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Old 06-30-2016, 02:33 PM   #61
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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?
If one is ever developed that works well it will be very expensive, as is almost any machine that is trying to do two very different tasks because of the design compromises that have to be made. A Cessna 182 is mechanically a much simpler machine than a Chevrolet car but costs many times more not only to buy but to own because of the scheduled maintenance and inspection costs.

Getting back to the original question there is no doubt in my mind that autonomous-driving cars will be safer than humans and should be implemented ASAP. I spend 18 years on the road as a police officer and wrote what I thought was a pretty impressive stack of accident reports, and I didn't even work in the traffic section.

NOT ONCE did I see a collision that could not have been avoided by reasonably proficient drivers who were sober, driving within the traffic laws, and paying attention to the task of driving their own respective cars.

Frankly I can't wait for self-driving cars and firmly believe that overall the world will be a much safer, if not as exciting, a place. For those who feel that being in control of their own car is a constitutional right, I hate to bust your bubble but every state maintains that driving is a privilege, not a right. I believe that most other countries do too. (If not someone will correct me I'm sure.) Once self-driving cars are proven and affordable those who insist on driving themselves will be welcome to do so at the local track and will not be allowed to risk other people's lives to prove that their outdated skills can beat a computer.

Consider the parallel with vaccines, which have in many cases have virtually eliminated once-deadly and crippling diseases, at least in third-world countries. But once in a great long while, some unfortunate person has a bad reaction to a vaccine and may be seriously injured or killed by it. I doubt anyone would argue that society should give up vaccines though.

Oh, and computers have already put the jobs of a lot of fighter pilots at risk: This AI Can Beat a Top Fighter Pilot - D-brief

If a computer can outfly a fighter pilot I'm sure one will be along that can drive a car or truck. It's only a matter of time.
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Old 06-30-2016, 02:41 PM   #62
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Whoops... Maybe Telsa is not quite ready for prime time.

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The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said on Thursday it is opening a preliminary investigation into 25,000 Tesla Motors Model S cars after a fatal crash involving a vehicle using the "Autopilot" mode.

US regulators investigating Tesla over use of automated system linked to fatal crash
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Old 06-30-2016, 02:47 PM   #63
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I'm surprised that more people aren't concerned with the government "creep" and excessive regulations that would be sure to accompany driverless cars. You can guarantee that driverless cars will have some government control and data collection, and the visions of a driverless utopia could easily become lost in a maze of bureaucratic control, red tape, and restrictions.
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Old 06-30-2016, 02:54 PM   #64
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Last week my boyfriend saw a deer and swerved knowing it was coming on to the road. His bumper hit the deer but if he didn't see it and know how deer act it could have been in the windshield. He carries a gun so put down the deer who had a shattered leg.
Self driving will make different choices some better some worse will they swerve for a deer but not a bunny?
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Old 06-30-2016, 02:56 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
If one is ever developed that works well it will be very expensive, as is almost any machine that is trying to do two very different tasks because of the design compromises that have to be made. A Cessna 182 is mechanically a much simpler machine than a Chevrolet car but costs many times more not only to buy but to own because of the scheduled maintenance and inspection costs.

Getting back to the original question there is no doubt in my mind that autonomous-driving cars will be safer than humans and should be implemented ASAP. I spend 18 years on the road as a police officer and wrote what I thought was a pretty impressive stack of accident reports, and I didn't even work in the traffic section.

NOT ONCE did I see a collision that could not have been avoided by reasonably proficient drivers who were sober, driving within the traffic laws, and paying attention to the task of driving their own respective cars.

Frankly I can't wait for self-driving cars and firmly believe that overall the world will be a much safer, if not as exciting, a place. For those who feel that being in control of their own car is a constitutional right, I hate to bust your bubble but every state maintains that driving is a privilege, not a right. I believe that most other countries do too. (If not someone will correct me I'm sure.) Once self-driving cars are proven and affordable those who insist on driving themselves will be welcome to do so at the local track and will not be allowed to risk other people's lives to prove that their outdated skills can beat a computer.

Consider the parallel with vaccines, which have in many cases have virtually eliminated once-deadly and crippling diseases, at least in third-world countries. But once in a great long while, some unfortunate person has a bad reaction to a vaccine and may be seriously injured or killed by it. I doubt anyone would argue that society should give up vaccines though.

