Original Article by P. Bigelow, Automotive News, March 15, 2021
Self-driving vehicles should not make the same errors or dumb decisions as human motorists. They should not speed. They will not drive drunk. They cannot succumb to distractions. In terms of preventing crashes and eradicating a scourge of traffic deaths, that should be the easy stuff. A more vexing question is this: Can self-driving vehicles account for errors made by other road users and respond in a way that avoids collisions? Waymo has provided the start of an answer. In a first-of-its-kind study, the company’s researchers and others reconstructed real-life crashes that occurred in Waymo’s metro Phoenix operating area. Using its simulation tools, the company substituted its self-driving system for the road actors involved.