Thursday, September 01, 2016

The "bad passenger" problem

BBC - Autos - Driverless taxis' human problem

So yeah, they are starting to think about how to stop driverless taxis being used for things you don't want passengers using them for:

The presence of a taxi driver also dissuades a variety of illicit
passenger behavior, including vandalism, drug use, and, of course,
self-expression of a sexual nature. During NuTonomy's Singapore taxi
test, says the company, an engineer will ride along "to observe system
performance and assume control if needed to ensure passenger comfort and
safety." Eventually, though, it will be just car and passenger. Are the
cars ready for responsibility?

"None of these problems require
particularly high-tech solutions", says Dr Richard Alan Peters, a
professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Vanderbilt
University in the US. Peters, who serves as the chief technical officer
for the artificial intelligence software company Universal Robotics,
suggests that driverless taxicabs could use features like automatic
door closers and cabin sensors to ensure seatbelt use or tattle on
smokers who light up in the car. And some tasks formerly undertaken by a
human driver — discovering a forgotten parcel or a pool of vomitus, for
instance — could fall to customers, "who would then alert the car",
says Peters. The question, therefore, may not be whether the cars are
ready for the responsibility, but whether passengers are ready for it.

No comments: