Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A Report on an Experience with a Self-Driving Car on the Streets of San Francisco



It is not uncommon to see self-driving cars being tested on the streets of San Francisco. I probably see one every other day. There are usually two people in the car, one on the driver's side in case of an emergency.

The other day, a self-driving car was coming down a narrow street. My plan was to cross that street after the car had passed. I was facing a do not walk sign but it is the kind of stop where everyone practices anarchist calisthenics. The self-driving car had a green light but I lazily stepped off the curb to cross after the car passed but the car stopped at my crosswalk apparently because I had stepped off the curb.

If a human was driving the car, by my posture and lack of focus, it would have been easy for the human to tell I had no intention of crossing until the car had crossed. The self-driving car didn't seem to be able to get this.

-RW