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Self-driving cars. They're almost here.
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reader50
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Oct 22, 2016, 11:37 PM
 
This is a Tesla demonstration. Driving someone to work.



Public release of the software expected in 1-2 years, may depend somewhat on vehicle laws being updated state-by-state.

Full self-drive (SAE level 5) requires the new Tesla sensor package, going into all production Teslas now. Existing Teslas with the earlier sensor package will continue getting updates, but will top out at a lesser level. Perhaps SAE level 3, but I haven't heard exactly.

This video took me by surprise. I hadn't realized how close it was.
     
subego
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Oct 23, 2016, 12:23 AM
 
That is pretty amazing.

The "passenger" really wanted to grab the wheel a few times.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Oct 23, 2016, 11:08 AM
 
Tesla's AutoPilot is flaky as hell and does some really freaky shit, especially in inclement weather. It has quite some way to go, even with the new sensors and software.
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OreoCookie
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Oct 23, 2016, 11:29 AM
 
I want this now. The only real problem is reliability, I don't want to sit there, ready to grab the steering wheel at any time. That seems almost as exhausting as driving yourself.
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subego
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Oct 23, 2016, 11:50 AM
 
More so. Just watching it made me uncomfortable.
     
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Oct 23, 2016, 02:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I want this now. The only real problem is reliability, I don't want to sit there, ready to grab the steering wheel at any time. That seems almost as exhausting as driving yourself.
A lot of premium cars have level 2 or even 3 in practice, but are not advertised as such by anyone but Tesla because of certification. That is the level where it can drive by itself, but the driver has to be ready to take over at any time. In automotive marketing terms, this is essentially lane keeping + adaptive cruise control + obstacle detection with autobrake - all of which are common features at a certain level, but usually limited in some way to avoid giving the impression that the system is truly autonomous. Level 4 is that the system can drive by itself in most cases - the driver has to make the decision whether to enable it or not, knowing the weather and where it is driving, but does not have to be ready to take over at a second's notice. Level 5 is where you basically push a button on your phone to call your car to you from across the state.

Level 4 is the dangerous one, I think. If you have that and never drive, but suddenly the weather is terrible one day and you have to drive - what then? Your skills are rusty and the conditions are too difficult for the automatic system?
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Oct 23, 2016, 04:29 PM
 
How does it know where stop signs are? Image recognition? Route programming?
     
reader50  (op)
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Oct 23, 2016, 04:45 PM
 
Image recognition, GPS+maps, machine learning, observation of other cars. All of the above.
     
The Final Shortcut
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Oct 23, 2016, 08:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
Tesla's AutoPilot is flaky as hell and does some really freaky shit, especially in inclement weather. It has quite some way to go, even with the new sensors and software.
Agreed. "Winter" currently really messes the shit out of all self-driving cars - which isn't great considering the north half of North America has to deal with it.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Oct 24, 2016, 03:46 AM
 
I was just talking about heavy rain or fog, but yeah, snow and sleet are going to be nightmares.
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Waragainstsleep
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Oct 24, 2016, 04:27 AM
 
Do these cars have collaborative features yet? Do they tell each other about traffic levels or communicate directly so they don't turn the same corner at the same time and hit each other etc?

I was thinking the other day: Is it inevitable that large main roads might become like shuttle trains in a sense? So whether its you or your car, you only have to put much thought into driving between your start point and a main road and then your exit and your destination. Main routes could even become giant conveyors or a sort so you just merge into the conveyor then turn your car off and take a nap until your exit. The vehicles are pulled along by some other mechanism which saves your fuel/battery and thus boosts your range immensely. Not sure I'm making sense.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Laminar
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Oct 24, 2016, 09:34 AM
 
I think you just described a railroad.
     
And.reg
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Oct 24, 2016, 09:37 AM
 
     
Laminar
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Oct 24, 2016, 10:51 AM
 
What do smart roads have to do with self-propelled roads?
     
subego
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Oct 24, 2016, 11:04 AM
 
I think the big problem with self-propelled roads is delivering amperage...

To the people walking across the street.

     
And.reg
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Oct 24, 2016, 02:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
What do smart roads have to do with self-propelled roads?
Ask Waragainstsleep. His first paragraph was much closer to so-called smart roads. In his second paragraph, on conveyor roads, however, these should instead be turned into smart roads, because conveyor roads would require too much energy. Except for maybe very small sections of road (e.g., parking garage), those could be part of a smart road.
     
OreoCookie
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Oct 24, 2016, 04:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Level 4 is the dangerous one, I think. If you have that and never drive, but suddenly the weather is terrible one day and you have to drive - what then? Your skills are rusty and the conditions are too difficult for the automatic system?
Agreed. Humans are extremely bad at merely observing machines and making sure that they function properly. So you will either have people like that guy who was killed in the Tesla watching a movie, who just pretend this works flawlessly, and others who are stressed out because they know they can't trust the car's auto pilot. Either way, requiring humans to oversee the car's auto pilot breaks the illusion and reminds the occupant the car isn't actually self driving.
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Waragainstsleep
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Oct 24, 2016, 07:41 PM
 
Yes my concept could be done any number of ways from a simple train-like shuttle to a multi-directional smart conveyor. The point is if the main busy routes were running on "rails" in any shape or form, then traffic could be mitigated, fuel could be saved etc etc.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
phantomdragonz
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Oct 24, 2016, 07:45 PM
 
http://www.npr.org/2015/07/31/427990...rew-skepticism

There is a lot of history that compares the hesitations discussed here to when elevators lost the elevator person. They used to be controlled by a "driver" and when that went away there was a lot of public hesitation... but look at that market now, do you hesitate to step in an elevator and push a button? No, it's accepted and commonplace and the public knows it's reliable.

