What could possibly go wrong?

pnwoutdoors

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A young mother driving a 90s Subaru Legacy saved a child's life ... Watch the dashcam speed readout and tell me how insanely quick her braking was!

I used to "bounce" as a kid, too. Never did that sort of thing, though.

Quick braking, absolutely. Thankfully, the speed on that road seemed to be in the ~25mph (40kph) range. Kid would have been "toast," had the speed been much higher.

Had a similar situation, myself, ~45yrs ago. A ball came bouncing into the roadway, at a spot along a ~40mph zone with cars parked along the right-hand side of the roadway just as in that video. A moment later, a ~4yr old kid came rushing out behind the ball. I'd slammed on the brakes the moment I saw the ball ... and the kid's head didn't quite get to the point of striking the hood of the car. Lucky little guy. He almost tossed his life, that day.


Can't imagine any system being capable of taking care of such situations, no matter how rapid-reacting or "automated." About the only way to cure that sort of impediment-on-vehicle situation is to erase all impediments from such roadways. Can't really do it in residential areas. Will almost certainly be able to do it in custom-designed and -blocked-off highways, tunnels, etc. Even then, you never know. Like humans, "critters" can be inventive and quick.
 

yearnslow

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I didn't say I like the idea -- but something will have to be done.

The alternative is to have people who want to work but can't find jobs living in vans down by the river, if they're lucky.

It's not as if all jobs are going to be eliminated. There will still be plenty of people working, and of course corporations are supposed to pay taxes.
As far as I'm aware, in the UK, there are various corporations that don't pay tax, or if they do, at a much reduced rate, simply because the Government doesn't want them to go elsewhere.
I'd be interested in finding out how much Raytheon or Lockheed Martin paid in taxes last year?
 

bykfixer

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alpg88

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If anything automatic braking sys in my passport is counterproductive, I have no idea if it would even sense a person, but those few times it did kick in, it put me in more danger, few times i had to swerve to avoid hitting a car in front, but the system hit the brakes and would not release them until the car almost stopped, on the highway!!! On curved roads with no divider it thinks oncoming cars, are cars in front of me traveling in the same direction, the radar sees distance rapidly shrinking and hits the brakes. several times i almost got rear-ended because of the system., Good thing I can shut off the radar brakes, but it puts them on again every time I restart the car.
 

Monocrom

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If anything automatic braking sys in my passport is counterproductive, I have no idea is it would even sense a person, but those few times it did kick in, it put me in more danger, few times i had to swerve to avoid hitting a car in front, but the system hit the brakes and would not release them until the car almost stopped, on the highway!!! On curved roads with no divider is thinks oncoming cars, are cars in front of me traveling in the same direction, the radar sees distance rapidly shrinking and hits the brakes. several times i almost got rear-ended because of the system., Good thing I can shut off the radar brakes, but it puts them on again every time I restart the car.
This is why I hate advanced driver aids. I just need anti-lock brakes. Okay, a couple of them are very useful. Such as traction control, and stability control. Everything else, I'm switching them off, or intentionally buying a less expensive car that doesn't have them.
 

alpg88

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Unfortunately those systems become standard more and more with no delete option, honda instals it on all cars regardless of trim, they call it honda sensing, other brands have same systems, my friend got a Hyundai santa fe, base model he has same thing, but you are right, some of the features are not bad, like line keep assist, if road making are clear it steers itself in the center of the lane, to a degree, it wont do sharp turns, but wide turns and starlight lines it does pretty well.
 

orbital

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This is why I hate advanced driver aids. I just need anti-lock brakes. Okay, a couple of them are very useful. Such as traction control, and stability control. Everything else, I'm switching them off, or intentionally buying a less expensive car that doesn't have them.
+

Bought my Santa Fe Sport eight years ago now, remember talking to the salesman about how I didn't want all the driver assist crap on cars,,
he said "well it's included in the price"
There are some people who would say OK,, not me, I just get a headache wanting to explain a few things to him.

