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Old 07-26-2015, 02:15 PM   #81
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Great, you can map the car on the known road to 6 inches. But they just moved the lanes by 12 ft. Now what? What if there are no lane markers during this time? Do we just stop cars from using roads during construction? What if it is foggy or snowy in a new construction zone.
When I was a kid reading Popular Science, they were talking about buried cables in the road. Those huge infrastructure improvements were a huge obstacle. But those inventors/science writers who wrote those articles had no idea we'd have intense computing power for so cheap. There was no such thing as a digital camera back then, how could they imagine feeding hundreds of images per second into some software that would manage to control a vehicle? They just couldn't imagine that, I'm pretty sure.

I'm no expert on this, but from what I've been able to ascertain, GPS is only part of the solution; it supports the general location and route selection, but isn't used on a millisecond basis to position the car....that's done by vision systems. So the same thing that allows human drivers to keep in the altered lanes during construction (orange drums) are also used by the vehicle guidance system. And the same clues that keep a human driver from driving off the road when rain or darkness obscures the strong lane indicators, well, they've coded the software to use the same clues.

I, for one, agree with The Oracle of Omaha: automated vehicles will be here faster than we think. The countries that put up laws to inhibit their use will be giving up a chance to get a productivity leg-up on the rest of the world.
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Old 07-26-2015, 03:11 PM   #82
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...I'm no expert on this, but from what I've been able to ascertain, GPS is only part of the solution; it supports the general location and route selection, but isn't used on a millisecond basis to position the car....that's done by vision systems. So the same thing that allows human drivers to keep in the altered lanes during construction (orange drums) are also used by the vehicle guidance system. And the same clues that keep a human driver from driving off the road when rain or darkness obscures the strong lane indicators, well, they've coded the software to use the same clues...
GPS and the road database are used by these systems the same way humans read paper maps: it is used mainly for routing.

Humans drive by looking at the road: trying to stay in lane, watching for other cars, obeying traffic lights and road signs, avoiding furniture or junk falling off vehicles in front, swerving around pot holes if possible or slowly driving across, etc... In an autonomous vehicle, these tasks are done by computer vision, and obstacle detection and avoidance is augmented with Lidar and millimeter-wave radar. GPS has nothing to do with that.

An autonomous system must also be fail-safe. It must know when one of its crucial sensors fails or is erratic, and refuses to drive, or slows down and pulls over safely if it is on the road. How fast people forget about Toyoya's unintended acceleration! Such a simple function, and they messed it up and denied it.

But right now, they are still trying to have it work when everything is in tiptop condition, let alone dealing with self-diagnosis for failures.

The kind of AI I talked about earlier is even harder. Consider how a human acts in the following situation.

You come up to an intersection. There's a 4-way stop sign. You slow down, preparing to make a full stop. Then, you observe a woman pushing a stroller on the sidewalk and it looks like she is about to cross the road. Of course, you pause at the intersection, yielding her the right of way. But the woman stops there, turns and looks back at her husband and another kid who are trailing behind. So, it was clear that she intends to wait for them to catch up. Releasing the brake, you slowly accelerate to get through the intersection.


Now, a human can read body language and interpret the intention of another human. How does a computer do that? Last I have seen about AI (artificial intelligence), the effort to recognize human faces and to identify them is not all that great. And the software to estimate the age of people through computer vision is even worse.

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I, for one, agree with The Oracle of Omaha: automated vehicles will be here faster than we think. The countries that put up laws to inhibit their use will be giving up a chance to get a productivity leg-up on the rest of the world.
There are a lot of people working on this technology. If it works, then it works. Nobody would be able to stop it, and why would any want to stop it (perhaps other than truck driver unions)? But it is just not as easy and simple as people try to make it look like.

Think about technologies that we had for decades, then gave up because of insurmountable problems: supersonic commercial flight, reentrant orbital vehicles (read Space Shuttle), etc... They worked, but were far from safe and cost so much money that we gave it up. And autonomous vehicles are not even here yet for us to price it and to talk about commercial viability.

So, I find this area interesting but am not going to hold my breath. I would not bet either for or against it.
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Old 07-26-2015, 03:14 PM   #83
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I see automated vehicles coming a long way off. It's just like passenger aircraft with auto pilot. The plane can take off, fly and land without human intervention. But, you will always need a human in there to oversee the aircraft. There are too many things that can go wrong that software cannot overcome. Our earth is not controlled like a lab. Would you get on a pilot less plane? What about a flock of geese going into the engines? Think it could land on the Hudson? Would you get on a highway with a lot of driver less 18 wheelers? What if a front tire has a blowout and you are in the incoming lane of the 18 wheeler? Would your driver less car figure it out?

The industries that surround moving freight will not change much in the next few decades. Same with driver less cars. Especially in rural areas with dirt roads, deer, beer, and country music. Cultures have to change, too.
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Old 07-26-2015, 03:38 PM   #84
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I'm not worried about "no jobs at all, because technology replaced everyone". But I do worry about "no jobs at the wages US workers expect, because it's so easy to outsource work".
Agreed. But those low wages are also being paid to college-graduates here in the USA, because competition for many jobs (especially those not requiring highly specialized skills) is still intense, and will probably remain that way for the foreseeable future. Those workers with highly-specialized skills (a small percentage of the workforce) are getting raises now, while almost everyone else is not. If you don't like what we are paying you, hit the road, we'll hire and train someone else. I suppose you could say that is just capitalism at work, but the times are definitely different than they used to be, when someone with a college degree and a reasonable level of motivation could earn a living wage. Most big companies really don't care whether the wage they are offering is fair or not.........if someone is willing to work for that wage, and they are trainable, then that's who gets hired.
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Repeat of the 1880s?
Old 09-27-2015, 07:40 PM   #85
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Repeat of the 1880s?

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I don't think self driving driverless semi trucks will happen in this lifetime.



The technology to assist truck drivers will happen soon though.



So what happens when all these self driving semi trucks roll into cities like Chicago or Miami or Dallas. How would a self driving truck navigate these cities with the current state of our road and highway system.



You still need the manpower to inbound and outbound freight.



The new technology will make trucking safer but semi truck driving jobs are going to be around for a long time.



Just Amazon alone outbounds thousands of truck loads daily nationwide that go to the rails,airports,postal facilities,UPS and FDX hubs,etc.

Why would a semi be any different from an automobile? Given the potential for damage an 80k rig has, I might expect a vehicle on full autopilot but with an occupant behind the wheel just in case. There is a lot of technology available to address the current driver shortage at least until Amazon perfects delivery by drone. The autopilot system might enable relaxing the hours in service limitations and alleviate the driver shortage.


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Old 09-27-2015, 07:57 PM   #86
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They will probably hire Africans or Indians to drive the truck remotely until the auto system is perfected.
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Old 09-27-2015, 08:30 PM   #87
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http://money.cnn.com/2015/05/06/auto...driving-truck/


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