The best way to get driverless cars on the road is to make them less conservative

Hakan Samuelsson, the CEO of Volvo recently said it was “irresponsible” to put autonomous vehicles (AVs) on the road if they were not sufficiently safe, because that would erode trust among the public and regulators. He’s right, of course; to a point. But focusing on safety alone could seriously hamper the progress of AVs, and could actually lead to less safe conditions for motorists overall, counterintuitive as that sounds. By designing AVs to follow only the safest of protocols we risk gridlock and increased numbers of frustrated human drivers making dangerous driving decisions out of frustration, or ‘bullying’ AVs they…

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