Author Topic: Autonomous vehicles.  (Read 5250 times)

ColinS

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2018, 09:41:17 AM »
The full facts will come out eventually. In fairness, if you read the report, the driver didn't say "first alert was the collision itself". The driver said "it was like a flash, the person walked out in front of them". It was the police chief who said "first alert was the collision itself". Regarding the homeless bit, that is the paper adding its comment. Not having a home doesn't make you invisible. Until the NTSB makes its report, all the rest is speculation.
Actually if you read it grammatically, there are commas in the sentence which indicates that on both parts it was the Police Chief reporting what the driver had said.  So it is all hearsay. 

Jocko

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2018, 10:01:01 AM »
Yes, I know it was the police chief giving the interview, so it was all things she said. I just feel we should not be jumping to conclusions until the facts are in the public domain. Statements like "Apparently there was a tech in the car, watching a Harry Potter video on his laptop" are not helpful. There is a huge amount of bias on this forum against autonomous and electric cars. I feel I try to see both sides of the argument.

sparky Paul

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2018, 10:03:56 AM »
I just feel we should not be jumping to conclusions

Which is what I was saying earlier. At the moment, everything is pure speculation.

Chill out and watch another interesting pro-AV video. Interesting bit about AVs opening up the world of car use to those with disabilities.


« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 10:07:49 AM by sparky Paul »

auntyneddy

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2018, 11:55:11 AM »
The clip I saw on TV this am showed a bent cycle lying on the pavement. It had the trimmings of a homeless person, i e the inevitable black plastic bags. Everyone speaks of a pedestrian being killed, what was the part of the bicycle?
Sorry about my anecdotes  but I actually witnessed this. Being a village Bobby, I tried to walk my place. I was standing talking to a resident on the junction with a very busy A road. Another resident walked along the opposite side of the road I was standing on and just walked off the pavement into the path of an oncoming car. He had not acknowledged me and did not look at me so I can only surmise he was aware of the main road. Horrified I saw him fly into the air and come to rest in the road, the car  was not speeding. He got up and started to walk away. I went to him and suggested we call an ambulance. NO I am OK and walked off. I then had to deal with a hysterical young Lady driver. She had only recently passed her test. Eventually I got her to accept there was NOTHING she could have done and as policeman witnessed it all, apart from submitting an accident report She was to think nothing more of it. Eventually, She went on her way.  I then had to go to the Mans home and check. His Wife said to me the silly old fool has told me what has happened. I again asked that he went to hospital for checking. Again he refused. So everyday, I used to check, if he had dropped dead a few days later  questions would have been asked. I still cannot believe he escaped unhurt. My main concern? He was in his late 90's. So my point, it is possible for a pedestrian to walk out into the path of car and for the driver to be completely unable to avoid the collision. As to autonomous cars, what can be done to avoid such a situation I know not. I should have thought the 'minder' should have been more alert and available to deal with a crisis. After all us humans will condemn out of hand no matter what the facts are.

culzean

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2018, 12:07:57 PM »
Yes, I know it was the police chief giving the interview, so it was all things she said. I just feel we should not be jumping to conclusions until the facts are in the public domain. Statements like "Apparently there was a tech in the car, watching a Harry Potter video on his laptop" are not helpful. There is a huge amount of bias on this forum against autonomous and electric cars. I feel I try to see both sides of the argument.

The bias is not so much about AV but all the Hype surrounding them,  claims from silicon valley firms like Google / Waymo and Uber seem to get more upbeat and hyped by the day.  Nissan and Detroit are much more measured in their approach and it would seem more pragmatic.   The sheer folly of expecting a bloke with a laptop to take over in a 'real emergency' that happens fast is obvious,  they are there to stop car driving the wrong way down one way streets, straying into cycle lanes, (including not stopping them jumping red lights) and other 'slow emergencies' (happen on average about once every 1.2 miles in one report I read).  No one wants to admit it at the moment but the roads are going to have to be specially adapted in certain areas where AV will run,  maybe sensors and guide wires in the roads,  another investment to me made.

Autopilots on aircraft which have less of a job to do than an AV control system (only have to control speed, and altitude and bearing,  not much to bump into at 35,000 feet), many accidents have been caused by autopilots disengaging (which they do if severe turbulence, sensor failure or other anomalies detected) and the crew not being ready to do the right thing and crashed a perfectly serviceable aircraft.

