Driverless cars=instant city gridlock?

Home Forum Chat Forum Driverless cars=instant city gridlock?

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 48 total)
  • Driverless cars=instant city gridlock?
  • Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Subscriber

    Musing here about city cycling while planning a trip to London soon. I’ve seen the crazy close calls of cycle commuting, and thought to myself that a self driving car would most likely freeze with all the close action in queues and at junctions. Would it not be worse still as cyclists and cab drivers would spot a driverless car and deliberately take the piss by tricking it into stopping in order to make a gap for themselves? With the numbers of cyclists and other piss takers, wouldn’t it be impossible for these cars to make progress, therefore becoming road block to everything behind them?

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Never heard of this idea before. Sounds like a stupid idea in every way, not just the ones you mention.
    How about carless drivers. (no, not careless, there’s enough of those).

    Premier Icon votchy
    Subscriber

    Having driven a car with ACC for 25 miles on a combination of motorways, A roads and B roads without having any input other than turning the steering wheel and indicating I dont see any issue with progressing to a driver-less car. Many cars are now fitted with all round vision camera systems so linking these to engine, braking and steering control is an obvious step forward. May even have the opposite effect and prevent grid lock by being more intelligent than drivers!!!

    jonba
    Member

    So the issue here is with the drivers taking the piss, not the driverless cars. Remove all drivers and there would be no gridlock.

    Fit cameras to the cars. Anybody forcing one to stop through dangerous driving get’s 3 points and a fine.

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes
    Subscriber

    Three points on my cycling or pedestrian licence?

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Can someone explain to me what this is for??

    jekkyl
    Member

    I think it certainly is the future, think of the road system in minority report, all the cars being controlled centrally, there would be no need for traffic lights as the computer would simply merge the two lines of traffic 1 by 1, like the filter system in the channel islands.

    shermer75
    Member

    I’ve had the same thought. I can wait for it to happen, as it will make the roads a much safer place, but yes the proximity thing could only be a problem…

    andyl
    Member

    I think it is going to be brilliant.

    Don’t forget all the cars will be linked into an traffic system so basically everyone can have a time slot to get to their destination. The cars can just slot seamlessly in between each other when merging with no one trying to force their way in as they have gone all the way up to the lane closure, no knock on brake effect causing phantom jams.

    Have big car parks out of the city with buses that you can use if you don’t have lots to carry or you can get your car to come get you if you do.

    shermer75
    Member

    So the issue here is with the drivers taking the piss, not the driverless cars. Remove all drivers and there would be no gridlock.

    That’d be nice ๐Ÿ™‚

    ooOOoo
    Member

    So as a cyclist, how do I make eye contact with a driverless car?
    Do I stare at the human, who is busy looking at porn? Or will there be a camera that will recognise my gesticualtions?

    And will a driverless car avoid me because it doesn’t want to go to jail?

    whatnobeer
    Member

    So as a cyclist, how do I make eye contact with a driverless car?
    Do I stare at the human, who is busy looking at porn? Or will there be a camera that will recognise my gesticualtions?

    And will a driverless car avoid me because it doesn’t want to go to jail?

    You wouldn’t have to make eye contact. The point being that the driverless car never has concentration lapses, is able to take in a lot more data than a human and react quicker. If everyone had one and all the code running them is synced up to some standard the behaviour should be relatively predictable as well. They should cope with cyclists, pedestrians and other cars with ease.

    Trimix
    Member

    Anyone ever used software that has not gone wrong, had a bug or just stopped working ?

    whatnobeer
    Member

    Anyone ever used software that has not gone wrong, had a bug or just stopped working ?

    Driverless cars would be running safety critical software that would be tested in white/black box testing, simulations as well as real world testing before they get to public. If they’re anything like planes they’ll different system running on different hardware too so that a fault in one doesn’t take out the entire car. Windows, office, video games etc all crash because it doesn’t really matter if they do. Software where lives are at risk is a different matter.

    gwaelod
    Member

    Presumably I can just cross a road in front of a driverless car and it will stop automatically. In a busy urban environment the car will not move as lots of pedestrians cross in front of it.

