Re: Finally, a proper description of what the media dubs "AI" actually is
A lot of "human stuff" is pattern matching too - the difference being that we have fuzz filters and the tendency to press on regardless if we don't recognise the patterns or miss patterns we should have been trained on (like feet moving under parked cars at the side of the road) - frequently with.... unfortunate.... consequences)
What it comes down to is _ACTUARIES_
Robot drivers don't _need_ to be perfect to start getting an advantage in the insurance stakes.
They just need to be better than the average human
That's a stunningly mediocre bar to cross and when you couple that with the issue that a lot of humans actively dislike driving AND it only really takes a few poor drivers to really screw up a highway(*), there are some real incentives to get the angry+distracted monkeys out from behind the wheel anyway.
A normal driver will make a couple of mistakes a minute. Even Lewis Hamilton lets his attention slip sometimes. Our roads and road rules are setup so that it takes _AT LEAST_ 2, usually 3 serious errors to cause a crash - and frequently one of the most serious errors is poor road design, which is a major problem in the UK and yet noone's taking the people responsible (local authorities) through the courts.
(In the UK those responsible are frantically trying to avoid responsibility for by pointing everything as "driver error" even when egrarious road design flaws are pointed out - such as roads with 40mph speed limits that are designed for 60mph traffic - traffic speed is intrinsically set by road design not by signs, as the US DOT worked out decades ago and started clamping down on dangerously LOW speed limits set for revenue-raising purposes. The UK has a serious case of stats fiddling going on in many areas to mislead safety researchers about traffic speeds too, apparently for financial reasons - reporting lower speeds gives higher rewards and a pat on the back, etc)
(*) Just about ALL the traffic jams, nose-to-tails, phantom slowdowns, etc etc are caused by people breaching the rules about following distances or entering intersections when they can't exit them, etc. The assholes who are determined to engage in a Bitumen Waltz to get past everyone else in a jammed up mess are the CAUSE and continuation of those jammed up messes.