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General Chat Thread, Uk to allow Driverless Cars in General; There are still a lot of answers which need to be found about this. For example if the driverless car ...
  1. #16

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    There are still a lot of answers which need to be found about this.

    For example if the driverless car is caught speeding who pays the fine?

    Also what happens if the driverless car becomes like a stroppy teenager and just drives off and sulks somewhere?

    I've got lots of other questions involving robots turning against humans and taking over the world but those are some of the more sensible ones

    A

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    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnixx View Post
    Good point. Suppose Jeremy Clarkson was on one side of the street, and David Cameron was on the other, and you could only hit one of them. This sort of thing would give the software engineers sleepless nights.
    Program the car to lose its front tires so that each one could hit the intended target

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    CAM
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    Railway crossings will be the big headache. They aren't uniform (different angles, gate types and so on), they are often abused by other drivers and in some areas are hard to program to avoid. And if the car gets it wrong just once...

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    Quote Originally Posted by jinnantonnixx View Post
    Good point. Suppose Jeremy Clarkson was on one side of the street, and David Cameron was on the other, and you could only hit one of them. This sort of thing would give the software engineers sleepless nights.
    You'd probably get a blue screen of death or smoke pouring out of the ECU as it decides which one.

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    I think you won't be able to be drunk and get in the car (as the driver) - in case of emergency and the driver may need to take manual control of the car

    Also if the car is speeding it will be going against its programming and thus the creating company should be charged not the owner?

    maybe "jail break your Ford Focus to go faster than the road limits" will happen!

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    Exactly what we need on the motorways, lots of cars that can't physically go above 70.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ad93 View Post
    There are still a lot of answers which need to be found about this.

    For example if the driverless car is caught speeding who pays the fine?

    Also what happens if the driverless car becomes like a stroppy teenager and just drives off and sulks somewhere?

    I've got lots of other questions involving robots turning against humans and taking over the world but those are some of the more sensible ones
    I think the way they'll deal with many problems like this is to make it illegal to alter the factory set controls for driverless cars. Then, manufacturers will have a set of rules they have to follow. So, if a car speeds then it can be tracked back to one of 2 places - the manufacturer or the owner/operator.

    Also, a driverless car isn't a teenager... It won't have a personality, just a pre-set list of routines it uses through being educated to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by visioN View Post
    I think you won't be able to be drunk and get in the car (as the driver) - in case of emergency and the driver may need to take manual control of the car
    Quote Originally Posted by visioN View Post

    Also if the car is speeding it will be going against its programming and thus the creating company should be charged not the owner?

    maybe "jail break your Ford Focus to go faster than the road limits" will happen!


    The thing is, some companies are pushing for control-less cars, so as to maximise the internal space and make it more like a moving living room than a bus. So, how could someone take control in the event of an emergency?

    Quote Originally Posted by SiliconAlley_Sam View Post
    Exactly what we need on the motorways, lots of cars that can't physically go above 70.
    It is illegal to go above 70... So that shouldn't be a problem anyway!
    Last edited by localzuk; 30th July 2014 at 03:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by visioN View Post
    I think you won't be able to be drunk and get in the car (as the driver) - in case of emergency and the driver may need to take manual control of the car
    I'd think otherwise. Initially, the cost of driverless cars is likely to be hundreds of thousands - out of the reach of most people BUT economically viable if operating as taxis with high utilisation. So the issue of "being in charge of" is likely to be addressed very early on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    I'd think otherwise. Initially, the cost of driverless cars is likely to be hundreds of thousands - out of the reach of most people BUT economically viable if operating as taxis with high utilisation. So the issue of "being in charge of" is likely to be addressed very early on.
    How so? The technology isn't actually *that* expensive in itself. LIDAR sensors and the like aren't hugely expensive. The expense at the moment is the testing and refinement of the control software.

