Let me just put it out there. Pedestrians, and people in general, are unpredictable. And more often than not, unpredictably stupid.
So there I was, driving. Then people start showing up out of nowhere. They cross the road without care. They ignore traffic signs at will. Ooh, someone sent them a text. They stop right in front of your car because walking and texting makes gibberish. So I try to politely blow your horn. He doesn’t move. I had the itch to run the guy over. But I cannot be bothered to explain to the officials my motives. So I blast my horn. The guy finally moves.
And then the light turned red. Then there was gnashing of teeth and foaming in the mouth and wishing I ran the guy over. But there is a solution for this. You can slow down, drive around the guy to avoid petty accidents.
This brings us neatly to the door of Asimov, the self-driving car. This has been developed by Torc Robotics since 2007. And you know it’s true because they are still using an old Lexus RX as a mule. However, the car may be smarter (read: more patient) than your typical motorist (read: me). To showcase its abilities, Torc Robotics has a video of their autonomous car navigating through the busy, unpredictable streets of Las Vegas and Virginia. In it, the car avoids both pedestrians and other drivers better than I do.
It’s intelligent and all but there is still no getting around people’s skepticism about self-driving cars. Especially since the news broke out that a self-driven Uber car killed a pedestrian last March.
But based on Torc’s video, we may also theorize that the autonomous Uber wasn’t at fault. Because as we established in the beginning, pedestrians are careless, unpredictable, and sometimes stupid.