Oh, and computers have already put the jobs of a lot of fighter pilots at risk: This AI Can Beat a Top Fighter Pilot - D-brief

If a computer can outfly a fighter pilot I'm sure one will be along that can drive a car or truck. It's only a matter of time.
An excellent post. If I had any minor disagreement it would be with the last line. AI for a fighter is, at least in one aspect, easier than AI for an auto. The reason being, with the fighter, you assume your opponent is skilled, intelligent, capable, and sober. With autos, AI needs to consider all that plus the ones that should not be behind the wheel.
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Old 06-30-2016, 03:07 PM   #66
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Driverless will be great for kids needing a ride to soccer practice and too young to drive as well as the elderly and handicapped and impaired people. Medicine that says not to drive while using it or having smoked some grass and you can still go places. People who might have a stroke or seizure will be able to drive and maybe they can monitor them so they can be taken directly to the emergency room if they have an issue.
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Old 06-30-2016, 03:09 PM   #67
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If I had any minor disagreement it would be with the last line. AI for a fighter is, at least in one aspect, easier than AI for an auto. The reason being, with the fighter, you assume your opponent is skilled, intelligent, capable, and sober. With autos, AI needs to consider all that plus the ones that should not be behind the wheel.
I'll concede that dealing with idiots is much more difficult than dealing with normal, reasonable, intelligent people.....
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Old 06-30-2016, 03:15 PM   #68
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I am not convinced self driving cars will be that good. Try driving in a snow storm with 40mph cross winds and shelter belts occasionally beside the road. How will the software react to the sudden disappearance and reappearance of the cross wind as you pass by the tree line.
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Old 06-30-2016, 04:19 PM   #69
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Some don't live near public transportation. Or live where public transportation is its own little form of hell.

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A lot of older folks don't like to give up the independencehave no one to step in and take over the driving, and drive longer than it appears safe to do so... this gives an option that's safer for everyone.
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Old 06-30-2016, 05:09 PM   #70
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Whoops... Maybe Telsa is not quite ready for prime time.
In this recent fatal accident, the driver of that Tesla was killed when his car went under an 18-wheeler. Ugh!

Tesla said that its camera did not recognize the white side of the trailer against the bright sky. Apparently, Tesla cars do not have millimeter-wave radar or lidar like Google test cars in order to detect obstacles, and rely completely on camera vision.

In an earlier non-fatal accident, a Tesla ran under a truck because its camera did not look up high enough.

Computers do not make mistakes, but only if they get the right "inputs". No sensor input, no braking, no swerving. Straight under the semi it goes at full speed.
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Old 06-30-2016, 05:12 PM   #71
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Last week my boyfriend saw a deer and swerved knowing it was coming on to the road. His bumper hit the deer but if he didn't see it and know how deer act it could have been in the windshield. He carries a gun so put down the deer who had a shattered leg.
Self driving will make different choices some better some worse will they swerve for a deer but not a bunny?

In a performance driving class I took, we were taught not to swerve for a deer, but to brake hard and aim for where the deer was. Swerving leads to roll overs and usually the deer has moved from when you reacted.
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Old 06-30-2016, 05:47 PM   #72
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In this recent fatal accident, the driver of that Tesla was killed when his car went under an 18-wheeler. Ugh!

Tesla said that its camera did not recognize the white side of the trailer against the bright sky. Apparently, Tesla cars do not have millimeter-wave radar or lidar like Google test cars in order to detect obstacles, and rely completely on camera vision.

In an earlier non-fatal accident, a Tesla ran under a truck because its camera did not look up high enough.

Computers do not make mistakes, but only if they get the right "inputs". No sensor input, no braking, no swerving. Straight under the semi it goes at full speed.

The other thing is that I have read about this happening to regular drivers... IOW, seeing the truck does not mean the outcome would be any different.... I had a coworker killed maybe 16 or so years ago by a semi who came over the wall separating the different traffic directions...


It would seem that this might be an easy fix if the camera has a view... but I would bet that this was not something that they had thought about happening so it was not programmed in...
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Old 06-30-2016, 05:57 PM   #73
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A computer with the proper sensors would be able to apply the brake sooner and more effectively than a driver would. Perhaps it could swerve around the truck if it had been monitoring the traffic in the next lanes, etc... In this case, the computer never applied braking, not even as a last ditch effort.

Of all autonomous car developers, Google has been the most responsible and careful. Its car has that ugly spinning lidar on the rooftop, which many other experimental cars do not have. They go around collect lots of data and study it afterwards to see if their computer would recognize a hazard. And they still limit the speed to 25 mph to be safe.

