Driverless cars in the UK!

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  • Driverless cars in the UK!
  • Premier Icon jam bo
    Subscriber

    probably do a better job than some of the cars with drivers in.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    So long as they don’t use phones, speed, overtake where it’s not safe, ignore anything thats not a car, make poor judgements when tired/stressed/unwell, don’t drink, don’t take drugs or be general pricks then I’d be happy.

    Premier Icon phiiiiil
    Subscriber

    Can’t happen soon enough. Even dodgy software wiggling the wheels at random would be an improvement over the skills of many drivers out there.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    The biggest challenges for “Driverless Cars” will of course come early on when they have to mix it on the roads with old fashioned Human operated vehicles and any supporting infrastructure hasn’t yet been rolled out… things will get safer with wider adoption…

    Of course half the world will be expecting this:

    I’d be interested to know what the environment and ecconomical side of them stacks up like, surely running some meaty processors and sensors has an impact on vehicle MPG/MPA and I’m sure such systems won’t be cheap…

    Personally I quite like the idea. TBH driving isn’t really “Fun” anymore its just a means for getting about…

    Could it be the beginning of the end for this lot?

    Premier Icon gofasterstripes
    Subscriber

    could it be the beginning of the end…

    I sure hope so!

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    Bring it on I say.

    The sooner cars have an “auto drive” button the better.

    Network them together and you would eliminate traffic jams and double the carrying capacity of roads.

    Everyone’s journey would be safer and faster

    Premier Icon bails
    Subscriber

    ‘d be interested to know what the environment and ecconomical side of them stacks up like, surely running some meaty processors and sensors has an impact on vehicle MPG/MPA

    I doubt there’s much impact there tbh. Especially when you factor in the economy gains from smoother driving.

    Premier Icon mintimperial
    Subscriber

    The biggest challenges for “Driverless Cars” will of course come early on when they have to mix it on the roads with old fashioned Human operated vehicles and any supporting infrastructure hasn’t yet been rolled out… things will get safer with wider adoption…

    They’ll never let them loose wholesale until they’ve been proven to be safer than human drivers by several orders of magnitude. I also expect that they’ll be bristling with cameras and whatnot so anyone trying to pull the “robot car did something dangerous” defence will have a very hard time getting away with it. Safety will be much better than a human-driven vehicle, even with current existing road conditions, it will have to be.

    Nah, the biggest challenge for driverless cars will come when all the “professional drivers” who currently get paid to sit on their arses all day suddenly realise that they’re going to lose their jobs because robots are safer, faster, don’t need to be paid, don’t need to take breaks, and don’t feel the need to inflict their idiot opinions on their passengers or fellow road users.

    Do taxi drivers have a union? If not they might want to look into forming one…

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    Everyone’s journey would be safer and faster

    In about 20 years, adoption won’t happen overnight…

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    In about 20 years, adoption won’t happen overnight…

    No doubt but we need to start somewhere

    whatnobeer
    Member

    The sooner the better imo.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    They’ll never let them loose wholesale until they’ve been proven to be safer than human drivers by several orders of magnitude. I also expect that they’ll be bristling with cameras and whatnot so anyone trying to pull the “robot car did something dangerous” defence will have a very hard time getting away with it. Safety will be much better than a human-driven vehicle, even with current existing road conditions, it will have to be.

    Essentially my point is that, but the first generation of autonomous vehicles will be in an environment where they have to accommodate the more unpredictable driving from some of the existing “Organic Control systems” in other vehicles, the real improvements in safety, journey time and efficiency come several years down the line when pretty much every vehicle is autonomous…

    Good point about the cab/bus/HGV drivers, I’d not considered “Professional Drivers” TBH… I think it will take a while before they are superseded entirely, and I bet the initial rules will require the vehicle to have a manual override and a “qualified driver” behind the wheel, its just he/she can read the paper/text/snooze (as half do already )while R2D2 keeps things in line…

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    They’ll never let them loose wholesale until they’ve been proven to be safer than human drivers by several orders of magnitude.

    Next week then? It’s not hard with some of them.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    IIRC the two accidents that Google’s cars have had so far (that they’ve told us about, anyway) were human drivers running into them. If we can get the software to a point where it can perform in an environment stuffed with the usual standard of erratic driving then they’ll be near faultless (barring the inevitable software and mechanical faults) in a system where all the cars have controlled by computer.

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    Actually I’d love to see how the SIL rating for an autonomous Car’s control system actually stacks up.

