Self-Driving/Autonomous Vehicles: Where Safety Matters

Indhumathi D | February 5 - 2018


“What if the sensor fails in the autonomous vehicles (AVs)? How will they react when something unpredictable or unprogrammed happens on road? How do they react during mishaps? What if the LIDAR does not work on a particular instance?”

An unmanned vehicle that works with the support of radar, LIDAR, laser light, GPS, computer vision, and odometry becomes a matter of question when it colloids with a human-driving vehicle on road.

For instance, in the month of November last year, a human-driving truck and a self-driving shuttle collided in Las Vegas but none injured. However, the concern falls on the issue why the AV did not react to the situation automatically to indicate the truck driver.

In such cases, people concern would be more on what if something unpredictable happens on road and the AV goes indecisive when humans are onboard. In such cases, the self-driving cars would be expected to think like a human driver who may have to break the road rules to avoid collision. Is it possible to achieve that level to make an Artificial Intelligence (AI) to think like a human and take situational decisions?

While admiring the revolutionary AVs, we are witnessing the collision of driver-less cars and human-driving cars then and there. Although such incidents stimulate the process of finding solutions to the existing as well as expecting problems, still it arises safety concerns among public and government.

However, such setbacks can never stop its progress; instead, it helps take it further for excellence. The prevailing situation has pushed techies to equip superhuman intelligence with the ability to face and handle critical situations. Meanwhile, they have to predict situations and program self-driving cars to act proactively during such unexpected happenings.

“When the self-driving cars hit the road, they will have to take ā€˜nā€™ number of decisions in a fraction of a second when they encounter emergency situations. They have to obey traffic rules and signals, abide by the rules of the road, know local laws, act accordingly for situations, and behave sometimes like a law-abiding (at times law-breaking) human driver.”

AVs have to be programmed to behave in a way when something goes out of the ordinary. If they are developed with such super-intelligence, it would be really a considerable revolution in the sector to achieve what was desired and eliminate fears and doubts about the performance of AI-enabled, self-driving vehicles. However, it requires an improved testing besides the primary research.

Undoubtedly, AI and AVs are going to be the best of all man-made contrivances. Prior to testing and implementation, it requires a thorough study to make it more secure as many technocrats have already expressed their fear about AI that it will become an existential threat to humanity. While bettering the technology of driver-less vehicles, the technologists have to prove public and government that it is safe to be relied on for all our travel needs.