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Links for 2023-11-08

  • Cruise self-driving cars fail to perceive kids or holes in the road

    Should have seen this coming. I’d say kids are woefully underrepresented in many training sets.

    ‘The materials note results from simulated tests in which a Cruise vehicle is in the vicinity of a small child. “Based on the simulation results, we can’t rule out that a fully autonomous vehicle might have struck the child,” reads one assessment. In another test drive, a Cruise vehicle successfully detected a toddler-sized dummy but still struck it with its side mirror at 28 miles per hour. The internal materials attribute the robot cars’ inability to reliably recognize children under certain conditions to inadequate software and testing. “We have low exposure to small VRUs” — Vulnerable Road Users, a reference to children — “so very few events to estimate risk from,” the materials say. Another section concedes Cruise vehicles’ “lack of a high-precision Small VRU classifier,” or machine learning software that would automatically detect child-shaped objects around the car and maneuver accordingly. The materials say Cruise, in an attempt to compensate for machine learning shortcomings, was relying on human workers behind the scenes to manually identify children encountered by AVs where its software couldn’t do so automatically.’ also: ‘Cruise has known its cars couldn’t detect holes, including large construction pits with workers inside, for well over a year, according to the safety materials reviewed by The Intercept. Internal Cruise assessments claim this flaw constituted a major risk to the company’s operations. Cruise determined that at its current, relatively miniscule fleet size, one of its AVs would drive into an unoccupied open pit roughly once a year, and a construction pit with people inside it about every four years.’
    The company’s response? Avoid driving during the daytime, when most kids are awake. Night time kids better watch out, though.

    (tags: cruise fail tech self-driving cars vrus kids safety via:donal)