Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Criminals Always Work the Angles

They needed a model to figure out this flaw with self-driving cars?

Pedestrians will quickly learn how to game tomorrow’s robocar-dominated traffic system, often bringing it to a halt, according to a model based—of course—on game theory.

“From the point of view of a passenger in an automated car, it would be like driving down a street filled with unaccompanied five-year-old children,”writes Adam Millard-Ball today in the Journal of Planning Education and Research.

To borrow a technical term: duh. Students on the University of Michigan campus already treat cars that way with drivers behind the wheel!

Jerky pedestrians is the least of the problems that passengers of self-driving cars will have. It is perfectly foreseeable that criminals will exploit the systems that will brake in the face of someone standing in front of the car.

It's so obvious, I noticed that bug twice!

UPDATE: And let's just note that Ford will make sure your autopilot won't run down a carjacker or kidnapper who steps in front of your vehicle while holding a weapon:

How many times have you nearly backed your car over a child that was too short to see through your rear window? If the answer is more than once, you’re probably getting more than just a little tired of dealing with angry parents.

Fortunately, Ford has announced that its next generation of driver assistance technology will include self-stopping pedestrian detection.

One can be happy for the small children saved, of course.

I'm just saying that carjackers and kidnappers smile at the thought of this technology.

Tip to Instapundit.