Self-Driving Cars & How much bad driving is NOT distraction?

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This may be the most important thing you've ever posted on these forums.

--Patrick

It applies to pedestrians too. In grad school I knew a girl that would walk into crosswalks on campus, even if there was a car that was clearly speeding towards it down the road. I've seen the situation several times where the cars would hit their brakes hard because she was in the crosswalk. Her logic was that it was her right of way. Yes. The cars were most definitely speeding, and a pedestrian in a cross walk always has the right of way. HOWEVER, I'd rather be alive and lose my pride than be right and be dead. I remember she totally gaffed at me. Yeah, ok, you go ahead and tell the driver you had the right of way when their 2 ton SUV plows into your 120 lbs body, as they fumble around on their cell phone. Again, the best rule is to always assume the other driver is distracted or a moron in general.
 
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I'd rather be alive and lose my pride than be right and be dead.
I swear I had to say this to my wife 50 times before it finally clicked with her. I think what finally woke her up was a day I did things her way, barreling into the crosswalk, and she got freaked out that the oncoming mini-van was going to kill me. Yes, that is a real danger. Strangely, it has been so for many years. Goddammit.
 
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Again, the best rule is to always assume the other driver is distracted or a moron in general.
I was taught that from day one by my driver's ed teacher, along with "never believe turn signals, but always treat them seriously".
 
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I was taught that from day one by my driver's ed teacher, along with "never believe turn signals, but always treat them seriously".
Yeah, if the other drivers use them.

(YMMV, but that's my #2 problem with drivers in my area. #1 is that when you use your turn signal, they speed up in the lane you're trying to get into. #1 may explain the cause of #2.)
 
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Yeah, if the other drivers use them.

(YMMV, but that's my #2 problem with drivers in my area. #1 is that when you use your turn signal, they speed up in the lane you're trying to get into. #1 may explain the cause of #2.)
I fucking hate that shit. I hate drivers that take merging and lane changes and passing them like you just murdered their mom.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
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All I can tell y'all is, down here in non-city Texas, drivers seem to have a contest to see who can let more people merge/turn into their lane.
 

fade

Staff member
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I've worked on detection and classification algorithms and the subsequent computer implementations for defense. You guys are seriously underestimating detection capabilities. I worked on a system that fit on a small chip, capable of detecting vehicle type, direction, vulnerable spots on the vehicle, and speed. Capable of making microadjustments tens of times a second. Many more with a full, non-sacrificial chip. If google is seriously having difficulty with rain and snow, they aren't recruiting the right people.
 
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The cost of the whole system (sensors, power, calculations, etc) you were dealing with was surely more than a few hundred dollars, though. The military is willing to pay a lot for targeting systems. Consumers aren't going to pay thousands of dollars more per car for similar systems. The calculations may not be a big deal, but the sensors are still very expensive.
Moore's Law.

The cost of sensors are getting cheaper every day. Just from looking at what potential we have today based on where we've come from in the last decade and man the next decade is going to be amazing.
 
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I've worked on detection and classification algorithms and the subsequent computer implementations for defense. You guys are seriously underestimating detection capabilities. I worked on a system that fit on a small chip, capable of detecting vehicle type, direction, vulnerable spots on the vehicle, and speed. Capable of making microadjustments tens of times a second. Many more with a full, non-sacrificial chip. If google is seriously having difficulty with rain and snow, they aren't recruiting the right people.
I thought that pattern recognition was the major limiting factor in automated systems?
 
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The Subaru we have has what they call eyesight. It's two cameras up by the rear view mirror. It will warn against drifting out of your lane, has variable speed cruise control, and does accident avoidance braking.

The cruise control is incredible, I love it. It takes some getting used to to trust it though. It'll take you to a full stop, and beep when the car in front has moved, so you can just hit resume and start following the person in front of you again.
 

GasBandit

Staff member
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For all my reluctance to surrender manual control of my vehicle, it might just be worth it to see every car accelerate uniformly when the light turns green, instead of expanding foward like an inchworm/accordion.
 
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For all my reluctance to surrender manual control of my vehicle, it might just be worth it to see every car accelerate uniformly when the light turns green, instead of expanding foward like an inchworm/accordion.
I am also in favor of peleton-style traffic.

