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Old 06-30-2016, 04:40 AM   #21
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Where does that leave the folks who are using the self-driver because they are no longer safe drivers themselves?

At that point, I'm envisioning stepping into my air-conditioned cabin on wheels, providing its CPU with a destination and any desired extra stops, and immediately taking a nap

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W
And I think the self driving cars should be taking the path of the current driver assist, plus making sure the driver is alert and involved, before they start taking over for the driver. Monitor the eyes, to make sure the driver is paying attention.

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Old 06-30-2016, 05:04 AM   #22
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As for ethics, when setting up your car program initially, there should be a checklist so that you can program in your own morals

Anyway, whenever DGF and I are out, we always see what appears to be many near misses, etc., and I usually say "A google car wouldn't have allowed that to happen." Yes, I'm on the side of fewer accidents and fatalities.

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Old 06-30-2016, 05:13 AM   #23
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Not a real problem. By the time cars are making ethical decisions we will have reached the singularity and machines will p0wn us.

Seriously, I assume these devices take the simplest most efficient action to avoid or minimize the severity of impact. No ethical evaluation in the algorithms. Let's face it, humans suddenly confronted with a red light running, high speed school bus ten feet from their bumper simply slam on the brakes and/or swerve. They don't look around for baby buggies or calculate the least death alternatives. Any situation that realistically calls for a thought out decision would offer time for the car to hand off to the human. What comes to mind is a car stuck on a railroad crossing with a train approaching and a line of day care toddlers passing in front and a truck blocking the rear. Plenty of time for a - "f this, you figure it out" hand-off.
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Old 06-30-2016, 05:18 AM   #24
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I think it may turn out to be mostly a theoretical problem.

Am also highly skeptical of the current ability of humans making split-second decisions based on ethical grounds. Whoever thinks drivers are rationally making ethical decisions along the lines of: I'll hit the group of 3 older guys instead of the one young woman? I sure am not.

In almost all cases where you cannot avoid an accident the answer is simply to delay collision as much as possible while reducing speed as much possible.

I'm sure we can find a case where that approach doesn't give the best outcome, it will be exceptionally rare though.

Just check out this list, Top-25 causes of accidents:
https://seriousaccidents.com/legal-a...car-accidents/
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Old 06-30-2016, 05:40 AM   #25
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With all the bozos on the road trying to kill me whether in my car or riding my motorcycle I'm all for everyone driving this kind of car. Maybe I could enjoy riding my motorcycle more often. It would also allow me to have transportation when I am physically and/or mentally less able. For these kind of cars to be fail-safe is going to take some time though and I will probably be too far gone by then.

Cheers!
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Old 06-30-2016, 06:01 AM   #26
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Self driving cars are not that far from reality. The long term vision will come faster than you think.

In time, self driving cars will replace many jobs. I can envision cities with fairly large parking lots, all with inductive charging pads. When you use an app like Uber, the closet available car will dismount, and come to pick you up. Think Roomba.

After your ride, the car would head to the nearest charging lot, where the least amount of cars were scheduled to be at, and await the next call for a ride and charge. The 'system' would know the charging status and maintenance status.

Government would own all the cars, and a private vehicle would be illegal to own. Only diplomats and government officials would own their own cars, and even those would be paid for by the Government. They would be granted immunity from liability. They would NOT go over a bridge to save a pedestrian.

Taxi's would be non-existent. Just call the car, and it comes. Even longer trips could be arranged buy the car taking you to a distant lot, switching vehicles, and continuing the ride.

Car companies would be fewer. You no longer a 2+ cars per household. Perhaps one vehicle per 10 households would be needed. That means only 5% of the cars manufactured today.

The vehicles would be cheaper . No steering wheels, no engines, no emission controls, no muffler, no brake pedals, etc. Electric motors are cheap to manufacturer. Batteries will get much cheaper. There will be a lot less auto parts stores, less auto parts manufacturers, less junk yards, etc. Gas stations, that sell gas, would not be necessary. Oil changes would be obsolete.

