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Driverless Vehicles


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#51 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 05:43 PM

Let me try this another way.  Forget computers for a minute.

 

If I get into a car with James... and James is driving... and James accidentally runs us off the road and hits a barn...  James is responsible.  I'm not held liable.

 

So...  back to the computer now...  IF the computer is driving the car, what makes the computer any different than James?  Why do I suddenly become responsible for my driverless/computer car if it gets in an accident when I'm clearly not the driver and not in control of the car any more than I am when James was driving?

 

Until they clear that hurdle, I don't even want to consider it.

While I agree with you in principle some law maker will probably say you are responsible because you chose to put the vehicle into driverless mode. 


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#52 OFFLINE   houskamp

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 06:19 PM

so if I send the car with no one in it to pick up something, I'm not there so I'm not responsible :P

 

just glad I won't live long enough to ever see them..


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#53 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 06:34 PM

While I agree with you in principle some law maker will probably say you are responsible because you chose to put the vehicle into driverless mode.


So ... would you hold Stewart responsible because he let me drive?

In a state that allows driverless cars it would be as legal for the car to drive as for me to drive. In a state where driverless cars were not allowed it would be as if I didn't have a license. But as an "unlicensed driver" I would still be held responsible for my driving ... not Stewart. Why wouldn't the driverless car be held responsible instead of Stewart?

Until states get to the point where THEY trust driverless cars enough not to penalize the passenger behind the wheel I'm with Stewart. I'll drive ... and leave the driverless cars alone until they learn how to drive with responsibility.
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#54 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 06:35 PM

Take this from the point of view of a person who's been a computer programmer for over 40 years.

 

Testing.  That's how you do it.  Ever wonder how the Mars Rovers kept going 10 years into their 90-day mission?  And that's exactly what Google is doing now.  Unbelievable amount of testing.  And when those are done - MORE testing.

 

I watched some programs on the DARPA challenge that had autonomous vehicles with NO databases run a course of over 150 miles depending on nothing but sensors as input - and this was 5 years ago.

 

Computers don't get tired.  They don't drive when their girlfriends made them mad.  They don't get drunk.  They won't have blind spots and they can see through fog far better than we can.  They won't fall asleep at the wheel.  They won't mistake the gas pedal for the brake and plow through 10 people at a bus stop or drive through the front window of a pharmacy.

 

The companies that develop this aren't going to take the responsibility completely away from humans.  After all, if "Freedom Industries" can avoid prosecution for poisoning over a quarter million people in WV by declaring bankruptcy, there's NO WAY a company will assume that liability. 

 

As I said, I think the insurance companies will drive this with discounts - at least at first.  What's likely to happen as this technology progresses is that, eventually, in the distant future, you will get hit with surcharges by your insurance company if you DON'T use auto-drive.   It will not be a question of whether or not you trust the auto-drive hardware/software package, it'll be whether or not your insurance company trusts YOU more than, say, Google.  The least reliable part in any car on the road is "the nut behind the wheel".  Me?  I have a pretty good track record in 35+ years of driving (3 low speed fender benders, nothing since the 1990s) but I know that I don't have the attention span of a computer.  Redundant systems will take care of the problems that can arise from malfunctions.

Really? Then please explain to me why most of my fellow motorists complain about their cars computer system giving them faulty readings? My wife's 2013 Ford Explorer XLT tells her it needs a oil change when that maintenance is performed regularly well within the scheduled time frames. Today I used it to go to our local Post Office. The true outdoor temperature was 4 degrees yet the car's computer system was telling me it was 39 degrees. My neighbor's car's check engine stays lit all the time. He's taken it back to the dealer several times times to no avail. The flight recorder of Asian Flight 214 revealed during the last 2.5 minutes of the flight there were multiple auto pilot modes and multiple auto throttle modes but it did not reveal if those modes were commanded by pilots. Sounds like more testing and redundant systems are needed.  


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#55 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 06:38 PM

So ... would you hold Stewart responsible because he let me drive?

In a state that allows driverless cars it would be as legal for the car to drive as for me to drive. In a state where driverless cars were not allowed it would be as if I didn't have a license. But as an "unlicensed driver" I would still be held responsible for my driving ... not Stewart. Why wouldn't the driverless car be held responsible instead of Stewart?

Until states get to the point where THEY trust driverless cars enough not to penalize the passenger behind the wheel I'm with Stewart. I'll drive ... and leave the driverless cars alone until they learn how to drive with responsibility.

Would I hold Stewart responsible? No. But I know a good lawyer who could!  ;)


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#56 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 08:09 PM

While I agree with you in principle some law maker will probably say you are responsible because you chose to put the vehicle into driverless mode. 

 

And with that in mind...  I would not get inside said vehicle if I was to be held responsible whether I was driving or not.

