Self-driving cars: July 2016 STH discussion

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Patrick, Jul 7, 2016.

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Self-driving cars - good or scary?

  1. Good - better than humans. I want one

    16 vote(s)
    48.5%
  2. Good - for other people but not me

    6 vote(s)
    18.2%
  3. Bad - seeing too many accidents

    1 vote(s)
    3.0%
  4. Bad - this is how Skynet starts

    6 vote(s)
    18.2%
  5. Not passing judgment yet - wait and see

    4 vote(s)
    12.1%
  1. spazoid

    spazoid Member

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    To paraphrase a some top exec @ Volvo on this matter: "If you, as a car manufacturer, isn't ready to assume responsibility for your car, you need to get out of the business."

    It's the same as with every other (safety) feature, really... Who is responsible for the seatbelt to be working? Who is responsible for the airbags? The manufacturer as long as it's withing warranty.
    Who is responsible for everything else? The owner, who usually outsources the liability to an insurance company. If the insurance company doesn't want the responsibility, they'll refuse to insure your car. If they feel the risk is high, they'll set the price accordingly. That's what insurance agents and underwriters are for.
     
    #21
  2. SomeGuyInTexas

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    Exactly, but the "new" thing here is the control aspect. It will be very telling on how the recent Tesla autopilot fatality will be handled by the courts of law and public opinion. I am now at a point of not believing that logic will prevail in either of those courts.

    Sent via Tapatalk
     
    #22
  3. cesmith9999

    cesmith9999 Well-Known Member

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    What will happen is that the insurance companies/lawyers will start driving the QC of the automation. As they handle the payouts.

    I hate to see a promising technology be driven this way. but it is the truth. Tesla just got caught in a corner case. and they will pay for it in redesign sensors and new software updates.

    Chris
     
    #23
  4. spazoid

    spazoid Member

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    I don't see why this would be different from any other part of a car. What does insurance companies do if they find a general problem with a brand or model? They increase the insurance premium for that brand or model to account for the increased payouts.

    Want to insure your car with an autopilot coded by toddlers smashing their heads into keyboards? Sure, that'll be a million <currency> please!
     
    #24
  5. cesmith9999

    cesmith9999 Well-Known Member

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    The insurance companies doing this will be the ones handling the defects in software from the manufacture. the ones handing out settlement money, not the ones to protect us from our needs. our auto insurance will be more like renters insurance

    This will also cause the auto makers to have very long servicing (10+ years) software. because if there is a fundamental flaw. 11 years later. they will still need to fix that as part of the settlement.

    Chris
     
    #25
  6. DrunkenLoliOni

    DrunkenLoliOni New Member

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    We've had driverless cars a decade plus, haven't you seen all those people with cellphones glued to their heads and/or looking down in their lap texting? This will be a big improvement by actually having a driver in the car again and one who won't text or fall asleep at the wheel.

    All that aside, I do really enjoy driving and I will be sad if I am ever not able to drive again.

    If I'm not mistaken the new Honda NSX is brake by wire and I believe steer by wire, which is different from electric power steering in that there is no mechanical linkage from the steering wheel to the rack.

    On another note Formula 1 also has a brake by wire system for the rear wheels to manage the ERS and other systems involved in the slowing of the car.
     
    #26
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  7. Sleyk

    Sleyk Active Member

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    Holy Shit, I wrote alot. I apologize in advance!

    I think self driving cars are the future and can be the future, as long as it is properly regulated. Too many people don't obey the laws of the road, and frankly don't like to even in situations where it doesn't benefit them to do so. My take on this is that if self driving cars were everywhere, the big thing or complaints from alot of people would be that their commute would possibly get longer, or that the technology would create unsafe scenarios for people. This is just me playing devil's advocate. I think the reasoning behind this would be that self driving cars would be programmed to obey the rules of the road, no matter what. This, as we know, people do not do. People constantly exceed speed limits, (sometimes, a valid thing to do to avoid an accident) take illegal turns to get to somewhere faster, drive down wrong roads, get angry and hotheaded and generally ignore safety guidelines while driving.

    Many times, it works out for us when we need to make a quick u-turn to avoid driving all the way up the street, just to get to the bodega, but guess what? The self driving car may not do that. It will almost certainly always obey the rules of the road, unless you take it out of auto-drive and take back control of the driving. I definitely want to see this technology go forward, and I can't wait till the time comes when us common folk can afford it reasonably and safely, but I just wonder if there can truly be a mass adoption, even in the future, when people realize that the control of driving, in all aspects, are removed from their hands and placed in the hands of truly "non rule breaking, law abiding cars".