Much like the government today owns the public transit system, the government would own all the self-driving cars. Everyone would have equal assess to anywhere they needed to go. At the same priority, unless the government assigns you a higher priority. There would be much less advantage to living in the city or suburb in regards to transportation.

People's visits could be tracked, and that would have implications for crime fighting and tracking missing people. Places that people should not go, such as environmentally sensitive areas, would not be a valid destination. Area 51 and Yellow Stone would be off limits except to the EPA and Government officials.

It will be a great life, and it's coming soon.
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Old 06-30-2016, 06:37 AM   #27
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...........Government would own all the cars, and a private vehicle would be illegal to own.............. .
I knew it! This whole self driving / electric car thing is a government conspiracy. They'll have to tear my cold dead hands off my steering wheel.
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Old 06-30-2016, 06:44 AM   #28
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With all the bozos on the road trying to kill me whether in my car or riding my motorcycle I'm all for everyone driving this kind of car. Maybe I could enjoy riding my motorcycle more often.
What would eventually happen is that you will no longer be allowed to drive your motorcycle. Human controlled machines will be considered too dangerous and won't be allowed to risk the safety of those in automated machines.

Many people have a vision of a utopia with driving cars, but the cynic in me sees yet another aspect of our lives controlled by the government, and another choice taken away.
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Old 06-30-2016, 07:01 AM   #29
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Time magazine had an article with a timeline for self driving cars - IIRC by 2050 manual driving would be outlawed.

It is easy to see how we got to this point - MADD started the don't drink and drive campaign then came talk and drive and text and drive - the younger generation said we want to do both - so let's give up driving. It's just evolutionary not revolutionary.

Check out what tesla has now:
http://youtu.be/9X-5fKzmy38
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Old 06-30-2016, 07:09 AM   #30
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Maybe the algorithm will be an option when purchasing a car: Would you like the model that makes the most ethical decisions, or one that protects the driver at all costs?
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Old 06-30-2016, 07:14 AM   #31
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And I think the self driving cars should be taking the path of the current driver assist, plus making sure the driver is alert and involved, before they start taking over for the driver. Monitor the eyes, to make sure the driver is paying attention.

-ERD50
Where does that leave the folks who are using the self-driver because they are no longer safe drivers themselves?
I'm talking interim steps. For the next few years at least, I don't think self-driving cars will be good enough to completely eliminate the driver. But we already have 'driver assist' features in cars today, and I think adding a 'driver alertness' monitor to these cars would be a very positive thing.

And the systems will keep advancing. When they are good enough to be totally autonomous, then people who can't or shouldn't drive can use them.

I also agree with others that a human probably isn't really making any real value judgments when a sudden dangerous situation arises. No time to think things through, as donheff said, brake and swerve is about all you can do (maybe very rare exceptions to this?).

But I disagree that the car could just hand off to a human for some of these decisions - the human wasn't paying attention, how long will it take for the car to fill the non-driver in on the situation? Hey, non-driver, wake up, we have a problem here! I'm reminded of the old Mission Impossible briefing tape and packet. The car could run back the last 10 seconds of video, along with narration and a suggestion on action plans, and then tell the non-driver this evidence will self destruct to protect them in any upcoming court cases


Whoops, we crashed 3 seconds into that video!

-ERD50
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Old 06-30-2016, 07:18 AM   #32
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Wait a minute. What happened to flying cars? When did that version of the future get pushed aside by driver-free cars?

