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All the things that still baffle self-driving cars, starting with seagulls

By Quartz

To watch a self-driving car park itself seems like magic. Pull back the curtain, it’s a lot messier. Cars mistake snowflakes for obstacles, lose laneRead full story

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  • Victor Anthony
    Victor AnthonyInternet Equity Analyst at Aegis Capital

    Alphabet has said on the earnings conference calls that Waymo is ready to launch a fully autonomous (no backup driver) ride-share service in a few months. So let's see. Good article.

  • Kevin Delaney
    Kevin DelaneyEditor in chief at Quartz

    No autonomous car is capable fo driving safely on its own at this point. Snow is among the things that flummox self-driving algorithms...as well as bridges...seagulls...graffiti...and cars exiting a roadway.

    This technology is important and improve road safety as an assist to human drivers, but to think it's close to ready to drive on its own appears to be a potentially fatal mistake.

  • Junta Nakai
    Junta NakaiproIndustry Leader at Databricks

    Self-driving cars = Traffic Armageddon.

    If New Yorkers know cars HAVE to stop for you, then why would you obey DO NOT WALK signs?

    WALK all day, every day!

  • David Landau
    David LandauManaging Partner

    Poor startled seagulls

    “Cars mistake snowflakes for obstacles, lose lane markings, and miss cars on the side of the road. Engineers are racing to make cars perform better than humans, with the aim of saving millions of lives each year. Human error is to blame for 94% (pdf) of annual US traffic fatalities... Yet the first fully self-driving cars may come first to retirement homes, corporate campuses and private communities: controlled environments where computers can easily map their world...

    What

    Poor startled seagulls

    “Cars mistake snowflakes for obstacles, lose lane markings, and miss cars on the side of the road. Engineers are racing to make cars perform better than humans, with the aim of saving millions of lives each year. Human error is to blame for 94% (pdf) of annual US traffic fatalities... Yet the first fully self-driving cars may come first to retirement homes, corporate campuses and private communities: controlled environments where computers can easily map their world...

    What fools today’s semi-autonomous cars? Raindrops and obstacles, and even masking tape and seagulls, all throw algorithms for a loop...

    Birds, too, can confound computers. In Boston, NuTonomy had to reprogram its cars to disperse stubborn seagulls. ”For the local breed of unflappable seagulls—which can stop autonomous cars by simply standing on the street... engineers programmed the machines to creep forward slightly to startle the birds.””

  • Tyler Paskon
    Tyler Paskon

    While the idea of a self driving car seems luxurious and sophisticated, it’s not practical or advanced. Until there is Satellite technology that exceeds what google maps can do from space, people should opt to instead drive a satellite to work on the road, because, despite the innovation of a self driving car, the electro engineering and computer science cannot exceed what a satellite still fails to do, see the best routes and lookout for construction routes. People should be practical in their expectations

    While the idea of a self driving car seems luxurious and sophisticated, it’s not practical or advanced. Until there is Satellite technology that exceeds what google maps can do from space, people should opt to instead drive a satellite to work on the road, because, despite the innovation of a self driving car, the electro engineering and computer science cannot exceed what a satellite still fails to do, see the best routes and lookout for construction routes. People should be practical in their expectations and opt not to kill people for relaxation behind the wheel, which is why DUIs are bad, common cents!

  • Interesting to see the challenges.

    But here’s another thing: “Engineers are racing to make cars perform better than humans, with the aim of saving millions of lives each year.”

    With about 30 some thousand traffic fatalities in the US each year, I’d have to guess the world-wide total to be well shy of a million per year. Maybe they’re planning on self-driving cars performing medical miracles?

  • JJ Brennan
    JJ BrennanMan At The Top at Blue Spruce Productions

    And don’t forget how a few humans have scrambled their sensors.

  • Larry quisno
    Larry quisnoretired at 102 kroos drive Antwerp Ohio

    How much to

    Design aCartoon

    Car

  • Yuni Wakamatu
    Yuni Wakamatu

    One of the noble MIT professors stated that ethical issues would be involved in car accidents.

    He proposed an intriguing situation: if an adult male with a high salary drove an autonomous car and a child hopped onto the road three meters from your vehicle, how would the AI handle the situation?

    2 solutions:

    #1 Switching to the other lane, which is means the driver is likely to be at an increased risk of injury.

    #2 Hitting the child, which is an awful choice but it saves the driver.

    AI programs

    One of the noble MIT professors stated that ethical issues would be involved in car accidents.

    He proposed an intriguing situation: if an adult male with a high salary drove an autonomous car and a child hopped onto the road three meters from your vehicle, how would the AI handle the situation?

    2 solutions:

    #1 Switching to the other lane, which is means the driver is likely to be at an increased risk of injury.

    #2 Hitting the child, which is an awful choice but it saves the driver.

    AI programs today have a very limited understanding of ethics. The worst case could be that they choose to prioritize the lives of the taxpayers.

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