 

There actually would be no advantage from my perspective to turn control of the car over to a computer if I was still going to be held responsible.  Why would anyone ever agree to such a situation?

 

They will not find a lot of buyers and users of such technology if the people backing the technology don't have the confidence to assume responsibility for its use.

 

Are the passengers responsible for a bus crash?  or a plane crash?  or a train derailment?


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#57 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 08:39 PM

And with that in mind...  I would not get inside said vehicle if I was to be held responsible whether I was driving or not.

 

There actually would be no advantage from my perspective to turn control of the car over to a computer if I was still going to be held responsible.  Why would anyone ever agree to such a situation?

 

They will not find a lot of buyers and users of such technology if the people backing the technology don't have the confidence to assume responsibility for its use.

 

Are the passengers responsible for a bus crash?  or a plane crash?  or a train derailment?

The law states that someone has to be in the vehicle to monitor performance and take the wheel if necessary so technically you're not a passenger. That good lawyer I mentioned in post #55 would prove you were negligent with your monitoring duties.    


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#58 OFFLINE   James Long

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 06:26 AM

The law states that someone has to be in the vehicle to monitor performance and take the wheel if necessary so technically you're not a passenger. That good lawyer I mentioned in post #55 would prove you were negligent with your monitoring duties.


Yet Stewart does not have to monitor my driving. He can sleep, read, text message or watch TV on his cellphone. He can even sit in the back seat and pretend I am his chauffeur.

States that allow driverless vehicles do not trust them to this point. They require a licensed driver to be behind the controls "just in case". That ringing endorsement by states willing to take the risk to allow "driverless" vehicles shows the level of their willingness.

If one were in the control seat of a driverless car and decided to text message or talk on a cellphone in a state that allowed driverless cars but did not allow text messaging or cellphone use what law would reign? Would the performance monitor be allowed to use their phone while monitoring the car's driving?
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#59 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 11:54 AM

The law states that someone has to be in the vehicle to monitor performance and take the wheel if necessary so technically you're not a passenger. That good lawyer I mentioned in post #55 would prove you were negligent with your monitoring duties.    

You're still making my point for me.

 

Why would I agree to ride in a car that I can't drive but that I will be held responsible for the driving?  It's a non-starter.

 

The law would have to change, the insurance company would have to change, and the car manufacturer's would have to change... or I will not ride in said car.


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#60 OFFLINE   yosoyellobo

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 12:29 PM

You're still making my point for me.
 
Why would I agree to ride in a car that I can't drive but that I will be held responsible for the driving?  It's a non-starter.
 
The law would have to change, the insurance company would have to change, and the car manufacturer's would have to change... or I will not ride in said car.


The change would have to be lead by the car manufacturer. Less say that Mercedes Benz come to the conclusion that they could indeed make an ultra safe driverless car. It should be no problem for them to pick up the cost of providing liability and accident insurance. It most likely would be on a contingency basis with a large upfront payment with adjustment later on as the true cost is calculated. If Mercedes fail the market will take of the driverless car but if they succeed the other car manufacturers, the law and insurance companies will have to follow.

#61 OFFLINE   djlong

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:26 PM

Really? Then please explain to me why most of my fellow motorists complain about their cars computer system giving them faulty readings? My wife's 2013 Ford Explorer XLT tells her it needs a oil change when that maintenance is performed regularly well within the scheduled time frames. Today I used it to go to our local Post Office. The true outdoor temperature was 4 degrees yet the car's computer system was telling me it was 39 degrees. My neighbor's car's check engine stays lit all the time. He's taken it back to the dealer several times times to no avail. The flight recorder of Asian Flight 214 revealed during the last 2.5 minutes of the flight there were multiple auto pilot modes and multiple auto throttle modes but it did not reveal if those modes were commanded by pilots. Sounds like more testing and redundant systems are needed.  

Cost.  That's the explanation.  Right now, truly redundant and reliable systems cost *money* - though the price is always coming down.  I'll go one further for you.  Those complaints that you mention?  Cheap parts and not enough testing.  Remember, Ford let out cars they KNEW were hazards on the road.  I, too, had a CHeck Engine light that never went out that the dealership could never fix.  Not until I went to ANOTHER dealership did they bother to look deeper into the problem and discover a melted wiring harness too close to the exhaust manifold giving faulty data to the engine computer.

 

Those electronics *stink on ice*.  But there's better stuff coming and the reliability gets better.  It's all in how important the system is.  Do you think that outdoor temperature sensor is tested the same way the anti-lock brake system is?  Of course not.

 

If I look into my crystal ball, I think you're going to see auto-piloted *electric* cars happen sooner or in greater numbers than 'conventional' cars.  Cars like the Tesla Model S have FAR fewer moving parts - far fewer things to break and, subsequently, far fewer factors to keep track of.  Those auto-pilot systems are VERY expensive right now.  Google's uses LIDAR, if memory serves, and Tesla's Elon Musk isn't sure that'll ever come down in price enough to get mainstream adoption.

