[SystemSafety] Nature article on driverless cars

Peter Bernard Ladkin ladkin at causalis.com
Mon Apr 16 08:55:04 CEST 2018

On 2018-04-16 00:41 , Matthew Squair wrote:
> I liked this comment.
> “No one — not even an algorithm’s designer — can know precisely how an autonomous car will behave
> under every circumstance.”
I am in two minds about the article. It is not that I don't agree with much of what they say, for I
do. It is an opinion piece and that is what it does - give opinions. I am finding it underplays the
arguments. Your quote is a good example.

It is true. But it is also true of most software-based systems. It doesn't say what distinguishes
autonomous road vehicles from, say, scram systems in nuclear reactors. But (according to our
distinguished colleagues here) we can have high confidence in scram systems. Why can't we have
equally high confidence in autonomous-vehicle algorithms? Or can we? I am missing the key.


Prof. Peter Bernard Ladkin, Bielefeld, Germany
Je suis Charlie
Tel+msg +49 (0)521 880 7319  www.rvs-bi.de

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