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  #151  
Old 03-20-2018, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by markdash View Post
(1)The pedestrian was not crossing at a crosswalk. Apparently some are using this as an excuse for why the accident happened, but IMO self-driving cars need to be able to deal with such a situation.

(2) Following up on (1), the pedestrian supposedly darted in front of the car unexpectedly in poor lightning conditions. I think it likely an accident would have happened regardless of the driver.
Where did you see that? What I saw was that the pedestrian was walking a bicycle - in a badly lit zone out of the crosswalk. I'm not sure someone walking a bike can dash. But the facts aren't in yet.
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(3) The car was going 38 mph in a 35 mph zone. So by the rule of law the car was "speeding," but this brings up an interesting question: In a future where all cars are self-driving, how relevant are current speed limits? I would imagine an infinitely attentive/careful AI would be able to drive more safely at higher speeds than a human driver.

I firmly believe self-driving cars will eventually become standard but clearly a lot more testing and research need to be done before their implementation...
Assuming there was other traffic moving at that speed or faster, 38 in a 35 mph zone may be technically speeding but is not speeding in any practical sense, and might be safer than going slower than the traffic flow.
As for the question, it might make sense for jurisdictions to reset speed limits based on the capabilities of autonomous vehicles, not human drivers. Maybe two speed limits (like that for cars and trucks today in many places) would be appropriate.
  #152  
Old 03-20-2018, 08:15 PM
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No, but the insurance companies might.
  #153  
Old 03-21-2018, 08:55 AM
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Has anyone looked into how to keep self-driving cars up to date with changing laws?
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  #154  
Old 03-21-2018, 09:08 AM
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Huh? I assume that self-driving cars can be regularly and easily updated via a wireless download from the manufacturer, including any changing laws. Most changes, I expect though, will be improvements independent of legal requirements.
  #155  
Old 03-21-2018, 11:36 PM
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The Tempe Police have released video from the Uber self-driving car that struck and killed the pedestrian. There's not much context, but based on the video, I don't think a human driver would have been able to avoid hitting the woman. It's dark and she's not very visible at all until the car is almost on top of her. It was a very poor decision on her part to cross the road there.

Here's a link to a tweet from the Tempe Police with the video. The released video stops just before the impact. I'll put the link in a spoiler box just in case:
  #156  
Old 03-22-2018, 12:08 AM
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1. The darkness on this video is not as a person would see it--people have night vision. You have driven at night right? Don't your headlights show a road much better this camera seems too?
2. A self driving car has multiple sensors involving radar and LIDAR. So even if the person hadn't been visible in the headlights, those should have picked her up.

Last edited by PastTense; 03-22-2018 at 12:08 AM.
  #157  
Old 03-22-2018, 12:16 AM
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There's a discussion about this specific incident in this thread.

Echoing what PastTense said, the video is deceptive in how dark it looks. Moreover, the woman had already crossed three open lanes before she was struck. There was plenty of time for the car to detect her. She didn't suddenly jump out from behind a bush like the sheriff suggested. I'm frankly baffled as his statement that there was no way to avoid the collision. It sounds like someone trying to cover their ass after allowing self-driving cars on their roads with no regulation.
  #158  
Old 03-22-2018, 06:01 AM
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I've looked at the video clip and think there's fault on both sides:

The woman was crossing in a pool of darkness behind a pool of light. Very stupid. The human eye doesn't adapt that fast and I think she would have been hit by any normal human driver. She should have crossed directly under the streetlight.

