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Sun Nov 1, 2015, 10:31 PM

Self Driving Cars Have A Higher Accident Rate

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2015/10/31/study-self-driving-cars-accidents/74946614/

Some things humans are still better at.

62 replies, 3298 views

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Arrow 62 replies Author Time Post
Reply Self Driving Cars Have A Higher Accident Rate (Original post)
JonathanRackham Nov 2015 OP
Duckhunter935 Nov 2015 #1
Major Nikon Nov 2015 #10
NBachers Nov 2015 #12
FLson Nov 2015 #58
Travis_0004 Nov 2015 #2
Codeine Nov 2015 #3
Donald Ian Rankin Nov 2015 #18
Chan790 Nov 2015 #36
Demonaut Nov 2015 #4
LisaL Nov 2015 #6
Demonaut Nov 2015 #7
Logical Nov 2015 #40
SecularMotion Nov 2015 #52
Logical Nov 2015 #55
Demonaut Nov 2015 #53
Logical Nov 2015 #54
Demonaut Nov 2015 #59
Logical Nov 2015 #61
Demonaut Nov 2015 #62
krawhitham Nov 2015 #8
Fumesucker Nov 2015 #9
Katashi_itto Nov 2015 #27
Kelvin Mace Nov 2015 #26
Fumesucker Nov 2015 #30
Kelvin Mace Nov 2015 #31
Fumesucker Nov 2015 #33
MindPilot Nov 2015 #42
Kelvin Mace Nov 2015 #44
Fumesucker Nov 2015 #49
Kelvin Mace Nov 2015 #51
Erich Bloodaxe BSN Nov 2015 #56
Recursion Nov 2015 #5
DJ13 Nov 2015 #11
WillowTree Nov 2015 #13
Logical Nov 2015 #16
WillowTree Nov 2015 #19
Logical Nov 2015 #29
RichVRichV Nov 2015 #14
Kelvin Mace Nov 2015 #45
Logical Nov 2015 #15
killbotfactory Nov 2015 #17
Darb Nov 2015 #20
Kelvin Mace Nov 2015 #46
lumberjack_jeff Nov 2015 #21
arely staircase Nov 2015 #22
Darb Nov 2015 #23
Fumesucker Nov 2015 #24
Chan790 Nov 2015 #37
Lancero Nov 2015 #48
Javaman Nov 2015 #25
Glassunion Nov 2015 #28
tech3149 Nov 2015 #32
Fumesucker Nov 2015 #34
tech3149 Nov 2015 #39
MisterP Nov 2015 #35
Chan790 Nov 2015 #38
tech3149 Nov 2015 #41
Fumesucker Nov 2015 #50
tech3149 Nov 2015 #60
Darb Nov 2015 #43
Fumesucker Nov 2015 #57
Warren Stupidity Nov 2015 #47

Response to JonathanRackham (Original post)

Sun Nov 1, 2015, 10:40 PM

1. "Even though they haven't been at fault,"

 

first line in the story, seems the humans are at fault so I guess the humans are better at causing accidents, yes.

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Response to Duckhunter935 (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 1, 2015, 11:30 PM

10. Which can also mean humans are better at avoiding accidents

Hardly a week goes by when I avoid an accident that would have been the other persons fault had a collision occurred. There's more to driving than just making sure you aren't at fault in the event of an accident.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 12:03 AM

12. Shit, I avoided three accidents just driving over to pick someone up this morning.

So it's an interesting question: how would a self-driving car have done in dealing with these unthinking, unlooking idiots?

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Response to Duckhunter935 (Reply #1)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 07:08 PM

58. I remember hearing that on NPR

 

that nearly all of the accidents were humans hitting Google cars. I personally wouldn't let a car drive me but I'm open to the idea of others using it (like older folks who may be physically challenged), as long as it proves as safe if not safer than human controlled vehicles.

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Response to JonathanRackham (Original post)

Sun Nov 1, 2015, 10:42 PM

2. It sounds like the solution is more self driving cars

 

Since humans are the ones that keep hitting them.

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Response to JonathanRackham (Original post)

Sun Nov 1, 2015, 10:42 PM

3. The article clearly states the self-driving cars

are almost never at fault.