Bought the base model & like the vehicle alot.
 

alpg88

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These days most cars have those drivers aid systems, some brands like honda have it on every model, all trims, no way to opt out. they also regularly send their server info, so they know how fast you drove, how many miles you drove, info from data recorder, your phone book contacts, recent calls, text messages... etc. and if you install your insurance company app on your phone, your insurer will know that info too, it is good and bad, they constantly track you and sell your info, but you no longer worry about odometer rollback, when you buy used.
 
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TPA

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I really don't see the point of autonomous driving if you still have to be alert to take over if the car makes a mistake. If I'm driving I am fully alert and my reaction times are in fractions of a second. If the car is driving that reaction time is necessarily increased or multiplied by the "what the heck is the car doing" factor and the need to get hands and feet in the right position. If it hits a child for example you may be too late to make any difference and legally it's still your fault.

The car can react faster and see more than you. Can, not always. I have three distinct moments with the 2 autonomous cars I've had:

The first was me stopped at a red light, with a van in front of me. Car was a light hybrid, so the engine had shut off. We were stopped for at least 10-15 seconds and were just talking. Suddenly the engine roared to life and the car automatically, rapidly, moved into the turn lane. The car behind us wasn't stopping and ran into the van.

Second time was similar, on the highway when traffic is rapidly coming to a stop, as was I. I actually was manually driving in heavy traffic, but in this system the driver is just an input in the logic. I remember the car making two loud beeps with a large ⚠️ on the dash and the car took over. A split second later I heard tires screeching behind me and pulled my hands off the wheel and brought them to my chest and braced for impact...but there wasn't one. I did hear loud scraping outside the car. When I looked up, the car was stopped and there was a smoking pickup truck next to me. The driver was too busy playing on their phone.. my car sensed they weren't stopping, so it took over, and in the process it apparently strobes the tail lights at 150% brightness much like a police car. That got the driver's attention and he swerved, avoiding me, but he scraped the entire side of his truck on the wall. He even said that if my car hadn't strobed the lights, he would have plowed right into me at 60+ mph.

Third was a different situation. Some old fart completely blew through a stop sign and went across a 6-lane divided highway, right in front of me. I couldn't see the car because of other cars blocking it...but my car did. It slammed on the brakes and swerved away, avoiding the accident.

These systems, when well-equipped (multiple, multi-band sensors...not the single sensor Tesla tries to use), and well-tuned, are capable of preventing or at least minimizing accident impacts. They can't prevent 100% of them. Case in point: I was driving a prototype last month and a bus in front of me kicked up a 3'x3' piece of plywood way up into the air. I could see it, but the car didn't. I slammed on the brakes but still ended up whacking the front bumper of the car with it. At least it didn't go through the windshield or glass roof. We pulled the logs and the car never detected it. Likewise, these cars don't react to potholes...yet.

Anyone remember the buzz about "vehicle-to-vehicle communications?" In addition to the car's own sensors, they were supposed to be able to communicate with each other to help avoid accidents. The FCC even set aside some radio frequencies for this. But unless I'm missing something. that idea has fallen by the wayside in favor of trusting the cars to make their own decisions autonomously. And we're seeing how well this is working out. :rolleyes:

My car actually has this...but I've never seen it actually communicate with another car. Then again, most of the time I have an Android PC running things over the top of the factory systems. Bosch still has it available, but I don't know if any manufacturers are still using it.

Can't imagine any system being capable of taking care of such situations, no matter how rapid-reacting or "automated." About the only way to cure that sort of impediment-on-vehicle situation is to erase all impediments from such roadways. Can't really do it in residential areas. Will almost certainly be able to do it in custom-designed and -blocked-off highways, tunnels, etc. Even then, you never know. Like humans, "critters" can be inventive and quick.
They can... remember, if these systems are properly tuned, they know the distance between you and the object/kid/critter. They know the current speed, know the current level of traction, even wind loads, and calculate what stopping distance is needed. If need be, they can swerve as well. It's much like piloting a modern Airbus -- unless there's a system malfunction (see QF32), the aircraft really does know better than you most of the time. I treat mine as a second set of eyes. Within the first hour of picking up my current car, I found myself behind a driver with NO brake lights whatsoever. They were installed but never worked. The car picked up on their car slowing down before I did.