The driver was not paying attention to the road. Her eyes are never looking ahead until the last instant.
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  #159  
Old 03-22-2018, 08:13 AM
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I watched the video to see how early I saw the pedestrian. I think it was at least two seconds before the collision. I think I'd be slowing and would be able to stop if I was driving that car. And as said, these self-driving cars have sensors outside the visible range, so they should have seen her. But the Uber car didn't even seem to slow down.
  #160  
Old 03-31-2018, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Dewey Finn View Post
I watched the video to see how early I saw the pedestrian. I think it was at least two seconds before the collision. I think I'd be slowing and would be able to stop if I was driving that car. And as said, these self-driving cars have sensors outside the visible range, so they should have seen her. But the Uber car didn't even seem to slow down.
I will try to hunt down the article, but there is an article where they have broken down a frame by frame and determined she was visible in the video for 1.4 seconds before impact.

38mph *1.466= 55.70fps

pedestrian range 55.70*1.4 = 77.98 feet away

average human reaction time about 1 sec

77.98-55.7= 22feet left

brakes apply for about .4 seconds, bleeding off about 6mph of speed before impact. (based on CA accident investigation guidelines of controlled braking of 15fps per second.)

with a computer and .1 sec reaction time.

77.98-5.57 = 72.41feet
1 sec of braking 55.7fps-15fps = 40.7fps
distance covered = approx 48 feet

72.41-48 = 24 feet to impact
1 sec of braking 40.7fps-15fps = 25.7fps
distance covered = approx 33.2 feet.

24feet - 33.2 = pedestrian hit around 30fps.

even a zero reaction time would hit the pedestrian.

If the car had picked her up at 3 sec or 150-160 feet away, probably a very different outcome.

* math nerds put down the torches and pitchforks, its bar napkin stuff but more than close enough for a guestimate without an excel spreadsheet.
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  #161  
Old 03-31-2018, 09:14 PM
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1. You can't tell from the camera how visible she was peripherally. But based on posts upthread from someone who knows the spot, it's not as inky lack as the video mak s it seem.
2. Swerving is an option, as well as braking.
  #162  
Old 04-04-2018, 02:37 PM
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I've not seen the Tesla Model X crash, in which a Model X operating in 'autopilot' mode drove into the end of a concrete lane divider, mentioned on this board yet. The crash and resultant fire killed the driver. Granted this was not a fully autonomous vehicle, it does illustrate some of the difficulties with full automation.

A couple of Tesla owners have attempted to explain the behavior of the autopilot as following poor lane marking on the pavement:
  • This video shows a lane split, in which the autopilot begins following the wrong line and could potentially crash into a barrier.
  • Another similar video at exact crash location.
There are a lot of roads in the USA, especially in rural areas, that have poor, or are lacking markings altogether. It is concerning that the autopilot technology was allegedly relying on the lane markings. The lane markings in the video, while poor, are not at all out of the ordinary.

This is scary and it's why I agree that fully autonomous cars are still a long way from reality.

I am further very disturbed by Tesla's attitude expressed in their release. It feels like it is deflecting blame away from the autopilot system, because the driver should have been paying attention better, The lanes were poorly marked, and that the energy absorbing barrier had been damaged previously, (all true) but it seems clear that the autopilot system played a critical role in that crash.

Clearly, human drivers had hit the same divider in the past, but still, this human would have easily avoided driving into the end that barrier.
  #163  
Old 04-16-2018, 09:10 PM
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I am further very disturbed by Tesla's attitude expressed in their release. It feels like it is deflecting blame away from the autopilot system, because the driver should have been paying attention better, The lanes were poorly marked, and that the energy absorbing barrier had been damaged previously, (all true) but it seems clear that the autopilot system played a critical role in that crash.

Clearly, human drivers had hit the same divider in the past, but still, this human would have easily avoided driving into the end that barrier.
The same autopilot system that per your own cite gave multiple warnings to the driver that were ignored...

Are you similarly shocked when your fuel gauge reads empty and the engine stops.
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  #164  
Old 04-17-2018, 02:43 PM
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A couple of Tesla owners have attempted to explain the behavior of the autopilot as following poor lane marking on the pavement:
This video shows a lane split, in which the autopilot begins following the wrong line and could potentially crash into a barrier.
If that is considered poor lane marking that could result in a crash, we will never have autonomous cars in Quebec.

