A T-shirt managed to stop an autonomous car in strange test

It goes to show autonomous cars are smart, but not that smart
  • A man in the US conducted an ‘unorthodox’ test with a self-driving car
  • The self-driving car in question is operated by Waymo, a ride-hailing service that uses autonomous vehicles
  • The T-shirt he was wearing was enough to stop the car

Published on May 7, 2024 at 5:03PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on May 9, 2024 at 6:24PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Tom Wood
autonomous cars test

Autonomous cars are smart, and they are getting smarter, but they’re clearly not all the way there yet.

A man in the US managed to stop an autonomous car with a simple (but clever) trick.

The test appears strange and comical, but it actually begs a few questions.

READ MORE: This car has moving body parts and secret tech in every corner

Jason Carr, a man in the US, was able to stop a self-driving car by simply wearing a T-shirt that said ‘STOP’.

More precisely, the T-shirt he was wearing was black, with an image of the ‘STOP’ sign we see every day printed on it.

It was enough to stop a car operated by Waymo, a ride-hailing service that only uses autonomous cars.

This ‘test’ may look like a prank, and it is, but it also puts a giant elephant right in the middle of the room, and we need to address it.

This is because – it goes without saying – a human driver wouldn’t have stopped.

A human driver may have been caught by surprise by the sign, may have slowed down, may have waved at the guy wearing the T-shirt only using one finger, or maybe the human driver would’ve simply laughed it off.

But either way, the human driver wouldn’t have stopped.

The car did, and it didn’t resume its journey again until Mr Carr walked away.

It goes to show there’s still a long way to go, even though automakers are making quick progress with autonomous cars.

Tesla, for example, recently celebrated an important milestone with over one billion miles driven using FSD, its Full Self-Driving mode.

But there are still issues because we’re quickly realizing that robots can outsmart and outperform humans in many different ways.

No human is capable of doing what Disney’s ‘stunt robots‘ can do for example.

At the same time, as this unorthodox test shows, robots can still be quite dumb.

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