I think AI piloted autos (aka driver-less cars) will not reach mainstream USA for one simple reason. Every time a new "version" is released on our roads for testing, teenage nerds and geeks around the country will emerge from their basements to find ways to fool the driving programs and make the cars do something unintended (and unacceptable), endlessly postponing the transition from testing to deployed.
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Old 06-30-2016, 07:25 AM   #33
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Actually some of the existing systems such as lane departure warnings as well as frontal crash mitigation act as an alertness monitor. For example if you wander from your lane (on a road painted with stripes in the center and a while line on the edge) it will first shake the steering wheel and sound a warning tone before taking any action. Likewise the front collision system first sounds a tone and flashes a light before applying the brakes.
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Old 06-30-2016, 07:57 AM   #34
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Driverless car software will evolve like chess programs. It will be relatively easy to write a program that performs better than a poor-to-average driver, but will take a long, long time to outperform the best drivers. And since most people think that they are above-average drivers, they will be hesitant to relinquish control to a computer program.

Here's a real-life example of an accident that I avoided, but that I doubt a driverless car would be able to avoid: Driving after a big snowstorm, a car (who couldn't see around the snowbank) pulled out of a parking lot directly into my path. My obvious options were (1) slam on the brakes, which may have reduced my speed some but would not have avoided the collision, or (2) swerve into oncoming traffic. But I chose another option - I intentionally veered to the right and sideswiped the snowbank, and thereby was able to stop in time to avoid a collision. It's hard to imagine that a driverless car would be programmed to do the same. Among other things, it would have to recognize the obstruction on the right as being a snowbank rather than a rock or something else.
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Old 06-30-2016, 08:00 AM   #35
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Here's a real-life example of an accident that I avoided, but that I doubt a driverless car would be able to avoid: Driving after a big snowstorm, a car (who couldn't see around the snowbank) pulled out of a parking lot directly into my path. My obvious options were (1) slam on the brakes, which may have reduced my speed some but would not have avoided the collision, or (2) swerve into oncoming traffic. But I chose another option - I intentionally veered to the right and sideswiped the snowbank, and thereby was able to stop in time to avoid a collision. It's hard to imagine that a driverless car would be programmed to do the same. Among other things, it would have to recognize the obstruction on the right as being a snowbank rather than a rock or something else.
hopefully driverless cars will be able to give the finger in situations like that
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Old 06-30-2016, 08:17 AM   #36
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I intentionally veered to the right and sideswiped the snowbank, and thereby was able to stop in time to avoid a collision. It's hard to imagine that a driverless car would be programmed to do the same. Among other things, it would have to recognize the obstruction on the right as being a snowbank rather than a rock or something else.
I've driven in a winter climate my entire adult life. Often, the roads end up with 2 polished tire "tracks" that result from constant traffic packing the snow into ice. When slowing down, people learn to move slightly off track to where the roads are less slippery, or to where there may be more road sand. Failure to do so in some cases means sliding through the intersection. Also, how would a computer be able to tell the difference between a small harmless 6" snow drift on the road and a solid obstruction?
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Old 06-30-2016, 08:28 AM   #37
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Actually some of the existing systems such as lane departure warnings as well as frontal crash mitigation act as an alertness monitor. For example if you wander from your lane (on a road painted with stripes in the center and a while line on the edge) it will first shake the steering wheel and sound a warning tone before taking any action. Likewise the front collision system first sounds a tone and flashes a light before applying the brakes.
True, and valuable, but those systems are providing a warning only after the driver has stopped paying attention, and the car is getting into a hazardous situation.

I'm talking about adding a driver alertness monitor to that - a system that would have detected that the driver wasn't paying attention, and alerted him before the car started wandering off or tailgating. If the driver was dozing off, he may be startled by the beeps, he doesn't know what's going on now, and he may not respond in the best way. Far better to alert the driver at the first sign of non-attention (eyes not scanning the road, not looking in the mirrors, not adjusting the wheel), and not wait until there is a problem. I think both systems together would be best.

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...

