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Autonomous / Self-Driving Cars & Other Ground Vehicles

James_H

And I like to roam the land
Joined
May 18, 2002
Messages
7,632
Here's my little prediction about cars: in the future, after self-driving cars become established, human driving by non-specialists will be seen as a completely crazy aberration, like when the Victorians could buy arsenic over the counter. They let people do what?!
 
..Here's my little prediction about cars: in the future, after self-driving cars become established, ..

My counter-prediction.

Self-driving cars will never become a commonplace thing. Maybe on roads reserved only for them.

There is just too much involved in driving for the cars to be safe.

One or two crossing a continent in careful controlled conditions is not the same as them all intermingling in normal commuter traffic in bad weather at night. Something human drivers do every day.

It just isn't going to happen.

INT21.
 
My counter-prediction.

Self-driving cars will never become a commonplace thing. Maybe on roads reserved only for them.

There is just too much involved in driving for the cars to be safe.

One or two crossing a continent in careful controlled conditions is not the same as them all intermingling in normal commuter traffic in bad weather at night. Something human drivers do every day.

It just isn't going to happen.
I disagree I'm afraid. I suspect that not only will it happen, that fewer people will die on the roads than when 'folk' drive.

Machines will not speed, either breaking limits or going too fast for conditions, will not overtake when it's not safe, or make mistake as they can't judge speed or distance, will not think themselves a 'great' driver so the highway code doesn't apply to them, will not follow the vehicle in front too closely, will not drive when under the influence of drink or drugs and finally will not expect 'lower status vehicles' to get out of their way.

Of course any residual accidents will be almost random and beyond the control of the any driver, machine or otherwise, but I'll take that over the very real possibility that the dick-head speeding towards me has had three pints, and thinks he can handle it. I'm far more likely to die this way than from violent crime.
 
I disagree I'm afraid. I suspect that not only will it happen, that fewer people will die on the roads than when 'folk' drive.

Machines will not speed, either breaking limits or going too fast for conditions, will not overtake when it's not safe, or make mistake as they can't judge speed or distance, will not think themselves a 'great' driver so the highway code doesn't apply to them, will not follow the vehicle in front too closely, will not drive when under the influence of drink or drugs and finally will not expect 'lower status vehicles' to get out of their way.

Of course any residual accidents will be almost random and beyond the control of the any driver, machine or otherwise, but I'll take that over the very real possibility that the dick-head speeding towards me has had three pints, and thinks he can handle it. I'm far more likely to die this way than from violent crime.
I think the biggest holdup will be from politicians and lawyers not technical.
 
I disagree I'm afraid. I suspect that not only will it happen, that fewer people will die on the roads than when 'folk' drive.

Machines will not speed, either breaking limits or going too fast for conditions, will not overtake when it's not safe, or make mistake as they can't judge speed or distance, will not think themselves a 'great' driver so the highway code doesn't apply to them, will not follow the vehicle in front too closely, will not drive when under the influence of drink or drugs and finally will not expect 'lower status vehicles' to get out of their way.

Of course any residual accidents will be almost random and beyond the control of the any driver, machine or otherwise, but I'll take that over the very real possibility that the dick-head speeding towards me has had three pints, and thinks he can handle it. I'm far more likely to die this way than from violent crime.

Good post. You also have Millennials turning away from sitting their driving tests as they become more interested in the environment. This trend is also occurring in car-centered strongholds such as the US, Australia, New Zealand, etc.

https://www.fixedopsbusiness.com/ar...ivers-license-unimportant-to-many-millennials

http://time.com/money/4185441/millennials-drivers-licenses-gen-x/

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/69276333/null
 
I think the biggest holdup will be from politicians and lawyers not technical.
As soon as politicians realise that (in the UK at any rate) 'driving' is a huge employer, none of them will want to be the ones that put a million people out of jobs and onto universal credit (being unable to find other employment).
 
You could argue that humans, being subject to fatigue, moods, intoxication, and other factors that impair decision-making, are rather unsuitable as drivers. Cars kill about the same number of people in the US as guns - sure there are more of them, but guns are machines specifically designed to kill things. Given that these deaths are mainly caused by human error, how can we say that humans are good at handling the many variables of driving?
 
Judging by a lot of the drivers I see when I'm out, robots sure can't be any worse.
Yes, but you've managed to avoid them so far. Planes are basically computer driven (airliners anyway) with multiple fail-safe conditions developed over 50+ years since the first autopilots. But they still have at least two cockpit crew to cope when things inevitably get beyond the capability of the computers
 
I am filled with nothing but dread at the thought of AI- or robot- controlled machines driving around on our roads. The human brain is capable of the most minute calculations and reflexes that cannot possibly ever be programmed into a computer.