--Patrick
 
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You know what I'm looking forward to? Merging. It drives me batshit insane every time I watch someone else try to merge into traffic. It isn't rocket science. And then you get the one douchenozzle that thinks it's saving time to straddle the line and not let anyone else in front of them, regardless of the fact that the merging lane continues for another 4 blocks and has 3 turns from it to residential streets that he's blocking.
 
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You know what I'm looking forward to? Merging. It drives me batshit insane every time I watch someone else try to merge into traffic. It isn't rocket science. And then you get the one douchenozzle that thinks it's saving time to straddle the line and not let anyone else in front of them, regardless of the fact that the merging lane continues for another 4 blocks and has 3 turns from it to residential streets that he's blocking.
Merging in Colorado is me raging while everyone in front of me in the merge lane refuses to accelerate to highway speeds and instead hopes someone nicely lets them in as they go 40.
 
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Since the whole thing with the Uber crash got eliminated in the Purge, there is news:

Charges may set Precedent in Tempe Uber Crash

For those of you just tuning in, or having forgotten:
  • On March 18, 2018, a self-driving Uber vehicle ran into and killed a pedestrian just north of downtown Tempe, Arizona.
  • The driver was a trans female and former convict who, it was recently determined, not only did not have her hands on the steering wheel, but also was watching The Voice on Hulu at the time of the crash.
  • The pedestrian was a homeless woman, crossing over a busy divided highway (Mill Road, the main road out of downtown Tempe) just before 10 PM local.
  • The vehicle was in autonomous mode as it drove northbound on Mill, crossing over Tempe Town Lake (in the dark) before reaching the underpass for the Loop 202. The pedestrian was in a median with trees and brush (yes, these do exist in Arizona), and would not be easily seen by a driver.
  • It was later determined that Uber had turned off the Emergency Braking system on the Volvo - the factory installed system, as well as the one part of the Uber self-driving system - "to reduce the jerkiness of the ride." (according to AZcentral)
  • Uber has shut down its self-driving service in Arizona.
  • Immediately before the accident, the in-car camer showed the driver was looking down at a screen in the center console, and had perhaps one half a second to react to the cyclist in the road.
  • Charges of manslaughter are now being brought against the driver. This is the crux of the article mentioned above.
 
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I'm not sure the driver should be the one facing manslaughter charges. Fired, yes, the article does say what she did was considered a fireable offense by Uber. But, if I recall correctly from what we discussed before the Purge, if those parts of the self driving system hadn't been disabled then the car wouldn't have hit the pedestrian. Who switched them off (or rather, who made the decision to have them switched off)? That's who should be facing manslaughter charges.
 
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I'm not sure the driver should be the one facing manslaughter charges. Fired, yes, the article does say what she did was considered a fireable offense by Uber. But, if I recall correctly from what we discussed before the Purge, if those parts of the self driving system hadn't been disabled then the car wouldn't have hit the pedestrian. Who switched them off (or rather, who made the decision to have them switched off)? That's who should be facing manslaughter charges.
She was supposed to be attentive and compensating for the car's failures, and she was playing with her phone. I don't feel too much sympathy.
 
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She was supposed to be attentive and compensating for the car's failures, and she was playing with her phone. I don't feel too much sympathy.
I don't feel too much sympathy for her either. Like I said I believe she should be fired. But for all we say drivers should always be 100% concentrating on the road we also really accept that sometimes they're not. They're talking to other people in the car, or changing radio stations, or fuming over that thing their boss / coworker / friend / SO said to them earlier, or wondering what to have for dinner when they get home, or just plain driving on a road they've driven thousands of times before to the point that they don't think about it anymore.

Point is that we accept that humans aren't always concentrating 100% but we do expect that self driving cars always meet a certain minimum level of "awareness". Yes the driver fell below even the lesser levels of awareness we expect from drivers for at least some of the drive, including when the accident happened, but the car was below what we expect form it for *all* of that drive, and probably other besides. That's why I feel the greater responsibility falls on whoever disabled the safety features - the put a car on the road that wasn't as safe as it should have been.
 
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The article points out that the on-board system did "see" the pedestrian/cyclist six seconds before the crash. Had it been active, it probably would have stopped the car before hitting the woman - though it's possible the woman would have still run into the car.
 
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Yes. She was supposed to be the emergency backup system, and she had taken herself offline at the time. It’s a tortuously boring job for any human to do, but that was the job description.
I wonder if her charge shouldn’t actually be malpractice rather than manslaughter.

—Patrick
 
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