Author Topic: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars  (Read 12904 times)

seattlecyclone

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #100 on: January 08, 2018, 03:41:08 PM »
Such lockers are a product that exists today. Some people on my neighborhood Nextdoor site have purchased them in order to protect themselves from package thieves. They seemed pretty expensive to me (at least $500), but I guess if you regularly get expensive things delivered in a high-theft area it could eventually pay for itself.
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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #101 on: January 09, 2018, 07:18:41 PM »
Getting back on topic:

My thoughts when it comes to self driving cars;

How are they going to handle snow?  Sure most will have winter tires, at least in this neck of the wood, but I find you need the right touch now and then in bad conditions.  I'm sure the self driving car will recognize it's snowing and/or the roads are slippery, but does that mean it's going to slow down to half the speed limit?  Will the self driving car be too "confident" and zip along at normal speed, and hit that patch of black ice and end up in the ditch?  Either way, overall better than human drivers I guess.

Very random and low frequency situation:  What if you're in an active shooter situation as your car is slowly navigating a parking lot, and you just happen to be heading at the shooter at low speed?  I guess you just duck and hope for the best?  I highly doubt there is going to be a "Warp factor 10 Mr Sulu!" button to get out of nasty situations.  Similar scenario, what if you are approaching a 4 way stop and it appears the guy behind you isn't going to stop, and is going to rear end you?  If you had control, you could slow down to 20 KM/h and proceed if no other cars are present, would the self driving car do the same?

maizeman

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #102 on: January 09, 2018, 08:03:58 PM »
Similar scenario, what if you are approaching a 4 way stop and it appears the guy behind you isn't going to stop, and is going to rear end you?  If you had control, you could slow down to 20 KM/h and proceed if no other cars are present, would the self driving car do the same?

From a preserving your own life perspective, getting rear ended is generally going to be a lot more survivable than getting a broad side/t-bone collision while running a 4-way stop because you didn't see the other car, and they saw you but expected you to obey the traffic signal.

I would imagine self driving cars are indeed going to be trained to prefer accepting low risk of fatality crashes to running modest risks of fatal car crashes.

That's also the argument that drives replacing stop lighted intersections with traffic circles (roundabouts). Total accidents go up significantly, but fatalities go down.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #103 on: January 10, 2018, 12:37:38 PM »
An automated package delivery car doesn't look like a truck with all parcels on one heap. It looks like lockers with small and large doors, with deliveries to one person behind each door. Only one door opens when you approach the truck.

I'm also not saying the delivery guys go away. I'm saying that you will be able to pick standard automatic delivery and premium delivery to your door. At least in Germany the majority would rather save money than pay for premium delivery. So yes, elderly and disabled will have to pay more.

The car wouldn't wait a long time. It's working with your phone. You get advance notice to be ready just in time when your parcels are delivered. If you don't move, the truck doesn't even stop for you.

It also really depends on what kind of surrounding you have. Houses here have no lobby that you could safely deliver packages to and most houses have less than 20 parties. If you are talking about skyscrapers with a hundred, or more apartments, the economy changes completely.

Leaving stuff unguarded is reality here... your package get delivered to your backyard or some safe deposit place. Delivery services ask for permission, either permanently or for just one delivery. The most expensive part of deliver (aside from gas, tear and wear) is spending time and not delivering.

I wonder how long until new houses are built with a little closet on the front porch with a locking door to accept packages? Maybe the UPS/FedEX/USPS computer the delivery folks carry would unlock it wirelessly.

I am allowed to have things delivered to work but always worry about the appearance factor: I accept packages for my employer's projects all the time. If I accept personal packages and then move them to my personal vehicle then it sort of looks bad.

I just have them sent directly home and run home at lunch to move them inside if they are especially valuable (a rare thing). In the past if the package was valuable the delivery person will leave a ticket and I have to drive to the depot to pick it up in person and I'm fine with that (like when I ordered a computer).

Most people go to their mailbox every day.  Having a box for an automated vehicle to put packages into wouldn't really be much different. 

Just Joe

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #104 on: January 11, 2018, 09:12:24 AM »
Getting back on topic:

My thoughts when it comes to self driving cars;

How are they going to handle snow?  Sure most will have winter tires, at least in this neck of the wood, but I find you need the right touch now and then in bad conditions.  I'm sure the self driving car will recognize it's snowing and/or the roads are slippery, but does that mean it's going to slow down to half the speed limit?  Will the self driving car be too "confident" and zip along at normal speed, and hit that patch of black ice and end up in the ditch?  Either way, overall better than human drivers I guess.

