Humans ‘will bully robot cars’, says Mercedes chief

Humans-will-bully-robot-cars-says-Mercedes-chiefThe head of Mercedes-Benz USA, Dietmar Exler, has said that he believes autonomous cars will be ‘bullied’ by human drivers when the two start to share road space.

Making his comments at a motoring conference in LA, Mr Exler said that human failings were the real stumbling block to the progress of autonomous cars – more so than technology, insurance calculations, or even getting people to accept the concept of self-driving cars.

“The real issue is humans,” he said.

Autonomous cars will be programmed to drive strictly within the confines of the law, and to be considerate road users. Their human counterparts will be much more aggressive.

Therefore, if a driver is attempting to cut into a flow of traffic, they’ll know that the self-driving cars are programmed to stop if they detect an obstruction.

“They’ll look for the autonomous car and that’s where they’ll cut in,” Mr Exlar said.

One possible solution would be to make autonomous cars a little more assertive and aggressive, to act similar to their human equivalents. Mr Exler however, doubted that regulators would ever permit such a move.

Dietmar Exler, originally from Austria, became Chief Executive at Mercedes USA in December 2015. He has previously been Vice-President of sales at MBUSA, and held the same position at DaimlerChrysler.

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