Self-driving cars have been found to not stop for certain obstacles or have presented other dangerous situations unless a driver took immediate manual control, according to a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
During a sequence of on-road and track tests for BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Tesla and Volvo, IIHS researchers discovered that self-driving cars repeatedly either failed to recognize obstacles or failed to stop when presented with one. Other times, the cars would crash in response to an obstacle if the driver did not take over.
Researchers found that the BMW, Volvo and Mercedes self-driving cars did not brake when a vehicle stopped ahead of them in certain circumstances. Tesla’s models also failed to respond to obstacles under some conditions.
The research also found that drivers’ expectations of their own safety in self-driving cars contributes to the tendency for the automobiles to crash.
The researchers expressed caution about the viability of testing self-driving vehicles on real roads, pointing to the incident last March when a self-driving Uber prototype hit and killed a pedestrian.
Source: The Hill / IIHS