Wie wird in Zukunft ein kombinierter Verkehr mit autonomen und nicht-autonomen Fahrzeugen aussehen?
At her laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley, the roboticist and artificial-intelligence researcher is devising new ways for self-driving cars to better react to (and coordinate with) pedestrians and human drivers on the road. As you might imagine, this is not an easy task. As the 17,249 police-reported automobile crashes that happen every day hint at, human drivers are susceptible to everything from distraction to exhaustion. We also tend to alter our driving habits and patterns based on something autonomous vehicles aren’t great at recognizing: emotional states.
“One idea we’ve been using to recognize and predict aggressive human driving has been that even though the resulting behaviors may seem irrational, you can actually explain them simply as a shift in driving objectives,” Dragan explains. For instance, aggressive drivers often stop prioritizing safety and start caring a lot more about efficiency. They might start purposefully being uncooperative as part of their objectives. These are all things that, with the help of algorithms, cameras, and sensors, Dragan can capture, detect, and use to anticipate future behaviors. It’s not always perfect, she says, but it’s good enough for a car to respond appropriately.
One of the trickiest problems Dragan is working on has less to do with autonomous cars adjusting their driving behavior to humans and more to do with how humans might adjust their behavior to autonomous cars. For some drivers and pedestrians, simply recognizing an autonomous vehicle on the road can produce some undesirable behaviors, whether it’s more aggressive or more timid driving. Both can be dangerous. And to lessen these potentially hazardous reactions, Dragan has come up with an unconventional solution: Autonomous vehicles need to be more aggressive. “Right now, many of them operate like an overly cautious 15- or 16-year-old who’s just learning to drive,” she says. “They seem timid and scared, which does not engender trust.” Program robo cars to be a little more assertive—a little more like how an experienced human might drive—and trust will follow, she says.