For a species that would like to see self-driving cars stick to the letter of the law, we humans don’t make things easy. We let lane lines fade and stop signs fall down. We fail to mark speed limits and flag pop-up construction sites. For the most part, humans can handle this lack of clarity. For robots, it can be baffling.
So consider the AV Road Rules Platform a helping hand. The new effort, launched today by transportation analytics firm Inrix, is a tool that lets cities pull together all the rules they expect human drivers to follow, and translate them into a computer-friendly format that any self-driving developer can fold into its software.
Today, before a developer can put its robo-cars on the road, it must gather piles of data: which streets have which speed limits, where the school zones are, how many lanes any stretch of road has, and so on. The standard method of collecting this data is to drive all the streets in question, and use the cars’ sensors to spot