    You can bet the baseline won’t simply be taken from Normal rates of Human error, the burden will be on manufacturers to demonstrate a huge margin above and beyond what you expect from the meat sack they are replacing…

    munrobiker
    Member

    Surely HGVs still need drivers to perform unloading/loading etc? A lot of the places they end up don’t have the facilities for that (building sites, bike manufacturers waiting on a container of frames from Asia etc. etc.)

    whatnobeer
    Member

    You can bet the baseline won’t simply be taken from Normal rates of Human error, the burden will be on manufacturers to demonstrate a huge margin above and beyond what you expect from the meat sack they are replacing…

    Probably. I’m in two minds if thats a good thing or not. Obviously any improvement over current driving standards would be a really good thing, but if there’s people involved it’s easy to pin blame. Whose fault is it when Joe Bloggs self drive car accidentally crashes into someone? If these things end up having whats perceived to be a poor safety record, even if they are a lot better than humans then it’ll put the cause back a long, long way.

    bikebouy
    Member

    I can see this being a solution to motorway and A roads, but in anything remotely City/Town I think it’ll be a disaster.
    If the systems use GPS and Traffic information updates on road blocks and such you’ll just end up pressing “Destination = London” and the car refusing to drive anywhere.

    I can’t wait until driverless cars are a reality.

    The issues in adoption won’t be the technology but peoples physiological need to be feel in control.

    I can see that after 20 year that the motorways could become driverless only – no human interaction allowed.

    craigxxl
    Member

    Driverless cars have been around for years in Bradford. They just put dummies in the drivers seat for appearance as they obviously have no control over the car.

    munrobiker
    Member

    And in reference to them being 20 years in the future, hopefully then the roads won’t be so crowded because companies will realise that paying for an office for people to come and sit at a computer in when those people have a perfectly good home they can sit at a computer in is a silly idea.

    I think these are a good idea, I think driving for fun will still exist on tracks (and I would like to partake in it). Which means less people driving for fun on real roads and killing others.

    IA
    Member

    Ethical issues too….

    Oncoming driver asleep at the wheel/has a heart attack and veers into your lane.

    Does your autonomous car pile you straight into it, almost certainly killing you and them, or does it swerve onto the pavement where it’s detected a group of pedestrians, saving you but probably killing them?

    Would you buy a car that’d sacrifice you to save more lives?

    (easy to imagine other such scenarios).

    whatnobeer
    Member

    I can see this being a solution to motorway and A roads, but in anything remotely City/Town I think it’ll be a disaster.
    If the systems use GPS and Traffic information updates on road blocks and such you’ll just end up pressing “Destination = London” and the car refusing to drive anywhere.

    Don’t worry, these sorts of problems will be designed around. Maps, GPS, real time sensor data, traffic data and logging of existing routes and journey times will all be used I’m sure to make sure the vehicles take the most efficient route given any situation. If all hell does break loose I see no reason why they wouldn’t also have a ‘go here, via x, y and z’ type function, which will allow the user to manually over ride the route.

    ndthornton
    Member

    great – then we just need riderless push bikes so I can stay in with my feet up instead of getting sweaty, muddy, knackered, injured etc

    klumpy
    Member

    Putting hardcore politicised cycle-whining aside for a moment, humans are actually insanely good at hoovering up info with their eyes and plotting a safe path at a safe speed.

    Yes, maybe these driver-less cars will all be on some giant network so they don’t even need to ‘detect’ each other as such and can cooperate as a cloud – great!

    Except, you and your bike won’t be on that network, will you.

    The experience for the cyclist on a road in this new world would be a little bit like ‘minority report’. The bit where Tom Cruise falls into the guts of a car assembly line to be precise.

    In practice, these cars would probably see bicycles off the road completely, either that or any hint of creativity such as filtering or straying out of the cycle lane instantly putting you on the wrong side of the law/at fault.

    (You can still go mountain biking though.)

    IA
    Member

    n practice, these cars would probably see bicycles off the road completely, either that or any hint of creativity such as filtering or straying out of the cycle lane instantly putting you on the wrong side of the law/at fault.

    Google car sensing and avoiding cyclists, and interpreting their hand signals to let them turn safely.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    In practice, these cars would probably see bicycles off the road completely, either that or any hint of creativity such as filtering or straying out of the cycle lane instantly putting you on the wrong side of the law/at fault.

    Why would you assume that? The cars need to be able to avoid everything that might be in the road, cyclists, people, animals, pot holes, who knows what else. Designing a system that ignore sensor data about what’s in the road and just relying on positional data from other cars would be a terrible idea.

    ndthornton
    Member

    I was genuinely worried this might be coming soon…. until I found out the report came from MIRA – I used to work there but left 2 years ago – there facilities are pretty damn basic to say the least. If you want a radio controlled land rover they can do you one of them but anything more clever than that…… I don’t think so.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    “Driverless” transport, it’s called the bus and the train

    whatnobeer
    Member

    “Driverless” transport, it’s called the bus and the train

    They do still have drivers you know. That’s why there’s so many “Bus tried to kill me” type threads 😉

    Premier Icon cookeaa
    Subscriber

    And in reference to them being 20 years in the future, hopefully then the roads won’t be so crowded because companies will realise that paying for an office for people to come and sit at a computer in when those people have a perfectly good home they can sit at a computer in is a silly idea.