Very random and low frequency situation:  What if you're in an active shooter situation as your car is slowly navigating a parking lot, and you just happen to be heading at the shooter at low speed?  I guess you just duck and hope for the best?  I highly doubt there is going to be a "Warp factor 10 Mr Sulu!" button to get out of nasty situations.  Similar scenario, what if you are approaching a 4 way stop and it appears the guy behind you isn't going to stop, and is going to rear end you?  If you had control, you could slow down to 20 KM/h and proceed if no other cars are present, would the self driving car do the same?

Perhaps they will detect slippery conditions and simply say "You drive". All good reasons for the owner to maintain the skills to drive, keep the driver's controls and instruments for the foreseeable future. None of these Google cars where there is only a red emergency button for me.

I work on enough computers to see the many ways they fail. I read last night how an engineering firm was cycle testing battery packs for EVs. Computer got stuck (typical Windows fashion), overcharged the batteries, and caused a fire. Nobody was hurt though apparently it burned up an expensive battery pack. 

gooki

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #105 on: January 11, 2018, 01:23:08 PM »
None of these scenarios are insurmountable.

How are they going to handle snow?  Sure most will have winter tires, at least in this neck of the wood, but I find you need the right touch now and then in bad conditions.  I'm sure the self driving car will recognize it's snowing and/or the roads are slippery, but does that mean it's going to slow down to half the speed limit?  Will the self driving car be too "confident" and zip along at normal speed, and hit that patch of black ice and end up in the ditch?  Either way, overall better than human drivers I guess.

Electronic stability control on high end cars is currently better in maintaining traction on snow/icy roads than the majority of drivers. Combine this with a sensible AI and I'm sure it'd be better than 95% of drivers in snowy conditions.

Very random and low frequency situation:  What if you're in an active shooter situation as your car is slowly navigating a parking lot, and you just happen to be heading at the shooter at low speed?  I guess you just duck and hope for the best?  I highly doubt there is going to be a "Warp factor 10 Mr Sulu!" button to get out of nasty situations. 

The autonomous cars are always connected. As soon as the shooting has been reported, they'll know about it. If your destination is within say 3 miles of the reported incident, the car will inform you and ask for an alternative destination.

If the incident has not yet been reported, the on-board cameras and microphones can likely detect an armed civilian, and will automatically move out of the area to a safe distance, and will call in the incident at the same time.

If the incident has not yet been reported and the car doesn't detect it but you do, you can either hit a panic button or tell the car with your voice it's an emergency, it will then move out of the area to a safe distance, and will connect you to 911.

Similar scenario, what if you are approaching a 4 way stop and it appears the guy behind you isn't going to stop, and is going to rear end you?  If you had control, you could slow down to 20 KM/h and proceed if no other cars are present, would the self driving car do the same?

The autonomous car will be aware of surrounding vehicles. It'll take controlled measures to minimize impact. This could be applying the breaks to ensure you don't get shunted into intersection traffic, change lane, or pull over. Pre arm air bags ready for instant deployment. etc.

Eventually the non autonomous vehicles will be banned, and this issue won't arise.

There will be some teething issues, but they'll get sorted pretty quickly thanks in-house simulators (that enable manufacturers to recreate incidents and run to millions of variables for the AI to find the best outcomes, this already exists today). Once resolved satisfactory the updates will roll out to all the autonomous vehicles thanks to being always connected cars.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2018, 01:24:41 PM by gooki »
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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #106 on: January 11, 2018, 02:30:51 PM »
Did anyone see the mind field (Vsauce) episode where they tested the trolley experiment in real life? The question was what to program a self driving car to do if it had to chose between hitting one pedestrian vs 5. Almost all people said they would consciously chose to hit the 1 ped rather than 5, but reality was much different. It was an interesting episode, recommended, and it is free without subscribing.

FINate

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #107 on: January 11, 2018, 05:59:44 PM »
I work on enough computers to see the many ways they fail. I read last night how an engineering firm was cycle testing battery packs for EVs. Computer got stuck (typical Windows fashion), overcharged the batteries, and caused a fire. Nobody was hurt though apparently it burned up an expensive battery pack.

How many battery packs have burned with humans at the controls vs. computers? My bet is that computer operators have a much better record because humans get fatigued, bored, distracted, etc. Actually, I doubt there are any instances of human operators to compare against...humans would do a terrible job controlling charging. Similarly, computers will be much better drivers than humans, especially humans who think they can do better (mostly likely due to their opinion that the computer is driving too slowly when in fact it's driving the correct speed for the conditions).

AlanStache

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #108 on: January 11, 2018, 06:15:52 PM »
I work on enough computers to see the many ways they fail. I read last night how an engineering firm was cycle testing battery packs for EVs. Computer got stuck (typical Windows fashion), overcharged the batteries, and caused a fire. Nobody was hurt though apparently it burned up an expensive battery pack.

