Re: The sad truth about self-driving cars
It will do exactly the same as a human would... slam on the brakes and hope.
I don't think it will, because it should bloody well not. Unless you're doing under 40 mph on a dry and clean road, slamming on the breaks at the last second is not going to achieve much. Either you have ABS (or similar) and you will only hit the target at a slightly reduced speed, or you don't and you will lose contact with the road and hit the target sideways instead of head-on.
As most motorcyclists who managed to stay alive know (and as most drivers should know), slamming on the breaks, while an understandable reflex, is almost never a good idea (well, that's why they invented ABS in the first place).
In the case of the Uber accident, the computer actually went through the correct analysis phases, trying to determine which direction the obstruction could move so as to swerve and avoid it. It only gave up after it drew a blank for "bike behaviour".
On a motorbike the desirable action is to drop a gear and rev it to the max while aiming at the free portion of the road (the idea being that you'll be past the obstruction before it has the chance to move in any direction). Of course some cars lack the acceleration needed for this maneuver to be successful.
Mine is the leather one with the elbow, shoulder and back protections, thank you.