    Can I throw some sort of “chaff” into the road to force a braking manaoevure before I cross?

    gwaelod
    Member

    I can imagine school run time in my street…a string of vehicles going nowhere as kids who up until now have been confined to clinging precariously to 2ft of narrow pavement quite happily walk in the road, side by side chatting away as a string of drverless cars behind them defer and give them priority.

    This won’t happen….a way will be found to assert the machines priority over human welfare. I expect soon when we will see a strong move towards criminilaising crossing the road at non approved crossing places to allow robot cars to move more freely.

    crispy
    Member

    So as a cyclist, how do I make eye contact with a driverless car?
    Do I stare at the human, who is busy looking at porn? Or will there be a camera that will recognise my gesticualtions?

    And will a driverless car avoid me because it doesn’t want to go to jail?

    You need to up your science-fiction reading!

    The Three Laws of Robotics

    kcr
    Member

    cyclists and other piss takers

    Hmm. The road accident stats say that cyclists are not piss takers, but a lot of drivers are.

    ooOOoo
    Member

    a string of vehicles going nowhere as kids who up until now have been confined to clinging precariously to 2ft of narrow pavement quite happily walk in the road, side by side chatting away as a string of drverless cars behind them defer and give them priority.

    ha ha…. ๐Ÿ™‚

    a way will be found to assert the machines priority over human welfare.

    We’re already halfway there…

    Jaywalking: How the car industry outlawed crossing the road

    sbob
    Member

    whatnobeer – Member

    Driverless cars would be running safety critical software that would be tested in white/black box testing, simulations as well as real world testing before they get to public. If they’re anything like planes they’ll different system running on different hardware too so that a fault in one doesn’t take out the entire car. Windows, office, video games etc all crash because it doesn’t really matter if they do. Software where lives are at risk is a different matter.

    You make it sound like faulty software has never crashed a plane.
    It has.

    ooOOoo
    Member

    You need to up your science-fiction reading!

    The Three Laws of Robotics

    Yeah I saw iRobot ๐Ÿ˜‰

    whatnobeer
    Member

    You make it sound like faulty software has never crashed a plane.

    Recently?

    Either way, taking the human out of the actual driving part of moving a car around will still be safer than software that occasionally hits a bug.

    uselesshippy
    Member

    Yes, faulty software has crashed planes. But no where near as many as human error.

    Don’t forget all the cars will be linked into an traffic system so basically everyone can have a time slot to get to their destination.

    Presumably this would be a major government IT infrastucture project?

    gwaelod
    Member

    yeah the Jaywalking thing is an american thing..not really applicaple in the UK thank heavens…although what is maybe more troubling is the court cases that given no or very little punishment to walkers and cyclists who have been killed by cars when they have every right to be there…this is reinforcing the idea for society that roads belong to cars and anyone who intrudes on them legally or not – should expect to be killed.

    Expect plenty more “road safety” schemes in schools, on how kids should “stay safe”. Don’t expect much in the way of those schemes teaching kids what their rights are.

    gwaelod
    Member

    I like the expression “carless drivers”. Towns and cites would be much nicer places if they had more carless drivers.

    I shall pinch it, and use it frequently.

    sbob
    Member

    whatnobeer – Member

    Either way, taking the human out of the actual driving part of moving a car around will still be safer than software that occasionally hits a bug.

    When you put it like that, yes.
    Change “hits a bug” for “causes numerous fatalities” however, and it doesn’t sound so rosey.

    You shouldn’t underestimate what fantastically capable things humans are thanks to constant evolution.
    As situations change, we can adapt.
    Computers just aren’t that clever because of the mistakes we make building them. Mistakes that we can overcome, but computers can’t.

    ooOOoo
    Member

    Either way, taking the human out of the actual driving part of moving a car around will still be safer than software that occasionally hits a bug.

    But humans, generally, don’t want to die or kill someone.

    ooOOoo
    Member

    this is reinforcing the idea for society that roads belong to cars and anyone who intrudes on them legally or not – should expect to be killed.

    Yeah I work in the traffic infrastructure industry….it is competely car focussed and that is designed in. I doubt any town planners ride the cycle routes they make. The whole idea of driverless cars and ‘smart’ roads has been in their trade magazines for years and years and they love it.

