The viability of self-driving cars will likely be debated and scoffed at for a long time, but at least we know they’re not distracted by their cellphones. In an article…
This is exactly the point I have been trying to make in recent blogs. If people were predictable and rational there wouldn’t be a problem, but we are in fact predictably irrational.
Whether it is accidental, due to distraction or deliberate http://thefuturediaries.com/2013/04/19/boy-racers-make-sport-with-driverless-cars/ autonomous cars need to expect the unexpected, just as we often assume the other person is not a skilled driver.
If there is a skill that driverless cars need to have it is to recognise when drivers are anxious or stressed. https://solomoconsulting.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/how-to-teach-an-autonomous-car-to-drive-gizmodo/
In Traffic Operation Centers whenever there is congestion, they see people swapping lanes because they are frustrated with the slow traffic, then they find the lane they were in seems faster, so they swap back. Drivers stuck in motorway gridlock will frequently try things like reversing back to the last off-ramp or driving up the safety strip. A computer just wouldn’t understand the logic.
It may be that driverless cars need to have their own lanes, like the bus or priority lanes in order to navigate safely. Of course a smarter option might be more efficient public transport, perhaps with driverless shuttles taking passengers from their homes to public transport hubs.