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Preventing accidents in a driverless age

|31 March 2017|


Driverless cars will become a key component of the autonomous age over the next decade but exactly when depends on how quickly manufacturers can assuage the safety fears of the public.

Advances in the types of technologies that can enhance safety will ultimately dictate the speed at which self-driving vehicles become mainstream.

The announcement this week of a patent granted to IBM for a machine learning system designed to prevent accidents is a welcome development in this area.

IBM scientists have devised “a cognitive model and technique that employs sensors and artificial intelligence” the company said, which would choose whether the car or human driver was better placed to deal with certain on road challenges. IBM cites examples including a “faulty braking system, a burned out headlight, poor visibility and/or road conditions”.

“Self-driving vehicles hold great promise and potential, but protecting the safety of passengers and other drivers remains a top priority for vehicle developers and manufacturers. We are focused on finding new ways to leverage our understanding of the human brain and inventing systems that can help those enterprises improve the safety of autonomous vehicles on the road,” James Kozloski, co-inventor on the patent said.

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