Perhaps the biggest challenge for self-driving cars will not be tracking other vehicles or avoiding unfamiliar obstacles so much as dealing with that most erratic and confusing of phenomena: human behavior.
A new automated driving startup, Drive.ai, is making human interaction a key part of its strategy. The company, which includes numerous AI researchers from Stanford University, is developing systems that can be trained to interpret data from sensors and control a vehicle’s behavior. But more unusually, they are also exploring ways that vehicles might learn the norms of driver and pedestrian behavior. Within the next few weeks the company will begin testing in California automated vehicles fitted with displays and sound systems designed to communicate with pedestrians.
Bryan Reimer, a research scientist at the MIT AgeLab who studies automation and driver behavior, says too little attention has been paid to human behavior by those who are developing automated driving systems.
"The sensing and processing difficulties that many of the key technology firms are currently focused on will be solved faster than our ability to devise cohesive human-centered designs," he says. "While we will see many deployments of higher order automated vehicles, I believe our roadways will be dominated with lower-level automated systems for decades to come."
Read the full article here.