Tesla position? They still say that this mode is still in beta mode, and the drivers are ultimately responsible. I guess they use their customers as test pilots, but the customers do not realize that. Some will pay the price. I am actually surprised this has gone on so long without a serious accident. Youtube has several videos of Tesla drivers demonstrating the computer screwing up, or dumping the driving on their lap unexpectedly. It is really irresponsible.

PS. I would like to see the video footage that the onboard computer camera recorded in that accident. Surely, the side of the semi-trailer may be white, but how about the semi engine and its cab, the big wheels? Maybe they showed up in the camera, but their computer did not recognize them as part of a BIG vehicle. Machine Artificial Intelligence, meaning software to implement recognition and situational awareness, is not as advanced as it is portrayed in sci-fi movies.
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Old 06-30-2016, 07:04 PM   #74
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I am not convinced self driving cars will be that good. Try driving in a snow storm with 40mph cross winds and shelter belts occasionally beside the road. How will the software react to the sudden disappearance and reappearance of the cross wind as you pass by the tree line.
Well, presumably, if smart cars are as smart as people are describing here, they'll eventually have a vast database of such situations. If I were to travel to N. Dakota, I'd be in the ditch because I don't have that experience you do. But my smart car would know.

I know about the 4 places on my daily drive that collect ponding water, resulting in significant hydroplane events. You wouldn't know about those, but the smart car -- tapped into the database -- would.
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Old 06-30-2016, 07:09 PM   #75
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My understanding is that 100% self driving cars rely very heavily on very detailed digitized photos of of the area they are in and very accurate maps. Detours, combined with changes in buildings or other structures can cause these cars to literally not know where they are. Not so good.
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Old 06-30-2016, 07:30 PM   #76
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Whoops... Maybe Telsa is not quite ready for prime time.

US regulators investigating Tesla over use of automated system linked to fatal crash
Or maybe it is? From that article:

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Tesla said Thursday the death was "the first known fatality in just over 130 million miles where Autopilot was activated," while a fatality happens once every 60 million miles worldwide.
This is one of the problems - self-driving maybe safer on average, but every accident will get attention. Though I still think the tech should be approached very carefully. I think any driver who is just relying on it currently is plain stupid. If I were to use it, it would be as a test, and I'd remain 100% in control the whole time. At least until there is far more experience with the tech.


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I am not convinced self driving cars will be that good. Try driving in a snow storm with 40mph cross winds and shelter belts occasionally beside the road. How will the software react to the sudden disappearance and reappearance of the cross wind as you pass by the tree line.
I would expect a properly designed CPU/system to respond to cross wind faster/better than any human. My little $16 quadcoptor does a good job staying level in some cross winds (within the limits of its tiny motors).

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Old 06-30-2016, 07:31 PM   #77
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My understanding is that 100% self driving cars rely very heavily on very detailed digitized photos of of the area they are in and very accurate maps. Detours, combined with changes in buildings or other structures can cause these cars to literally not know where they are. Not so good.
Paving and milling operations creating uneven lanes,repainting lines, traffic cones, flaggers. All exciting problems for autonomous vehicles.

There is a LOT to work out.

I'm thinking the ultimately V2V, V2I fully autonomous timeframe is about 50 years from now. We're going to have some serious transition times before that.

I can see it starting with dedicated lanes which are fully autonomous. Perhaps this would start in about 10 years. Consider the current switchable express lanes you see in areas like Washington, DC. These lanes are boxed in. I could imagine those starting as "autonomous only".

Over time, more lanes or roads would be added that are autonomous only. No manual cars on these.

On other roads, tolls may be added to manually drive. Incentives will be required to give up the old cars, and the best incentive is a penalty (toll).

There will be a long period where both coexist on most roads, I'm guessing starting about 25 years from now until 50 years from now. The autonomous cars will start out very conservatively. They will only run on sunny days. Impending weather will have them go to a safe place to switch to manual. If you are that stroke victim who cannot drive, you'll have to get an uber lift from there.

Etc., etc.

I love to drive. I don't like this future, but it is coming. I also think it is both sooner and later than people think. Sooner for basic operation (some would say it is happening now with Tesla autopilot), later for the real vision of running on a snowy day with 40 mph winds.
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Old 06-30-2016, 08:06 PM   #78
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Or maybe it is? From that article:

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Tesla said Thursday the death was "the first known fatality in just over 130 million miles where Autopilot was activated," while a fatality happens once every 60 million miles worldwide.
I beg to differ. Again, as I said earlier, there are all kinds of video on Youtube showing Tesla autopilot screwing up and the driver had to override, or that it disconnected unexpectedly and the driver had to take over.

