What do you think about self-driving cars?

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Totally agree, however I do foresee a major problem that has been repeated elsewhere.
And logically it does not make sense.

Let's move forward a few? years:

1: 100 people die in cars due to human error = perfectly acceptable / a price worth paying
2: 50 people did in cars due to computer/software errors = totally and utterly unacceptable

Despite 50 people not being killed, that does not matter a monkeys.
The media, government. public etc will go ape over such numbers.
Mothers on TV in tears over how Apple/Google/Tesla's software killed their son/daughter/partner.
Cars deactivated till they can prove the software has been improved.

How do we get over this?

Or you think I'm wrong with this scenario, at least for many many years to come?
I don't really see why this is any different to any modern tech. People are always dying/being injured due to manufacturing errors/bugs. Just look at the recent Boeing disasters, or that guy that died while on Tesla 'autopilot'. Big Pharma drug accidents and so on. Yes there may well be cases of driverless cars being taken off the road or limited due to bugs - I don't think it will impact the progress though - it will add to test cases that need to be incorporated in future.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
I don't really see why this is any different to any modern tech. People are always dying/being injured due to manufacturing errors/bugs. Just look at the recent Boeing disasters, or that guy that died while on Tesla 'autopilot'. Big Pharma drug accidents and so on. Yes there may well be cases of driverless cars being taken off the road or limited due to bugs - I don't think it will impact the progress though - it will add to test cases that need to be incorporated in future.
Indeed, however when it happens with a plane, as you point out, things are taken out of service, or changed until the bugs are fixed.
With cars, we will need to get used to computer deaths being the norm.
Every day on the news, you'd have a report of another computer car killing someone.

Given how many people die on the roads over the globe every day right now.
1.25 Million a year = 3400 people a day.
Even if such cars are 1000 times safer, that's still over 3 people a day for the news to latch onto, and boy will they latch.

I don't have a problem with this, but I don't feel now, or for some time society will accept constant deaths at the hands of a computer daily.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Indeed, however when it happens with a plane, as you point out, things are taken out of service, or changed until the bugs are fixed.
With cars, we will need to get used to computer deaths being the norm.
Every day on the news, you'd have a report of another computer car killing someone.

Given how many people die on the roads over the globe every day right now.
1.25 Million a year = 3400 people a day.
Even if such cars are 1000 times safer, that's still over 3 people a day for the news to latch onto, and boy will they latch.

I don't have a problem with this, but I don't feel now, or for some time society will accept constant deaths at the hands of a computer daily.
I think people will be able to look at the bigger picture. And let's be honest, after a few deaths people will be desensitised to it anyway. You need a pretty substantial/tragic car crash for it to make the news. Sure the first few will be 'big news' - although there have already been a few anyway, including that taxi that hit a cyclist. It will be played against a backdrop of massive accident reductions overall and people will move on. IMO.
 

rousetafarian

Moderator
Would be a cracking thread in a board dedicated to the vehicles mentioned in the title.
Moved, only because I saw it, not because you (or anyone else) used the report function.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
I think people will be able to look at the bigger picture. And let's be honest, after a few deaths people will be desensitised to it anyway. You need a pretty substantial/tragic car crash for it to make the news. Sure the first few will be 'big news' - although there have already been a few anyway, including that taxi that hit a cyclist. It will be played against a backdrop of massive accident reductions overall and people will move on. IMO.
I would like to think you are correct, and I will wait to be convinced by general public and media logic ;)

How many iPhones explode considering how many tens/hundreds of millions are sold, and have been for over 10 years now.
Yet just one bursting into flames gets onto the tech news.
God forbid the news should such a phone explosion kill someone. Can you just imagine it!

I await with interest is all I can say :)
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
I would like to think you are correct, and I will wait to be convinced by general public and media logic ;)

How many iPhones explode considering how many tens/hundreds of millions are sold, and have been for over 10 years now.
Yet just one bursting into flames gets onto the tech news.
God forbid the news should such a phone explosion kill someone. Can you just imagine it!

I await with interest is all I can say :)
Sure - it will get into the Tech News - and yes, the first few times there are software-error related deaths it will be huge news. It won't stop progress though :thumbsup: - which isn't to say such incidents shouldn't be taken seriously, but look at everything we use today which have involved deaths - planes, boats, cars, drugs, surgeries, you name it deaths have occured, but progress and widespread adoption happens regardless.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Sure - it will get into the Tech News - and yes, the first few times there are software-error related deaths it will be huge news. It won't stop progress though :thumbsup: - which isn't to say such incidents shouldn't be taken seriously, but look at everything we use today which have involved deaths - planes, boats, cars, drugs, surgeries, you name it deaths have occured, but progress and widespread adoption happens regardless.
I hope you are right.
Nothing compares to deaths on the road, so it's just a numbers and acceptance issue.
I am sure it will change given time.
I just hope that early deaths won't lead to restrictions on moving forward.
This is my greatest fear.
 

outoftheknow

Distinguished Member
So if I remove the brakes from my car and kill someone because I can't stop, will I get off scott free? Don't think so - only in America....
I don’t disagree there are questions about it all but they didn’t remove the brakes.