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Response to Codeine (Reply #3)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 08:53 AM

18. Totally true, but somewhat misleading.

It sounds as though, while they may be better than humans at not causing accidents, they may not be as good at avoiding them, and that may be as or more important a skill.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #18)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 01:09 PM

36. I don't think avoidance, per se, is the problem actually.

 

They don't drive like humans do. Other drivers expect them to react one way to a possible collision scenario and they respond in another (better, but not predicted) way. The solution is two-fold...they probably need more sensors to collect more data to go along with better heuristic programming (that is, learn and adapt to the data gathered), but they also need less humans on the roadways.

The second one has always been a known issue...they're not meant to coexist on roadways with human drivers. They're meant to replace humans as car operators. The ideal long-term result is only (or a vast majority) computer-driven cars.

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Response to JonathanRackham (Original post)

Sun Nov 1, 2015, 10:43 PM

4. it's because humans can anticipate an accident and will react to avoid it

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Response to Demonaut (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 1, 2015, 10:46 PM

6. Humans caused these accidents, not self-driving cars.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 1, 2015, 10:49 PM

7. yes.I look at all cars positions and when I can, gain eyecontact with drivers, can a comp do that?

intuition and experience help a great deal

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Response to Demonaut (Reply #7)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 02:43 PM

40. Nope, 10 years out these cars will save 1000s of lifes, humans are the issue. Nt

 

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Response to Logical (Reply #40)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 05:46 PM

52. In the future, self-driving cars and smart guns will save tens of thousands of lives each year.

 

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Response to SecularMotion (Reply #52)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 06:04 PM

55. I 100% agree. I look so forward to the self driving cars, total geek. nt

 

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Response to Logical (Reply #40)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 05:55 PM

53. sure...but only when they become the dominate means of travel

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Response to Demonaut (Reply #53)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 06:03 PM

54. Nope, they will save life's from day one. nt

 

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Response to Logical (Reply #54)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 07:27 PM

59. yes lives but will be involved in more accidents

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Response to Demonaut (Reply #59)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 08:41 PM

61. People will adjust quickly once they start seeing them. I think a major issue now is rubber necking.

 

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Response to Logical (Reply #61)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 11:00 PM

62. true

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Response to LisaL (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 1, 2015, 10:52 PM

8. And if these cars would have had Humans they would have reacted and avoided the accidents

Caused by other humans

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Response to krawhitham (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 1, 2015, 11:13 PM

9. While they were texting?

As a long time motorcyclist and bicyclist I'm very aware of what other drivers are doing on the road, it's the only protection you have when you aren't in a steel cocoon, there are a lot of drivers out there distracted by smart phones, I see them every time I get on the road.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 12:11 PM

27. Depends how many friends the self-driving car has if it texts. Curiosity rover texts all the time

 

from Mars.

You never know, the car could be having it on with a taxi, unbeknownst to the owner.

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Response to krawhitham (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 11:30 AM

26. Really?

 

A number of the cars were rear-ended. How do you avoid that?

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #26)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 12:22 PM

30. That's an easy one, program the cars to accelerate on yellow like real drivers do

Rather than stopping as the law actually requires...

I'd be willing to bet a small sum that's exactly what happened in a good number of rear end crashes with the autonomous cars.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #30)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 12:26 PM

31. At a stop sign? When stopping for a turn?

 

I have been hit in both of those scenarios and there was no way to avoid the crash.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #31)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 12:41 PM

33. Human drivers don't drive like the autonomous vehicles that obey all traffic rules

Until drivers get used to them I think there will continue to be a higher incidence of drivers crashing into the self driving cars because they aren't "predictable", people are expecting (predicting) a certain amount of rule breaking from other drivers and a car that obeys all the traffic rules is going to be a bit more vulnerable for that reason..

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #33)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 03:07 PM

42. I think the next thing that self-driving cars will demonstrate...

 

is that a whole bunch of traffic rules exist not to enhance the safe and expedient flow of traffic, but to enhance the local revenue stream. A computer would be far better able to determine a safe spend than some ticket-happy pig or a grifter judge.

Watch for police "unions" to be opposed to driverless cars on some trumped up safety bullshit, when what they really want is fuck people out of was much cash as they can.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #33)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 03:39 PM

44. They are quite predictable

 

They follow the rules, humans don't. Humans speed, follow too closely, fail to signal lane changes and turns, run lights and run stop signs and text/talk on their cell phone while driving. Self-driving cars do none of this.

I have concerns about the self-driving concept, but it is not that such cars are "unpredictably predictable".

