There basically is no better moment to get your software adjusted to unpredictable child behavior. This year’s Halloween, Google decided to ask children from the neighborhood to come by in their spooky outfits and play around the self-driving cars in their parking lot. According to Google, the odd costumes gave their sensors extra practice in child recognition, for children in all shapes and sizes.
“We teach our cars to drive more cautiously around children. When our sensors detect children – costumed or not – in the vicinity, our software understands that they may behave differently. Children’s movements can be more unpredictable – suddenly darting across the road or running down a sidewalk – and they’re easily obscured behind parked cars”, Google wrote in a blog about the project.
It may look odd at first sight, but it seems to be a smart move to increase safety regarding these cars. I personally hope many of these training sessions will follow, and most importantly that no “category” of humans, animals or objects will be overlooked.