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Will Pedestrians in Urban Neighbourhood feel comfortable in a world full of Self-driving Cars?

Autonomous vehicles may facilitate a shift towards pedestrian-oriented urban neighborhoods

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Picture with a sign for pedestrians. Wikimedia Commons

October 31, 2016: What would it be like to be a pedestrian in an urban neighborhood where most of the cars are self-driving? Actually, pretty good, suggests new research.

Self-driving cars are by design risk-averse and they are programmed to obey the rules of the road, including waiting for pedestrians to cross, the researchers said.

“Autonomous vehicles have the potential to transform travel behavior,” said study author Adam Millard-Ball, Assistant Professor at University of California – Santa Cruz, US.

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[bctt tweet=”Self-driving cars are by design risk-averse and they are programmed to obey the rules of the road, including waiting for pedestrians to cross.” username=””]

Secure in the knowledge that a car will yield, pedestrians merely need to act unpredictably or step into the street to force the risk-averse car to stop, said the study that looked at the prospect of urban areas where a majority of vehicles are “autonomous” or self-driving.

The research, published online in the Journal of Planning Education and Research, uses game theory to analyze the interactions between pedestrians and self-driving vehicles, with a focus on yielding at crosswalks.

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Because autonomous vehicles are by design risk-averse, Millard-Ball’s model suggests that pedestrians will be able to act with impunity, and he thinks autonomous vehicles may facilitate a shift towards pedestrian-oriented urban neighborhoods.

However, the study also suggests that the potential benefits of self-driving cars — avoiding tedium of traffic and trauma of collisions — may be outweighed by the drawbacks of an always play-it-safe vehicle that slows traffic for everybody.

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“From the point of view of a passenger in an automated car, it would be like driving down a street filled with unaccompanied five-year-old children,” Millard-Ball wrote. (IANS)

  • Antara

    Better technologies for a safer and better world!

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Tesla Cars Will Soon be Talking to Pedestrians, Hints Elon Musk

The ‘Camp Mode' will allow customers who want to use vehicles for camping to maintain airflow, temperature, interior lighting, as well as play music and power devices

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the model
Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model in Hawthorne, California. VOA

Tesla Cars will soon be talking to pedestrians, asking them to hop in or leave the way on congested roads, CEO Elon Musk has hinted.

Sharing a video via Twitter where a Tesla car can be seen talking to pedestrians, Musk said the feature may make its way to the electric cars soon.

“Teslas will soon talk to people if you want. This is real,” said Musk, showing a brief video clip of a Model 3 driving past people, saying: “Well, don’t just stand there. Hop in!”

It is unclear if the feature will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to interact with pedestrians or if it’s purely an audio player, TechRadar reported on Sunday.

It is possible that Tesla owners driving for ride-sharing services like Uber and Ola could use the feature to gain more customers.

Technology Entrepreneur speaking
Elon Musk, a technology entrepreneur. Pixabay

Musk recently confirmed that the popular Disney+ service will soon be available in ‘Tesla Theater’ in a future firmware update.

‘Tesla Theater’ was included in the company’s Version 10 Update that was released in mid-September last year.

Also Read: With Pension for Acid Attack Survivors, ‘Chhapaak’ Serves ‘Purpose’: Filmmaker Meghna Gulzar

Tesla had also started rolling out holiday updates, including a “full self-driving sneak preview”, Musk teased last week.

The holiday update included long-awaited features like reading text messages aloud via Tesla’s built-in voice commands and a ‘Camp Mode’.

The ‘Camp Mode’ will allow customers who want to use vehicles for camping to maintain airflow, temperature, interior lighting, as well as play music and power devices. (IANS)