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #44)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 04:35 PM

49. I have about 250k miles on motorcycles, quite a bit on bicycles and now have about 10k on an ebike

Never been touched by a car for three reasons, I ride in such a manner that if I was invisible I wouldn't get hit anyway (easier on a motorcycle than a bike or ebike, they are too slow) , I strive to be as visible and predictable by other drivers as possible and I've been fortunate that I have not run into a situation where it was impossible to avoid a collision, such as stopped at a light or someone just swerves right across from the oncoming lane into you.

Strategy and tactics for avoiding accidents is a very common subject of discussion on motorcycle and bike forums, if you don't have a steel cocoon around you then your situational awareness is the only thing between you and oblivion, there really is no such thing as a fender bender when you are on two wheels.

If the autonomous car drove like a really skilled and experienced road driver it would hardly get hit at all but it doesn't drive that way yet. There are a hell of a lot of subtle inputs a good driver takes into account to steer the safest path down a busy road, by no means is it all happening at a conscious level either.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #49)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 05:37 PM

51. You have been a very careful rider

 

but you have also been very lucky. Bad drivers are everywhere. If we were to categorize accidents into:

1) Those caused by drivers failing to anticipate a dangerous driver.

2) Those caused by drivers failing to maintain proper lookout, speeding, driving impaired/distracted.

I think we would find the second category accounting for 95%+ of the accidents.

Google cars are quite distinctive in traffic. I think you would ZERO chance of having an accident with one since the cars actions are entirely predictable. The car won't speed, won't run a red light, won't roll through a stop sign, will not backup without checking, will turn in the direction it signals, won't follow too closely etc. Human driven cars simply are not predictable, which makes your job WAY harder.

Is an autonomous car safer than a highly trained, cautious and law-abiding driver who allows no impairment or distractions? Probably not, but that description applies to a very low single digit percentage of drivers on the road.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #33)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 06:27 PM

56. I think you're dead on there.

Humans are expecting them to act like any other car with a human driver. And because they don't, they increase the odds that other drivers will respond to them incorrectly and cause accidents. I wonder how they're programmed to act on the highways. I was told by several different driving instructors that in highway traffic, it's safest to go the same speed as those around you - if everyone is doing 75, you're more likely to be in an accident if you're doing 65 than 75, even if it's breaking the law.

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Response to JonathanRackham (Original post)

Sun Nov 1, 2015, 10:44 PM

5. Humans plow into self-driving cars at an alarming rate

We should really have fewer humans driving.

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Response to JonathanRackham (Original post)

Sun Nov 1, 2015, 11:33 PM

11. If the self driving cars use ethanol are they driving under the influence?

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Response to JonathanRackham (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 12:05 AM

13. Color me surprised.

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Response to WillowTree (Reply #13)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 01:15 AM

16. The self driving cars never have hit another car. Nt

 

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Response to Logical (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 09:52 AM

19. Yet.......

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Response to WillowTree (Reply #19)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 12:15 PM

29. Lol, ok. But 100s will die today from humans driving. Nt

 

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Response to JonathanRackham (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 12:39 AM

14. Looks to me that they're good at not hitting other people, but not so good at avoiding bad drivers.

The good news is they should only get more reliable as time goes on. Every accident of an automated car should be studied thoroughly to see if anything could be done better.

It's going to take some complex calculations to account for humans that don't pay attention.

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Response to RichVRichV (Reply #14)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 03:40 PM

45. Hard to avoid a bad driver who rear-ends you

 

which is the majority of these accidents that I have read about so far.

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Response to JonathanRackham (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 01:14 AM

15. Did you even read the stats? Lol, I assume not nt

 

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Response to JonathanRackham (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 01:25 AM

17. Humans are very adept at running into cars stopped at a traffic light

What's more, not once was the self-driving vehicle the cause of the accident. In eight of the 11 crashes, the self-driving cars were either stopped or going less than 5 miles per hour when they were hit by another vehicle, according to the researchers.


http://www.cnbc.com/2015/10/29/crash-data-for-self-driving-cars-may-not-tell-whole-story.html

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Response to JonathanRackham (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 10:12 AM

20. The human driver will be eliminated sooner than you think. Position yourself for that reality.

 

For some that might be to prepare yourself for the day when you are not going to be able to drive a motor vehicle on the road, poor little lamb. For some it might be looking for investment targets.

Driverless cars are a way better option in countless ways. It will cause many a great deal of consternation and for those it would be best to prepare for it now, mentally. I have had conversations with a few people just broaching the possibility and it turned ugly very quickly. If some of my friends and family are any indication, it is going to be an ugly transition. Thank goodness the insurance industry will be the deciding factor. It was a very gun-like conversation, complete cognitive dissonance.