The highway I commute on has no lane marking anywhere near that nice.
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  #165  
Old 06-01-2018, 07:44 AM
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The size of Waymo’s fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans just got radically bigger. The Alphabet unit announced today that it struck a deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), one of Detroit’s Big Three automakers, for an additional 62,000 minivans to be deployed as robot taxis. Moreover, the two companies have also begun discussions about how to eventually sell self-driving cars to customers as personally owned vehicles.

Selling cars with Waymo’s self-driving technology at Fiat Chrysler dealerships would be a dramatic escalation in Waymo’s plan to bring driverless cars to the masses. To date, the company has spoken only vaguely about licensing its self-driving hardware and software to automakers. Today’s confirmation of negotiations with FCA is the first indication that you may be able to own a self-driving car built by Waymo.
https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/31/1...-driving-fleet

So surely not decades away for self driving cars.
  #166  
Old 06-01-2018, 09:39 AM
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https://www.theverge.com/2018/5/31/1...-driving-fleet

So surely not decades away for self driving cars.
Yeah, let's see if they actually work without human drivers.

I'll stick with my prediction from post #65: they won't be ready for prime time before 2024 at the earliest.
  #167  
Old 06-01-2018, 09:46 AM
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It is a pretty big step but you know, caveats apply -- it's a geofenced taxi service in a sunny, Southwestern location. Even without engineers in the car I imagine it will be pretty tightly controlled. The key takeaway from that article is that consumer sales are still a dream away.
  #168  
Old 06-01-2018, 10:17 AM
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The same autopilot system that per your own cite gave multiple warnings to the driver that were ignored...

Are you similarly shocked when your fuel gauge reads empty and the engine stops.
No, I would not be shocked if my fuel gauge read empty and the engine stopped, because it would have worked exactly as predicted.

I agree the dead driver shares some responsibility, but Tesla's total lack of willingness to share any responsibility at all is despicable. By their own admission, Tesla's autopilot system does not perform as expected in some routine situations and requires driver intervention. Tesla's claimed belief that the general public would be able to understand that fact and to be able to responsibly operate such a vehicle is disingenuous.
  #169  
Old 06-01-2018, 10:23 AM
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Softbank and GM are investing a combined $3.35 billion into Cruise Automation to commercialize self-driving cars in 2019.

http://www.thedrive.com/tech/21210/s...iving-car-unit

GM is already building its self-driving cars on a full-scale assembly line.

Last edited by Tired and Cranky; 06-01-2018 at 10:23 AM.
  #170  
Old 06-01-2018, 07:08 PM
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Softbank and GM are investing a combined $3.35 billion into Cruise Automation to commercialize self-driving cars in 2019.

http://www.thedrive.com/tech/21210/s...iving-car-unit
Actually, what the link says is, "The SoftBank investment will provide the necessary capital to "reach commercialization at scale in 2019," according to GM." Doesn't say they'll do it, just that they've got the capital for it, if it can be done. Gotta read these things carefully.
Quote:
GM is already building its self-driving cars on a full-scale assembly line.
To quote your link, "[GM] now builds prototype autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EV electric cars on the same Michigan assembly line that customer cars are built on." Whether or not you intended it, you made it sound like GM had a full-scale assembly line dedicated to production of self-driving cars.

Now I'm tired and cranky.

(Bolding in both quotes is mine.)

ETA: Whatever rolls off that assembly line in 2019, it won't be a fully autonomous vehicle. It'll either be something like a somewhat improved version of Tesla's Autopilot, or it'll just be regular old cars, or it'll be a prototype that's not for sale.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 06-01-2018 at 07:10 PM.
  #171  
Old 06-01-2018, 08:50 PM
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While these are not cars that you or I can go and buy, GM's plan is to have fully autonomous vehicles on the road next year. Another cite -
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General Motors said Thursday it will bring self-driving technology in the form of ride sharing to consumers by next year. ...
Now it may be that these vehicles (no steering wheel) intended for ride sharing will have a specific area that they will stay within. But they do intend on making them at fleet numbers by end of 2019. And that's a GM 2019, not a Musk one.