The final 1 or 2 % of AV functionality is going to be harder than the preceding 98%, is horrendously complicated and  probably harder than getting a man on the Moon or to Mars but it seems that about every 18 months it is announced that they are 2 years away.  Tesla will be going bust in 2018 so that is one 'silicon valley' company out of the game so a bit less hype to handle..

I have 'saved' more than one person from being run over (by my car) by noticing what was happening on the pavement,  twice I have had young teen girls step into the road while busy with their phones, a ball bouncing into the road followed by a small boy etc.  This is where an attentive human helps, they can 'predict ' things,  I would not have minded braking hard for someone who did not step off the kerb,  rather a false positive than a very messy negative.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 07:37:09 PM by culzean »
Some people will only consider you an expert if they agree with your point of view or advice,  when you give them advice they don't like they consider you an idiot

VicW

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2018, 02:58:30 PM »
An AV is still going to need a programmer, someone has got to put in details of where you want the car to go and these details have got to be a lot more accurate than currently available using sat-nav and post codes.
Let's take a typical example. Nearly every Friday morning we go shopping. Let's say I don't know where Tesco is so I put the postcode into my sat-nav. That gets me to Tesco but doesn't get me into a parking space, I, the driver do that.
In my AV I get in and say 'Tesco' or press a pre programmed button loaded with the whereabouts of Tesco. The car starts up, switches on any lights required, backs out of my drive, takes me to Tesco and finds me a parking space which may not be one of my choosing. Coming home I select 'home'.
To do this the sat-nav equivalent is going to be considerably more accurate than post codes and somebody, the 'driver' has got to pre programme destinations into the AV system.
I think AV's are lot further away than most people think.

culzean

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #36 on: March 21, 2018, 10:17:30 AM »
Here is a quote from an article today on Uber pedestrian fatality...

ďItís possible that Uberís automated driving system did not detect the pedestrian, did not classify her as a pedestrian, or did not predict her departure from the median,Ē Smith said in an email. ďI donít know whether these steps occurred too late to prevent or lessen the collision or whether they never occurred at all, but the lack of braking or swerving whatsoever is alarming and suggests that the system never anticipated the collision.Ē
Some people will only consider you an expert if they agree with your point of view or advice,  when you give them advice they don't like they consider you an idiot

peteo48

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #37 on: March 21, 2018, 10:55:52 AM »
This point about having to suddenly take over is a good one. If you are chilled out are you in the right state of mind to suddenly leap into action? I presume that's why the auto-pilot feature on Teslas requires you to touch the steering wheel from time to time.

This halfway house scenario is what concerns me in terms of reaction times when intervention is needed. The ability of humans to cope with this "emergency back stop" role is an area worthy of as much research as the technology itself. One likes to think this is being tested.

auntyneddy

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2018, 11:19:01 AM »
[reference to deleted post removed by Admin]

Now, Culzean speaks of Girls using their phones and not paying attention. We have Facebook acting like big brother. People wandering the streets with a piece of plastic glued to their ears and feel dispossessed if they are stopped from using it. In Japan at pedestrian crossings special measures are in place to attract the phone users attention to stop their aimless wandering. Emails while supposedly working. Now we have autonomous vehicles looming large. Whilst they might be viable in the USA our road infrastructure is completely inadequate. Too many junctions and local authorities unable or incapable of keeping information up to date. e.g the A30 was shut due to snow. I wanted to make a trip so I logged on and the news was still from the previous evening. Road works that have been completed days ago. still posted as active. Nissan boss stated that at the end of the day, the human brain was still required to sort out that which artificial intelligence couldn't do. Progress can't be stopped BUT lets get Homo Sapien to engage their brain before engaging in the unknown.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2018, 07:24:46 PM by RichardA »

sparky Paul

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2018, 11:21:42 AM »
This point about having to suddenly take over is a good one. If you are chilled out are you in the right state of mind to suddenly leap into action? I presume that's why the auto-pilot feature on Teslas requires you to touch the steering wheel from time to time.

This halfway house scenario is what concerns me in terms of reaction times when intervention is needed. The ability of humans to cope with this "emergency back stop" role is an area worthy of as much research as the technology itself. One likes to think this is being tested.

I think this arrangement can only ever be regarded as an interim measure while development of the technology takes place. Drivers with this sort of technology in their cars permanently would inevitably become complacent. Until full autonomy become viable, and we are still a long way from that, some driver intervention has to be necessary.

