MatthewHSE - 4:06 pm on Oct 11, 2010 (gmt 0)
I want to know how effectively any of these automated systems can react to fast-moving people or animals crossing the road unexpectedly, perhaps emerging from close-growing shrubs, etc.
For instance, say I'm driving along a narrow, winding country road with small trees and shrubs on each side. There's a light breeze and the foliage is waving gently. Up ahead I see a deer browsing just inside the undergrowth. I recognize it immediately, and my response is to slow down, possibly move to the center of the road, and watch for any signs of the deer turning to dart across my path.
But would a computer be able to make that distinction? Based on other attempts I've seen of computers trying to distinguish images, my guess is that my Googlecar would either, a.) Drive at a snail's pace the entire way because it can't tell the moving foliage isn't alive, or, b.) completely overlook the deer and plow into it at 55mph when it gets startled and makes a dash for it when the car is too close to stop or swerve.
Or, what about that low, small object moving across the interstate? Will the computer know the difference between an empty paper sack and a more dangerous item....say, a skunk?