Self driving cars will get there, it will take time, but it will happen. There are a TON of advantages for the public and the individual for this. I hope this happens before I become a senile old person, I want to experience this change in society.
     
Doc HM
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Oct 25, 2016, 06:08 PM
 
Mercedes announce "death to pedestrians car" that prioritises the safety of plutocratic owners over plebeian foot walkers everytime.

https://boingboing.net/2016/10/24/me...olley-pro.html

Many articles on this. It's probably more amusing that it's Mercedes that have articulated this dilemma/solution than that it's the actual solution.
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And.reg
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Oct 26, 2016, 07:53 AM
 
Reminds me of the movie iRobot (2004). Sarah had an only 11% chance to live. So, the robot rescued Del Spooner who had a 45% chance instead.
     
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Oct 26, 2016, 11:12 AM
 
Any articles on how self-driving cars handle construction areas and other unexpected/ road modifying events?
     
Waragainstsleep
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Oct 26, 2016, 01:58 PM
 
What if my main road conveyor was some kind of maglev canal ferry type system. Low friction so less energy required to move stuff.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
OreoCookie
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Oct 27, 2016, 07:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Mercedes announce "death to pedestrians car" that prioritises the safety of plutocratic owners over plebeian foot walkers everytime.

https://boingboing.net/2016/10/24/me...olley-pro.html

Many articles on this. It's probably more amusing that it's Mercedes that have articulated this dilemma/solution than that it's the actual solution.
This is a decision you need to program into the software: do you prioritize the safety of others over that of the people in the car or vice versa? I think it is good to say publicly now what you think the best solution is, and see if it is acceptable to society. After all, the programming needs to be compliant with the laws on the book (or rather the laws we will still have to create).
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Doc HM
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Oct 28, 2016, 04:23 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
This is a decision you need to program into the software: do you prioritize the safety of others over that of the people in the car or vice versa? I think it is good to say publicly now what you think the best solution is, and see if it is acceptable to society. After all, the programming needs to be compliant with the laws on the book (or rather the laws we will still have to create).
What's different (and the interesting bit) I guess is that most drivers end up being passengers in an accident as they loose control and panic etc while a self driving car is going to be making active decisions about the crash right up to and during impact.
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osiris
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Oct 28, 2016, 09:04 AM
 
I like the idea of self driving cars for long hauls, but I do like to drive and probably wouldn't use it.

I'm curious how this thing would handle something like NYC traffic. Not well, I imagine - the overly cautious driving will not fair well in a competitive place where you have lots of cars, trucks, taxis, pedestrians and cyclists all looking to get medieval on each other at the slightest provocation.
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Laminar
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Oct 28, 2016, 09:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
I like the idea of self driving cars for long hauls, but I do like to drive and probably wouldn't use it.

I'm curious how this thing would handle something like NYC traffic. Not well, I imagine - the overly cautious driving will not fair well in a competitive place where you have lots of cars, trucks, taxis, pedestrians and cyclists all looking to get medieval on each other at the slightest provocation.
The level of aggression is adjustable.

6 things I learned from riding in a Google Self-Driving Car - The Oatmeal

And maybe aggressive driving is what causes slow downs and traffic jams, and a bunch of cars working together and moving smoothly would alleviate much of the issue.
     
osiris
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Oct 28, 2016, 09:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
The level of aggression is adjustable.

6 things I learned from riding in a Google Self-Driving Car - The Oatmeal

And maybe aggressive driving is what causes slow downs and traffic jams, and a bunch of cars working together and moving smoothly would alleviate much of the issue.
lol of course aggressive driving is to blame - it's in our DNA. God help us if AI learns aggression.

The Attack of the Robot Cars
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Uncle Skeleton
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Oct 29, 2016, 11:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
This video took me by surprise. I hadn't realized how close it was.
This one is not just a demo; it's out out in the wild:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...-of-budweiser/
     
reader50  (op)
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Oct 30, 2016, 03:15 AM
 
That one was staged.
The Colorado beer delivery, which TechCrunch describes as "mostly a stunt," required a police escort and several weeks of careful planning to map the route and find a time when traffic was light.
The truck did drive itself (on the highway), but it wasn't in the wild.
     
OreoCookie
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Oct 30, 2016, 09:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
What's different (and the interesting bit) I guess is that most drivers end up being passengers in an accident as they loose control and panic etc while a self driving car is going to be making active decisions about the crash right up to and during impact.
Yes, but you're going to have to make this deterministic for computers, i. e. you have to tell it what it is supposed to do. And protecting people inside is a consistent position to take.
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Brien
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Nov 1, 2016, 11:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
I like the idea of self driving cars for long hauls, but I do like to drive and probably wouldn't use it.

I'm curious how this thing would handle something like NYC traffic. Not well, I imagine - the overly cautious driving will not fair well in a competitive place where you have lots of cars, trucks, taxis, pedestrians and cyclists all looking to get medieval on each other at the slightest provocation.
The problem is, sooner or later they will have to ban non-self-driving cars... just like they banned horses and stagecoaches a hundred years ago.
     
reader50  (op)
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Nov 1, 2016, 01:29 PM
 
Might want to tell the Amish that. I don't think horses and stagecoaches are banned on public roads.
     
osiris
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Nov 1, 2016, 01:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by Brien View Post
The problem is, sooner or later they will have to ban non-self-driving cars... just like they banned horses and stagecoaches a hundred years ago.
I don't know, maybe hundreds of years from now. I just can't see this happening in my or the next life time.
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osiris
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Nov 1, 2016, 01:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Might want to tell the Amish that. I don't think horses and stagecoaches are banned on public roads.
They are not banned in nyc either, however very controlled.
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