How many battery packs have burned with humans at the controls vs. computers? My bet is that computer operators have a much better record because humans get fatigued, bored, distracted, etc. Actually, I doubt there are any instances of human operators to compare against...humans would do a terrible job controlling charging. Similarly, computers will be much better drivers than humans, especially humans who think they can do better (mostly likely due to their opinion that the computer is driving too slowly when in fact it's driving the correct speed for the conditions).

There is also the difference between released systems utilized by the public, debuging engineering systems.
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jmecklenborg

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #109 on: January 11, 2018, 07:59:28 PM »
I am skeptical of the whole concept because the only way for self-driving to work is for there to be absolutely no way for a passenger to physically control the car.  Otherwise they will repeatedly click in and click out of driverless mode the moment they get impatient with the automated characteristics of the car.  So waiting at every stop sign and red light.  Behaving politely in traffic.  Not cutting across a parking lot. 

But the dilemma is that riding at 65mph in a vehicle with no physical controls will be terrifying.  We have yet to see ordinary people accept riding in a vehicle with no physical controls because one has yet to be built yet.  Every "driverless" car to date has a steering wheel, pedals, and a driver ready to take over the second that traffic gets annoying. 

Someone mentioned driverless city buses/rail -- there are already various driverless rail systems around the world like the Vancouver Sky Train.  But the prospect of driverless city buses would create competition which driverless taxis could not compete with.  A bus with just a handful of passengers could be profitable, meaning bus companies could run a bus every 2 minutes even on obscure routes. 

The way to save the most energy possible would be a new network of driverless trams/streetcars in cities.  They could come along every two minutes but would use a lot less energy than buses and the vehicles would last must longer, 30 years or more.  I think people would be more willing to ride a driverless streetcar than a bus and more would be willing to ride a bus on a city street at 35mph as opposed to a an uncontrollable car at 65mph. 

It doesn't matter if driverless taxis are electric -- they will still consume an outrageous amount of energy just by being manufactured.  This is the critical flaw of electric cars -- the thought that they are "green".  They aren't.  Traditional prewar building patterns were much greener than postwar low-density suburbs.  Making automobile travel cheaper doesn't encourage denser development. 

That said, if driverless cabs take the place of traditional cars, urban parking lots will be worthless, and inevitably will be filled with new homes, apartments, and offices.  So population and activity in walkable areas will increase. 
 


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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #110 on: January 12, 2018, 12:36:54 AM »
The idea of self-driving cars worries me.

I don't know how good AI is right now, but will it really be able to tell the difference between, say, a pedestrian loitering near the edge of the curb because they stopped to look at their phone, and one loitering because they're about to run out into the road? I'm not convinced.

And what jobs will all the people whose previous job was trucker/delivery driver/bus driver/taxi driver/etc get now?

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #111 on: January 12, 2018, 12:44:49 AM »
I don't know how good AI is right now, but will it really be able to tell the difference between, say, a pedestrian loitering near the edge of the curb because they stopped to look at their phone, and one loitering because they're about to run out into the road? I'm not convinced.

Not sure many humans can tell the difference. I know I usually can't.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #112 on: January 12, 2018, 01:08:21 AM »
I don't know how good AI is right now, but will it really be able to tell the difference between, say, a pedestrian loitering near the edge of the curb because they stopped to look at their phone, and one loitering because they're about to run out into the road? I'm not convinced.

Not sure many humans can tell the difference. I know I usually can't.

Fair enough. To be clear, I think the most likely programming won't be that they crash into pedestrians, but rather that they err on the side of caution and stop for ridiculous things, and people will end up yelling at their car, like, "That's not a pedestrian! That's a statue/tree/parking meter, you stupid vehicle!" Or that the car will slow down because a pedestrian was just walking along the pavement, in a clearly walking/jogging along the pavement trajectory.
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gooki

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #113 on: January 12, 2018, 03:26:23 AM »
But the dilemma is that riding at 65mph in a vehicle with no physical controls will be terrifying.  We have yet to see ordinary people accept riding in a vehicle with no physical controls because one has yet to be built yet.  Every "driverless" car to date has a steering wheel, pedals, and a driver ready to take over the second that traffic gets annoying. 

Correct, there will be no steering wheel in autonomous cars. Everyone is a passenger, which is why it's not terrifying. It's no different to being on a bus/train/plane. You'll be to busy doing your own thing you won't care what the AI "driver" is doing.
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gooki

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #114 on: January 12, 2018, 03:36:05 AM »
I don't know how good AI is right now, but will it really be able to tell the difference between, say, a pedestrian loitering near the edge of the curb because they stopped to look at their phone, and one loitering because they're about to run out into the road? I'm not convinced.

The more advanced self driving systems are already very good at this. And continue to get better and better the more real world and simulated miles they drive.

And what jobs will all the people whose previous job was trucker/delivery driver/bus driver/taxi driver/etc get now?

