Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

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Notorial Dissent
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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#26

Post by Notorial Dissent » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:40 pm

Don't get me wrong, I think some of the new anti-collision software and enhancements they have come up with sound like a really good idea, and the way things are going I think necessary. This jury is still out on the self drive though.


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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#27

Post by tek » Mon Feb 27, 2017 7:57 pm

As someone deeply involved in the "embedded systems" industry, I have to report that the world is full of systems that pretty much work most of the time.

There is a world of difference between your phone crashing and your car crashing.

The bright young undergrads out to change the world, by and large, haven't ever thought about this. I'm working hard to update engineering/CS education to deal with this, but I may expire before I succeed..


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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#28

Post by Notorial Dissent » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:25 pm

Oh lord, a practicalist, don't let them know that's heresy in certain circles.


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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#29

Post by SueDB » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:55 pm

Just wait for when the self driving semi trucks are whipping across Wyoming at 75 MPH. :eek2:


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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#30

Post by Whip » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:33 pm

SueDB wrote:Just wait for when the self driving semi trucks are whipping across Wyoming at 75 MPH. :eek2:
close:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdSRUG4KTPA&t=192s



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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#31

Post by Notorial Dissent » Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:51 pm

SueDB wrote:Just wait for when the self driving semi trucks are whipping across Wyoming at 75 MPH. :eek2:
They're scary enough when they are under driver control, have you not seen the wind video from a week or so ago?


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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#32

Post by SueDB » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:09 am

Notorial Dissent wrote:
SueDB wrote:Just wait for when the self driving semi trucks are whipping across Wyoming at 75 MPH. :eek2:
They're scary enough when they are under driver control, have you not seen the wind video from a week or so ago?
There's a spot in Wyoming on I-25 north of Cheyenne where the crosswind blows semis off the road on occasion. Those trailers don't roll very well.


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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#33

Post by TollandRCR » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:17 am

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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#34

Post by Dallasite » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:11 pm

I always wonder about some of the great new electronic spiffs on new cars. Take, for example, the rear door on Ford SUVs. The one you wave your foot under to open when your hands are full. I've never seen one in person, but I assume the car must be unlocked for it to work, so you either have to leave you car unlocked all the time or you have to empty one hand to get your keys out of your pocket to unlock the car. Not very helpful.


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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#35

Post by Dallasite » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:12 pm

tek wrote:As someone deeply involved in the "embedded systems" industry, I have to report that the world is full of systems that pretty much work most of the time.
Those are the words that scare me about driverless cars.


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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#36

Post by Finlay » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:07 pm

Dallasite wrote:
tek wrote:As someone deeply involved in the "embedded systems" industry, I have to report that the world is full of systems that pretty much work most of the time.
Those are the words that scare me about driverless cars.
It's not as though the driven cars are much better. Hell, they are essentially driverless anyway, what with the rampant screenface epidemic. And as my parents age, I do worry about how they will get around without endangering everyone around them. Mom has never been that great at driving as it is.

That being said, I don't think full autonomy is as nearly as at hand as the breathless reports have said. I do have a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and wanted to design autonomous vehicles once upon a time. One of my robotics professors made a great point when she said "when I was a kid the assumption was that robots would be generalists and would have to be trained for specific tasks, and reality has been exactly the opposite".

I think it will be that way for cars - the lane assistance and collision avoidance will come first. Then, automated cruise control on the highway, with people taking over as the offramp approaches and so on. Incrementally, the cars will learn to do some portion of the driving task and the human won't have to. ABS, Stability and Traction Control already do this. And when was the last time you had to adjust the mixture or choke on a car ?

But, yeah, I agree that full, generalized automation won't occur for quite some time, but driverless busses and trolleys on fixed routes will probably be sooner than we think.



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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#37

Post by Slartibartfast » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:28 pm

Finlay,

They are here NOW.
But while many companies are invested in the race to develop a driverless vehicle, one player may have a big edge. Google has been working on driverless technology since 2009, and Waymo CEO John Krafcik says they now have more than 2 million self-driven miles, which has provided the company with "over 300 years of human driving experience."
article about Waymo---the descendant of Google's self-driving car project

That's 2 million miles on freeways, in towns and cities (mainly San Francisco, I believe) with all sorts of other drivers and pedestrians around.

