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Here's Why Self-Driving Cars May Never Really Be Self-Driving

By Computerworld

February 24, 2017

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Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) are exploring myriad unpredictable issues with autonomous car technology that might be solved with embedded software to avoid accidents.

Their proof-of-concept KeYmarea X software seeks to determine how self-driving cars should reason through all possible accident scenarios, and determine when to switch control over to human drivers.

Regulations governing self-driving vehicle liability currently are lacking, so insurance firms will likely litigate against the automaker for accident claims and not the driver.

"Whenever a car gets into a challenging intersection, the computer should shut down, admitting it cannot handle it and allowing the human driver to take over for now--that's completely acceptable," says CMU professor Andre Platzer. "But if a computer doesn't recognize the situation is outside the bounds of what it was designed for, then it's a situation where the human will always have to be in charge."

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