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Response to Darb (Reply #20)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 03:42 PM

46. Actually, long term,

 

insurance companies are not going to be thrilled. With more and more self-driving cars, rates will be driven down making it very hard for them to make a profit.

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Response to JonathanRackham (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 10:36 AM

21. This will remain true until cars are mostly autonomous.

 

Teaching my autistic son how to drive is reminding me how much I do from intuition.

"Yes, ordinarily that would be a safe distance from the car in front of you, but see that car in front of him? He's gonna do something squirrelly."
"What do you mean, 'something squirrelly'?

Google cars are going to have an equally tough time defining "something squirrelly".

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Response to JonathanRackham (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 10:38 AM

22. There is the 'no shit' story of the decade. Nt

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #22)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 10:48 AM

23. Agreed, human drivers should be eliminated asap.

 

Obviously, until that happens, we will waste billions upon billions on fuel, collisions, emergency care, insurance, etc.etc.etc.

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Response to JonathanRackham (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 10:55 AM

24. I'm going to make a guess here, the autonomous cars are obeying the rules of the road strictly

Drivers aren't expecting that other vehicles on the road will obey *all* the rules, complete stops for stop signs, no speeding, stopping rather than speeding up at the yellow and so forth because most drivers don't actually do that.

So for example the autonomous vehicle comes to a complete stop at the stop sign rather than doing the typical "rolling stop", the driver behind isn't really expecting that and ends up plowing into the autonomous car from the rear.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #24)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 01:15 PM

37. You win...well, something.

 

In any case, you've correctly identified the problem and its cause. They get into more accidents because they drive too well and humans drive poorly and unpredictably. It's a problem that will self-correct as more and more cars are computer-driven and less are human-controlled.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #24)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 04:20 PM

48. As my old drivers ed teacher said, it doesn't matter if you're doing everything right...

All that matters is one person doing something wrong.

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Response to JonathanRackham (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 11:10 AM

25. hit and run post. nt

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Response to Javaman (Reply #25)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 12:14 PM

28. Lulz! +1

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Response to JonathanRackham (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 12:32 PM

32. As a former road warrior, motorsport enthusiast, and tech worker

I think I have a viewpoint worth consideration. First, no technology is infallible. When you consider the prevailing corporate model where marketing and accounting have undue influence on product design and implementation, the chances of putting out a product that actually works as intended is reduced substantially. That makes me think that self driving cars will never be a good alternative until the profit motive is taken out of the equation.
Looking at the human aspect, driving is not a difficult task. It does require a few basic skills. First and foremost is concentrating on the job at hand. We allow many distractions but don't do enough to help people deal with all those distractions.
Over the past thirty or forty years I've seen the driving skills of the general public substantially degraded. I don't know if it is a result of the technological aids but that seem most likely.
I have only bought vehicles that were basically manual everything because I enjoy being in control. I have been able to obtain fuel mileage at least 10% over the EPA figures.
II think most humans are capable of doing the same and the effort isn't as painful as it is rewarding.

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Response to tech3149 (Reply #32)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 12:49 PM

34. Driving itself isn't particularly difficult under good conditions on a clear, traffic free road

But accurately predicting what other drivers are going to do in order to avoid them is damn hard and takes a lot of experience to be good at it.

Long term motorcyclist here, the way to ride a motorcycle and not get hit is ride as if you were completely invisible, don't assume that car coming up to the stop sign at the cross street is going to stop, change your speed or vector so that if it does run the sign you won't be in their path.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #34)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 02:39 PM

39. I think you're pretty much of the same mindset as me

It really comes down to situational awareness. As a species we have become too divorced from the world in which we live. I may be the outlier because I always invest the bulk of my energy observing the world around me. I understand the threats to my health and welfare because I pay attention to how others interact with the world. Even the smallest tell like what a driver is looking at, how they position their hands on the wheel, or how they move around in their seat tell me what I need top pay attention to.
I'm old and poor enough to recognize that every lack of attention of others could be a threat to my health and welfare.
I can't afford to pay the price of dismissing the threat so my level of attention is probably much greater than that of most people.