    Some jobs will always need employees to travel to premises rather than work from home, but I’d imagine Car pooling/Car sharing with driverless vehicles would make far better sense…

    The issues in adoption won’t be the technology but peoples physiological need to be feel in control.

    Very much so, Humans don’t generally get on with the idea of relinquishing control, especially to a machine… Discussing this topic with a colleague this morning I simply likened it to catching a train to work, the major difference being you won’t have to walk from the station to work and everyone gets a whole “compartment” to themselves if they want…

    I suppose what would be ideal would be if the “Family car” could do driverless pickups/drop me to work nice and early, head home and take the Missus to work after she’s dropped the kids at school and then maybe take then MIL shopping, take itself off home to charge up the batteries in time to pick us all up in the afternoon and take us straight out a meal, or whisk the whole family off to Cornwall for the weekend…

    Self diagnosing any emerging faults so it could drive itself to the garage for a bit of preventative maintenance would be a nice bonus too…

    All very “blue sky” but entirely possible if you do away with the need to have a “driver” in the car…

    Whose fault is it when Joe Bloggs self drive car accidentally crashes into someone?

    Google’s of course… But I think you’ve missed the point a bit, the technology has the potential to Eliminate/reduce the number and severity of incidents in theory. Chucking about blame for a bump is a relatively minor concern relative to preventing the bumps happening in the first place…

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    they had better get it sorted quicker than 20 years as by then we will all have

    But seriously if the amount of cars on the roads doesn’t drop then progress hasn’t been made. Reducing need (less people in central work places), increasing options (public transport) and increasing cost should take care of it.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    Google’s of course… But I think you’ve missed the point a bit, the technology has the potential to Eliminate/reduce the number and severity of incidents in theory. Chucking about blame for a bump is a relatively minor concern relative to preventing the bumps happening in the first place…

    Aye, that was the point I was trying to make, but most of the population won’t see it like that. Any amount of bad press and the newspapers will be on it and the politicians won’t be able to make a case for the adaptation for them because it will hurt them in polls. Unfortunately public image is really important and it will need the public to be on side. The public in general probably isn’t that bothered about road safety – just look at the standard of driving.

    LHS
    Member

    They could never sit alongside those cars being driven by people. The main reason being the amount of protection mechanisms that would need to be built into driverless cars would mean you cut cut-up, pull out in front of, undertake pretty much do whatever you wanted and they would have to yield meaning the drivers would be able to take the piss more than they already do without any retribution.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    They could never sit alongside those cars being driven by people.

    You watched this didn’t you?

    [video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk3oc1Hr62g#t=71[/video]

    Cars already brake & park themselves, what next

    whatnobeer
    Member

    They could never sit alongside those cars being driven by people. The main reason being the amount of protection mechanisms that would need to be built into driverless cars would mean you cut cut-up, pull out in front of, undertake pretty much do whatever you wanted and they would have to yield meaning the drivers would be able to take the piss more than they already do without any retribution.

    This often comes up as a reason why they wont work with human drivers. I just don’t buy it. Sure drivers could act like dicks to driverless cars, but firstly they’d need to know which ones were driverless, probably not that easy to tell when they’re coming around a roundabout towards you, or ahead of you in the road.

    Secondly these cars are covered in sensors and cameras. It wouldn’t take a lot to send a report to the police or their employer for them to have a quite word.

    Finally, so what? Some drivers are dicks and driver dangerously, they cause accidents because they’re unpredictable and other people don’t have time or know how best to react. Take the driver on the receiving end out of it and there’s less crashes. That’s still a better result.

    IA
    Member

    No one wants to comment on my ethical point?

    It’s a harder question than the technical issues IMO*

    Given you can detect the people/hazards around you, should the system kill the occupants of the car to save more lives?

    I honestly don’t know how you’d make that design choice. It’s easy to say it’d never happen, or just ignore it, but then you can’t really… it’s easy to find counter examples. Crash the car or swerve and hit a group of cyclists? Humans currently make the same “decisions”…only they don’t, we just react -normally to save ourselves. But when you can make a cold, calculated design decision – what do you do?

    Would you want to know how your driverless car stacked up those odds before getting in?

    *informed opinion, I work in autonomous systems research

    whatnobeer
    Member

    I had a think about it IA and I reckoned the car would probably have a hierarchy of things it should avoid, people probably being near the top. In that case there would surely be some manoeuvre that would minimise the losses involved, be it property or human life. The car may very well be able to pull of some mental move that manages to not kill any pedestrians but still avoids killing the driver(s).

    Maybe it should just be user configurable based on how altruistic the driver is feeling on any given day?

    ndthornton
    Member

    people probably being near the top

    until they become self aware

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