Regarding your professor's comments about robotics, have you read Heinlein's A Door Into Summer? I think that it illustrates the attitudes she was talking about (the hero is a robotics pioneer who becomes involved with a time-travel conundrum). Good story too. also.
Edit: To correct spilling err pointed out by :sterngard: .


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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#38

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:47 pm

Slartibartfast wrote:Finlay,

They are here NOW.
But while many companies are invested in the race to develop a driverless vehicle, one player may have a big edge. Google has been working on driverless technology since 2009, and Waymo CEO John Krafcik says they now have more than 2 million self-driven miles, which has provided the company with "over 300 years of human driving experience."
article about Waymo---the descendant of Google's self-driving car project

That's 2 million miles on freeways, in towns and cities (mainly San Francisco, I believe) with all sorts of other drivers and pedestrians around.

Regarding your professor's comments about robotics, have you read Heinlein's A Door Into Su[m]mer? I think that it illustrates the attitudes she was talking about (the hero is a robotics pioneer who becomes involved with a time-travel conundrum). Good story too. also.
All You Zombies?

To respond to Dallasite, in my BMW (and my friend's Cadillac) the car can be locked. If you have your key on you and wave your foot under the rear bumper -- vwa-lah -- the trunk opens up.



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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#39

Post by Notorial Dissent » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:07 pm

Stern, is yours one of the ones that unlocks when you get close to it with the magic key fob or do you actually have to push a button? I can see the rear doors activating if the fob was at hand, which actually would be sensible if you were in to that sort of thing.


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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#40

Post by Whip » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:33 pm

Sterngard Friegen wrote: All You Zombies?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LE0KpcP05I



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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#41

Post by Slartibartfast » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:09 pm

:sterngard: ,

I figured that was how the rear hatch thing would work. All You Zombies (and By His Bootstraps, an earlier work exploring time travel themes) is all about time travel. The Door Into Summer is about robots and a guy who considers doing 30 years of suspended animation and then gets thrown into 30 years of suspended animation by his business partners (to get rid of him). In the future, he sees 30 years worth of development of the robotics ideas he was thinking about (but hadn't yet made) before his 30 years on ice and has to figure out the apparent paradox (and find his "door into summer"). It has a cat too. also.


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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#42

Post by Sugar Magnolia » Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:18 pm

Dallasite wrote:I always wonder about some of the great new electronic spiffs on new cars. Take, for example, the rear door on Ford SUVs. The one you wave your foot under to open when your hands are full. I've never seen one in person, but I assume the car must be unlocked for it to work, so you either have to leave you car unlocked all the time or you have to empty one hand to get your keys out of your pocket to unlock the car. Not very helpful.
My studio partner just bought a brand new Explorer last week with that feature. It sounds like a great idea and actually works pretty well in a the-door-does-open way, but there are a couple of glitches.

As long as she has the key in her purse or pocket it unlocks automatically when she gets within a couple of feet of the vehicle, but the sensor to trigger the rear hatch is about a foot under the bumper so you have to really lean into it to trigger it. And then step back really quickly because the hatch lifts from the bottom and is relatively long so it will smack you (and go back down like a garage door if it hits something on the way up) so consequently, both of us have landed on our ass when trying to stand on one foot, juggling an armload of stuff (why else would you not just open it with your hand) waving our other foot around trying to find the sensor, and then not getting our balance back fast enough to step back out of the way of the damn hatch. So you wind up on your ass in the parking lot, your shit scattered around you on the ground, and the damn hatch closed anyway. Not to mention the bruised hip and ego.



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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#43

Post by Finlay » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:03 pm

Slartibartfast wrote:
That's 2 million miles on freeways, in towns and cities (mainly San Francisco, I believe) with all sorts of other drivers and pedestrians around.

Regarding your professor's comments about robotics, have you read Heinlein's A Door Into Sumer? I think that it illustrates the attitudes she was talking about (the hero is a robotics pioneer who becomes involved with a time-travel conundrum). Good story too. also.
Meh.