 

Oh - and those trouble-prone cars that I had?  All American.  Pieces of crap from GM (Pontiac, Olds, Chevy).  I had a fairly long lasting Dodge because I was strict about maintenance but my Toyota has put them all to shame.  If Tesla can keep the quality going as they introduce their new 'car for the masses' in 3 years, I will happily go back to a domestic manufacturer.

 

It almost takes a complete re-thinking of what transportation and driving really is.  Henry Ford once said "If I'd asked the public what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse" - and I think that's part of what we have here.  We're so ingrained in the 'status quo' that our brains use confirmation bias and cognitive dissonance to shoo-away radical new ideas.

 

But that's why I referenced the insurance companies.  They're the ones that have crunched the numbers and (with government help sometimes) gotten almost universal implementation of anti-lock brakes, air bags, traction control and other technologies dating back to seat belts.  I don't know how many people here remember that the old thinking was that being THROWN CLEAR OF AN ACCIDENT was considered 'safer' than wearing seat belts!

 

And that's where the push will come from.  Over 300,000 miles of auto-piloted miles in those Google cars and not ONE SINGLE AT-FAULT ACCIDENT (as of August 2012, according to Google).  For comparison, the statistics I can find say there were about 11 million accidents over the course of 3 trillion miles driven annually or 0.37 per hundred thousand.  One professor stated that, when Google gets to 725,000 miles accident-free, they can make a conclusive claim that they're safer than human drivers.  So it's coming.  I don't know how much closer Google is to that 725K number but there haven't been any at-fault accidents in those cars (one accident was when the driver was 'on manual control' and the other was when the Google car was stopped at a red light and rear-ended by another car - you just can't do anything about that).



#62 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 06:58 AM

You've reinforced my point. Cost. If manufactures are willing to use cheap parts and not enough testing with today's computer systems for cars you can safely bet your testicles they'll gamble and do the same with those Google cars. NASA had the most stringent quality assurance standards yet look what happened during the Apollo 13 mission. As for Henry Ford, had he known about performance enhancing drugs he could have given the public what they wanted, saved on cost , and still make a fortune.   


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#63 OFFLINE   steve053

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 09:48 AM

You're still making my point for me.

 

Why would I agree to ride in a car that I can't drive but that I will be held responsible for the driving?  It's a non-starter.

 

The law would have to change, the insurance company would have to change, and the car manufacturer's would have to change... or I will not ride in said car.

 

I get where you're comming from, but most drivers are already relying on computers in their vehicles: anti-lock breaks, traction control, fuel injection, airbags etc.  The fact is you're not 100% in control of your vehicle.

 

I look at future driverless cars and compare it to commercial air flight.  The majority of time the plane is on 'auto pilot', and presumably 100% of the time is being monitored by the flight crew.  An over generalization/simplification: the pilots are responsible for the flight.  Obviously they can't control everyting (maintainence, faulty parts, extreme conditions, etc) but they can and do control a lot.

 

My guess is that States will require someone to assume the 'pilot's' role.  In the beginning this most likley will require the 'pilot' to be physically in the driver's seat, but who knows.


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#64 OFFLINE   Stewart Vernon

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 12:00 PM

I get where you're comming from, but most drivers are already relying on computers in their vehicles: anti-lock breaks, traction control, fuel injection, airbags etc.  The fact is you're not 100% in control of your vehicle.

 

I look at future driverless cars and compare it to commercial air flight.  The majority of time the plane is on 'auto pilot', and presumably 100% of the time is being monitored by the flight crew.  An over generalization/simplification: the pilots are responsible for the flight.  Obviously they can't control everyting (maintainence, faulty parts, extreme conditions, etc) but they can and do control a lot.

 

My guess is that States will require someone to assume the 'pilot's' role.  In the beginning this most likley will require the 'pilot' to be physically in the driver's seat, but who knows.

You're talking about tools vs giving over control.

 

The hammer actually pushes the nail into the board, but I control the hammer.  Anti-lock brakes and air-bags are features... but I'm still driving the car and making most of the decisions.  Nobody said 100% control was required to be in control.  I'm not 100% control of my bodily functions at all times :)

 

The airplane auto-pilot isn't a fair comparison either.  There are far less planes in the air at any given time than there are cars.  Planes can basically fly in a straight line or controlled curve for extended periods without there being a concern of them running into anything or encountering another plane on their path.  So the autopilot isn't really making decisions.  It's akin to cruise control in a car so you can rest your foot and keep a constant speed on a straight road with light traffic on a long trip.

