Robots Don't Drive...Yet

Defensive Driving During A Crucial Transition

Automatic braking systems, a relatively new safety feature in some vehicles and a critical part of autonomous cars of the future, are facing complaints from drivers who say some are activating for no apparent reason.

-Car Regulator Probes Complaints on Brakes, Mike Ramsey, Wall Street Journal

He added that automakers would have to spend years fine-tuning the design of their autonomous and semiautonomous systems so it became clear to drivers what the capabilities and shortcomings of the technologies were and to push drivers away from risky behavior.

-Tipping Point in Transit, Farhad Manjoo, NY Times Bits Blog

car venn diagram

It is no longer speculative fiction, it seems certain that transit will be fully autonomous within the near future. The transition between the techonolgy we have now, and that certain future, is the focus here.

As the various parts of these technologies are developed and implemented at different stages, we need to realize that we still need to know how to safely and defensively pilot our own vehicles. The challenge will be to adapt to changing human behavior due to the effect of these new technologies, and adapt to unexpected behavior of a computer or algorithm.