What of the driver, who, driving behind a lorry on a motorway, notices in imperceptible shift in the lorry's load and makes the decision to move out to the next lane, thus avoiding being crushed to death when the load becomes loose and falls from the back of the lorry?

Or of the driver who, upon executing a perfectly reasonable overtaking manoeuvre, needs to accelerate to a couple of miles over the speed limit in order to return to their side of the road safely when the idiot they are passing, decides to speed up at the wrong moment?

Or the driver on a roundabout, who notices the subtle change in wheel position of the car on their right, and takes evasive action to avoid getting hit when that car suddenly veers into their lane?

These sort of things can never be programmed in and I for one would hate to be sitting in a car driven by a computer which has no concept of the sort of nuances and decisions which can happen in everyday driving.

Similarly, I would hate to have to drive a car that is controlled with one of those black boxes which does not permit the driver to ever go over the speed limit. Taking control away from drivers is asking for more trouble and is, I believe, the reason why so many drivers nowadays are so bad.. because thanks to automatic windscreen wipers and automatic lights and sat nav and what-have-you, drivers do not have to think for themselves as much anymore.

In fact, one could argue that today's human drivers are the robots that people like me, fear.
 
And we all know about the Boeing problems.

As for self drive cars. How long before the local eco-terrorists (sorry, concerned greens) find out that by knocking down a few repeater masts you can cripple the area.

INT21
 
Self driving 18 wheeler video


For those that don't know what an 18 wheeler is since I've personally never seen one outside the US, here's a picture:

Truck-Green-iStock.jpg
 
Driverless race car race, coming in 2021.

https://racer.com/2019/11/05/ims-to-host-driverless-indy-lights-race-in-2021/

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Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Energy Systems Network (ESN) have announced a two-year, $1 million prize competition that will culminate in a head-to-head, high-speed autonomous vehicle race Oct. 23, 2021, around the Speedway’s famed 2.5-mile oval.

The Indy Autonomous Challenge is a competition among universities to create software that enables self-driving Indy Lights race cars to compete in a head-to-head race on the IMS track.
 
Driverless race car race, coming in 2021.

https://racer.com/2019/11/05/ims-to-host-driverless-indy-lights-race-in-2021/

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Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Energy Systems Network (ESN) have announced a two-year, $1 million prize competition that will culminate in a head-to-head, high-speed autonomous vehicle race Oct. 23, 2021, around the Speedway’s famed 2.5-mile oval.

The Indy Autonomous Challenge is a competition among universities to create software that enables self-driving Indy Lights race cars to compete in a head-to-head race on the IMS track.

One would have thought that it should be easier for the designers to do this than to program cars for the normal road conditions.

After all, the oval track is just like a normal motorway with the difference that it doesn't have to contend with vehicles coming in from side roads. In theory everything is going in the same direction.
All the cars are more-or-less identical in shape, size and power.

So, as they are already testing driver less cars on the open road, why will it take so long to set them up for oval racing ?
 
One would have thought that it should be easier for the designers to do this than to program cars for the normal road conditions. ...

The control complexity is reduced, but the higher speeds raise new issues not encountered in configuring driverless cars for street / highway usage.

Driverless racing car prototypes and the establishment of a driverless racing series program were introduced as early as 2016. The first demonstration of multiple autonomous vehicles competing on a racetrack occurred in 2017.

For example, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autonomous_racing
 
Nissan Leaf breaks UK record for longest self-driving car journey

A self-navigating car has successfully driven itself for 230 miles, the longest and most complex journey undertaken so far on UK roads by an autonomous vehicle.

The Nissan Leaf, fitted with GPS, radar, Lidar laser measurement technology and cameras, travelled from Nissan’s technical centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, to the carmaker’s manufacturing plant in Sunderland, where the model is made.

During the journey, named the GrandDrive, the car travelled on a range of roads alongside traffic, from country lanes to the M1 motorway.

Two engineers remained in the car throughout the journey, which achieved its target of 99% self-navigation. Human drivers briefly took over the controls when the car pulled in at four service stations en route for checks and charging.
 
The software which enables certain Tesla cars to drive themselves has been leaked, enabling hackers outside of the USA to hit the streets hands-free.

iu


File image

The so-called 'Full Self-Driving' (FSD) package is a long awaited feature for Elon Musk's pricey electric motors. Until now, certain Tesla owners in the USA that pay up to $10,000 have been granted limited test access to the 'beta' (or trial) software which enables the feature.

So far, Tesla cars outside of the US haven't been eligible for the software, as the artificial intelligence powering the system is currently trained only on US road signs.

