University of Michigan students are trying to tackle an issue that the automotive industry will need to deal with in the future: what to do in case autonomous systems fail.
In total, there are thirty teams of four to six students role-playing this crisis scenario, all gunning for a $3,000 scholarship as part of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business’ annual Leadership Crisis Challenge.
According to Autonews, the students first learn the details of their crisis scenario just like a regular automaker would, through social media, e-mail, phone calls and direct meetings. Afterwards, they have 24 hours to mitigate the crisis.
“There is significant uncertainty about how the industry will take shape around autonomous vehicles, what factors will differentiate winners from losers in the marketplace, what legal and regulatory infrastructure will evolve, and how it will all ultimately impact society,” stated Brian Flanagan, an executive for the business school’s Leadership Center.
He added that in scenarios where there is no driver to blame, “the businesses and business leaders who produce the technology will be squarely in the crosshairs.”
Automakers such as Tesla have already dealt with backlash regarding their Autopilot technology back in May of 2016, when there was a fatality on board a Model S, and a number of claims that its autonomous tech isn’t exactly ready and trustworthy yet.