    Dare I say, and I haven't looked up statistics to prove it, but you would probably somewhat agree with me; alot of the accidents we have today involve some form of driver rule breaking. Of course not all cases involved, but a good amount. A majority of accidents may not have anything to do with rule breaking as well, such as if people get sick behind the wheel or scenarios like that, but let's just deal with driving as it relates to the rules of the road. So to have these things driving us around, I do feel like our accident rate will go down in certain scenarios due to less "human error" involved, but I truly feel like a 20 minute commute, that actually ran you like 15 mins due to normal human driving, will take you double that time, especially in densely populated cities like NYC or LA. (Can you imagine the traffic?) This I feel some people may not be willing to trade in exchange for a self driving automobile.

    Self driving cars may be more enjoyed in areas with long open roads, where there isn't a high density of cars. Here, the full technology may be enjoyed, but as for driving in the cities, I think there would be too many scenarios and situations where the self driving car may do more harm than good. One major example I can think of, is take a hugely populated city like New York. Now take a line of self driving cars and place them all driving down a one way street. Now imagine, an ambulance trying to get through. Sure enough, the ambulance will be in human driving mode, but think about how hard it would be to get through a long line of cars that stop exactly at the light, or slow to a stop on detecting pedestrians at the edge of the sidewalk. Maybe a bloody kid ran into the street to grab his ball. Anything like that. Would not the priority of these cars be the safety of human life first? Given this scenario, the self driving car will choose to stop instead of risking human life. I mean, I hope so. Therefore, ambulance ain't getting through, especially if there are cars up ahead, already in the intersection. Now, someone's life is in danger.

    This is just a random scenario to pinpoint the downside of "obeying the law" in emergency situations, not so much the downside of a self driving car. Thing is, if we see an ambulance or fire truck coming through, we can automatically pull over anywhere, and make "way" for the emergency vehicle. Not saying the self driving car wouldn't be programmed for that as well, but in a busy intersection where the car is already "preprogrammed" to stop, how can the programming also tell it to go at the same time? Can the self driving car even make such a decision? Can any software make such a decision? I truly don't know...

    "Ever hear the phrase computers say in movies sometimes: "Cannot compute?"

    Also, what if there isnt any room to go? A human driver can negotiate this. Will a self driving car be able to? All the while keeping your safety and the safety of other cars and vehicles paramount? I honestly do hope so, as that would be fantastic. Don't get me wrong, I want the car to be able to handle these types of scenarios. Who knows, maybe the technology will evolve into just that.

    That being said, I would love to cruise from New York where I live, to California across the states and the car takes me there. Wouldn't it be amazing if there was enough faith and trust in these vehicles that you could go to sleep in one of these things overnight at your starting point, and by the morning, you are safely at your destination almost 1000 miles away? I know this is an exaggerated scenario, but to me, this is the best part of the allure.

    All in all, I'm in on the side of self driving cars, we just need the team of Einstein raised from the dead, J.J Abrams and the entire team of Scorpion and Walter o Brian himself to code and program the software! Just kidding, we can definitely do it. Humans, despite their penchant for "error" are amazing. Those google guys are doing an excellent job.

    I just want one of those bad boys Colin Farrell drove with Jessica Biel in Total Recall.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 8, 2016
  8. DrunkenLoliOni

    DrunkenLoliOni New Member

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    Actually, heavily populated areas are where these types of cars would help the most. They won't block the box, they'll move right when the lights change (computers don't have asses to pick, or hands to pick it with even they did have an ass), they will be able to merge onto the highway with full speed traffic without doing retarded shit, and they'll all (most likely) be communicating with each other via mesh networking/dust in a IoT fashion so they can all start moving and stop at the same time for lights and other road obstacles. All this will provide opportunities to improve traffic patterns by adjusting light timing and will also probably make the "smart grid" actually possible.

    As for emergency vehicles, they already have traffic light transponders to change the lights, so in that case the cars can just follow the lights and get out of the way when there is room if there wasn't any to begin with. I think that is an incredibly easy problem to solve if it even is a problem in the first place.

    There will be special cases with travel where they might take longer than a human driver, for instance: I used to drive to work around 4:45 in the morning and could get there in about 20 minutes if I didn't stop along the way for provisions. Whereas if I were doing the same drive during morning rush hour it would take me closer to 45 minutes, and normal hours during the day 30-35 minutes. Another case might be out in low population areas where there isn't much traffic at all, and if a human driver were breaking the law they could get there more quickly than a self-driving car.

    As a final note, because human drivers can do things they shouldn't be doing, they can throw a pretty big monkey wrench into the mix and likely cause a lot of problems with the self-driving cars. Potentially enough that it might have to be an all or nothing type scenario, but only time will tell because that too is a problem that could be solved with some clever programming.
     
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  9. SomeGuyInTexas

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    Yup... here in Austin the Google car has been thrown off by odd human behavior, both drivers and pedestrians. Eventually, it will learn - or become self aware and... [emoji4]

    Sent via Tapatalk
     
    #29
  10. DrunkenLoliOni

    DrunkenLoliOni New Member

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    And then we'll have to send someone back in time to warn us not to mess with things beyond our control.
     