I expect they disabled AEB? It is difficult to make informed decisions based on reports - accidents happen quickly and most likely the fact AEB wasn’t there was decided to make no difference in that specific accident. If that’s is the case I prefer the decision the judge made to one penalising the car manufacturer TBH. Successfully suing somebody for something not there that would have made no difference to the outcome sounds more like an “only in America” decision to me.
 

outoftheknow

Distinguished Member
Despite 50 people not being killed, that does not matter a monkeys.
It’s funny how we focus on the number killed and not the reduction for positive avoidance technology. Cars have had passive reduction on deaths and injury technology added for years. We accept they each have saved lives.

Remove the human and accidents will reduce. Lives will be saved. We immediately say any number killed is unacceptable - we must be “in control” so the number killed “doesn’t matter”.

I think I am ok with full autonomy when it is introduced. I agree with others it isn’t happening tomorrow and 100% overnight though.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
It’s funny how we focus on the number killed and not the reduction for positive avoidance technology. Cars have had passive reduction on deaths and injury technology added for years. We accept they each have saved lives.

Remove the human and accidents will reduce. Lives will be saved. We immediately say any number killed is unacceptable - we must be “in control” so the number killed “doesn’t matter”.

I think I am ok with full autonomy when it is introduced. I agree with others it isn’t happening tomorrow and 100% overnight though.
Indeed but that's what news is.
They never say 50,000 people dove to work safely today. No they said 1 bad accident on the M25 killed 1 person.
They don't say 50 million iPhones did not blow up today, but they will report on the single one that did.
They won't report on the 1000 driverless cars that got to their destination fine, but they'll focus on the 10 that were involved in some incident.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Indeed but that's what news is.
They never say 50,000 people dove to work safely today. No they said 1 bad accident on the M25 killed 1 person.
They don't say 50 million iPhones did not blow up today, but they will report on the single one that did.
They won't report on the 1000 driverless cars that got to their destination fine, but they'll focus on the 10 that were involved in some incident.
Graphs will show how 1000 driverless cars got there fine vs the 250 it would have been if they had had those old human drivers, and that will be news

 

outoftheknow

Distinguished Member
They never say 50,000 people dove to work safely today. No they said 1 bad accident on the M25 killed 1 person.
Indeed - I was more pointing out that as each bit of passive technology was added - seat belts, air bags, anti-submarine seats, crumple zones etc - we as humans herald how great we are adding stuff that saves lives and put numbers on those lives saved. When we add positive technology to reduce the number of accidents, we turn to law suits to lay blame and only report the number killed - not that it has fallen 80% due to the technology.

As you (I think it was) said - humans are selfish.

We think we personally may/would have avoided the accident (without having any idea the exact events that happened in seconds to somebody else), so we resist the idea that a computer can do better.

In my opinion self driving cars will reduce the number of accidents if enabled today. Simply by removing human error. Computer or component failure can happen now and I am willing to bet the number is small compared to human error.
 

boggycreek

Standard Member
I don’t disagree there are questions about it all but they didn’t remove the brakes.

I expect they disabled AEB? It is difficult to make informed decisions based on reports - accidents happen quickly and most likely the fact AEB wasn’t there was decided to make no difference in that specific accident. If that’s is the case I prefer the decision the judge made to one penalising the car manufacturer TBH. Successfully suing somebody for something not there that would have made no difference to the outcome sounds more like an “only in America” decision to me.
Granted they didn't actually remove the brakes, but they certainly "removed" a system that fundamentally altered the functioning of the vehicle as it was supplied from the manufacturer.

In the circumstance that someone moved into the path of the vehicle, having that system active would more than likely have averted the accident, I still believe the company testing the vehicle are responsible for that death and should be held accountable.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
From what I have seen so far we've a long way to go.
If I may put this forward as a thought....
The issue is not so much being able to drive safely in normal situations. I'm sure that is do-able, we're not a million miles away from that, a few iffy bits like traffic lights, road works, roundabouts/funny junctions etc, but that's all nuts and bolts stuff which I'm confident it simply getting the maths/sensors right and what to do to carry on driving.
Yes, we're well on our way to getting this done.

The other aspect where I've not seen anything yet is the more general AI point.
Human knowledge of how the world works, how humans interact, and how to resolve new problems when confronted with them out of the blue.
That's when such a car may just sit there stuck, not knowing what to do.

I've seen nothing about work being done on that side.

Let's think off the top of my head of some examples:

Avoiding pot holes (I think they are working on that one) but may mean breaking a road rule to avoid one.
Driving up on the pavement to get around an obstacle in the road.
Driving thru traffic lights stuck on red.
Road works where the lights have broken and it's a blind bend.
Flooding, do you watch other cars get into the middle, and you wait, and either risk it, or turn back, but there are cars behind you, what do you do?
Someone in the distance is coming towards you, there are parked cars, but you see a gap at what you judge is the meeting point of you head to head, so you drive head to head on their side as you know you will be able to get into the gap before you meet.
You go to a car boot sale, and have to drive across the field following the marshals hand movement/directions.
Down a narrow long country land then head to head with some farmyard vehicle, he can't back up, you have cars behind, so need to work out how you are going to sort out this problem.
In a car park, you see someone ahead starting to reverse, so you stop ahead of time and wait as you know they are going to need to reverse into your lane to complete their maneuver

I'm sure you can think of many more.

None of these are 'Normal Driving' they are, oh, let's decide based upon my human knowledge of how the world works, how humans behave, and what sort of risk/law break shall I attempt as I feel in this scenario it would be acceptable.

Not seen anything demonstrated about this type of issue yet, and without being able to deal with such things, cars would be jammed/stuck from day one on real road situations.

IMHO of course :)
 

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