Because it is extremely difficult to develop policies that are failsafe under every scenario, Professor Kumar’s algorithms currently play more of a supportive role, where the decision of whether or not to accept their recommendations is left to a human operator. Ideally, however, autonomous agents should be able to deal with unexpected occurrences. Driverless taxis, for example, should be able to react to accidents or other major disruptions on the road.
The notion of “choreography” is essential to understanding the customer experience design challenge for local on-demand services. The New York Times has another good piece about this topic, about Life After Driving and its impact on society.
Assistant Professor Akshat Kumar’s research on choreography autonomous vehicles points to the design of customer experience that connects people and brands. Once an autonomous vehicle arrives at a customer’s home, is a human needed or can a robot deliver the package? What if the home has a lock box for deliveries? Can the robot open it, or does a person need to be there? What if they customer prefers deliveries to their back door for security?
These expectations need to be gathered and factored into the choreography that we are starting to think about with regard to vehicles in order to create satisfying personal experiences of brands and service.