Michigan University Students Role-Play Autonomous Car Crisis

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.



    Kudos to them for taking the initiative. Maybe they’ll get some useful data out of it.

  • Jayen DeHaart

    What about if the driver dies or has a medical emergency while driving?

    • Bo Hanan

      That’s a good question. And as far as I’m concerned- just take the bus. Why get behind the wheel if you don’t want to drive?

      • brn

        Because the bus doesn’t go where you want, when you want.

        • Status

          You must live in a terrible city with poor public transit and lots of rush hour traffic.

          • brn

            You assume I live in a city.

            Well, you’d be correct. Dunno if the public transportation is poor, but taking the bus to the grocery store is not particularly convenient. Because I live in one suburb and work in another, the bus is a painfully long option there too.

          • Status

            Living where you are complicates public transit. Public transit works best in high population density environments, and suburbs are anything but population dense. The few buses where I live that travel through suburbs are habitually empty, and while they will take you into town, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were money-losing routes that are only in service to qualify for municipal tax breaks.

            That’s what suburban sprawl gets you: low density, displaced populations scattered wide and with no way to easily move them to high density locations….except by use of car of which car ownership has large fiscal costs and detriments to operation (traffic, accidents, poor driver skill, poor driver judgement, impairments).

  • Craig

    The whole thing is silly.

  • dls Viktor

    on main picture is interior of the all new 2019 Santa Fe … assuming ?