Here's a real-life example of an accident that I avoided, but that I doubt a driverless car would be able to avoid: Driving after a big snowstorm, a car (who couldn't see around the snowbank) pulled out of a parking lot directly into my path. My obvious options were (1) slam on the brakes, which may have reduced my speed some but would not have avoided the collision, or (2) swerve into oncoming traffic. But I chose another option - I intentionally veered to the right and sideswiped the snowbank, and thereby was able to stop in time to avoid a collision. It's hard to imagine that a driverless car would be programmed to do the same. Among other things, it would have to recognize the obstruction on the right as being a snowbank rather than a rock or something else.
About 20 years ago, I was at a stoplight and I saw a car coming up behind me way too fast to stop. The whole family was in the car, and I saw this guy was going to ram us from behind.

I looked both ways - no cross traffic. I yelled out "hang on!", floored it, and laid on the horn. I managed to get out of the way, and I think my sudden motion and horn alerted him, so though he still ended up in the intersection, I was out of his way.

Would a self driving car do that either? Maybe? It could see an impending crash and look for safe routes, but I wonder. But I think the snow bank example ahead would be even tougher for a CPU. Especially one programmed by people who live in sunny California!

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Old 06-30-2016, 08:33 AM   #38
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Many years ago, I took a performance driving course taught by a retired race driver (we practiced on an old racetrack). One of the principles that has stuck in my mind was: "When a collision is imminent, try to hit the softest target."

In other words, if you can either hit a live thing or go over a cliff/hit a rock wall, the live thing gets it. Basically this amounts to "save your own protoplasm first."

So that is the principle on which I would want my self-driving vehicle to operate. However, as an optimist, I am hopeful that a self-driving car's reactions will be superior to mine, allowing it to avoid both bad outcomes.

Amethyst

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I think it may turn out to be mostly a theoretical problem.

Am also highly skeptical of the current ability of humans making split-second decisions based on ethical grounds. Whoever thinks drivers are rationally making ethical decisions along the lines of: I'll hit the group of 3 older guys instead of the one young woman? I sure am not.

In almost all cases where you cannot avoid an accident the answer is simply to delay collision as much as possible while reducing speed as much possible.

I'm sure we can find a case where that approach doesn't give the best outcome, it will be exceptionally rare though.

Just check out this list, Top-25 causes of accidents:
https://seriousaccidents.com/legal-a...car-accidents/
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Old 06-30-2016, 08:52 AM   #39
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Government would own all the cars, and a private vehicle would be illegal to own. Only diplomats and government officials would own their own cars, and even those would be paid for by the Government. They would be granted immunity from liability. They would NOT go over a bridge to save a pedestrian.

Much like the government today owns the public transit system, the government would own all the self-driving cars. Everyone would have equal assess to anywhere they needed to go. At the same priority, unless the government assigns you a higher priority. There would be much less advantage to living in the city or suburb in regards to transportation.
While I agree with all your other predictions based on what I've read, I wasn't expecting the autonomous car system to be (state or local) government owned. Not that it's impossible by any means, but what leads you to expect government ownership?

I was expecting the system to be owned by car manufacturers, an Uber-like enterprise, current taxi operators, a Google or Apple, oil or energy companies - or a collaboration of several. The payment model would be something like Zipcar has established.

Also makes me wonder if there will be range limits on system cars? If they were owned by state or local governments, presumably you couldn't take a system car from NYC to Hope AK - expecially if you weren't planning to return, soon or ever.

Brave new world, I am looking forward to it. I hope autonomous cars will evolve before I'm no longer able to drive myself (and I believe they will...).
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Old 06-30-2016, 09:34 AM   #40
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Just today we were talking about how when calculators first came out, people would do some simple math exercise --123 X 321-- to make sure the calculator was doing the math correctly.
"Nothing will ever replace my slipstick! (slide rule)"

Before that, we needed operators to place phone calls for us, remember?
And we needed a travel agent to book us a flight and hotel from Boston to NYC.
And an accountant to do our taxes.
Etc.

I can see--and eagerly await--self driving cars! I give it 10 years; just about the time my eyesight and reflexes start to wane.
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