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Autonomous Cars To Learn Like Smartphones

  • Forbes, Wednesday, February 15, 2017 9:05 AM

If you wonder how self-driving cars will handle bicyclists, dogs, balls rolling into the street and all the other uncertainties of the roadway, consider what your phone is doing while you sleep. "The way Tesla’s treating a car, it’s like rolling code, a rolling computer, it’s becoming like our phones," said Adam Thierer, a senior research fellow with the Technology Policy Program at George Mason University's Mercatus Center. "We get daily updates for our phones, for our apps and our operating system. That’s going to happen for our cars." Thierer has studied Google's descriptions of odd situations its autonomous vehicles have encountered and Tesla's Autpilot update downloads. He described, as an example, the phenomenon of bicyclists who engage in what is called "standing braking" at stop lights and stop signs. Instead of coming to a halt and putting their feet on the ground, some bicyclists stand on both pedals and gently rock back and forth to maintain balance without proceeding.

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