[SystemSafety] Nature article on driverless cars

Matthew Squair mattsquair at gmail.com
Tue Apr 17 02:03:44 CEST 2018

Shared use spaces are even more of a challenge. Even if a robo-car always
defers (not necessarily a good strategy) it still needs a way to signal

On 16 April 2018 at 11:23:04 pm, Graydon, Patrick J. (LARC-D320) (
patrick.j.graydon at nasa.gov) wrote:

> On 2018–04–16, at 07:49, Tom Ferrell <tom at faaconsulting.com> wrote:
> I have a lot of heartburn with this article, but I will pick on just one
> aspect. A key part of the argument being made is that the automation needs
> to make its decision-making process transparent to the user 'in an
> understandable form.' Sensor fusion on these vehicles is happening at a
> rate far beyond what a human operator could hope to understand and process
> even in a highly aggregated form. Aside from the fact that the operator
> would be distracted by trying to take in this data even if presented in a
> HUD format, it would still remove them from the equivalent of the aviation
> 'see and avoid' scanning that every human driver is taught to accomplish
> (and would certainly count as a distraction).
> Yes, making the driver /and other stakeholders/ aware of the machine’s
> ‘intent' without undue impact on situational awareness could be
> challenging. And yet, in some circumstances, this is absolutely necessary.
> For example, suppose an automated vehicle is about to pull out onto a
> highway from a parking lot, crossing the trajectory of a pedestrian on a
> pavement/sidewalk. It isn’t enough that the driver is there to push on the
> brake pedal if the car starts to move into the pedestrian: the car will
> cover a <1m distance so quickly there is no time to react. Either the
> driver or the pedestrian (or, preferably, both) need to know that the
> automation has ‘seen’ the pedestrian (unless we are simply going to write
> off dead/injured pedestrians as the cost of the technology).
> — Pat
> Dr. P. J. Graydon
> NASA Langley Research Center
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