I do wonder if they will pass through some of the technology to Bolts with steering wheels sold to general consumers.
  #172  
Old 06-03-2018, 03:03 PM
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So IF Waymo does indeed roll out some of its 62,000 decked out Chrysler as a ride hailing service (plan is to start in Phoenix and then San Francisco next), and GM does indeed roll out its own (by itself or in partnership) with its decked out no steering wheel Bolts by Cruze, both by end of 2019, does that count?

Not yet vehicles consumers can buy, and not yet for everywhere in all climates. Restricted well-mapped areas (defined metro inclusive of airports) covered by the services in very moderate climates very likely. Not snow. But not just an airport shuttle or delivery route either. And no drivers to "take over".

How long, realistically, from those releases, assuming they happen and perform well, to consumer vehicles able to drive in Chicago snow?
  #173  
Old 06-03-2018, 03:55 PM
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How long, realistically, from those releases, assuming they happen and perform well, to consumer vehicles able to drive in Chicago snow?
That I couldn't tell you. But if they can work in Phoenix, they'll eventually manage Chicago and Pittsburgh, it'll just be a matter of time.

But this does make for an interesting conundrum: it's one thing to make prototypes that consumers can't buy that (a) are ready for prime time in the Sun Belt only, and (b) don't have any steering wheels.

But to actually sell them, GM would have to choose between (a) putting the steering wheel back in, and making clear that the driver has to take over if there is precipitation on the ground, or (b) waiting until their AVs can manage Chicago snow before selling the first unit.

After all, they can't exactly sell a car with the qualification that it can only be used in certain parts of the country.
  #174  
Old 06-03-2018, 10:45 PM
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Actually the market they are most interested in is, I think, not consumers owning vehicles, but that ride hailing fleet application. And I am getting the sense that they are less of the mind to sell these vehicles to companies that do the ride hailing service than they are of one to be that service with vehicles they produce. That's the urgency to get there as soon as possible. They want to disrupt the disruptor and displace Uber and Lyft.

Plenty of market to capture where there aint as much snow while the technology continues to improve.

That said, they'd do fine with the technology in a steering wheel installed Bolt that identifies clearly and with reasonable notice when it can and cannot do the driving for you ... even in Chicago the days that the roads are not clear enough are fairly few, and it may be that for a route travelled before as its regular commuting route the vehicle could use other markers to know where the lane markers are supposed to be.
  #175  
Old 06-04-2018, 08:05 AM
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Actually, what the link says is, "The SoftBank investment will provide the necessary capital to "reach commercialization at scale in 2019," according to GM." Doesn't say they'll do it, just that they've got the capital for it, if it can be done. Gotta read these things carefully.
Interpreting that sentence any other way than that Softbank gave GM a bunch of money so that GM would be able to execute its plan and intention to commercialize self-driving cars in 2019 is tortured reading to support your denialism. You seem to be willfully reading the clause "necessary capital to reach commercialization" as being only some colorful, abstract quantity of money that says nothing about how the money will actually be used. Under your reading, the article would be equally informative if it had said that "The SoftBank investment will provide the necessary capital for GM to acquire 100 million wheels of Shullsberg Creamery Baby Swiss Cheese in 2019."

I don't know if they will accomplish it but even if GM is a year late, their accomplishments will contradict the idea that self-driving cars are decades away.