ColinB

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #40 on: March 21, 2018, 10:54:53 PM »
Hereís a couple of interesting links about the fatal accident in the US, describing the kind of issues the carís systems will have been dealing with. Of course there are no conclusions at this stage (one of the reports suggests the NTSB report may take up to a year), but the tone seems more thoughtful and considered than the initial ďThe pedestrian is to blame !Ē speculation.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimmcpherson/2018/03/20/uber-autonomous-crash-death/#6388b2947fbe

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-21/for-self-driving-cars-seeing-everything-isn-t-always-enough


culzean

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #41 on: March 22, 2018, 11:43:18 AM »
Here’s a couple of interesting links about the fatal accident in the US, describing the kind of issues the car’s systems will have been dealing with. Of course there are no conclusions at this stage (one of the reports suggests the NTSB report may take up to a year), but the tone seems more thoughtful and considered than the initial “The pedestrian is to blame !” speculation.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jimmcpherson/2018/03/20/uber-autonomous-crash-death/#6388b2947fbe

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-21/for-self-driving-cars-seeing-everything-isn-t-always-enough

Yep,  confirms what I have always thought about letting free roaming vehicles on our roads,  computers have trouble understanding the world the way humans do and have special problems with interpreting 'visual clues' (which is why captcha 'I am not a robot' uses pictures that humans can understand easily but computers cannot, they will also use strangely shaped letters and numbers to fool computers, once again humans have no problem interpreting them).  The fact that the vehicle showed no sign of swerving or braking is frightening,  also the fact that they are testing these vehicles in the best conditions of dry weather in places like Arizona is telling. 

I have worked with robotics and automated systems for a great part of my life and although they seem marvellous at repetitive tasks with some clever bits thrown in they are still a long way behind a human in interpreting the world.  If only we could get humans to pay attention and obey the rules there would be no need for driverless vehicles,  but unfortunately there are just too many distractions and the punishments for bad driving are far too lenient IMHO.

I had a chuckle when one article I read stated 'the vehicles sensors can tell the difference between life forms'  (sounds like something straight out of  Star Trek) and will hit a dog rather than a small child - looks like it can't even see a large object like a woman pushing a bicycle sideways on,  or maybe did detect it but thought is was a shadow.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 11:49:12 AM by culzean »
Some people will only consider you an expert if they agree with your point of view or advice,  when you give them advice they don't like they consider you an idiot

ColinS

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #42 on: March 22, 2018, 01:38:52 PM »
My view is that autonomy in vehicles should be limited to the lower of the published 1 to 5 levels.  We have all lived with automation, probably the simplest that we all except is self cancelling indicators.  But this in itself demonstrate the driver complacency issue.  Although infrequent, because the technology is good, we still see cars travelling on a straight road with their indicators going. Nothing is infallible.

Again most of us use cruise control, lane-keep assist etc. and I am comfortable with that.  But I still want to steer the car and slow down when I see a deer by the side of the road, or horses, cyclists etc.

IMHO we are still years of a computer being able to carry out the task of fully controlling a vehicle.  As was jus said:

If only we could get humans to pay attention and obey the rules there would be no need for driverless vehicles.

richardfrost

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #43 on: March 22, 2018, 02:08:15 PM »
Not having a home doesn't make you invisible.

Sadly, this is not really true in today's society. The homeless tend to be invisible to most of us. It is especially sad if they are now invisible to machine vision as well.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2018, 02:18:02 PM by richardfrost »

richardfrost

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #44 on: March 22, 2018, 02:17:23 PM »
So the pedestrian came out of the shadows and couldnít be avoided ? But isnít the hype about AVs supposed to be all about them being safer than human drivers ? I could believe a human would have had difficulty seeing someone in poor light, but surely the carís lidar sensors arenít affected by shadows, and arenít they supposed to be constantly scanning for hazards ?
The shadows could well have been cast by the LIDAR, not necessarily light shadows from the sun or street lighting.

One thing humans do really well, and without conscious thought, is predict that if a moving object passes behind a stationary object and becomes invisible, it is highly likely to emerge on the other side of the object moving in more or less the same direction and at a similar speed.

This particular problem has to be trained in to an AI system using machine vision. Target tracking systems in missile technology have to solve the same problem.

Understanding the world around us - trajectory, occlusion, momentum, acceleration, direction in three dimensions, inertia, gravity, friction, wind resistance and direction, human impulse - comes naturally to most of us, but not yet to a robot.

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