Does Tesla have data showing of the 130 million miles, how many hiccups like the above occured? Any of those hiccups could become a fatal accident to the driver or to a bystander if the driver was not attentive.

That's a big difference from the public expectation that they can go to the back seat and take a nap or read a novel.

Quote:
I would expect a properly designed CPU/system to respond to cross wind faster/better than any human. My little $16 quadcoptor does a good job staying level in some cross winds (within the limits of its tiny motors).
Yes. Computers are a lot faster and more accurate than a human being (I worked on R&D autopilot projects for manned and unmanned aircraft). But a computer brings other problems that need to be solved. Namely, a computer's decision can only be as good as the information that it gets. What are the sensors that the computer needs to do a job? A car-driving computer needs a lot more info than a quad-rotor, which does not swerve around obstacles, or worries about running into other quad-rotors.

In this case, Tesla discovered that its computer vision literally could not see the broadside of an 18-wheeler!
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Old 06-30-2016, 08:24 PM   #79
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...
There is a LOT to work out.

I'm thinking the ultimately V2V, V2I fully autonomous timeframe is about 50 years from now. We're going to have some serious transition times before that.

I can see it starting with dedicated lanes which are fully autonomous. Perhaps this would start in about 10 years. Consider the current switchable express lanes you see in areas like Washington, DC. These lanes are boxed in. I could imagine those starting as "autonomous only". ...
And I could see where we start with only the big semi-trucks in those lanes. That makes so much more sense to me. Put the tech on the vehicles that are very expensive, and drive many miles a year, and spend less time in complicated situations like pedestrians, cross traffic, etc. Work out the bugs there, while the tech keeps advancing.

As to your 50 year time frame comments, I think back to what people thought of as the biggest problems as they approached the year 1900. It was horses i n the streets, their manure waste, and dead horses rotting alongside the road. No one envisioned the auto would replace most horses in a mere 20-30 years. Fifty years from no, the idea of a private automobile might seem very quaint, and no 'solutions' will be needed?

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I beg to differ. Again, as I said earlier, there are all kinds of video on Youtube showing Tesla autopilot screwing up and the driver had to override, or that it disconnected unexpectedly and the driver had to take over.

Does Tesla have data showing of the 130 million miles, how many hiccups like the above occured? Any of those hiccups could become a fatal accident to the driver or to a bystander if the driver was not attentive. ...
True, but how many close calls occur in normal driving that don't result in a death or accident (and no youtube video because it's just a plain Jane 2010 Civic)? Comparisons can always be flawed, and I'm not sure Tesla's are so good here - they compare to 'worldwide deaths/mm? Maybe a better measure would in the country where this death occurred? Might be better or worse, but if deaths + injuries + accidents are lower, that says something.


Quote:
That's a big difference from the public expectation that they can go to the back seat and take a nap or read a novel.
But Tesla is instructing drivers to maintain full control. I think maybe they need to do more to reinforce that (back to the 'driver awareness' monitoring I mentioned)?

Quote:
In this case, Tesla discovered that its computer vision literally could not see a broadside of an 18-wheeler!
And that seems like a big gap between the stage of alpha testing or beta testing with a select group of drivers under controlled conditions, versus allowing these consumer level drivers use the feature. I think Tesla (and others) need a LOT more evaluation under more controlled conditions before letting this out in the wild.


Though it seems they are using these drivers to collect data to improve the system, and figure they get more data than other test modes could provide. Maybe that's unethical, but if it is actually safer on average, maybe it is unethical to withhold it? Tough questions, similar to some pharmaceuticals in the testing phase.

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Old 06-30-2016, 08:30 PM   #80
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Not a Tesla driver, nor have I been inside one, but watching these youtube videos shows me that people treat this feature more like a toy. Those drivers are the ones who would respond to a hiccup, and live. The ones who trust it (like the driver in that fatal accident) will be the ones we read about in the paper.

So, if I cannot trust something like that yet, how is it going to help me relax behind the wheel? Being on my toes all the time, wondering if the autopilot sees the same thing that I am seeing and second-guessing it all the time is too damn stressful to me.

If you watch Google's presentation on this technology, you might agree with me that their approach makes a lot more sense than Tesla's, who I think is more about grabbing headlines to sell more cars (and stock).
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