Quote:
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To quote your link, "[GM] now builds prototype autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EV electric cars on the same Michigan assembly line that customer cars are built on." Whether or not you intended it, you made it sound like GM had a full-scale assembly line dedicated to production of self-driving cars.
That's neither what I said and nor what I intended. Assembly-line manufacture means that GM isn't just hand-building prototypes but that they have figured out how to produce them in an efficient way on one of their assembly lines. Since that assembly line won't be in the same configuration in decades, it suggests that GM doesn't intend to wait decades to begin producing self-driving cars at scale on an assembly line. It also means that GM can crank out high volumes of them quickly by substituting for the production of other models on the same line. That's how the modern mass manufacture of automobiles works. This suggests that GM's plan is to begin mass production of self-driving cars before this assembly line is entirely reconfigured and it is consistent with the idea that they will do it next year.

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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
ETA: Whatever rolls off that assembly line in 2019, it won't be a fully autonomous vehicle. It'll either be something like a somewhat improved version of Tesla's Autopilot, or it'll just be regular old cars, or it'll be a prototype that's not for sale.
They said they intend to commercialize self-driving cars. That means use them in commerce. That doesn't necessarily mean selling the cars to the public but it does mean that they won't be just prototypes. I suspect that it means using self-driving cars in a car service or as delivery vehicles. In fact, GM previously announced that they would operate a self-driving car service in 2019. Their announcement of getting capital from Softbank is consistent with sticking to that timeline.

That's the key thing for me. Automakers have been saying for several years that we might have self-driving cars by 2022 or so. Unlike shady flying car makers who have been saying for decades that flying cars are just five years away, automakers seem to be making announcements with dates and sticking fairly closely to schedules that make sense if they plan to actually start selling self-driving cars by those dates. They are sticking with calendar dates even as those dates keep getting closer. Since these automakers are public companies, they are responsible for not lying to their investors about when these plans might come to fruition. Their statements are forward-looking statements so they aren't to be taken as gospel but, at the time the automakers (and Alphabet) make these statements, they must believe them. I'm beginning to believe them too.

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But to actually sell them, GM would have to choose between (a) putting the steering wheel back in, and making clear that the driver has to take over if there is precipitation on the ground, or (b) waiting until their AVs can manage Chicago snow before selling the first unit.

After all, they can't exactly sell a car with the qualification that it can only be used in certain parts of the country.
Self-driving cars only drive where they are programmed to drive and that could very well mean a car that only works in certain parts of the country. That's fine for a local car sharing service or a local delivery service. I anticipate that the earliest self-driving cars will be ring-fenced to places where the weather is predictable and the road-mapping is sufficiently detailed. So, the earliest self driving cars will work only in a particular metro area. Later ones will work in any of those metro areas, some new metro areas, and the highways that join them. Eventually, self-driving cars will work anywhere in America. Somewhere in between, automakers will solve the weather problem well enough to make them a viable replacement for ordinary cars.
  #176  
Old 06-04-2018, 08:14 AM
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But to actually sell them, GM would have to choose between (a) putting the steering wheel back in, and making clear that the driver has to take over if there is precipitation on the ground, or (b) waiting until their AVs can manage Chicago snow before selling the first unit.
Another option; when a self-driving car is unable to navigate on its own, hand over control to a remote human operator.
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Old 06-04-2018, 08:45 AM
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As a motorcyclist, I am worried that some selfish, lazy sonofabitch "driver" using autopilot is going to plow into the back of me while I'm stopped to make a left turn. If it will do it to a pedestrian walking a bike, it will do it to me.
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:14 AM
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As a bicyclist I am more scared every freakin' day that some distracted sonofabitch driver is going to plow into me, at any moment ... which a true L4 autonomous vehicle would not do. FWIW the Uber crash happened to no small as a result of a decision Uber made to NOT trust the vehicle to autobrake in an emergency but to require the (distractable) human to do so - they had the emergency autobraking deliberately turned off. That was a crazy choice.

