The autonomous car technology could start helping a great deal of drivers nationwide. At least, that’s what the technology’s developers claim to be aiming for. Still, many say that until the technology is ready for mass use, we might still have to deal with some shortcomings that may have not been predicted previously.
As a result, drivers will have to stop relying on the technology alone, keeping in mind that no self-driving system is fool proof — yet.
According to several reports, researchers at the University of Washington, UC Berkeley, and Stony Brook University have unveiled that there’s still a great amount of work left for self-driving car manufacturers to do before drivers can ditch their skills and let the machine do all the navigating.
The main problem, researchers found, is that unlike actual drivers, the technology still has a hard time recognizing and understanding road signs. While many of these technologies are already capable of reading road signs, the systems can be easily hacked by falling for simple tricks, causing the system to fail to interpret the information regarding road signs to be corrupted. As a result, these technologies may act erratically since they will be misinterpreting the meaning of each sign. In the real world, this could lead to serious consequences such as accidents.
Due to this serious problem, many drivers may think twice before allowing their vehicles to do all the driving for them, even once the system can be mass produced.
If the team of researchers is right, then stickers can be used to trick the self-driving technology into reading a stop sign as a speed limit sign instead. As a result, the vehicle may end up accelerating instead of stopping, increasing the risk of a collision.
Researchers found at least four different ways they could go about to trick the recognition systems into failing to interpret the road signs correctly. What’s most concerning is that these “hacks” could be accomplished easily without much effort by anyone.
While researchers claim that these issues can be overcome, companies will have to put their heads to work to make sure that the issues are addressed before the technology is widely available to drivers everywhere.
As personal injury attorneys, we must urge all drivers across Seattle and the rest of Washington state to stay alert. Until the technology has been proven to be safe, think about the possible consequences associated with riding in a vehicle that may have a corrupted system. Until researchers are able to prove the technology is entirely safe, focus on being a good and safe driver to avoid car accidents. Any personal injury lawyer can tell you that crashes can be avoided easily if you’re focused and observant of road rules and speed limits.
For more on this research, follow this link.