    #30
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  11. SomeGuyInTexas

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    I believe that this is causing issues today for the Google car. I read somewhere that, for example, in areas where the prevailing flow of cars is going above the speed limit, when an autonomous car attempts to merge in AT or below the speed limit accidents occur. There was talk of having the car recognize these scenarios and adjust, even if that means not follow the law. Obviously, this could be Pandora's box. I haven't read much on this particular aspect in a while, will have to see if there's been any updates or decisions made.

    Sent via Tapatalk
     
    #31
  12. cesmith9999

    cesmith9999 Well-Known Member

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    this curve will change over time as more autonomous cars are on the road.

    also, these cars will be a boon for insurance companies. they will have full (black box) data of what occurred during accidents.

    Chris
     
    #32
  13. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    Living rural I have to drive 1hr minimum to get to anything other than the gas station or tiny local grocery store... sometimes I'll go 45M just to get some coffee and a special treat. For me the act of driving (not in traffic) is relaxing, and allows my mind to open up and unwind... I hope we never lose this but at the same time while in the city I'll take a driver/uber/taxi any day than having to drive myself.
     
    #33
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  14. spazoid

    spazoid Member

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    I like driving as well, and a lot of my creative thinking is done while driving, but I'm sure I could figure out how to do it while not being strapped into a 2.5 ton projectile, speeding past other similar hunks of metal at lethal speeds... :)
     
    #34
  15. mackle

    mackle Active Member

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    I am pro-driver-assist and pro-autonomous. I think that the technology is closer than most people expect yet further away than many people hope.

    I do disagree fundamentally with Tesla's approach to real world testing - it is a fine approach for web dev, but not for something as dangerous as driving.

    Even if every new car came with autonomous features, the US automobile fleet with an average age of 11.4 years means it is going to take a long time for the technology to filter through.
     
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  16. ttabbal

    ttabbal Active Member

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    While Tesla calls it a "beta", it seems like it's a Google style beta, where they just call it that perpetually. It looks pretty well tested to me, for the use cases it's designed for. People aren't willing to live within those use cases though, and cause other problems for themselves. They don't have a fully autonomous vehicle, and they don't claim to. It's a driver assist feature. Sadly, going part way like this seems to result in people being over-confident in the technology and not treating their multi-ton missiles of death with the respect they deserve. At the moment, the only technical solution I see to the problem is to get the fully autonomous type working.

    As for the social solution, we can't seem to get people to stop texting or playing Pokemon while driving regular cars. I don't see much hope of getting people to properly babysit a driver-assist setup.
     
    #36
  17. SomeGuyInTexas

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    Here's a good take on the autopilot issue from IEEE Spectrum: Tesla Autopilot Crash: Why We Should Worry About a Single Death

    As I pondered this whole topic a bit more, I thought of a tangential arena it could take us - though one that requires immense more technology development and even more immense trust. If autonomous vehicles can exist - if we can trust their capabilities and have a true "hive mind" aspect with data sharing/collaboration between the vehicles, I'd love to see that applied to the enablement of the "personal flying vehicle." A few months back there were a bunch of articles on various flying car technologies (much of which are more vapor ware than reality), with the fact that pilot licenses are a tad bit more challenging to obtain (and retain) than a simple driver's license largely ignored. Should we reach a point of there being economically viable "flying cars" for a large portion of the population, I'd absolutely want those devices being either controlled and/or governed by an autonomous/intelligent control system.
     
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  18. cesmith9999

    cesmith9999 Well-Known Member

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    I want the automated cars now. on the way to work today I spotted 2 different cars driving over to the other lane to get pokemon go things...

    Chris
     
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  19. unwind-protect

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    Most of this is fine with me.

    The thing that I really don't want is vehicles limited to 25 mph clogging up roads that have a speed limit of 30 or 35, while they at the same time don't have the sense of keeping in the right lane when it isn't required by law (assuming there are additional lanes).

    Getting around is difficult enough with the occasional Toyota going under the speed limit.
     
    #39
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  20. Sleyk

    Sleyk Active Member

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    I think this is one of my biggest fears with self driving vehicles. They will "obey" the law. This can sure lead up to some serious traffic jams if all cars did this. Sometimes cars have to go beyond the speed limit and even make illegal maneuvers. I think we need a mix of human intuition plus the added benefit of compute power in using these things. Programming the car to drive itself is easy enough, but how do we get the "human" intuition factor built in? Can such a thing be programmed? If we can achieve this, then I think self driving cars would be immensely helpful to us, and a pleasure to drive...be driven in?

    Albeit, we now have the added benefit of the cars becoming self aware...

    Hello, SKYNET.
     
    #40
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