I think the progress will be faster than Tired and Cranky predicts.
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:23 AM
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I don't believe that a car that can go absolutely everywhere a human can go now is coming any time soon. I think "autonomous cars" will exist soon, but I very much see them saying "Uh, Bob, wake up! Switching this back to you" a LOT.
  #180  
Old 06-04-2018, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Tired and Cranky View Post
Self-driving cars only drive where they are programmed to drive and that could very well mean a car that only works in certain parts of the country. That's fine for a local car sharing service or a local delivery service. I anticipate that the earliest self-driving cars will be ring-fenced to places where the weather is predictable and the road-mapping is sufficiently detailed. So, the earliest self driving cars will work only in a particular metro area. Later ones will work in any of those metro areas, some new metro areas, and the highways that join them. Eventually, self-driving cars will work anywhere in America. Somewhere in between, automakers will solve the weather problem well enough to make them a viable replacement for ordinary cars.
Your whole post was excellent, T&C, but I want to focus on this part.

I don't think most people understand how fast an AI can learn something. Once an AI begins a task and has a foothold, it doesn't take the AI long to excel at that task.

AlphaGo Zero taught itself to play Go:
Quote:
After just three days of self-play training, AlphaGo Zero emphatically defeated the previously published version of AlphaGo - which had itself defeated 18-time world champion Lee Sedol - by 100 games to 0. After 40 days of self training, AlphaGo Zero became even stronger, outperforming the version of AlphaGo known as “Master”, which has defeated the world's best players and world number one Ke Jie.
The folks at OpenAI had one train itself to play DOTA 2, one of the most popular player-vs.-player games known as MOBAs. With two weeks of training, OpenAI was able to crush the #1 player in the world so badly that after just 2 matches, he declined to play again, saying that he could not win. And that was with OpenAI being trained by playing against itself., not against humans.

Alpha Zero became the best chess player in the world in just four hours of self-play.

In the scenario you describe, T&C, assuming that the AI in each car is actually a hive mind, the AI would learn to drive in the known areas within days; expansion of that area would increase rapidly.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-04-2018 at 11:12 AM.
  #181  
Old 06-04-2018, 11:15 AM
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Don't forget that newer cars can log data as the human drives in situations where the AI cannot perform; it won't take an AI long to use that data as a template for it's own behaviors. In other words, show an AI how to do something once, and you never have to do it again. AND it will be able to extrapolate when new situations occur now that it has a database to work from.
  #182  
Old 06-04-2018, 11:23 AM
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I don't believe that a car that can go absolutely everywhere a human can go now is coming any time soon. I think "autonomous cars" will exist soon, but I very much see them saying "Uh, Bob, wake up! Switching this back to you" a LOT.
Let's look at this in the light of my previous post.

Let's say that 100 people are using Waymo Autos. In certain situations the AI relinquishes control to the human. So the first narrow alley or dirt road turnoff that I, one of the humans, encounter the AI hands control to me. I take control, execute the maneuver and arrive at my destination.

The next time I go to that same destination, do you think the AI will be able to handle it, or do you think the AI will need me to take over?

The answer is that the AI will handle it, most likely using my own previous actions to base it's decisions on. So I'll only have to take over for most static situations once, and then the AI will handle it.

Now let's suppose that you arrive at the same thing that caused my AI to hand control over to me that first time. Do you think your vehicle will hand control over to you, as mine did, or do you think it will access the Waymo database, find the solution to the problem already exists and then execute that series of commands to safely navigate the obstacle?

If the latter, each problem will only need to be encountered and overcome once by ANY vehicle before it will no longer be a problem for ALL vehicles. Imagine if teaching your 16 year old to come to a full stop at a Stop sign meant that every 16 year old everywhere learned it: that's how AI can work.
  #183  
Old 06-04-2018, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by pyromyte View Post
It is concerning that the autopilot technology was allegedly relying on the lane markings. The lane markings in the video, while poor, are not at all out of the ordinary.
But that's specifically Tesla's autopilot technology which mainly relies on cameras (also a radar and 2 ultrasonic sensors). As far as I know, this system is based purely on sensor input, not stored data & GPS. Other systems are more sophisticated. Waymo uses a LIDAR to supplement the cameras and radar detectors, and also rely heavily on stored data - the car would only go on routes that are in its database. Which means it's not relying on the cameras to know where lanes end or merge, it already knows.