No fucking idea, but they won't be driving for a living. Many more related industries will see massive reductions in employment figures: auto mechanics, panel beaters, fork lift drivers etc.

This loss of jobs is the primary reason the transport minister in India is banning autonomous cars.
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jmecklenborg

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #115 on: January 12, 2018, 08:20:50 AM »


Correct, there will be no steering wheel in autonomous cars. Everyone is a passenger, which is why it's not terrifying. It's no different to being on a bus/train/plane. You'll be to busy doing your own thing you won't care what the AI "driver" is doing.


Yes it is different.  Buses and trains and airplanes all have drivers. 

Next time you're driving alone at high speed on an expressway, imagine you're in that car with no way to control it.  Put on cruise control and take your hands off the wheel and feet off the pedals.  Suddenly you're hyper-worried about every single movement by other cars and any irregularity in the road.  It's going to be scary as hell, and possibly the critical human flaw in the entire driverless scheme. 

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #116 on: January 12, 2018, 08:30:53 AM »


Correct, there will be no steering wheel in autonomous cars. Everyone is a passenger, which is why it's not terrifying. It's no different to being on a bus/train/plane. You'll be to busy doing your own thing you won't care what the AI "driver" is doing.


Yes it is different.  Buses and trains and airplanes all have drivers. 

Next time you're driving alone at high speed on an expressway, imagine you're in that car with no way to control it.  Put on cruise control and take your hands off the wheel and feet off the pedals.  Suddenly you're hyper-worried about every single movement by other cars and any irregularity in the road.  It's going to be scary as hell, and possibly the critical human flaw in the entire driverless scheme.

I also think it will be scary. No software is perfect and we will be combining millions of lines of code with vehicles that have thousands of parts. So much could go wrong.

Planes don't have to worry about hitting other planes - it is just empty sky - even if an engine dies the plane can still fly

Trains are on rails - the only train accidents we have are due to humans going too fast

Buses are huge and slow - if you are a passenger and your bus hits another vehicle you are going to be fine - they don't even have seatbelts

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #117 on: January 12, 2018, 08:55:02 AM »

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #118 on: January 12, 2018, 09:31:17 AM »

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #119 on: January 12, 2018, 09:42:02 AM »


Correct, there will be no steering wheel in autonomous cars. Everyone is a passenger, which is why it's not terrifying. It's no different to being on a bus/train/plane. You'll be to busy doing your own thing you won't care what the AI "driver" is doing.


Yes it is different.  Buses and trains and airplanes all have drivers. 

Next time you're driving alone at high speed on an expressway, imagine you're in that car with no way to control it.  Put on cruise control and take your hands off the wheel and feet off the pedals.  Suddenly you're hyper-worried about every single movement by other cars and any irregularity in the road.  It's going to be scary as hell, and possibly the critical human flaw in the entire driverless scheme.

I feel very different from you. I think it will be relaxing. Especially knowing that many of the other cars on the highway are also driven by computers, not human drivers checking their phones, rushing to get somewhere, yelling at their kid in the backseat, etc. There are so many accidents every year caused by human error. I'm not delusional enough to think I can outperform a computer.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #120 on: January 12, 2018, 09:49:17 AM »


Correct, there will be no steering wheel in autonomous cars. Everyone is a passenger, which is why it's not terrifying. It's no different to being on a bus/train/plane. You'll be to busy doing your own thing you won't care what the AI "driver" is doing.


Yes it is different.  Buses and trains and airplanes all have drivers. 

Next time you're driving alone at high speed on an expressway, imagine you're in that car with no way to control it.  Put on cruise control and take your hands off the wheel and feet off the pedals.  Suddenly you're hyper-worried about every single movement by other cars and any irregularity in the road.  It's going to be scary as hell, and possibly the critical human flaw in the entire driverless scheme.

I feel very different from you. I think it will be relaxing. Especially knowing that many of the other cars on the highway are also driven by computers, not human drivers checking their phones, rushing to get somewhere, yelling at their kid in the backseat, etc. There are so many accidents every year caused by human error. I'm not delusional enough to think I can outperform a computer.

^This. The cruise control thought experiment is a poor analogy, to say the least.
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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #121 on: January 12, 2018, 09:55:25 AM »
I don't know how good AI is right now, but will it really be able to tell the difference between, say, a pedestrian loitering near the edge of the curb because they stopped to look at their phone, and one loitering because they're about to run out into the road? I'm not convinced.

Not sure many humans can tell the difference. I know I usually can't.

Fair enough. To be clear, I think the most likely programming won't be that they crash into pedestrians, but rather that they err on the side of caution and stop for ridiculous things, and people will end up yelling at their car, like, "That's not a pedestrian! That's a statue/tree/parking meter, you stupid vehicle!" Or that the car will slow down because a pedestrian was just walking along the pavement, in a clearly walking/jogging along the pavement trajectory.

