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Driverless Cars Need New Regulations to Ensure Safety

Artificial intelligence (AI) experts David Danks and Alex John London from Carnegie Mellon University in the US argued that current safety regulations do not plan for autonomous systems and are ill-equipped to ensure that these systems would perform safely and reliably.

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Updated:January 27, 2017, 3:25 PM IST
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Driverless Cars Need New Regulations to Ensure Safety
Representation image. (Photo: Volvo)
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Questioning the decision-making ability of driverless cars, experts have suggested model driverless car regulations, to ensure the safety of the passengers.

Artificial intelligence (AI) experts David Danks and Alex John London from Carnegie Mellon University in the US argued that current safety regulations do not plan for autonomous systems and are ill-equipped to ensure that these systems would perform safely and reliably.

"Currently, we ensure safety on the roads by regulating the performance of the various mechanical systems of vehicles and by licensing drivers. When cars drive themselves we have no comparable system for evaluating the safety and reliability of their autonomous driving systems," said London.

In an opinion piece that appeared in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' (IEEE) Intelligent Systems, Danks and London suggested creating a dynamic system that resembles the regulatory and approval process for drugs and medical devices, including a robust system for post-approval monitoring.

Also read: Tesla Sues Ex-Autopilot Head Over Poaching Tesla Engineers For New Project

"Self-driving cars and autonomous systems are rapidly spreading so we, as a society, need to find new ways to monitor and guide the development and implementation of these autonomous systems," added Danks.

The proposed phased process would begin with "pre-clinical trials," or testing in simulated environments, such as self-driving cars navigating varied landscapes and climates.

This would provide information about how the autonomous system makes decisions in a wide range of contexts so that we can understand how they might act in future in new situations, the duo said.

When a vehicle passes this test, the system would move on to "in-human" studies through a limited introduction into real world environments with trained human "co-pilots."

Successful trials in these targeted environments would then lead to monitored, permit-based testing and further easing of restrictions as performance goals were met, the researchers noted.

Also read: BMW Sets Up Dedicated Centre to Develop Tech For Autonomous Driving
(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
| Edited by: Sarthak Dogra
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