First Ground Up Driverless Vehicle To Be On Road in 2015

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by Drucifer, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. yosoyellobo

    yosoyellobo Icon

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  2. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Sacrifice the older people. They are closer to death anyways. :D
    Or sacrifice the non-autonomous car owners.

    It is a good question ... and it has to be answered in a split second running through all the options. Good luck car (and everyone around it).
     
  3. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Ah, well, apparently the State of California is taking a run at the problem of regulating these cars according to Google, Tesla, others wait for DMV's self-driving rules but the rule-makers are not literally considering these "self-driving" nor "autonomous." From the article:

    In other words, if you own one of these and something bad happens you don't get to say "The car did it."
     
  4. Drucifer

    Drucifer Well-Known Member

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    All vehicles in the near future will have black boxes.

    I would want vehicle computers to be able override drivers when the computer spots speeding, tailgating, or frequent lane changes and of course reeving all over the road. Maybe even notifying the police.
     
  5. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    All new vehicles. It will take a while until old vehicles are retrofitted (although some vehicles have sensors that could be considered rudimentary black boxes - or at least tattletales).


    The car was drunk, officer. I filled up with e85 instead of e15. That is why it was weaving.
     
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  6. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    So the computer would prevent you from hurrying to the hospital, getting away from the bad guys shooting at you, or otherwise making a choice that would be in conflict with the law? But the bad guys' car would not prevent them from shooting their guns because it would conflict with the Second Amendment? Or does the car become an autonomous new deputy law enforcement officer in which laws made by your favorite all-wise and wonderful legislature will be absolute? Or does the car interpret laws that are somewhat vague or confusing?

    Frankly, I don't buy this whole "things are going to become really safe" stuff. Sure we didn't have so many "distracted" drivers before texting and multitasking became buzz words. Maybe the new car will help with the new unnecessary but addictive distractions. But I see the cars as being able to prevent accidents in routine commute driving situations until the 1977 Malibu driven by a drunk driver plows into the line of barely-stopped-in-time self-driving vehicles.

    Let's stop selling these things that don't really exist yet like Steve Jobs sold iPads. iPads are not inherently dangerous if some App fails. A self-driving Tesla with a flawed steering algorithm is. There is a much bigger picture here than the "device" - to make a pun the device possibilities shouldn't drive the decision-making or habit formations.
     
  7. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    That "pie in the sky" will not be baked until all vehicles are self driving. Until then proponents will continue to declare self driving cars safe and blame all problems on non-automated driving. As long as they can blame someone else, everything is awesome.
     
  8. yosoyellobo

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    A split second is an eternity for the computer running theses cars. If they had to chose which person to save I suspect they will flip a coin which I believe is what God would do.
     
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  9. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Or the car will run various kinds of instant scans and select based on a list "they" prepared. [​IMG]
     
  10. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Guys, you really, really should see the TED talk by Chris Urmson, especially starting at this point: https://youtu.be/tiwVMrTLUWg?t=746

    I highly recommend the whole or at least starting at the 9 minute mark. But the very best is the link above. It breaks down how Google cars "see" a bicycle before humans can, anticipates, and safely negotiates where the adjacent cars (which block a human's view) don't correctly anticipate the bike.

    This is not "pie in the sky", this is real. This is not a list, so much as a continuous update in near-real-time of anticipation. Every self-driving car, built to this level of testing and development, will potentially save lives without requiring all the other cars being smart. Since it can avoid stupid drivers, it adds to the safety already.

    No, it can't stop all accidents. There is no reason to set the bar that impossibly high. Cuz you don't have it now.

    Peace,
    Tom
     
  11. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    I'm really serious when I said I can see the benefits of this technology for my wife and me - we're both over 70 and a car that can do what you are describing could help seniors like us who live in rural areas where there is no real transit. It would be a dream for people like us. With that said....

    Google doesn't manufacture or sell cars. Sure, I guess they could tool up and start or buy Volkswagon or something. But then they would have to learn to operate a business outside the Silicon Valley bubble off the web.

    Tesla released a beta version of its software and near-disasters are being averted daily because of flaws. So far it appears every Tesla owner who downloads it knows what "beta" means and weren't confused by the very misleading journalist "test drive, write glowing story" opportunity.

    Volvo's head honcho wants to get government out of his way because he has a guy in r&d who knows BASIC.

    I love the potential. But I have yet to see any company that can responsibly implement it for a mass market. That's my focus. I've followed Google's efforts every step of the way. If their researchers were in a university and were planning to release their stuff with a $10 per car license, I'd be as enthusiastic. I still haven't heard their mass market plans. But I'll check your link.
     
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  12. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Well said.

    My hope and thoughts are Google will find a way to license the technology they are developing. The individuals are very invested in getting the tech out there and the company has been investing in this for a long time. They either have a plan for it or a plan to develop the plan. I think some of the test track "marketing event" with people from Mountain View and Austin was as much about learning what people want in a car as it was to let them know they will see them on the roads.

    I suspect Google could do the same thing with this technology as they did with Android--manufacture their own brand of cars and license to other manufacturers. One of their videos shows how they learned from building their own test cars.

    Peace,
    Tom
     
  13. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Tesla is real:
    "Pie in the sky" refers to the proponents who refuse to listen to any rebuke. "All problems will be solved." That is a prediction, not a reality.

    If you were to unload a self driving car from a trailer in my driveway and tell it to get me to work how well would it do? Would the car be able to handle roads it has not seen? Are you assuming that some other car has already seen those roads? Would it be limited to roads other cars have seen? Would it require an operator to take over on unknown roads? Or is full mobility on EVERY road something that will come "in the future" and is not part of today's reality?
     