But that software has now reportedly leaked to the Tesla hacker community, granting Tesla drivers outside of North America the chance to make their vehicles self-driving.

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/tech/news/elon-musks-top-secret-full-24929177

maximus otter
 
This newly-emergent development in the legal realm may end up having more influence than debates over technological capabilities. The first felony charges against a Tesla driver using the company's Autopilot have been filed in California. These represent the first felony charges levied against anyone using commercially sold self-driving features.
Felony charges are 1st in a fatal crash involving Autopilot

California prosecutors have filed two counts of vehicular manslaughter against the driver of a Tesla on Autopilot who ran a red light, slammed into another car and killed two people in 2019.

The defendant appears to be the first person to be charged with a felony in the United States for a fatal crash involving a motorist who was using a partially automated driving system. Los Angeles County prosecutors filed the charges in October, but they came to light only last week.

The driver, Kevin George Aziz Riad, 27, has pleaded not guilty. Riad, a limousine service driver, is free on bail while the case is pending.

The misuse of Autopilot, which can control steering, speed and braking, has occurred on numerous occasions and is the subject of investigations by two federal agencies. The filing of charges in the California crash could serve notice to drivers who use systems like Autopilot that they cannot rely on them to control vehicles. ...

The criminal charges aren’t the first involving an automated driving system, but they are the first to involve a widely used driver technology. ...
FULL STORY: https://apnews.com/article/tesla-autopilot-fatal-crash-charges-91b4a0341e07244f3f03051b5c2462ae
 
Problems for Jews on the Shabbat.

The Autonomous Car Revolution May Leave Some Jews Behind​

Evangelists for the self-driving future of cars often say that their arrival is inevitable, that people would be much happier tending to other business rather than wasting time driving a car.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been promoting the promise of Tesla's "Full Self Driving" technology for years, saying that a future fully autonomous version would be "a natural extension of active safety". Today, opting for that package gets buyers technology that falls far short of driverless car capabilities.

But not everyone will be able to take part in that self-driving future all the time.

Since the Hebrew Bible was assembled in the centuries before the Common Era (or B.C.), Orthodox, Reform, Conservative and other sects of Jewish people around the world have observed Shabbat or Shabbos, the seventh day of rest according to religious law. ...

In his 1972 book To Be A Jew: A Guide to Jewish Observance in Contemporary Life, Orthodox rabbi Hayim Donin outlined the sect's thinking on driving:

"...the prohibition of driving is an extension of the Biblical prohibition of kindling fire and burning," he writes. "Creating sparks and burning gas and oil as a direct result of the driver's actions are but a few of the more serious objections."

Cars have only become more mechanically complicated since then. With the advent of infotainment systems and driving aids, more machines are present in the act of driving than ever before.

There may be fault lines on this topic along different sects of Judaism. When Newsweek reached out to the Union of Reform Judaism, a spokesperson said that the Reform and Conservative movements already drive cars on Shabbat and that driverless cars "will not have an impact on our policy".

The Conservative movement issued a ruling in 1950 that permitted riding in a car on Shabbat if that person lives far away from their synagogue with the caveat that they make no other stops along the way. ...

But for Orthodox Jews, as strict Torah adherents, it's a different story.

In a recent interview, Rabbi Menachem Genak, CEO of the Orthodox Union's Kosher Division, told Newsweek that it would violate either the law or spirit of Shabbat to ride in an autonomous vehicle. Even if the car was on a predetermined route and all a passenger would have to do would be to walk toward it and enter it.

"However you start it - and you'd have to stop it - would still be problematic," he said. ...

https://www.newsweek.com/autonomous-car-revolution-may-leave-some-jews-behind-1680692
 
Cruise hit by mass outages.

AROUND MIDNIGHT ON June 28, Calvin Hu was driving with his girlfriend near San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park when he pulled up at an intersection behind two white and orange autonomous Chevrolet Bolts operated by Cruise, a subsidiary of General Motors. Another was stopped to his right in the adjacent lane. The light turned green but the cars, which operate in the city without drivers, didn’t move.

When Hu prepared to reverse and go around the frozen vehicles, he says, he noticed that several more Cruise vehicles had stopped in the lanes behind him. Hu, another driver, and a paratransit bus were trapped in a robotaxi sandwich.

After a few minutes of bemused waiting, Hu says, he resorted to driving over the curbs of the street’s median to escape. When he returned on foot a few minutes later to see whether the situation had resolved, the Cruise vehicles hadn’t budged. A person who appeared to work for the company had parked in the intersection, Hu says, as if to indicate the street was closed, and was trying to direct traffic away from the immobile self-driving cars. Hu estimates that the robot car blockade, which has not previously been reported, lasted at least 15 minutes.

