Future cars / Driverless cars

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VAStationDude
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby VAStationDude » December 9th, 2016, 2:38 pm

libertarian deregulation of a state's road network at the behest of said state's most prominent industry != technological break through. I hold fully autonomous personal vehicles will remain the dream of techno geeks throughout the land for the next several decades.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby mplsjaromir » December 9th, 2016, 2:51 pm

Governor Rick Snyder has an abysmal record of maintaining the safety of Michigan's citizens. Driverless cars are about as safe as Flint's drinking water.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Silophant » December 9th, 2016, 3:05 pm

nBode wrote:^Haven't autonomous vehicles been shown to be safer than human drivers?
So far, but a Mercedes exec recently said in an interview that a self-driving Mercedes will always prioritize the occupant's safety over a pedestrian's.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Qhaberl » December 10th, 2016, 7:04 pm

That's scary, especially thinking about people who are blind or have disabilities. I'm not a huge fan of a computer determining who's life is more valuable, the driver or a pedestrian.


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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby nBode » December 11th, 2016, 12:53 am

^is that scarier than a human determining who's life is more valuable (in which case it would always be the driver of the vehicle, regardless of any other facts or circumstances)?

Maybe that's too philosophical.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby David Greene » December 11th, 2016, 4:36 pm

nBode wrote:^is that scarier than a human determining who's life is more valuable (in which case it would always be the driver of the vehicle, regardless of any other facts or circumstances)?
I very much dispute that. Normal people really don't want to kill other people. The scary part is how does the computer decide that it's a lose-lose situation? It's got to be exceedingly rare. I very much trust a human to assess the situation more accurately than a computer. I work on computers daily.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby nBode » December 12th, 2016, 8:53 am

I work with humans daily. We're very flawed.
(sort've joking, sort've not)

Computers don't ever want to kill people (at least, that's how we will program them). The computer decides based off of the way we design them. If we design them to always prioritize the driver (which is how humans operate motor vehicles, and probably the most likely outcome), they will do so. If we can design a system which overall performs better than our current, human-operated system (which I believe we can), then there is nothing more-scary about it.

I don't think it likely that automated cars will eliminate traffic fatalities, and there will certainly arise situations which prompt reconsideration of ever-changing laws and procedures. Theoretically, a computer would be more apt to being objective in fatal situations than a human would (This delves into the ethics of the value of individual human life, an entire topic of its own).

In any event, if we create a system which analyses data, then reacts to that data in the manner which, to its knowledge, is most likely to preserve occupant life (i.e. how humans drive) AND such a system performs well enough to substantially reduce the likelihood of such scenarios, then there is less to be scared about than there is now.

I can understand being afraid of things we don't understand (that is normal), such as a computer's reasoning behind its decisions. But be honest, do you really understand humans' reasonings behind our decisions?

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby MNdible » December 12th, 2016, 10:21 am

Setting aside all of the above, I'd just note that a self-driving car system will not be distracted, will not fall asleep, and will not be drunk. And even if you assume that a human driver is in no way impaired, the self-driving car will still have much faster reaction time.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby David Greene » December 12th, 2016, 11:55 am

I'm not worried about that sort of stuff. I'm worried about how the computer would assess a specific situation and decide someone must die.

If someone dies, who's legally responsible?

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby kirby96 » December 12th, 2016, 12:29 pm

David Greene wrote:I'm not worried about that sort of stuff. I'm worried about how the computer would assess a specific situation and decide someone must die.

If someone dies, who's legally responsible?
That would be a real problem. It would also be a real problem that hardly ever occurs. I suspect it hardly ever occurs now.

...not saying it never occurs, but I gotta think the vast majority (like probably 99% or more) of innocent bystander injuries and deaths are due to causes things automated cars will improve (drunk, inattentive, sleeping) as opposed to an otherwise law-abiding attentive driver (which a computer would be) reacting to an unforeseen circumstance in order to save ones self.

Basically, this seems like a risk we can deal with. I mean, the risk of getting hurt by an uninsured driver is very real today, and if you sue there's a good chance you will recover nothing.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby David Greene » December 12th, 2016, 1:29 pm

Mostly true, but I can guarantee you there *will* be bugs that cause the car to do something bad a human would not do. I'm not saying scrap the whole thing but rather temper the optimism a bit.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby EOst » December 12th, 2016, 1:57 pm

Even for "innocent bystander" incidents (i.e. without the pedestrian or cyclist doing anything dangerous, stupid, or illegal) 99% seems very high to me. If we had a dollar for every pedestrian struck because a driver swerved to avoid hitting a cat, we'd be rich as kings.

The human impulse to assign blame is a powerful thing, one that shouldn't be easily dismissed. We know from Demosthenes that in classical Athens, if a stone fell from a wall and killed someone, that stone would be publicly tried for murder.