If anything automatic braking sys in my passport is counterproductive, I have no idea if it would even sense a person, but those few times it did kick in, it put me in more danger, few times i had to swerve to avoid hitting a car in front, but the system hit the brakes and would not release them until the car almost stopped, on the highway!!! On curved roads with no divider it thinks oncoming cars, are cars in front of me traveling in the same direction, the radar sees distance rapidly shrinking and hits the brakes. several times i almost got rear-ended because of the system., Good thing I can shut off the radar brakes, but it puts them on again every time I restart the car.
The quality of the various "assist" systems varies widely, even within the same model year of the same manufacturer. One of the worst I ever saw was the last model year of the VW Passat. During multiple test drives, the automatic systems would just give up with no warning, just a beep and it was expecting you to take over immediately, sometimes putting you in bad position. Mazda's is much better and agreeable but still uses a very simplistic algorithm when controlling the brakes.

Bosch Telematics gets my vote. Some pretty neat algorithms in there. I'm a fan of the tailgater algorithm -- The car basically draws a box between you and the cars around you.. It knows how much distance you need to stop to zero with the current conditions. It then takes that distance, adds a multiplier, and assumes that's what the vehicle behind you (it differentiates between car and truck) needs to stop. If it senses that if the car in front of you comes to an abrupt stop, and you won't be able to stop without the car behind you hitting you, it will automatically start to slow down to increase the amount of distance available to stop. We've had countless hours of fun watching tailgaters trigger the algorithm and watch them "argue" with the car. They get too close and the car gradually slows down.

The Mrs. and I have adopted this into our own manual driving, and it actually saved my life one night. She was driving, I was in the passenger seat, in her car. Some asshat was riding hers despite her being in the right lane. She was getting upset about it so I told her to just take her foot off the gas. It took some convincing, but she did, and Mr. Asshat angrily passed us and got in front of us. Two lights later was a red light, and he was the first car, we were the second. Light turns green, he goes and gets T-boned with the other car driving about 50mph. Rolled him multiple times before his vehicle landed against a business sign. That would have been us if we hadn't forced the guy to go around us.
 

blinkjr

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I didn't say I like the idea -- but something will have to be done.

The alternative is to have people who want to work but can't find jobs living in vans down by the river, if they're lucky.

It's not as if all jobs are going to be eliminated. There will still be plenty of people working, and of course corporations are supposed to pay taxes.
No - corporations don't "pay" taxes. They are merely a conduit from the consumer who purchased their product, the cost of which contained the amount of $$$ needed to "pay" the taxes, to the government.
 

alpg88

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I do not know a single person who wanted to work and could not find job, but i know plenty of people who do not want to work, and make excuses that they can not find job, in some rare cases that they do, they get fired within a month or even faster.
I see many advocating for UBI, but no one advocates for UBJ, there are plenty of things to do for people with no skill, picking garbage on the side of highways, every city got tons of trash on streets.. i'm sure there are lots of things that can be found. UBI is like bail reform, one promotes laziness, other criminal behaviour. both come from the same mindnset,
 

Toulouse42

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I do not know a single person who wanted to work and could not find job, but i know plenty of people who do not want to work, and make excuses that they can not find job, in some rare cases that they do, they get fired within a month or even faster.
I see many advocating for UBI, but no one advocates for UBJ, there are plenty of things to do for people with no skill, picking garbage on the side of highways, every city got tons of trash on streets.. i'm sure there are lots of things that can be found. UBI is like bail reform, one promotes laziness, other criminal behaviour. both come from the same mindnset,
I had to think for a moment there as to what UBJ was. Got it thanks.