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    I don't know where you are buying your LIDAR from! The ones in use on Google cars are Velodyne 64-beam laser units which cost around $70,000 a pop. The car itself has another $150,000 of outfitting, so that's $220,000 in hardware costs alone. I'd agree that is dwarfed by the software development costs, but even just the hardware is unlikely to be being bought for private use in the first few years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    I don't know where you are buying your LIDAR from! The ones in use on Google cars are Velodyne 64-beam laser units which cost around $70,000 a pop. The car itself has another $150,000 of outfitting, so that's $220,000 in hardware costs alone. I'd agree that is dwarfed by the software development costs, but even just the hardware is unlikely to be being bought for private use in the first few years.
    You're looking at short run dev kit prices. When, say, VW, decide to make 100,000 of those cars, those prices plummet. You can get basic lidar sensors for home robotics for hardly anything now, but that's only because the kit is now mass produced.

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    Sure, once someone starts making these things in bulk, prices will come down but initially, that is now and next few years, the technology is unlikely to be within the reach of the average car buyer. So lawmakers will likely have to address the issue of "in charge of" as it relates to an autonomous vehicle.

    I would guess there is a reason Google are using a 64 laser LIDAR capable of resolving features a few mm across. I'm also sure (having built a few robots) that the computing power you need to to real time analysis of that 3d environment is not insignificant. You can make your own LIDAR on the cheap, but you probably wouldn't want to be driven anywhere by a computer which relies on it.

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    I suppose a driverless car won't do this sort of thing Satnav plunges £96k Merc into river. On the other hand, maybe it might happen more often.

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    Quote Originally Posted by unixman_again View Post
    I suppose a driverless car won't do this sort of thing Satnav plunges £96k Merc into river. On the other hand, maybe it might happen more often.
    It's a bit of a misleading headline - "stupid driver plunges car into river" would be more accurate.

    I was once directed to drive over a cliff by a Satnav system in Italy, the road it wanted me to take emerged 500ft below from a tunnel in the mountainside.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CAM View Post
    Railway crossings will be the big headache. They aren't uniform (different angles, gate types and so on), they are often abused by other drivers and in some areas are hard to program to avoid. And if the car gets it wrong just once...
    Navigating City Streets - YouTube

    They're quite intelligent!

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    Quote Originally Posted by IrritableTech View Post
    I read an interesting article on driverless cars a while ago - all around the ethics.

    For example - how do you program a car to crash - they will at some point.

    Say a child runs out from behind a wall. There was no indication what so ever that it could have been there, and the car needs to decide - take evasive action, possibly into oncoming traffic, or hit the child? If we as individuals behind the wheel were put in that decision, we'd make different decisions. Driverless cars quite possibly make the decision based on the person who wrote the program - and in the event of an identical accident it would make the same decision.

    How about a crash where the driverless car is going to hit one of two motorbikes. One rider is wearing a helmet, the other (stupidly) is not. How do you program a car to make a decision? The rider with the helmet is statistically more likely to live - but should they be punished for wearing the correct equipment and following the laws or should the car be programmed to hit the rider who seems to take less regard of their life?

    Do we need to humanize the program and add in a random number generator to decide someones fate?

    I thought it was a fascinating subject.
    I think I read the same article, or a similar one (seems there were a few of them). Further to all the above was the question: would you car choose to kill you? Imagine your front farside tyre blew on a bridge, steering you towards oncoming traffic. You, in your big modern robot SUV might survive, but the two occupants of the car you'd hit would be killed. Would your car instead choose to steer you off the bridge, certainly killing you but saving two other lives? Mathematically the latter is sounder but it's morally thorny. It's a twist on the Trolley Problem that some poor software engineer is going to have to decide on.

    Other articles on the topic:
    The Robot Car of Tomorrow May Just Be Programmed to Hit You | Autopia | WIRED
    Google and the Trolley Problem | Owen abroad
    When Should Your Driverless Car From Google Be Allowed To Kill You? - Forbes

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