Why Google's Self-Driving Cars Are Considered 'Too Polite'
Human motorists can't handle their do-goodery driving.
Before self-driving cars take over the transportation industry, they'll need to live alongside humans for a period of time, gaining our trust. Google is learning that for all their efficient qualities, humans don't drive well, and they don't drive well alongside autonomous cars. As a way to prevent accidents, Google will have to make its robotic cars drive more like humans.
Self-driving cars don't drive how we expect them to — they don't cut the corner or edge forward slowly into junctions. They give that corner a wide berth and stop abruptly, indirectly causing accidents. Chris Urmson, who's heading up Google's self-driving car project, explained to The Wall Street Journal that the company's cars are "a little more cautious than they need to be. We are trying to make them drive more humanistically.”
No Google car has been the direct cause of an accident in the 16 times one has been involved in an incident in its 2-million-mile testing tour along the streets of Palo Alto, California. In the accidents Google's self-driving cars have been in, they were all caused by human drivers.
Here's a visualization of one of the incidents created by the self-driving car's sensors:
Had the other car been a self-driving vehicle, the accident wouldn't have occurred. Herein lies the issue: So long as human drivers are still out there, self-driving cars will need to conform to the etiquette of human driving. They'll have to be a little more inefficient, but it will help gain the acceptance of human motorists, paving the way for a future of autonomous vehicles.
Brad Templeton explains why a world of self-driving cars would be good for us, and why we shouldn't be afraid.
Photo Credit: KAREN BLEIER / Getty Staff
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Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.
- China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
- Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
- Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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