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Response to tech3149 (Reply #32)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 12:56 PM

35. there's also a big change in neighborhood structure and driving rates

a lot of it is post-1980 exurban-style development where you have to drive for everything; it's also a middle class that lives off investments more than wages, and likes to show off that they don't have to take the bus: hence elementary schools see HOURLONG congestion as everyone drops their kid off at once

so that's gonna raise distracted driving, crowding that encourages collisions, and of course yuppies who can ruin even turning a steering wheel

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Response to tech3149 (Reply #32)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 01:35 PM

38. It's an interesting viewpoint...but the first point is wrong and the rest is dependent upon it.

 

While it's true that no technology is infallible, these cars are known to be far less fallible than human drivers. The problem isn't the technology, it's the inferiority of the humans driving around them. The computer-controlled cars are vastly better at the basic skills than a human being is capable of being.

They drive better, they react better and faster, they don't speed or get distracted, they adapt better to poor road conditions...what they do which is problematic is obey the law and drive in a legal manner. It's not a surprise they get rear-ended at traffic lights...they slow down and stop on yellows. People don't. They proceed in a legal manner and order at stop-signs. People don't. They drive the posted speed limit or an appropriate speed for traffic conditions. People don't. They drive in a rational manner. People don't. To quote Kurt Vonnegut: "...and so it goes."

You've hit on the right answer but you've ascribed the inferiority to the wrong party. It's not the technology...it's the people. We see the same issues with humans that do all these things. Other human drivers are expecting and counting on the people around them to be as shitty of a driver as they are. When those people don't drive in the predictably-poor manner, more accidents occur.

People suck at driving. One of two things will occur...people will adapt to drive in a manner more compatible to the technology or there will be a push to end human driving.

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Response to Chan790 (Reply #38)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 02:58 PM

41. These cars are much less fallible than human drivers?

These cars are designed and operate under fixed parameters that only process information within certain parameters.
I think human drivers could be much superior to the alternative should they choose to use the skills available to them.
A human has the ability to adapt the information presented to choose the best option from the information available.
As stated in my previous post I see that most people don't use their skills to the best of their ability.
I am extremely thankful that I don't need to share the road more than a few hours a month.
Since people don't seem to give two shits about being a safe and competent driver, I'd probably rather deal with AI drivers that could be predictable but I don't think they'll ever have the predictive ability of a human.

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Response to tech3149 (Reply #41)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 04:46 PM

50. A really good human driver, a true expert? No the cars aren't that good yet

The average run of the mill human driver on the other hand isn't that hard to beat. I had to ride with someone this morning who puts me on edge as passenger because they the make me want to start singing the Doors' Roadhouse Blues, keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel.

Different people have different levels of natural competence at different things, I never could hit a 90mph fastball other than by sheer chance no matter how long I tried, my eye hand coordination isn't tuned that way. It's the same way with driving, some people will never get it and some will be naturals.



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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #50)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 08:21 PM

60. I'm not sure I understand your perspective

I am truly scared by the other drivers on the road and I am the worst passenger. I am critical of almost everything a driver does or does not do that I see as a problem. That line from the song doesn't even get half way to the problem.
Both of those things are pretty easy to do and are well within the capabilities of most people.
My Mom was the prime example of who should not drive. She was very smart and had physical skills that I couldn't match but she was unsafe behind the wheel.
I think that the rules of the road generally don't challenge peoples skills and therin lies the problem. I have pushed my abilities by trying to drive above my limits.
I know! It's not really safe to do but if you don't exercise your skills you can never expand them.
I'm pretty sure most people have the cognitive abilities and physical skills to be excellent drivers, they just don't challenge themselves and don't recognize the harm they do by not doing their best.

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Response to Chan790 (Reply #38)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 03:28 PM

43. I vote end human driving. The advantages are just too big.

 

Two of the biggest for me is the end of traffic jams and a huge reduction of fuel consumption. Driverless cars don't tailgate, don't have to slam on their brakes, don't rabit start, move in unison, get really close to one another, all things that humans screw up.

These vehicles will not only get their cues from the road and what is going on around them, but from one another. I also believe that even human driven cars will have some sort of transponder pinging in the near future and that won't be for humans, that will be for the driverless cars around you.

Your first robot will be your car.

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Response to Darb (Reply #43)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 06:31 PM

57. Once they are all driverless cars they can tailgate mere inches away

They will be talking to each other constantly, updating their current speed, course and intentions. The cars will monitor their own physical health and will know if something critical is going to break.

The limits really are going to be the tolerance of the human passengers, hopefully they will be too engrossed in their phones to notice.

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Response to JonathanRackham (Original post)

Mon Nov 2, 2015, 04:12 PM

47. Luckily the algorithms used learn from each

 

vehicles experiences how to drive more safely. As they gain more experience with road idiots they will get better at anticipating human miscalculations.

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