As someone else already mentioned, the AI/ML learning for this is already very good, and constantly improving. Pedestrians (and other drivers) frequently make ambiguous gestures and human drivers often misunderstand these. More often, however, drivers don't see or pay attention to what others are doing. [Nearly taken out by the dreaded "right hook" biking my kids to school today]. AVs are programmed with a bias to avoid false negatives, so they will be more cautious in cases where gestures are ambiguous - IMO this is very desirable, though I think we will see a period in the early adoption phase of people fucking around with AVs to see if they can get them to react...this will taper off as the novelty wanes.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #122 on: January 12, 2018, 12:19:01 PM »

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #123 on: January 12, 2018, 12:52:09 PM »
Don’t Worry, Petrolheads. Driverless Cars Are Still Years Away

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-09/toyota-to-hyundai-say-pump-brakes-on-hopes-of-robo-car-s-arrival

https://electrek.co/2018/01/12/gm-unveils-autonomous-bolt-ev-without-steering-wheel-pedal/

Quote
Today, GM unveiled the first image of its upcoming autonomous fourth-generation Bolt EV-based vehicle – the “first without a steering wheel or pedal.”

The automaker also says that it filed a petition asking the DOT permission to deploy the vehicle as soon as next year.

The move represents an accelerated self-driving timeline for the company, which could potentially leapfrog most other companies working on the technology since the most common timeline is a commercial launch in 2020-2022.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #124 on: January 13, 2018, 01:47:33 AM »
Don’t Worry, Petrolheads. Driverless Cars Are Still Years Away

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-09/toyota-to-hyundai-say-pump-brakes-on-hopes-of-robo-car-s-arrival

1-2 years for widespread public trials, and 4-5 years away from mass deployment.

You’ll be amazed at the different speeds different tech companies can move at. That article exclusively quotes the the second teir autonomous vehicle developers. Nothing from Waymo, or Tesla, or even GM who are the aggressive players in this space.

I feel some of them are happy to be conservative because their fall back is to licence Waymo’s tech if they can’t do it themselves.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 02:00:58 AM by gooki »
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gooki

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #125 on: January 13, 2018, 01:58:54 AM »
Yes it is different.  Buses and trains and airplanes all have drivers. 

Your autonomous car also has a driver, it’s just not human.

When you’re on a bus, you are not looking at the road ahead judging every decision the driver makes. The hurdle for some will be trusting the computer the same way you trust a human.

In the cruise control example you made. When you use it properly you trust the car to maintain its speed, you trust it to not randomly accelerate beyond the set limit. Because that is what it’s designed to do, and it does it well, probably better at maintaining the speed limit that you the human driver can.

We’re at the stage now that many drivers of new vehicles trust their cars to; maintain traction in adverse conditions, stay in the lane, decelerate when trailing traffic, parallel park, etc.

Autonomous vehicles is an extension of this trusting relationship.
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Christof

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #126 on: January 13, 2018, 11:48:39 AM »
Yes it is different.  Buses and trains and airplanes all have drivers.

Many trains are driverless and sometimes have been for decades already. Take a look at London which started in 1987 or Nuremberg in 2008.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #127 on: January 13, 2018, 05:49:36 PM »
Just wait until a software upgrade bricks your car...


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gooki

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #128 on: January 14, 2018, 02:54:41 AM »
It's not your car.
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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #129 on: January 14, 2018, 08:29:04 AM »
It'll still be a pretty big brick.
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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #130 on: January 14, 2018, 09:05:18 AM »
Technician will show up with a new control module. Out with old, in with new, good to go.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #131 on: January 15, 2018, 10:31:54 AM »
For all those people who think they'll be able to take over, here's a question; what makes you think cars will have steering wheels? For one, you can save manufacturing costs. Next, its safer to not have them impaling drivers in crashes, so even if there's an accident, you'll be far more likely to survive.

Here's another strange part, why are car seats forward facing if you aren't needed for driving? My infant is put into vehicles in rear facing seats because its safer. In the event of a crash, rear facing seats are more likely to reduce injury than forward facing. If we assume cars still have accidents, perhaps a tree falls on them, wouldn't it make sense to rearrange the interior configuration?

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #132 on: January 15, 2018, 11:47:36 AM »
For all those people who think they'll be able to take over, here's a question; what makes you think cars will have steering wheels? For one, you can save manufacturing costs. Next, its safer to not have them impaling drivers in crashes, so even if there's an accident, you'll be far more likely to survive.

