Ralph Nader is warning about the risks of autonomous car


Ralph Nader – Photo: Wikimedia Commons – CC BY

Half a century later, mr. Nader continues to be concerned by road safety. His book got, among other things, the seed that gave rise to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Until then the industry is regulating itself through the SAE standard, which were not enough.

In statements to Automotive News, Nader believed that automatic driving will be an error, because it’s going to convert the cars in offices computerized with wheels, where each time the driver has a lesser role. This last implies that you will have less control over the situation.

the present distractions are a huge cause of accidents. The 10% of 32.675 deaths in the united States last year was distracted in one way or another. The driving systems assisted current each time allow more distractions, even that the driver is not present in some cases.

For sample, a button, or better said, a video:

Although the author of the video repeats many times that no need to repeat what you have done (leave the driver’s stand empty, about 30 km/h) in a Tesla Model S, we see a foretaste of what awaits us. I have just come to mind is the video of the idiot who was recorded driving from the passenger seat.

Each time the cars they will forgive more errors, as you start to get out of the lane, braking late (or not do), remove the beams if deslumbramos… Each new aid does not create necessarily worse drivers, but starts to relax the habits of some.

let’s Go a step further. All systems are based on sensors of one kind or another, with an efficacy that does not reach the 100%. On the other hand, the conditions of the road are sometimes very difficult to predict and analyze. I recall a video that is very old, almost 40 years ago, that illustrates perfectly this concept, and that continues in full 2015:

Still time for the software would be so extremely sophisticated that it can deal with 100% of the traffic situations without the need for human action. This is what you have to Nader so angry, and it is not the only one. I join to your concern, not always have ideal conditions.

The prototypes that are being tested constantly face situations with a high degree of entropy, as know how to respond to a motion is not regulatory of other users of the road, see pedestrians crossing with the red light.

Do the programmers and developers will be able to cope 100% of the case with success? Still has not arrived at that degree of maturity. In fact, not even human drivers tend to be prepared for any situation that have not previously experienced.