Humans will bully driverless cars

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Human drivers will bully autonomous vehicles

The chief executive of Mercedes-Benz in the USA, Dietmar Exler believes that in the future, driverless cars are likely to be ‘bullied’ by human drivers out on the road.

He was speaking at the AutoConference in Los Angeles, California where he told delegates that human apprehensions and failings are one of the main factors behind the slow development of self-driving cars. This is even more so than technology, insurance considerations or even getting people to accept the very concept of self-driving vehicles.

Many have expressed concerns about the ethics of driverless cars but Mr Exler is worried that humans will ultimately be the problem.

Driverless cars will be programmed to be law-abiding and considerate road users but human drivers will remain much more aggressive. Exler went on to say that, “The real issue is humans.”

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Human drivers will quickly realise that self-driving cars are programmed to stop if faced with an obstruction or danger so they will inevitably bully their way into different lanes and make other drastic manoeuvres to outsmart the smart cars.

“They’ll look for the autonomous car and that’s where they’ll cut in,” Mr Exlar said.

One possible solution is to make autonomous vehicles more assertive and aggressive. It may be possible to programme these driverless vehicles to be a little more human-like, perhaps. Despite saying this, however, Mr Exler doubts that such a move would ever be signed off by regulators.

Mr Dietmar Exler, originally from Austria, was appointed to the CE role at Mercedes in December 2015. He has responsibility for more than 2,700 employees across the US, Canada and Mexico.

He has previously been Vice President of sales at Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), and Vice President of marketing at DaimlerChrysler. Despite uncertainties with the new driverless technologies, Mercedes-Benz is moving ahead with its work on an autonomous vehicle, regardless.



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