Here's another strange part, why are car seats forward facing if you aren't needed for driving? My infant is put into vehicles in rear facing seats because its safer. In the event of a crash, rear facing seats are more likely to reduce injury than forward facing. If we assume cars still have accidents, perhaps a tree falls on them, wouldn't it make sense to rearrange the interior configuration?
It would be cool to have the seats facing each other so you could interact more easily with the others in the car instead of everyone facing the front. Also having reclining chairs so you can nap. Or swivel chairs, so you can see in any direction, although that might be risky in case of a crash. Without a human driver, there are so many possibilities!
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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #133 on: January 16, 2018, 07:06:54 AM »
For all those people who think they'll be able to take over, here's a question; what makes you think cars will have steering wheels? For one, you can save manufacturing costs. Next, its safer to not have them impaling drivers in crashes, so even if there's an accident, you'll be far more likely to survive.

Here's another strange part, why are car seats forward facing if you aren't needed for driving? My infant is put into vehicles in rear facing seats because its safer. In the event of a crash, rear facing seats are more likely to reduce injury than forward facing. If we assume cars still have accidents, perhaps a tree falls on them, wouldn't it make sense to rearrange the interior configuration?

What if you're trying to move your car to point the headlights at something you're working on. Or driving it along a dirt road, or no road at all? 99% of the time we get in our car and go from point A to point B but there will be some situations when you'll still need manual control. I suspect it will be many years before regular consumer vehicles completely eliminate all manual control. I can certainly see vehicles that are used as taxis being completely automated and designed in a totally different way that isn't constrained by the need to face forward and have a steering wheel and clear lines of sight for seeing to the sides.
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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #134 on: January 16, 2018, 07:47:04 AM »
What if you're trying to move your car to point the headlights at something you're working on. Or driving it along a dirt road, or no road at all? 99% of the time we get in our car and go from point A to point B but there will be some situations when you'll still need manual control. I suspect it will be many years before regular consumer vehicles completely eliminate all manual control. I can certainly see vehicles that are used as taxis being completely automated and designed in a totally different way that isn't constrained by the need to face forward and have a steering wheel and clear lines of sight for seeing to the sides.


Exactly. Fully automated cars, at least in the foreseeable future, will be taxis, not personal vehicles. Don't get hung up on every little thing that you do with your own car, because you won't be owning an autonomous car any time soon. In my view, the transformative aspect of autonomous cars will be their ability to severely deflate the cost of taxi service by eliminating the driver, thus hastening the elimination of car ownership for many people in urban areas. I don't expect autonomous cars to have a meaningful impact on rural dwellers like myself at any point in the next decade.

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Quote
General Motors plans to mass-produce self-driving cars that lack traditional controls like steering wheels and pedals by 2019...They’ll be deployed as ride-hailing vehicles in a number of cities...
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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #135 on: January 16, 2018, 12:11:42 PM »
Yes it is different.  Buses and trains and airplanes all have drivers.

Many trains are driverless and sometimes have been for decades already. Take a look at London which started in 1987 or Nuremberg in 2008.

+1

My last job was developing rail control systems.  Most of the drivers in a modern subway or public transit type train are purely there for show.  In our trains the driver (if the option is requested by a client - increasingly less common) pushes a single button at stops.  He can do that, and execute an emergency brake on the train.  That's it.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #136 on: January 16, 2018, 12:43:17 PM »
Uhhhh, has any of that migrated to the States? It seems all of our trains are still "driven." We had a train decide to climb an escalator at O'Hare airport because the train operator fell asleep.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #137 on: January 16, 2018, 02:03:15 PM »
Many trains at the airport are driverless. I know they are in SEA, ATL and SFO. The monorail in Las Vegas is automated. Vancouver has one, well, technically not the states, but just a short hop from Seattle. Honolulu was supposed to get one, not sure what the state of that is.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #138 on: January 17, 2018, 06:16:24 PM »
Uhhhh, has any of that migrated to the States? It seems all of our trains are still "driven." We had a train decide to climb an escalator at O'Hare airport because the train operator fell asleep.

It's no wonder they fall asleep if literally their entire job is to press one button, and in an emergency press one other button.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #139 on: January 18, 2018, 08:43:59 AM »
I work on enough computers to see the many ways they fail. I read last night how an engineering firm was cycle testing battery packs for EVs. Computer got stuck (typical Windows fashion), overcharged the batteries, and caused a fire. Nobody was hurt though apparently it burned up an expensive battery pack.

How many battery packs have burned with humans at the controls vs. computers? My bet is that computer operators have a much better record because humans get fatigued, bored, distracted, etc. Actually, I doubt there are any instances of human operators to compare against...humans would do a terrible job controlling charging. Similarly, computers will be much better drivers than humans, especially humans who think they can do better (mostly likely due to their opinion that the computer is driving too slowly when in fact it's driving the correct speed for the conditions).

There is also the difference between released systems utilized by the public, debuging engineering systems.

While I generally agree - I won't just happily become a passenger in my car when the self-drive option is available in regular cars.

