Ford reveals self-driving cars; politeness may be a problem – Los Angeles Times

Posted: Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Of all the possibilities that might give pause concerning self-driving cars, here’s one you might not have considered: politeness.

At its test center in Dearborn, Mich. Monday, experimental white Ford Fusion sedans, their roofs bristling with sensors, drove themselves down curvy streets, obeyed stop signs and traffic lights, braked at the right times and made left-hand turns while a Ford driver sat at the wheel, never touching the controls.

At one point, a polite human being, waiting by the curb in the crosswalk, tried to wave the car through with a “no, you go first,” look on his face. The car,  programmed to stop for people in a crosswalk, didn’t know what to do. So it just sat there.

From a safety perspective, that was proper. But the pedestrian was confused, and the situation might have caused a lot of beeping horns from human drivers behind the car, had there been any.

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