Google’s Self-driving Cars Will Know Not to Run Over Kids


The children are our future, so Google is trying not to run them over with its self-driving cars.

The tech titan last week invited trick-or-treating kids to hang out in its parking lot, where prototype autonomous vehicles could learn to better recognize youngsters. But lest you wonder what type of parent would let their kids jump in front of a moving vehicle, Google’s cars remained parked and were simply there to learn about the tiny humans who will one day control them.

“This gives our sensors and software extra practice at recognizing children in all their unique shapes and sizes, even when they’re in odd costumes,” Google wrote in a Google+ post.

Kids can be rather unpredictable and erratic—darting into the road to retrieve a stray ball or bicycling around corners too fast. Plus, they’re easily obscured behind parked cars, making it difficult for a human driver to always avoid a collision.

But with the help of some sugar-seeking minors, Google’s autonomous vehicles are getting better at detecting children—costumed or otherwise—and understanding that they may act differently than most pedestrians.

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SOURCE: PC Mag, Stephanie Mlot