A basic principle should be that autonomous vehicles have to rely on their own sensors, not devices connected to pedestrians and cyclists, to operate safely.
segment that aired yesterday on NPR’s Morning Edition comes off as posing a reasonable solution to the technical challenges of making self-driving cars safe around cyclists. But beneath the techno-optimism, there’s a dystopian vision in which being wired up is the only way for people walking or biking to avoid traffic dangers on the street.
The story begins innocently enough. Reporter Margaret J. Krauss, from WESA in Pittsburgh, talks with an autonomous vehicle researcher from Waymo about how the technology detects cyclists. She also learns from local bike advocates that many riders feel more comfortable around self-driving cars, because they aren’t subject to road rage.
But things take a turn when Krauss interviews Anthony Rowe, an associate engineering professor at Carnegie Mellon University, who showed her a bike “loaded with gear” to send information to nearby autonomous vehicles:
“What we’re trying to do is put as much instrumentation on a bike as we can to see if we can predict how it’s going to move in the future, so that it could, for example, signal a collision warning system on a car,” he says…
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