Screenshot: Science Gallery London
If you live in a municipality that allows driverless car testing, you may already be accustomed to taking your life in your hands every time you have to Frogger your way through a crosswalk. In London, though, such experiences aren’t always widely available — so, not wanting to miss out, enterprising Brits have turned the experience into a game.
It’s called How (Not) To Get Hit By A Self-Driving Car, and the game is simple: Cross a mocked-up crosswalk without being detected by a person-sensing camera. The idea being that if you can successfully make it to the goal unrecognized, you could also successfully avoid detection by an autonomous vehicle. And be hit by it. You win!
Friday Lates – How (not) to get hit by a self-driving car
Now, to the game’s credit, its creators want to make your chances of winning ever slimmer. Freethink got a look behind the scenes, to see just what the folks who built the game are trying to achieve:
“There could be children on the street who are dressed up. It could be someone carrying a box. It could be people in wheelchairs,” said Daniel Coppen, creative director of design / art unit Playfool. “All these different use cases … they’re so vast, and they’re so unpredictable, and this sort of data is so hard to catch and predict.”
“We really hope that our experience will … allow these self-driving car systems to become smarter and safer,” said Coppen.
Players who beat the AI can choose to have their anonymized footage deleted or retained by the game’s makers, who are now looking for research institutions to share the dataset with in the hope it will be used to train self-driving cars.
The creators admit they don’t really know if any self-driving firms are actually using the same methods of pedestrian detection, but the data could prove useful anyway — methods that defeat How (Not) To Get Hit By A Self-Driving Car could be reproduced by AV companies to incorporate into their own data sets. Or, at the very least, the video could give engineers something to laugh at while their code compiles.
Keyword: Get Hit By A Self-Driving Car For Science