Just yesterday the auto trans in our car had issues that I assume were caused by the extreme cold. Car begins shifting hard from 1st to 2nd, no other gears available even if I use the paddle shifters. Required me restarting (rebooting) the car. The interesting thing was there were no warning lights indicating a problem, the transmission just quit shifting.

I'd like to think any driving computers would be paired with other computers which would watch to make sure the driving computer wasn't stuck and thus unable to make decisions. The driving computer might not be able to throw a warning light on the dash but the nanny computers would.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #140 on: January 18, 2018, 08:57:38 AM »
For all those people who think they'll be able to take over, here's a question; what makes you think cars will have steering wheels? For one, you can save manufacturing costs. Next, its safer to not have them impaling drivers in crashes, so even if there's an accident, you'll be far more likely to survive.

Here's another strange part, why are car seats forward facing if you aren't needed for driving? My infant is put into vehicles in rear facing seats because its safer. In the event of a crash, rear facing seats are more likely to reduce injury than forward facing. If we assume cars still have accidents, perhaps a tree falls on them, wouldn't it make sense to rearrange the interior configuration?

What if you're trying to move your car to point the headlights at something you're working on. Or driving it along a dirt road, or no road at all? 99% of the time we get in our car and go from point A to point B but there will be some situations when you'll still need manual control. I suspect it will be many years before regular consumer vehicles completely eliminate all manual control. I can certainly see vehicles that are used as taxis being completely automated and designed in a totally different way that isn't constrained by the need to face forward and have a steering wheel and clear lines of sight for seeing to the sides.
Headlights - maybe a phone app? lights can swivel already and most cars will be linked to your phone already for locking, tracking etc. If you need it moved, just tell the car to go to a spot that you pick on your google map on your phone. There's no need for cars to have people in them to swivel headlights around or move to let a car out that's blocked in.

No road at all, why would you need a wheel? The X-box 360 already has tracking and could easily track your hand movements, use a fake wheel if you want (I do when I play games). Or trace the route (on your app) and allow the car to navigate the really bad route. I'm thinking of camping, I often go off road and a driverless car would be able to get there too.

Clear line of sight?  I have a backup camera on my car currently, its far superior to any rear view mirror I've ever used; it never gets blocked by cargo (hatchback problem) peoples heads (sedan) solid panels (vans). Don't forget, a car can have telescopic range and infrared, it sees more than any puny human eye ever can. Its only the interpretation of the data that is in question, can a computer interpret the multiple feeds of data faster than you can? You can have all the IR data available on a screen while driving today, is it distracting to have multiple displays? Probably 99% of wildlife collisions can be avoided, the primary problem with wildlife is people didn't see them early enough to react to (like the deer that jumps out at night).

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #141 on: January 18, 2018, 09:10:54 AM »
Just yesterday the auto trans in our car had issues that I assume were caused by the extreme cold. Car begins shifting hard from 1st to 2nd, no other gears available even if I use the paddle shifters. Required me restarting (rebooting) the car. The interesting thing was there were no warning lights indicating a problem, the transmission just quit shifting.

I'd like to think any driving computers would be paired with other computers which would watch to make sure the driving computer wasn't stuck and thus unable to make decisions. The driving computer might not be able to throw a warning light on the dash but the nanny computers would.

Autonomous vehicles will be electric. Electric motors have a wide power band, very high torque even at low RPM. This means that AVs won't necessarily have a multi speed transmission (already true of Tesla). Electric motors are also somewhere around 98% thermally efficient which means very little waste heat and can usually be air cooled. Whereas a traditional ICE is only about 20% efficient, so much waste heat that a complex cooling system is required just to dissipate the heat to prevent it from destroying itself. A EV doesn't even need a differential - the drivetrain could literally be electric motors direct driving the wheels and no other moving components, except perhaps a few linkages/joints for suspension.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #142 on: January 18, 2018, 03:56:20 PM »
Oh yeah - you are correct. I am very familiar with the mechanical differences. Still - computers. Computers fail. Computers get hung up. No big deal with netflix crashes. It is a big deal when the family hauler crashes because a computer gets stuck and the car fails to make a curve.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #143 on: January 18, 2018, 04:08:00 PM »
Oh yeah - you are correct. I am very familiar with the mechanical differences. Still - computers. Computers fail. Computers get hung up. No big deal with netflix crashes. It is a big deal when the family hauler crashes because a computer gets stuck and the car fails to make a curve.

Control software for vehicles is engineered to much more exacting standards compared to something like the Netflix client. Commercial airplanes have been fly-by-wire, i.e. completely dependant on computers, for many years now. Many cars already make use of certain drive-by-wire functions, such as brake-by-wire...your life already depends on the reliability of computers more than you realize :)

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #144 on: January 18, 2018, 04:25:11 PM »
For everybody that has issues around not having control of the car, do you ever ride in the passenger seat?  How is that any different?  If you're in the passenger seat or even more the back seat you have no control over the car.  There are no pedals or steering wheel in the passenger seat of cars now (my husband might disagree on this point), so how is it much different to just have two passenger seats?  Is trusting the automated system really any different than trusting another driver?


