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Stopping the Driverless Car from Committing a Hit and Run

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After a crash, some drivers are tempted to flee, to hit and run, depending on the circumstances (like driving drunk and fearing criminal charges). Self-driving cars - unless they become self-aware - won't have that temptation. According to Recode, Alphabet (a.k.a. Google, although Google is technically a subsidiary) is working with the police on how to deal with self-driving cars that get into accidents and mishaps.

If the driverless car breaks while on the road, what happens?

If a completely driverless car breaks in some way (a blown tire comes to mind), there would presumably be no way for a human driver to intervene and guide the car to safety, assuming there are no controls at hand. The end goal of many self-driving carmakers seems to be total autonomy, i.e. no steering wheels, no brakes, no gas, etc., so it will be critical that these cars are able to sense and respond when something breaks or road conditions become unstable.

How will driverless cars respond to lights and sirens in the proverbial rearview mirror?

As Recode reports, Alphabet's cars can not only see, but "hear," which means that self-driving cars should know and respond to the lights and sirens of first responders. Recode quotes a portion of a 43-page report recently published by Waymo: "Our sensors collected samples at various speeds, distances, and angles - building up a library of sights and sounds that will help our vehicles respond safely to emergency vehicles on the road."

Read more: Alphabet is training law enforcement on how to handle self-driving car crashes

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