  14. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    "Pie in the Sky" also refers to derogatory predictions that problems can't be solved. Or can't be solved for quite a long time.

    Since many of the "problems" that have been listed here have already been solved, evidenced by the videos, it seems fair for me to show why I'm certain the problems have been solved.

    And now new "problems" are queried that are also answered in the videos.
    1) Your home to your work? Not really sure. While I know the general area of the country, I don't know specifics, you could live in a fairly rural area next to the city. Generally speaking, if google has mapped the roads along the path and they are paved, it will get you there.
    2) Handle roads it hasn't seen? Yes. It can handle situations and roads it hasn't seen. Albeit roads that Google has seen.
    3) I'm assuming the roads have been seen by the mapping software google uses, namely their own. They don't need to have been seen by another google self-driving car.
    4) Limited to roads other cars have seen? No. But does need to be mapped, so in a sense Google has seen them.
    5) Driver take over on unknown roads? No. But it won't select such a road as it isn't in the map. Were it directed to such a road, it could drive on the road recognizing the key road properties like speed, hazards, lanes, etc.
    6) EVERY road, path, gully, gravelway, private drive, local shortcut? No. Don't be silly. Humans don't know about all of them either. :)

    Will there be roads that aren't on the maps? Heck yes. Maps are always behind the construction. But that is a navigation issue, not a driving issue. The human driver might have to direct the car much like a human might have to direct a taxi to a brand new location: describing the turns, letting the car drive as directed.

    To my knowledge, there is one class of problems to be solved--gravel and snow covered roads that obliterate the road markers. Yes, there are still many tests to run--to verify and to perhaps tweak the algorithms. Yet the present reality in Mountain View and Austen is amazing. The videos show how the cars already handle things that aren't in the driver's manual--like duck crossings. Or little (child) cars. :) Or human drivers who turn illegally in front of the self-driving car.

    Watch the TED talk. It is quite enlightening as to the real state of the art. And shows how the algorithms recognize and categorize things that aren't specifically "known".

    Peace,
    Tom
     
  15. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    The non silly part is that humans can handle such things. We are built for adaptability. Auto driving cars are not there yet. Today's reality.
     
  16. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    Humans can't drive on roads they don't know about anymore than self-driving cars can. Reality for a very long time.

    The silly part is manufacturing a context that is not a problem of the self-driving part. Only the navigation part. Which the human will have to know for any travel method: driving him or herself, taxi, shuttle, rickshaw, or self-driving car. Once given the directions to the unknown, unmapped road, the self-driving car can adapt. By looking at the same things a human would--and more.

    Peace,
    Tom
     
  17. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I am trying to think of a nice way not to call that statement complete and utter garbage.

    Every vacation that I take I end up on roads I have never driven before. Sometimes GPS is aware of the road, sometimes not. I have a tendency to ignore my GPS and follow what I see outside of my windshield. If your statement was true I would not be able to drive on many roads that I have, as a human being, traveled.

    I have been there ... and back again. As a human driver it is well within my skillset.

    (I mention vacation because my normal driving is on well worn paths that I have been on before. But there are also weekend trips where I end up on a road not yet traveled. I go where Google streetview has not gone before.)

    [​IMG]
    Sometimes a man just has to take the wheel and drive.
     
  18. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    If it is a road and you can see it, then you know about it. :)

    If you know about it and it is a road, then the self-driving car can drive it--possibly with two caveats--gravel and snow that obscure all lane and road markers. They may have solved the gravel problem or they might still be working on it.

    I am not saying google is to the point where every driver will be satisfied to let the car drive all the time. You describe exploring, potentially on paths that aren't roads. And that you still want to drive the car--at least some of the time. Cool! If you are a multiple car family, you might purchase one self-driving car and keep one that is human drive. Or purchase a dual mode car to drive yourself when you explore.

    I am saying that most of the problems being raised: adaptability; reactions to unseen roads, conditions, events; incredibly rare and manufactured ethics situations are either already solved or unreasonable in that humans don't run into those situations either. (And are no better prepared.)

    Watch the video. See for yourself how the cars adapt today. See how they can identify things they haven't seen before as something similar to what they have seen before. And how they see earlier than humans do, so can anticipate long before a human could.

    Peace,
    Tom
     
  19. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

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    There are still places horses can go that cars can't. People who go to those places generally still have a car plus have a horse or rent horses when they need.

    There are places for bicycles, rickshaws, helicopters, and airplanes.

    The google cars are already capable to handle a large portion of the populous. That is all it takes to be a potentially viable product that is much safer than what we have today. The rest of the product viability is packaging, pricing, and the legals. The packaging probably has the longest lead time in the Google cars, unless they have already arranged manufacturing. Pricing will be interesting when including all the sensors and the liability (presuming for the moment.)

    Legals could be coming soon. The original California requirement was for regulation by January 1, 2015. I haven't found a new timeline, as the manufacturers and regulators are still trying to figure out what needs to be and how to certify.

    Peace,
    Tom
     
  20. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Not the point ... pretty sure you know it wasn't the point. I guess you just want to fight.

    The point is that the first time a human driver sees a particular road they can handle it better than the first time an auto-drive car sees that road. Chances are the auto-drive car won't consider it a road and will refuse to drive on it. Take another route or human take the wheel.

    The state of the art in auto-drive technology is not a finished masterpiece. It is a work in progress.
     

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