A two-car crash may now involve as many as four drivers, not all of them human.

Enlarge / A two-car crash may now involve as many as four drivers, not all of them human. (credit: MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images )

Tonight, drivers in the US will kill more pedestrians than any other night of the year. An increase in people walking in low-light conditions makes Halloween the most dangerous night of the year for pedestrians.

Pedestrian deaths are on the rise overall, as cars become safer for drivers but more dangerous for everyone else. Sophisticated pedestrian detection systems, which are becoming more common in cars, aren't doing particularly well. Some of them score highly on easier tests in broad daylight, but they do not fare so well in more difficult conditions like low light.

When a driver shares the blame for a pedestrian death with an automated car, how do people assign blame? A study in Nature Human Behaviour this week suggests that people may focus their ire on the human in a shared-control situation. The authors argue that this could result in an under-regulation of the safety of shared-control vehicles.

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