It is by Mercury News colleague Mike Langberg, and explains how smart focus was behind it all. Here’s a snippet:
When the Stanford team first started testing Stanley, a blue sport-utility vehicle, he had a 12 percent blunder rate for “false positives” — incorrectly assuming 12 percent of the objects in front of him were obstacles big enough he had to swerve around them.
So the team instructed Stanley’s software to take notes while a human driver maneuvered the car over different types of terrain. By following this guidance, the false positive rate dropped to one in 50,000 objects.