Watch Cruise’s Self-driving Car Perform 3 Unprotected Left Turns In Less Than 6 Hours

New York (The Verge) — Watch Cruise’s self-driving cars perform 1,400 unprotected left turns in 24 hours….

Cruise, the self-driving division of General Motors, knows left turns are hard. In a video just published, the company calls unprotected left turns “one of the most difficult maneuvers” a self-driving car can perform. And then the company proceeds to brag that its self-driving cars routinely execute 1,400 unprotected lefts every day in the complex environment of San Francisco.

Why are left turns so difficult? It’s because they require self-driving cars to be both cautious and assertive at the same time. The vehicle needs to nudge its front end into oncoming traffic while its sensors scan for a gap between cars. Human drivers can communicate nonverbally with other drivers using hand gestures or eye movements; robot cars lack those advantages.

“Unprotected lefts are one of the trickiest things you can do in driving,” Nathaniel Fairfield, a software engineer who leads the behavior team at Waymo, told Popular Science earlier this year. Andrew J. Hawkins/@verge

Source: verge, full story


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