Humans don’t know how to drive self-driving cars | Popular Science


What they’re missing: Shared control is the name of the autonomous-driving game.We can glean a lot about this type of relationship from fighter-pilot training. Professionals have flown with so-called fly-by-wire, a catchall term for any computer-controlled flight assistance, since the Carter administration. Like Autopilot, fly-by-wire is an assistive technology meant to augment, but not absorb, the pilot’s responsibility to manage the craft. Pilots undergo years of training before taking control of the cockpit, gaining an intimate awareness of what the computer is seeing and how it’s processing the information. They also learn to maintain situation awareness and be ready to react, despite the presence of technology—as opposed to taking a laissez-faire, let-the-plane-do-the-work attitude.A casual driver cannot possibly go through the deep training that a pilot does. But automakers must find effective workarounds. For starters, they need something beyond the pages of software-release notes that display on-screen when a driver installs an Autopilot software update. They should develop short training programs—not unlike the Saturday courses some states require for a boater’s license—to help people understand how automation works, when it is and isn’t designed to work, and why human drivers need to be ready to step in. “A problem with automated technologies like Autopilot is that when an error occurs, people tend to be out of the loop, and slow to both detect the problem as well as understand how to correct it,” says Mica Endsley, former chief scientist of the U.S. Air Force and an expert in fly-by-wire and man-machine interaction.

Source: Humans don’t know how to drive self-driving cars | Popular Science


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