The Cruise vehicles that trapped Hu weren’t the only autonomous cars holding up traffic in San Francisco that night. Internal messages seen by WIRED show that nearly 60 vehicles were disabled across the city over a 90-minute period after they lost touch with a Cruise server. As many as 20 cars, some of them halted in crosswalks, created a jam in the city’s downtown in an incident first reported by the San Francisco Examiner and detailed in photos posted to Reddit. In a written statement the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which oversees the state's autonomous vehicle operations, said it was aware of the incident and would meet with Cruise to “gather additional information.”

The June 28 outage wasn’t Cruise’s first. On the evening of May 18, the company lost touch with its entire fleet for 20 minutes as its cars sat stopped in the street, according to internal documentation viewed by WIRED. ...

https://www.wired.com/story/cruises-robot-car-outages/
 
A sinister development.

Ford has applied for a patent for a "repossession system computer" (RPC) that can turn your car into a self-driving vehicle if you fall behind on payments. But that's not all — the RPC will also put you through a series of increasingly unpleasant experiences to encourage you to pay up.

First, the RPC will deactivate all the conveniences you love, like GPS navigation, the audio system, the remote key fob, and air conditioning. But if that's not enough to get you to pay your bill, things will get even worse. The car will emit an "incessant and unpleasant sound" every time you're in it, and you won't be able to turn it off until you contact the lending institution to address your delinquency.

If you still refuse to pay, the RPC will lock you out of your car on weekends and limit where you can go during the week. You'll only be allowed to drive to the grocery store or drop off your kids at school – no joyrides for you!

And if you still haven't learned your lesson, the RPC will take matters into its own hands. It can direct your car to a waiting tow truck, a dealership, or even a scrapyard if it deems your car worthless.

https://boingboing.net/2023/02/28/f...-car-that-punishes-you-for-late-payments.html
 
They're more than just a nuisance.

APR 10, 2023 7:00 AM

Dashcam Footage Shows Driverless Cars Clogging San Francisco​

Videos obtained by WIRED from public transit vehicles reveal self-driving cars causing delays and potential danger to buses, trains, and passengers.

THE BUS WAS stuck. San Francisco’s eastbound 54 Felton line was heading up a narrow residential street when a white SUV coming the other way stopped in the middle of the road. It was a rainy Sunday evening last month, and the bus driver leaned up to the windshield and peered through the haze at the SUV’s pulsing hazard lights before slumping back and exclaiming in surprise, "What the hell? No driver of the car?!"

The 54, brought to a halt by an autonomous vehicle belonging to Alphabet’s Waymo, isn’t the only bus that’s run into trouble with San Francisco’s growing crowd of driverless vehicles. Bus and train surveillance videos obtained by WIRED through public records requests show a litany of incidents since September in which anxiety and confusion stirred up by driverless cars has spilled onto the streets of the US city that has become the epicenter for testing them.
PLAY/PAUSE BUTTON

A San Francisco public transit bus encounters a Waymo autonomous vehicle in its path on March 5.
COURTESY OF SFMTA

As the incidents stack up, the companies behind the autonomous vehicles, such as Waymo and General Motors’ Cruise, want to add more robotaxis to San Francisco’s streets, cover more territory, and run at all hours. Waymo and Cruise say they learn from every incident. Each has logged over 1 million driverless miles and say their cars are safe enough to keep powering forward. But expansions are subject to approval from California state regulators, which have been pressed by San Francisco officials for years to restrict autonomous vehicles until issues subside. ...

https://www.wired.com/story/dashcam...ess-cars-cruise-waymo-clogging-san-francisco/
 
The trial of 'driverless' buses across the Forth Road Bridge has started.
It seems though that they aren't truly 'driverless' as they have a driver who sits there 'just in case', and also someone on board to assist passengers. So actually using more staff than before. Seems odd.

UK's first driverless bus begins passenger service in Edinburgh.
The autonomous vehicles, operated by Stagecoach, run across the Forth Road Bridge from Ferrytoll park-and-ride in Fife to Edinburgh Park station.
Despite the "driverless" name, the buses operate with two staff on board.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-65589913
 
The trial of 'driverless' buses across the Forth Road Bridge has started.
It seems though that they aren't truly 'driverless' as they have a driver who sits there 'just in case', and also someone on board to assist passengers. So actually using more staff than before. Seems odd.

UK's first driverless bus begins passenger service in Edinburgh.
The autonomous vehicles, operated by Stagecoach, run across the Forth Road Bridge from Ferrytoll park-and-ride in Fife to Edinburgh Park station.
Despite the "driverless" name, the buses operate with two staff on board.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-65589913

I love it! Automation resulting in 100% increase in staff.
 
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