 

Also, if something goes wrong on your flight, the pilot is the first to be held responsible... only being let off the hook if there is a mechanical failure that can be blamed on maintenance of build problems...  If I'm going to be held liable as the driver, I'd better actually be the driver.  I'm not going to be a passenger in a driverless car and be more liable than I would in a car driven by a taxi driver.

 

Consider that too... driverless cars would replace taxis...  so if I get into a driverless taxi am I now responsible for that too?


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#65 OFFLINE   Drucifer

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 06:02 PM

You've reinforced my point. Cost. If manufactures are willing to use cheap parts and not enough testing with today's computer systems for cars you can safely bet your testicles they'll gamble and do the same with those Google cars. NASA had the most stringent quality assurance standards yet look what happened during the Apollo 13 mission. As for Henry Ford, had he known about performance enhancing drugs he could have given the public what they wanted, saved on cost , and still make a fortune.   

 

I'm guessing here, but I suspect are you still riding a horse.


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#66 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 06:27 PM

I'm guessing here, but I suspect are you still riding a horse.

While I do own horses I drive a 2012 Ford F-250 XLT and a vintage 1969 Buick Riviera.


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#67 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 06:56 PM

So protesters show up at the house of the lead Google engineer.

 

It used to be the geeks were made fun of, then admired, now frightened by them.

 

http://arstechnica.c...g-car-engineer/



#68 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 10:06 AM

Article on Yahoo this morning reported a massive pile up on I-94 in northwest Indiana. Three killed, over 20 injured, more than 40 vehicles involved. Would love to see what impact driverless vehicles would have had with this tragedy. 


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#69 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 10:08 AM

Article on Yahoo this morning reported a massive pile up on I-94 in northwest Indiana. Three killed, over 20 injured, more than 40 vehicles involved. Would love to see what impact driverless vehicles would have had with this tragedy.

they would refuse to drive in that kind of weather.... Lol


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#70 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 10:46 AM

Article on Yahoo this morning reported a massive pile up on I-94 in northwest Indiana. Three killed, over 20 injured, more than 40 vehicles involved. Would love to see what impact driverless vehicles would have had with this tragedy. 

 

Interesting to speculate. 

 

With forty vehicles involved, I bet way more than half were following too closely. 


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#71 OFFLINE   Drucifer

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 10:50 AM

Article on Yahoo this morning reported a massive pile up on I-94 in northwest Indiana. Three killed, over 20 injured, more than 40 vehicles involved. Would love to see what impact driverless vehicles would have had with this tragedy. 

 

 

they would refuse to drive in that kind of weather.... Lol

 

Seen videos of that accident. It was mostly tractor trailers. You figure those drivers would be the most experience. And yet they were unable to handle the road conditions.


Edited by Drucifer, 24 January 2014 - 10:51 AM.

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#72 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 24 January 2014 - 11:25 AM

Seen videos of that accident. It was mostly tractor trailers. You figure those drivers would be the most experience. And yet they were unable to handle the road conditions.

Don't be so quick to judge. The majority of accidents involving tractor trailers and cars are caused by those driving cars. Cars use hydraulic brakes, tractor trailers use air brakes. Cars are roughly 16 feet long and weigh between 3,000 and 5,500 lbs. Tractor trailers can weigh up to 80,00 lbs or more. The average length of a tractor is 22 ft, the average length of a trailer is 53 ft. While the average truck driver knows how to safely share the road with cars the average car driver does not know how to safely share the road with tractor trailers. The average car driver drives 33 miles in a day. The average OTR driver drives 500+ miles a day. Those of us who hold a Class A Commercial Drivers License are considered to be professional drivers, those who do not aren't.


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#73 OFFLINE   Drucifer

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 07:55 PM

US To Push For Mandatory Vehicle-To-Vehicle Wireless Communications
 


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The US government will work to enable wireless communication links between cars, technology it expects will reduce accidents and, eventually, decrease fuel consumption and speed travel.
 
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration said Monday it's finalizing a report on the subject based on a 3,000-vehicle study of vehicle-to-vehicle communications that began in Ann Arbor, Mich., in 2012. That report should be released in the coming weeks -- and then the Department of Transportation's push for using V2V technology in cars and light trucks will get serious.
 
"NHTSA will then begin working on a regulatory proposal that would require V2V devices in new vehicles in a future year," the agency said. "DOT believes that the signal this announcement sends to the market will significantly enhance development of this technology and pave the way for market penetration of V2V safety applications."
 
It's an understatement to suggest a federal law requiring V2V technology would speed its arrival into the marketplace. But any such change is likely years away, Transportation Department told CNET.
 
. . . . .

 

 
READ MORE


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#74 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 08:02 PM

"Hey you big stinking diesel smoking bus, get the **** out of the way!"  I'm sure this will help everyone pay attention................


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