US Driverless Car Tech Struggles to Recognise Classic UK Road Furniture Like... Buses

By Gary Cutlack on at

AI experts in the UK have warned that the coming of self-driving cars may be pushed further into the future by the fact that US companies are leading development of autonomous vehicle software, as tools trained to drive their owners around the sunny streets of San Francisco's tech suburbs might struggle to translate their self-driving experience to UK roads.

University of Nottingham AI and neural networks professor Michael Pound thinks we'd have to be a little mad to let an AI used to yellow school buses and with only a passing awareness of roundabouts drive the kids to school, saying: "This is a definite safety concern, in another setting a failure of AI not noticing unseen data might hardly be life threatening, but what about when the network is controlling a 3 tonne vehicle travelling at 60mph?"

Potential disaster and not just of the PR kind. MPs working within a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee examining the issue have come together to demand more localisation of driverless tech is done by the US tech giants before any UK approval to drive is granted, with MP Julian Knight adding: "This is an example here of how these new social media companies and big tech companies are so US focused. It means the rest of the world, which makes up 97 per cent of the population, are not tailored to and ignored." [Telegraph]

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