I mean, I don't want to be all negative nancy. But, you know, 150+ incidents if needing a driver to intervene are 1 too many if you haven't got a steering wheel and brakes. Which is to say, that if it needs a human to intervene it isn't autonomous. And that's in lovely California weather. Not a WI lake fog or a CO mountain snowstorm or NE sleet.

It's a classic 90/10 problem where the last 10% of the problem is really, really hard to solve. And it's arguably that last 10% that matters most if we are talking fully autonomous driving.

So... I think the driver assistance stuff is going to get better and better. It'll be great to set the cruise in I80 in Nebraska and play a video game or have a nap and let the car do the busywork - or let my parents drive to a doctor appointment without running someone over when they miss a red light. But the "car == elevator" paradigm I think is still quite a ways off.

Happy to be wrong, of course.


And yeah, I've read everything by Heinlein. He and Rand were my favorite authors as a teenager. I outgrew both of them, though I have far more fondness for some/much of Heinlein's stuff. Tunnel in the Sky is one of my favorites - though I meet so few people who had ever read it.



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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#44

Post by Slartibartfast » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:11 pm

Finlay,

I was just pointing out that there are autonomous cars on the road now (and I agree that the SF area and a Minnesota winter are two entirely different things).

Never read A Tunnel in the Sky (didn't read many of the juveniles, of which I think that was one). My favorite was The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, which is still one of my all-time favorite SF books. I probably read far more Heinlein than was good for me at an impressionable age, so I didn't so much outgrow him as he is already baked into my worldview which has since evolved.


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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#45

Post by Miss Meh » Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:13 pm

Sugar Magnolia wrote: My studio partner just bought a brand new Explorer last week with that feature. It sounds like a great idea and actually works pretty well in a the-door-does-open way, but there are a couple of glitches.

As long as she has the key in her purse or pocket it unlocks automatically when she gets within a couple of feet of the vehicle, but the sensor to trigger the rear hatch is about a foot under the bumper so you have to really lean into it to trigger it. And then step back really quickly because the hatch lifts from the bottom and is relatively long so it will smack you (and go back down like a garage door if it hits something on the way up) so consequently, both of us have landed on our ass when trying to stand on one foot, juggling an armload of stuff (why else would you not just open it with your hand) waving our other foot around trying to find the sensor, and then not getting our balance back fast enough to step back out of the way of the damn hatch. So you wind up on your ass in the parking lot, your shit scattered around you on the ground, and the damn hatch closed anyway. Not to mention the bruised hip and ego.
I had a Ford Edge as my loaner last year after my car accident but I had no idea about the wave your foot thingy until I saw a commercial a few weeks after I had my own car back. Went Xmas shopping with mom & sis while I had the SUV but we couldn't figure out how to get the danged hatch open - there's no keyhole or even a handle in the door, and nothing on the fob for opening the back door (and the hatch definitely didn't pop open when I approached) so we ended up shoving all the bags into the cargo area from the back people seat.

After reading your comment, Sugar, I'm glad I didn't know about it because I probably would have gotten knocked over for sure cuz I'm only 5 feet tall with really short legs. You'd think they'd at least give the option of opening the door the conventional way for those of us who are vertically challenged. :lol:



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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#46

Post by Notorial Dissent » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:46 pm

Sugar Magnolia wrote:
Dallasite wrote:I always wonder about some of the great new electronic spiffs on new cars. Take, for example, the rear door on Ford SUVs. The one you wave your foot under to open when your hands are full. I've never seen one in person, but I assume the car must be unlocked for it to work, so you either have to leave you car unlocked all the time or you have to empty one hand to get your keys out of your pocket to unlock the car. Not very helpful.
My studio partner just bought a brand new Explorer last week with that feature. It sounds like a great idea and actually works pretty well in a the-door-does-open way, but there are a couple of glitches.

