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driverless cars to hit california ( sorry!)


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#401 Bloggsworth

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 10:02

The legal arguments will probably hinge around timing. Did the autonomous system which found itself unable to cope with the situation hand control back to the driver with sufficient time available for the driver to have any affect on the situation, and was it even possible for the driver to override the computer when the driver perceived the danger when the computer's sensors didn't? If the computer gives up only 1 second before the collision and beeps "Over to you matey!", then there is no way the driver could avoid the accident, so how could he be responsible - It will be a legal minefield. How will such cars cope with a sudden snowstorm which blinds their electronic visual cortex, when heavy rain and/or hail confuses its radar? Will the car just stop and beep "Unable to proceed" while behind it, the latest and most expensive Mercedes with a marginally better visual system carries on and...



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#402 mariner

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 18:28

The legal arguments will probably hinge around timing. Did the autonomous system which found itself unable to cope with the situation hand control back to the driver with sufficient time available for the driver to have any affect on the situation, and was it even possible for the driver to override the computer when the driver perceived the danger when the computer's sensors didn't? If the computer gives up only 1 second before the collision and beeps "Over to you matey!", then there is no way the driver could avoid the accident, so how could he be responsible - It will be a legal minefield. How will such cars cope with a sudden snowstorm which blinds their electronic visual cortex, when heavy rain and/or hail confuses its radar? Will the car just stop and beep "Unable to proceed" while behind it, the latest and most expensive Mercedes with a marginally better visual system carries on and...

All that is true but I think it starts with a very basic question.When the "user" gets in the car and tells it where to go, is he/she  then ( in Uk legal parlance) " in charge of the vehicle"?

 

The pilot of a modern plane can basically power up the systems, plug in the ramp and destination co-ordinates and then start the engnes when cleared for push back. The plane will then pretty much fly itself but he/she  is in charge legally and operationally a soon as he/she  climbed in. On that basis the care "user" is always in charge and, therefore , should be prepared to take over manual control at any time. I agree he/she could argue it "happened too fast " in mitigation but I think the onus is on the user to prove it was too quick.If he /she was looking forward at an upcoming collision risk-  why would the law expect any lower standard of vigilence than an old fashione driver?


Edited by mariner, 27 January 2014 - 18:30.


#403 munks

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 18:39

What? Signage like this on the A3 in Raynes Park?

A computer would be able to process all those signs MUCH faster than a human.



#404 Bloggsworth

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 21:12

In this one, what would it make of the 30MPH limit sign?

 

4_Sign.jpg



#405 gruntguru

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 22:42

Ha Ha!

I think an autonomous car would have less trouble with that mess than any human!



#406 275 GTB-4

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 22:48

A computer would be able to process all those signs MUCH faster than a human.


Sure and the computer may mis-identify some for a variety of reasons and use wrong assumptions in its decision making process, generally, humans are fairly adept at picking out individual trees in the forest rather than vice versa.



#407 gruntguru

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 22:52

I recently went to the UK research site where the world's first auto landing syem was developed for BEA. The standard set was one failure in 10 miliion reckoned to be ten times better than a human pilot risk level.

 

That started me thinking about this thread - not the abilty or not of systems to drive cars but the operating philosohy.

 

Auto land is RATHER critical so it is well developed.Nonetheless a plane has one big advantage over a car - it can move anywhere in 3D space if needed subject to nearby aircraft so as to retry any approach.

 

A car can't to do that - it can only move slightly left or right, accelerate or stop. So in many ways its a tougher environment.

 

More fundementally the one thing a flight crew does NOT do is let the sytems land , or even fly, the plane without monitoring. You seldom see the flight crew back in the cabin as a plane auto lands at , say, Heathrow in bad visibilty.

 

Despite landing sytems with better than one error risk in ten million the airline industry still expects the "driver" to be monitoring the system ready to intervene. That is very, very different to the sales pitch for  driverless cars. " It will drive itself safer than you can".

 

However good the systems become they will fail. Then the legal reponsibility of the " driver" wil be at issue. It would not surprise me at all if the " driver" is held to be always responsible for monitoring the car just as the pilot is during auto land etc.

 

That may sound trivial or obvious but it removes two big social advantages of driverless cars - the elderly/blind and the  young will not be able to use them autonomously and thus they wont add to total personal mobility beyond current cars. Also no driver wil be able to stop watching the road ahead etc. unles he wants to drive without valid  insurance cover.

The bar is not set very high when it comes to road safety:

- World annual road deaths - 1 million +.

- World annual airline deaths about 500.

Consequently it will be quite easy for autonomous vehicles to be an order of magnitude better than human drivers.

 

On personal mobility. Google is claiming that AV's will be able to "go park themselves" after dropping the humans at their destination. This clearly suggests that human oversight will not be required.



#408 Buttoneer

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 15:21

Watch out for hackers.

 

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#409 BRG

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Posted 25 August 2014 - 19:43

The Empire is starting to strike back against the Google rebels....

 

I suppose this means that legislators and the insurance industry are starting to take the concept of autonomous cars seriously.  Whether this will put the mockers on the whole idea remains to be seen.  But if this is the reaction in go-ahead hi-tech California, I can imagine conservative old Britain being even more cautious, once the DoT actually wake up and notice this.


Edited by BRG, 25 August 2014 - 19:43.


#410 indigoid

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 13:42

I was actually.

Only limited by the resolution of the terrain mapping which can easily be quite high. Car knows roughly where it is courtesy of GPS. Terrain map has the gradient info so the system can infer pretty accurately where the terrain is headed beyond the water's edge.

 

 

 

I don't think the data actually exists for that, at least not on a global scale. NASA got down to 1 arc-second (~30m at sea level?) by combining SRTM and other data. My partner is doing fun stuff with that data set at her work. Supposedly there will be a 12m data set sometime this year from this: http://www.astrium-geo.com/terrasar-x/

 

I'm assuming Google's Street View hardware logs altitude as well as the usual location. They'd be silly not to, really. So they probably have the data already for the majority of places that self-driving cars are likely to want to go.



#411 gruntguru

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Posted 31 August 2014 - 23:46

We are talking about roads aren't we? Perhaps in the third world they don't care too much, but levels are essential engineering data for drainage design etc. What are surveyors for?