I work on enough computers to see the many ways they fail. I read last night how an engineering firm was cycle testing battery packs for EVs. Computer got stuck (typical Windows fashion), overcharged the batteries, and caused a fire. Nobody was hurt though apparently it burned up an expensive battery pack.

How many battery packs have burned with humans at the controls vs. computers? My bet is that computer operators have a much better record because humans get fatigued, bored, distracted, etc. Actually, I doubt there are any instances of human operators to compare against...humans would do a terrible job controlling charging. Similarly, computers will be much better drivers than humans, especially humans who think they can do better (mostly likely due to their opinion that the computer is driving too slowly when in fact it's driving the correct speed for the conditions).

There is also the difference between released systems utilized by the public, debuging engineering systems.

While I generally agree - I won't just happily become a passenger in my car when the self-drive option is available in regular cars.

Just yesterday the auto trans in our car had issues that I assume were caused by the extreme cold. Car begins shifting hard from 1st to 2nd, no other gears available even if I use the paddle shifters. Required me restarting (rebooting) the car. The interesting thing was there were no warning lights indicating a problem, the transmission just quit shifting.

I'd like to think any driving computers would be paired with other computers which would watch to make sure the driving computer wasn't stuck and thus unable to make decisions. The driving computer might not be able to throw a warning light on the dash but the nanny computers would.

The car only has to be less prone to error than you.  I know you feel like you're a great driver and in control, but stats say otherwise.   It's not you specifically.  It's only personal in the sense that you're a person.   

Oh yeah - you are correct. I am very familiar with the mechanical differences. Still - computers. Computers fail. Computers get hung up. No big deal with netflix crashes. It is a big deal when the family hauler crashes because a computer gets stuck and the car fails to make a curve.

You're definitely right, but once again it only has to be better than a human being.  People fall asleep, have heart attacks, have strokes, get things in their eyes.  It's not really different if something happens with the computer.  Actually it is different in that if something goes wrong with an automated car, it will probably be thoroughly investigated and propagated into updates.  If a person falls asleep at the wheel, not much actually happens to change the problem. 

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #145 on: January 18, 2018, 04:32:14 PM »
Good comparison to airplanes and fly-by wire.

FWIW nothing is going to make me very happy. I'm very seldom a passenger in a car and actively avoid flying except when work requires it. Been a decade since and 15 years before that. ;)

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #146 on: January 18, 2018, 07:34:53 PM »
Heh. My wife *hates* being a passenger in a car. (Not because of my driving, I'm a very good driver, clean record, honest!) I always let her drive, when we're together, because making her ride, without the steering wheel in her hands and the pedals at her feet, is just too obviously cruel. I'm all enthusiastic about autonomous vehicles, but I don't know if you'll ever get her into one. You'll probably have to get our generation into the grave before you can complete the transition.

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #147 on: January 19, 2018, 01:00:47 AM »
I fully expect a backup system in autonomous vehicles, that will safely pull the vehicle to the side of the road and to a stop when the primary computer fails to function.
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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #148 on: January 19, 2018, 10:32:14 AM »
Heh. My wife *hates* being a passenger in a car. (Not because of my driving, I'm a very good driver, clean record, honest!) I always let her drive, when we're together, because making her ride, without the steering wheel in her hands and the pedals at her feet, is just too obviously cruel. I'm all enthusiastic about autonomous vehicles, but I don't know if you'll ever get her into one. You'll probably have to get our generation into the grave before you can complete the transition.
I fully expect my local province will charge driverless cars cheaper insurance rates, in the range of $500/year lets pretend. The actual number is debatable, but its likely to hold true that its lower since they will have fewer crashes (statistically overall, not just you personally).

Would a car for the same price, but $500 less/year to insure matter to you? Genuinely curious, just another aspect to consider overall. Will driver less cars have cheaper insurance and cheaper ownership costs?

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Re: The Logistics of Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #149 on: January 19, 2018, 10:40:45 AM »
Heh. My wife *hates* being a passenger in a car. (Not because of my driving, I'm a very good driver, clean record, honest!) I always let her drive, when we're together, because making her ride, without the steering wheel in her hands and the pedals at her feet, is just too obviously cruel. I'm all enthusiastic about autonomous vehicles, but I don't know if you'll ever get her into one. You'll probably have to get our generation into the grave before you can complete the transition.

Honestly I don't expect fully autonomous vehicles to come on the scene quite as fast as everybody thinks they will, and even then it will be a slow progression as the technology progresses from being in just new luxury cars to being in the older cheaper cars on the road.  I'm sure she has plenty of time to drive herself.