I, for one, Welcome Our Self-driving Overlords

Because why? Because the appearance of automation encourages distracted driving? Pedestrian detection systems don’t work very well, AAA finds.

Not only is the problem of cars killing pedestrians not going away, but the annual death toll over the last decade has actually increased by 35%. The proliferation of cars with automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems that detect pedestrians is therefore a good thing, right?

Lots of testing. Lots of scenarios. Lots of crash-test-dummies being crashed.

None of the four cars was able to successfully identify two pedestrians standing together in the middle of the roadway; none alerted its driver or mitigated a crash. And when AAA tested each of the four cars at 25mph in low-light conditions—an hour after sunset with no ambient street lighting, but the car’s low-beam headlights on—none was able to detect a pedestrian to alert the driver or slow the car to prevent an impact.

NPR reports…

Attempting to get to work on foot, walk the dog or enjoy a simple after-dinner stroll is becoming an increasingly risky activity, according to new estimates by the Governors Highway Safety Association, which found the number of pedestrian deaths in the U.S. has reached a 28-year high.

Technology is wonderful. When it works. The problem is the marketing hype says it works all the time.

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