Jean-Louis Gassée on the “hiccuping coexistence” of pedestrians and cars

Jean-Louis Gassée, Monday Note:

Imagine the 1 pm Sunday scene with crowded sidewalks and sticky car traffic. In today’s world, pedestrians and drivers manage a peaceful if hiccuping coexistence. Through eye contact, nods, hand signals, and, yes, courteous restraint, pedestrians decide to sometimes forfeit their right-of-way and let a few cars come through. On the whole, drivers are equally patient and polite.

That’s the current picture. But with self-driving cars, what then?

Can we “algorithmicize” eye contact and stuttering restraint? Can an SD car acknowledge a pedestrian’s nod, or negotiate “turning rights” with a conventional vehicle?

No, we can’t. And we don’t appear to have a path to overcome such “mundane” challenges.

Great post by Jean-Louis, per usual. Read the whole thing.