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A new study conducted by Goodyear and the London School of Economics suggests some rogue drivers might be excited about bullying even autonomous vehicles. In fact, according to the study, some participants feel self-driving cars will be easier to mess with.
The study surveyed nearly 12,000 participants online across 11 countries. Participants were asked to assess how comfortable they feel about the prospect of a self-driving car on the road,
The study also assessed participants’ driver sociability using a series of questions. Overall, drivers who are more co-operative on the road were less comfortable with the idea of self-driving cars.
So, no matter how safe a self-driving car is, the reality remains that as long as there are also human drivers neglecting the law and basic human decency, self-driving cars are still at risk of accidents. For example, a self-driving car may not be able to detect being cut off because it is assuming everyone else on the road is driving rationally and safely.
That is, until it is given a physical cue to assume otherwise.
For example, Google’s self-driving car prototype knows to give a rogue driver the right of way, but it still doesn’t know how to anticipate one approaching, which caused a minor bus accident earlier this year.