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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Anthropology And Self-Driving Cars

How Anthropology Can Make Autonomous Cars Safer

Brett Berk | November 30, 2015

Engineering and assembling a rolling cocoon is the easy part of creating an autonomous car, relatively speaking. The hard part is dealing with humans – these machines' end users, and pedestrian and vehicular obstacles. We are too complex, diverse, and unpredictable. That's why Nissan has hired Dr. Melissa Cefkin.
A design anthropologist based at the Nissan Technical Center in Silicon Valley, Cefkin is charged with leading the research into the complex web of human-machine interaction: within and outside the vehicle, and in the context of the broader culture. "One of the big questions," Dr. Melissa Cefkin says, "is how many regularities and universalities are there in human behavior, or is there just kind of infinite variation?"


<more at (Fear and Autonomy in a Self-driving Nissan Leaf. How it feels to surrender mind, body and soul to an EV hatchback. October 27, 2015) and (How Nissan’s Using Anthropology to Make Autonomous Cars Safe. What happens when robot cars meet complex social interaction, like head nods, horn honks, or even road rage? Dr. Melissa Cefkin is here to teach autonomous cars how to behave. November 24, 2015)>

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