Author Topic: Autonomous vehicles.  (Read 1754 times)

Jocko

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #60 on: April 17, 2018, 03:53:49 PM »
Interesting series of reports (as is the government's "The Pathway To Driverless Cars"). Handover on HAVs (Highly Autonomous Vehicles) will always be an issue, and as the reports prove, having control handed back to you always takes a finite time to gather ones thoughts. And that is after a few minutes. Imagine having driven for 4 hours then suddenly getting control passed back!
A driving licence will always be required for these vehicles (as will a sober driver), since you will have the need to drive at some stage.
Once Fully Autonomous Vehicles come on the scene (Level 4 and 5), which will have no means of handing over to a driver, then licencing arrangements will change and minors and partially sighted will be catered for. This is the aim of all the concept cars being produced by the major manufacturers, with no driving controls and lounge style seating.
Still a long way from the government allowing them on the road though.

Jocko

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #61 on: April 17, 2018, 03:59:43 PM »
Saw this today, purely by chance. Makes interesting reading.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-43752226

ColinB

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #62 on: April 17, 2018, 06:11:33 PM »
Once Fully Autonomous Vehicles come on the scene (Level 4 and 5), which will have no means of handing over to a driver, then licencing arrangements will change and minors and partially sighted will be catered for. This is the aim of all the concept cars being produced by the major manufacturers, with no driving controls and lounge style seating.

Hmmm, that wasn't my reading of the AXA report. From Page 23, Chapter 4, "Driver Competence":
"Drivers could become complacent and over-reliant on technology as they get used to driving in autonomous mode, creating the problem of ‘de-skilling’, particularly in terms of a reduction in ‘situational awareness’. Given that a driver may need to take back control of the vehicle, even with a fully autonomous vehicle [my emphasis], this could be problematic.".

That seems to suggest that the lawyers and insurers (noting that they are by nature both influential and conservative) think that some of the wilder flights of fancy from manufacturers are unlikely to actually appear on the roads in the foreseeable future if they have no means of a driver taking control.

Jocko

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #63 on: April 17, 2018, 07:27:20 PM »
I agree entirely with your reading of the report. That is the current thinking. Fully autonomous vehicles may even be covered by a manufacturers insurance. After all, if there is no way to take over you are only a passenger, just as you are with Stagecoach and the like at present.
But as you so rightly say, not "in the foreseeable future".

richardfrost

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #64 on: April 18, 2018, 09:00:10 AM »
How is a human driver supposed to be more able than a computer to drive a car in a tricky situation, if that human driver has not...

a) built up many years of driving skills themselves?
b) the immediate situational awareness of the computer, if they have not been required to be paying attention for the last x miles?

I think a fully autonomous AV needs to be exactly that. If it cannot be fully autonomous, then it will always be some form of driver assist, and therefore there needs to be a driver.

Jocko

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #65 on: April 18, 2018, 09:41:19 AM »
How is a human driver supposed to be more able than a computer to drive a car in a tricky situation
I don't think they are envisioning a tricky situation. It is more a case of a situation the car is not designed to accommodate. After all, the Venturer trial found it took about 2-3 seconds for a driver to competently take charge of the vehicle. Not much use as you slide on black ice or plough towards a group of nuns on a zebra crossing!
The reports call systems that require a back up driver, Advanced Driver Assist and not Fully Autonomous, and the government's "The Pathway To Driverless Cars" differentiates between Highly Autonomous Vehicles (driver required) and Fully Autonomous Vehicles (where no driver is required).

auntyneddy

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #66 on: April 18, 2018, 12:28:11 PM »
Being a fully paid up  Luddite, one matter that comes to mind that I can find no reference too, is reaction time.
How long before a computer/sensor malfunctions in one of these vehicles does it inform the 'caretaker'? Or when the 'caretaker' realises there is a problem.
Given the reaction times for braking it begs the question would the 'caretaker' have enough time in which to rectify the problem or take control?
Even at low speed reaction time is still a long time when something is malfunctioning.

sparky Paul

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #67 on: April 18, 2018, 03:48:19 PM »
Not much use as you slide on black ice or plough towards a group of nuns on a zebra crossing!

Even a human pair of eyeballs will struggle to see those!  ;D

ColinB

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #68 on: April 18, 2018, 04:03:27 PM »
I think a fully autonomous AV needs to be exactly that. If it cannot be fully autonomous, then it will always be some form of driver assist, and therefore there needs to be a driver.
... the government's "The Pathway To Driverless Cars" differentiates between Highly Autonomous Vehicles (driver required) and Fully Autonomous Vehicles (where no driver is required).

I thought the definition of "Fully Autonomous" meant a driver is not required in normal operation. But does even a "Fully Autonomous" car need an alert driver capable of taking over in fault or unexpected conditions ? That does seem to be the suggestion in the Venturer report. If "Fully Autonomous" means the car must be capable of managing all unexpected or fault conditions (including system failures) without intervention, we are a very very long way from that and it may not be achievable. All systems built by man will have a failure rate, no matter how small they are, the best that can be expected is that the engineers can get the failure rate (aka fatality rate) for AVs below that for human drivers. But that's still going to involve people being killed by robot cars, which tends to make Joe Public sit up and pay attention.

On the subject of handover from computer to human when the computer decides it can't cope, there's an interesting example from the world of civil aviation. Flying commercial aeroplanes is highly regulated, highly automated, and the pilots have to pass all kinds of competency tests. But yet the pilots of Air France 447 made a mess of it when the computer handed control back to them because of unreliable data, and they managed to stall the thing all the way down into the Atlantic Ocean. If that kind of highly trained team can get it so horribly wrong, what chance does Mrs Bloggs texting in her AV whilst on the school run have when the computer says "No" ?

Jocko

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Re: Autonomous vehicles.
« Reply #69 on: April 18, 2018, 04:25:34 PM »
From what I have read a Fully Autonomous Vehicle will be required to come to a safe stop if it cannot cope. That may mean it must have a secondary system that takes over if the main system fails. FAVs are currently operating on closed sites at the moment. It is trusting them out in the real world that is the issue.

From the government's "The Pathway To Driverless Cars":

Fully automated vehicle
2.8 This means a vehicle in which a driver is not necessary. The vehicle is designed to be capable of safely completing journeys without the need for a driver in all traffic, road and weather conditions that can be managed by a competent human driver.

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