflict.

For humans (or self-driving cars equipped with sensors), driving down an empty road is pretty straightforward. But when thousands of other cars are on the same road during rush hour, you have to make more judgments about how other drivers will respond when you need to make turns, lane changes and so on. If you see a car in the next lane closing in fast, you’ll know that the gap may not be there by the time you move.

The engineers and scientists developing software that will control automated vehicles will need to be aware of the behavior patterns of human drivers and somehow integrate that understanding into the automated vehicles’ brains.

It’s not an easy problem to solve but as Sun Tzu said, the first step is understanding your rival.

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Related Tags

Autonomous Vehicles Human-Machine-Environment

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