If and when a self-driving car strikes and kills a pedestrian, the calls for new regulations will be almost overwhelming. When an airplane crashes, aeronautics companies make no headway by pointing out that, statistically, flying is still safer than driving. Self-driving cars will have no better luck.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby kirby96 » December 12th, 2016, 2:04 pm

Mostly true, but I can guarantee you there *will* be bugs that cause the car to do something bad a human would not do. I'm not saying scrap the whole thing but rather temper the optimism a bit.
No argument on that. To your point, clearly the underlying assumption here is that self-driving cars won't be deployed unless they are definitively safer than human counterparts (like, at least an order of magnitude safer and probably multiple orders of magnitude). Maybe the real question is how do we actually come to that conclusion?

...and to my point about the risk, presuming that in aggregate the self driving cars are that much safer overall, I could see it being not that big a deal for manufacturers to insure against that risk in the same manner they do whatever they do regarding general product liability. Basically, if it's a rare enough occurrence, it's probably going to be far less costly than, say, liability for faulty air-bags, unintended acceleration, exploding Pintos, or any of the other product faults that have arisen over the years.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby kirby96 » December 12th, 2016, 2:23 pm

EOst wrote:Even for "innocent bystander" incidents (i.e. without the pedestrian or cyclist doing anything dangerous, stupid, or illegal) 99% seems very high to me. If we had a dollar for every pedestrian struck because a driver swerved to avoid hitting a cat, we'd be rich as kings.
Well, I admit I don't know the actual stats, but I really don't think it actually happens that often (whether it's 80% or 99%). When I think of the pedestrian incidents I've heard in Minneapolis over the past couple years, it's almost always inattention, drunk, or someone claiming someone else (driver, pedestrian, cyclist) done screwed up.

But most importantly, that's precisely the situation a computer will avoid.
EOst wrote:The human impulse to assign blame is a powerful thing, one that shouldn't be easily dismissed. We know from Demosthenes that in classical Athens, if a stone fell from a wall and killed someone, that stone would be publicly tried for murder.

If and when a self-driving car strikes and kills a pedestrian, the calls for new regulations will be almost overwhelming. When an airplane crashes, aeronautics companies make no headway by pointing out that, statistically, flying is still safer than driving. Self-driving cars will have no better luck.
But the aeronautics companies HAVE won that battle. Go down to MSP and watch planes take off every 30 seconds or so. When planes crash we don't see calls for regulations to make it 100% safe, we have a system of review and determination of fixes, and then it goes on. The Dreamliner had a very bumpy launch and they fly everyday. The airlines/aeronautics companies simply absorb the costs of the very (very) limited risk.

I acknowledge there is a psychological hurdle here. It will seem 'scary', but so did a lot of tech that is now ubiquitous.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby amiller92 » December 12th, 2016, 3:02 pm

kirby96 wrote:When planes crash we don't see calls for regulations to make it 100% safe, we have a system of review and determination of fixes, and then it goes on.
Hm. They are pretty close to 100% safe, and that's in part because they are highly regulated. Also, when that review is done, it's not at all unusual for the regs to change.
The airlines/aeronautics companies simply absorb the costs of the very (very) limited risk.
There are also laws/regs that cap their exposure.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby FISHMANPET » December 12th, 2016, 3:20 pm

Every plane crash is seen as preventable, and when root causes are found steps are taken to mitigate that in the future, be it through regulation or engineering or whatever. So yes, airlines and airplane manufacturers are constantly striving for 100% safe.

Car crashes are just seen as a fact of life and are unavoidable and a necessary cost in our modern world. Manufacturers and regulators don't take the same view of car crashes as they do airplane crashes.
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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby nBode » December 12th, 2016, 3:24 pm

^I think it should be noted that airplane and automobile industries both strive for 100% safety--for the occupants. The difference is that planes don't kill pedestrians. Car manufacturers are constantly touting their models' safety features and ratings; these are meant to keep you and everyone else inside safe. We are just starting to see features that are also aimed at keeping people outside the vehicle safe. Airplanes have never had to worry about this issue.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby amiller92 » December 12th, 2016, 3:39 pm

nBode wrote:The difference is that planes don't kill pedestrians.
On very rare occasions they do. ;)

But unlike cars, those occasions also usually involve killing occupants too.

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby Anondson » December 13th, 2016, 8:58 am

Google maybe no longer developing a self driving car?

http://www.theverge.com/2016/12/13/1393 ... artnership

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Re: Future cars / Driverless cars

Postby mplsjaromir » December 14th, 2016, 4:01 pm

Driverless car runs a redlight....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CdJ4oae8f4


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