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Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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Revision as of 03:25, 31 December 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!
We have an explanation for all 1 xkcd comics, and only 29 (1%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

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Self-Driving Issues
If most people turn into muderers all of a sudden, we'll need to push out a firmware update or something.
Title text: If most people turn into muderers all of a sudden, we'll need to push out a firmware update or something.

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a BOT - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.

Cueball explains being worried about autonomous cars, noting that it may be possible to fool the sensory systems of the vehicles. He then realizes that human drivers are equally vulnerable to being deceived.

White Hat and Megan point out that most road safety systems benefit from humans not actively trying to maliciously sabotage it.

The title text notes that a radical change in human behavior would likely require a major update to the software that governs how autonomous vehicles behave. Presumably because it would now have to account for humans actively attempting to kill drivers on a routine basis.

Fun Fact: The title text was published with a typo, "murderers" was misspelled as "muderers."

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.

Cueball: I worry about self-driving car safety features. What's to stop someone from painting fake lines on the road, or dropping a cutout of a pedestrian onto a highway, to make cars swerve and crash? Except... those things would also work on human drivers. What's stopping people now?

off-panel speaker (probably Megan): Yeah, causing car crashes isn't hard.

White Hat: I guess it's just that most people aren't murderers?

Cueball: Oh, right. I always forget.

Megan: An underappreciated component of our road safety system.



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