Last edited by scr4; 06-04-2018 at 12:17 PM.
  #184  
Old 06-04-2018, 07:11 PM
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... I don't think most people understand how fast an AI can learn something. Once an AI begins a task and has a foothold, it doesn't take the AI long to excel at that task.

AlphaGo Zero taught itself to play Go ...
Do you not appreciate that one AlphaGo Zero costs about $25 million? These vehicles are being equipped with four of Google's Tensor Processing Units.

Appreciating what powerful AI is capable of does not mean that anything labeled "AI" or "machine learning" is capable of it.

As for
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... Let's say that 100 people are using Waymo Autos. In certain situations the AI relinquishes control to the human. So the first narrow alley or dirt road turnoff that I, one of the humans, encounter the AI hands control to me. I take control, execute the maneuver and arrive at my destination.

The next time I go to that same destination, do you think the AI will be able to handle it, or do you think the AI will need me to take over?

The answer is that the AI will handle it ...
No, the answer is clearly not. Even the same dirt road is not the same dirt road on different days in different conditions.

I will also predict with a high degree of confidence that while there will be some vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication, likely including some shared cloud workspace for updated map data and conditions on the ground collected by units "in the wild", the capacity to spread actual driving algorithms across the fleet will be highly constrained with many walls to prevent such from happening else catastrophic hacking or even non-malicious catastrophic failures be possible.

Functioning as a hive mind is too great a risk for hive collapse.
  #185  
Old 06-04-2018, 09:03 PM
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That's the key thing for me. Automakers have been saying for several years that we might have self-driving cars by 2022 or so. Unlike shady flying car makers who have been saying for decades that flying cars are just five years away, automakers seem to be making announcements with dates and sticking fairly closely to schedules that make sense if they plan to actually start selling self-driving cars by those dates. They are sticking with calendar dates even as those dates keep getting closer.
This is simply untrue. Off the top of my head, Volvo, Tesla, Ford, and Google have all made promises toward autonomous vehicle timelines that either disappeared, were supplanted by additional timelines, or for which the deliverable was significantly modified. And I'm sure I could find more if I went trolling through old news articles. The reality is this is proving much harder than they thought it would, and so timelines have been pushed back.
  #186  
Old 06-05-2018, 03:54 AM
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Actually the market they are most interested in is, I think, not consumers owning vehicles, but that ride hailing fleet application. And I am getting the sense that they are less of the mind to sell these vehicles to companies that do the ride hailing service than they are of one to be that service with vehicles they produce. That's the urgency to get there as soon as possible. They want to disrupt the disruptor and displace Uber and Lyft.
I just don't see where the money is in this. I don't know about Lyft, but Uber is losing money hand over fist - while suckering their drivers into providing the cars.

Also, there's the regulatory environment that taxicabs used to exist in, that Uber and Lyft disrupted. Basically, if you have unlimited cabs out there, everybody exists at the break-even point. (And changing it to a ride-hailing app doesn't change that.)

The way it worked, pre-Uber, was that localities would regulate the taxi business, handing out a limited number of 'medallions' that each authorized the holder to operate one taxi. This created enough of an artificial shortage of cabs so that operating a taxicab fleet was profitable.

Uber got around this by convincing the localities (or, where necessary, the courts) that they weren't a taxicab provider, they were just a middleman for people who weren't providing taxi service really. But of course they are, so now the drivers are getting along by turning the future longevity of their vehicles into today's payday. Meanwhile the medallions of the legacy taxicab operators are worth a hell of a lot less, which plays into one of the many dramas in Michael Cohen's life.

So what happens when the drivers go away? GM et al. won't have the same legal argument that they're not really providing taxicab service. If Uber and Lyft are disrupted in turn, or finally simply go belly-up, the legacy medallion-holders are still there, their medallions are worth beaucoup again, and it gets complicated.