As long as she has the key in her purse or pocket it unlocks automatically when she gets within a couple of feet of the vehicle, but the sensor to trigger the rear hatch is about a foot under the bumper so you have to really lean into it to trigger it. And then step back really quickly because the hatch lifts from the bottom and is relatively long so it will smack you (and go back down like a garage door if it hits something on the way up) so consequently, both of us have landed on our ass when trying to stand on one foot, juggling an armload of stuff (why else would you not just open it with your hand) waving our other foot around trying to find the sensor, and then not getting our balance back fast enough to step back out of the way of the damn hatch. So you wind up on your ass in the parking lot, your shit scattered around you on the ground, and the damn hatch closed anyway. Not to mention the bruised hip and ego.
I wondered if that wasn't an undocumented feature after I saw one demonstrated. I think I'll stick to fob controls for something like that, i don't like getting smacked in the chin or whatever.


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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#47

Post by Somerset » Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:08 am

http://spectrum.ieee.org/transportation ... le-problem
Robotic cars are great at monitoring other cars, and they’re getting better at noticing pedestrians, squirrels, and birds. The main challenge, though, is posed by the lightest, quietest, swerviest vehicles on the road.

“Bicycles are probably the most difficult detection problem that autonomous vehicle systems face,” says UC Berkeley research engineer Steven Shladover.

Nuno Vasconcelos, a visual computing expert at the University of California, San Diego, says bikes pose a complex detection problem because they are relatively small, fast and heterogenous. “A car is basically a big block of stuff. A bicycle has much less mass and also there can be more variation in appearance — there are more shapes and colors and people hang stuff on them.”


However, when it comes to spotting and orienting bikes and bicyclists, performance drops significantly. Deep3DBox is among the best, yet it spots only 74 percent of bikes in the benchmarking test. And though it can orient over 88 percent of the cars in the test images, it scores just 59 percent for the bikes.



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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#48

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:23 am

Notorial Dissent wrote:Stern, is yours one of the ones that unlocks when you get close to it with the magic key fob or do you actually have to push a button? I can see the rear doors activating if the fob was at hand, which actually would be sensible if you were in to that sort of thing.
It unlocks when you are adjacent and touch the door handle with the key on your person (or, say, in your briefcase). BMW calls this feature (as well as the ability to push a button in the car to start it, with the key fob still in your pocket) "Comfort Access." That always sounded like a European pay toilet to me. (Mercedes calls it "Keyless Go.")



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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#49

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:28 am

Slartibartfast wrote::sterngard: ,

I figured that was how the rear hatch thing would work. All You Zombies (and By His Bootstraps, an earlier work exploring time travel themes) is all about time travel. The Door Into Summer is about robots and a guy who considers doing 30 years of suspended animation and then gets thrown into 30 years of suspended animation by his business partners (to get rid of him). In the future, he sees 30 years worth of development of the robotics ideas he was thinking about (but hadn't yet made) before his 30 years on ice and has to figure out the apparent paradox (and find his "door into summer"). It has a cat too. also.
Speaking of autonomous vehicles -- The Roads Must Roll.

Heinlein once said his biggest mistake in that novella was having vehicles on wheels.

I once engaged in a lively correspondence with him and his wife Virginia. Very affable man, even though he was a right wing curmudgeon. I think his Jubal T. Harshaw* was supposed to be him. Although these days I think of that as me :sterngard: except for the pollyticks.
___________________________________________________________________________________
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Re: Self Driving Cars/Vehicles

#50

Post by HilltownGrrl » Wed Mar 01, 2017 11:16 am

Slartibartfast wrote:...have you read Heinlein's A Door Into Summer? I think that it illustrates the attitudes she was talking about (the hero is a robotics pioneer who becomes involved with a time-travel conundrum). Good story too. also.
Slightly OT - this is one of my very favorite books (I've lost count of the number of times I've read it) & if you read nothing more of the book than the description of the main character's cat looking for the door into summer, it will have been well worth your time. As staff to cats, I am very familiar with them looking for the door into <insert whatever it is they want you to get them here>!

Back on topic - I only drove standards until recently when my ankles & wrists grew too painful to drive real cars :-D . It took me two or three years to get used to driving an automatic - I hated not feeling in control. I mean, it DID THINGS by itself!!! so you can imagine how very not thrilled I am about self-driving cars as well as all the other fancy tech. Ours are new enough to have airbags, & one has ABS, & this is enough tech for me. /enough with all the new-fangled things you young whippersnappers

PS We still have hardwired phones, 4 of them. Two have rotary dials. :rotflmao:



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