    The humble pleb on a bike is far too low tech for them to get excited about.

    sbob
    Member

    We don’t even have traffic lights that can reliably detect cyclists FFS!

    traildog
    Member

    Change “hits a bug” for “causes numerous fatalities” however, and it doesn’t sound so rosey.

    Your brakes could fail in the car and you’re unable to stop. Or the throttle gets held open. Or a tyre bursts.

    There could be any sort of faults that cause death, adding safty software to the car should help reduce deaths. Cars are full of software already.

    If you don’t like the idea of technology causing death, why are you anywhere near a car in the first place?

    gwaelod
    Member

    there should be a responsibility chain…if a car hits someone and kills them…where does the blame lie.

    In a simple car…its invariably driver error…driver can be punished.

    as cars get more sophisticated and driver inputs less…where will the blame for killing people lie..the driver or the software designer….who should be in the dock for manslaughter. As driver input becomes zero…there is no one to put in the dock other than the software designer/manufacturer…although inevitably they will attempt to blame the driver.

    I seem to recall reading that a lot of “pilot error” incidents in planes aren’t really that straightforward, but they make useful scapegoats for when the techies or the designers have ballsed stuff up…especially if the pilots are dead (Kintyre Chinooks??)

    robot cars in uncontrolled chaotic envronments aren’t a technology problem, they are a philosphical and political (small p) problem. Will they make cities function better or worse…would a 3rd (solution of virtually removing cars from cities be an even better solution.

    sbob
    Member

    Your brakes could fail in the car and you’re unable to stop. Or the throttle gets held open. Or a tyre bursts.

    Brake failure?
    Use handbrake and gears to slow down whilst pumping brake pedal which may cause it to work depending on the nature of failure.
    Failing that, grind the car against the armco to slow down, or use the verge, or pick something to crash into that will maximise your chance of survival and minimise the chance of injuring someone else, or minimise the number of people you are going to injure, or maybe I’ll take out the pensioner who has already lived their life rather than the child…

    You get cracking programming that, I’m off to work. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    sbob
    Member

    If you don’t like the idea of technology

    Easy tiger, I haven’t mentioned technology, I’ve been far more specific.
    Moving the goalposts is naughty. ๐Ÿ’ก

    Many cars are now fitted with all round vision camera systems so linking these to engine, braking and steering control is an obvious step forward.

    This actually used to be my job!

    The company was quite clear, they wanted to eliminate ALL road deaths.
    Every single one. With the general public at the wheel this is impossible.

    Even relatively basic stuff, like pedestrian detection, has started to stop so many accidents these cars are being put into a lower insurance groups.

    You’ll start to see more and more “driver assist”, such that to all intents and purposes, the car only lets you have control up until the point it thinks you will have an accident (like a 747 that creates a performance envelope doesn’t let the pilot stall).

    In this situation, the driver is still 100% responsible.

    With full autonomous cars, the responsibility issue is 100% the manufacturers fault (i.e. Volvo/BMW etc). Its up to them to chase the problem further down the supply chain (since it could be caused by an interaction of multiple systems).

    However, the OP raises in my mind, the last unanswered question. If all cars are autonomous, how do you stop people constantly stepping in front of them on purpose??

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    If they’ve got sensors and cameras all round then surely it’ll be easy to prove that someone stepped out deliberately?

    gears_suck
    Member

    The level of stupidity being expressed in this hypothetical situation is staggering. It’s little wonder we are exterminating ourselves.

    ooOOoo
    Member

    Deliberately to stop the car or deliberately to get to the other side of the road?!

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    ๐Ÿ™„

    ‘easy to prove if someone stepped out without looking’ then.

    If they’ve got sensors and cameras all round then surely it’ll be easy to prove that someone stepped out deliberately?

    Indeed they will, but the problem isn’t that someone would get run over, more that cars will almost never make any progress since they automatically brake every time someone crosses the road.

    Carlton Reid raises the point here..
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/bike-blog/2013/oct/11/driver-less-cars-coming-bike-blog

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 48 total)

The topic ‘Driverless cars=instant city gridlock?’ is closed to new replies.