Thursday, March 01, 2018

Only Every Now And Then

Sometimes the solutions are just too complicated, especially when it isn't entirely sure what the problem is.

What do I do now?

Even when AVs are widely deployed, they will probably still need to ask for human assistance sometimes. Consider an AV caught behind a broken-down truck on a two-lane road with a solid line down the middle, says Christophe Sapet of Navya, a maker of driverless shuttles. Because it has been programmed to obey road markings, the AV will get stuck. Human drivers would simply bend the rules and drive around the truck when the road is clear. Navya’s AVs instead call a remote supervision centre, where a human operator can see live feeds from their cameras. Rather than controlling such a vehicle remotely, the operator gives it temporary permission to cross the white line when it is safe to do so. Mr Thrun suggests such operators could, in future, end up supervising thousands of AVs at a time.

The type of situations people describe as occasional out of the ordinary nuisances happen 5 times in a mile of driving in Philly, and driving here, relative to, say, Boston, is pretty easy! Easy for humans, anyway.