In Britain the welfare state was introduced after the war (1947 I think). The original idea was that "we will pay you a wage whilst you find a new job". That was our big mistake. We should have said that "we will find you paid work to do whilst you look for a new job". Unfortunately over the decades the amount paid on benefits has gone up and the country has gotten dirtier. Unemployment amongst some has become a lifestyle choice. Governments have been more interested in hiding the stats than in fixing anything. People are now categorised as so many things other than "unemployed", and yet only the stats for "unemployed" are ever quoted. This in not unique to Britain. None of this can be right. It is certainly not sustainable. The mindset of 1947 would not have abused the system. That mindset died with the wartime generation.
 

pnwoutdoors

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The car can react faster and see more than you. Can, not always ... if these systems are properly tuned, ...

Exactly the point.

Some situations in some of the cases, a car can make such judgments. But, to my way of thinking, the scores of situations that have been in the news the past ~5yrs or so show that "the tech" (tuning, whatever) still has a way to go before it'll be capable of handing ALL of the lunacies we see around us on a weekly (even daily) basis. Mindless pedestrians, drivers, wildlife are simply unpredictable when they're allowed to mix with other moving vehicles that can themselves be unpredictable. And you can't honestly have an autonomous vehicle in mixed-mode, mixed-occupant, mix-conditions scenarios until all of those things are solved.

I'm all for the changes. When ready, though. On some roads. For some features. NOT for this fully-autonomous concept some are floating, and (sadly) some towns/cities are allowing. It's still in beta test, in a general sense. Though narrow-scope, specific tech capabilities have their place and can absolutely help, this "fully-autonomous" thing isn't yet ready.

That said, we'll get there. Eventually. Cars will all have the features. And on certain roadways where it's utterly safe for all vehicles to behave autonomously, those features will engage ... to the point it'll all but certainly be safer and more-predictable. But we're a long way from having all situations on all roads that'll justify fully-autonomous vehicles. Much needs to change (with road capabilities, erasure of non-vehicular occupants of roads, vehicle sensors/abilities engaged on all vehicles) before one can justifiably say it's safe to the point of being fully-autonomous.

JMO
 
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Toulouse42

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I accept that TPA has much more experience than I with autonomous cars. I have almost none. My car has "Driver assist" which means that it brakes at all sorts of times. It can't tell the difference between a car and the hedge on my parking area. It's not adjustable in the slightest. It also has "lane assist" which means that in the small island I live in with many narrow roads, it will jerk the wheel violently and unexpectedly. All of this is dangerous and I always turn it off.

We will probably get there in time, and driving for pleasure will become a thing of the past.

One serious question for you all though. When / if your autonomous car kills someone, where will the legal responsibility lie? TPA made it very clear that some tech is better than others. Does it lie with the city that allowed the experiment or does it lie with the company that sells the tech?

Using TPA's example, if my (autonomous) VW Passat kills someone, my defense as the owner is that the tech was at fault. What is my answer to the question "well then Mr Toulouse, why did you buy a car with that inferior tech". I'm an accountant, not an engineer, so I'm not an expert on this.
 

orbital

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+

Even if there's absolutely clear federal laws not allowing companies to use the defense of
computer glitch, finger pointing, software update error, logarithm communication issue, or AI learning psychosis.

// Executives will already have paid themselves VERY well and will hide behind Chapter 11,
if there's a Class Action against them.

The multitude of factors, in any given situation, makes self driving cars unrealistic and dangerous.
 
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Monocrom

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I'm going to be in the market for a new car in a couple of years. I refuse to buy any vehicle where I can't turn off most of those so-called Safety Aids. I don't eat or drink in my car, period! So obviously don't do so when driving. I have a Smartphone and pay a monthly fee because it's not as though I can simply walk to the nearest pay-phone and put in a quarter if I really need to contact someone. So, I don't play with it while driving like some 14 year-old little girl. If it rains heavily, I take side roads to work. That increases my commute significantly. Not as though my car can't handle the expressway in the rain. I just don't want to deal with the massive amount of road glare at night from the combination of rain and overhead lights.

I'm a very safe driver. I don't need my car to think for itself. Sure as hell don't want it thinking it knows better than I do, at any given moment. Changing lanes for me? Braking suddenly? Hell no! I get it, for some those aids are a benefit. I don't need them, don't want them.
 
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