On May seventh, 2016, Joshua Brown, a 40-year-old businessman and innovation enthusiast from Canton, Ohio, was seated in the driver’s seat of his Tesla Model S car when a tractor-trailer turned over his way. The Tesla, which was on its self-driving Autopilot mode, failed to recognize the white tractor-trailer against the clear, sunny Florida sky. Mr. Joshua Brown likewise didn’t apply the brakes in time. His Tesla collided with the truck at a speed of 74 miles per hour, almost killing him on the spot.
More than 30,000 individuals lose their lives every year in car accidents in US. In 90% of the accidents, a human mistake is at fault. Subsequently, most experts concur that self-driving car innovation will significantly reduce the number of accidents and fatalities. Self-driving autos, Adrienne LaFrance explains, could save close to 1.5 million lives in US alone and approximately 50 million in the world in 50 years to come. However in a March 2016 survey by the American Automobile Association, ¾ of respondents said they are not prepared to take up self-driving autos.
Driving an auto is amongst the most personal– and risky – things we do. It’s reasonable that individuals are afraid of giving over their keys to an unknown algorithm. When you imagine an “algorithm,” you may visualize a PC doing the math as indicated by an equation following a programmed succession of steps. However, algorithms have made considerable progress in the last 10 years: they can take in information, learn, and create more modern versions of themselves. This enables them to even drive vehicles.
In a contemporary society, people depend on algorithms to make many of their choices and complete different activities. Such choices range from safe activities, such as choosing what to watch on Netflix, to high-stakes choices, such as how to invest your savings. We are even comfortable with autopilot features controlling our planes. The present distrust for self-driving autos, therefore, brings up the question; why do we have faith in algorithms at some times, but not in others?
According to findings by Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, people tend to lose trust in algorithms more easily than in human forecasters when they observe them commit the same mistake. Likewise, people are not likely to prefer an algorithm over a human forecaster even in cases where the algorithm’s performance was superior.
Lack of exposure to advanced motor technologies has also been noted as a factor contributing to people not embracing the idea of self-driving cars. According to AAA survey report of 2015, drivers who already had cars fitted with advanced technologies, such as automatic emergency braking, were more likely to have confidence in self-driving cars than drivers without exposure to such technologies.
The above incidents show that human beings are unforgiving of the algorithms oblivious to the fact that humans make the same mistakes even at a higher frequency. This does not look good for self-driving auto manufacturers and supporters. More people may quickly lose faith in this technology if more incidents like that involving the Tesla occur, even when there is evidence that the technology is safer than a human driver. Such early accidents could make the public shy away from self-driving autos. As a result, the car manufacturers have to go back to the drawing board and make more trustworthy driverless cars.
For those who have perfected defensive driving skills from defensive driving Austin, their only hope is that the passengers are allowed to control a few parts of the driving especially those that require making urgent decisions, for example, changing the route or speed. With such modifications, individuals may be more inclined to give driverless autos a chance. Doing away with humans’ decision-making in a car, as Google and other automakers have chosen to do, may be met with suspicion among clients.
With the advancement in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and profound learning – a subdivision of machine learning that aims to reproduce the actual procedures of neurons in the cerebrum – maturing, algorithms will control a great part of our lives. With that said, doubts over Tesla’s self-driving vehicle only demonstrate that great innovations alone do not guarantee success. Cars utilizing AI and complex algorithms should be presented in ways that win the trust of their human clients.