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Autonomous vehicles may have human weaknesses

Much of the developing technology related to autonomous vehicles is driven by the potential of enhanced safety. In fact, some self-driving car manufacturers in Michigan dream of a future without car accidents. At the same time, others are concerned that autonomous vehicles may have problematic decision-making capacities. One notable professor argues that the greatest risk to the safety of autonomous vehicles is the involvement of human beings in developing the technology.

The professor, who teaches computer science at Arizona State University, spoke in response to the first recorded pedestrian death involving a self-driving vehicle, which took place in March. The professor said that major technology corporations currently investing in autonomous vehicle technologies are generally seeking to replicate a human-like driving experience in order to foster greater comfort for potential passengers and clients. At the same time, he noted, seeking to replicate the human experience can also introduce flaws that mirror those of human drivers.

He noted that human drivers generally make an assumption that when they do not see an obstacle in front of them, the road ahead is clear. Because autonomous vehicles are built on human concepts, they're often susceptible to similar human-like assumptions. However, autonomous vehicles could be programmed to take a different tack and assume that the road is always obstructed until its sensors reveal a clear path.

Today, most car accidents that result in severe injuries are caused by traditional human drivers. When a person has been hurt in a car crash due to another party's dangerous or negligent driving, a personal injury lawyer could assist during the claim-filing process.

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