Best case I see is that GM invests a shitload of money to buy ALL the medallions in a given locality, so that there will be no rival operators to say, "hey wait, you're only allowed to put X cabs on the street," because they'll need a lot of cars out there to do what Uber is doing, but then unlike Uber, they're owning and maintaining their own (expensive) fleet, though they don't have to pay the drivers. They'll add in those more traditional taxi fleet expenses, though - they'll need places to garage the taxis during off hours, and a maintenance crew to clean the cabs and keep them running properly. Plus a more techy maintenance crew to make sure all the cameras/radar/lidar/etc. are working properly.

They may eventually be able to make it work just in terms of the operating costs, but if this is supposed to be the payoff for a huge investment in developing AVs, I think they're nuts. With respect to self-driving cars, they're eventually going to have to get back to their core business: building cars and selling them to people like us. The ride-hailing business may be a good test bed to work out the kinks in their cars in order to get to the point where they can sell AVs the way they sell regular cars now, but I don't see its being any more than that for them.
  #187  
Old 06-05-2018, 04:06 AM
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Interpreting that sentence any other way than that Softbank gave GM a bunch of money so that GM would be able to execute its plan and intention to commercialize self-driving cars in 2019 is tortured reading to support your denialism. You seem to be willfully reading the clause "necessary capital to reach commercialization" as being only some colorful, abstract quantity of money that says nothing about how the money will actually be used. Under your reading, the article would be equally informative if it had said that "The SoftBank investment will provide the necessary capital for GM to acquire 100 million wheels of Shullsberg Creamery Baby Swiss Cheese in 2019."
OK, so what you're saying is that I should interpret language about money being made available to produce a product that isn't in existence yet and whose workability is still speculative, exactly the same as I'd interpret similar language about an existing product that's manufactured and sold on a routine basis.

Well, okay then.
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I don't know if they will accomplish it but even if GM is a year late, their accomplishments will contradict the idea that self-driving cars are decades away.
If they put a fleet of self-driving cars out there in 2020 or sooner and don't have to turn around and pull them back off the road because real life is complicated, then feel free to laugh in my face then. In the meantime, I find your faith in GM to be an awesome thing.
  #188  
Old 06-05-2018, 11:21 AM
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I just don't see where the money is in this. I don't know about Lyft, but Uber is losing money hand over fist - while suckering their drivers into providing the cars.

Also, there's the regulatory environment that taxicabs used to exist in, that Uber and Lyft disrupted. Basically, if you have unlimited cabs out there, everybody exists at the break-even point. (And changing it to a ride-hailing app doesn't change that.)
You make some excellent points about the market problem that ride-sharing services face but I think the notion that the route to success will be returning to a regulated taxi medallion model is not realistic. For one thing, autonomously piloted vehicles will expand to serve the vast majority of people who currently drive, at least in urban and suburban areas where population density and demand is high enough. As autonomously piloted vehicles become more mature and widely used it will be evident that they are far safer than manually piloted vehicles just by dint of the all-around sensory awareness and lack of distraction or fatigue, and insurance costs to hold a license to manually drive a car increase. The market for autonomously piloted vehicles is far larger than taxi/ride-hailing market today, and will likely grow to encompass the majority of people who would otherwise drive, including doing tasks like transporting children from and to extracurricular activities, the elderly and infirm to medical services, et cetera.

However, the real advantage of autonomously piloted vehicles is in the potential for efficiency in shared use. Privately owned vehicles are only used a small fraction of the time; even most long distance commuters use their vehicle for less than 10% of the day, and the vehicle sits idle in a parking lot or driveway while depriciating in both real and perceived value. Autonomous vehicles can be utilized any time they are not being serviced/fueled/charged, not only for commuting but off-peak usage such as delivery of purchased goods or supplementary logistics, and without the cost or need for availability of a human driver. The most practical business model for fleet autnomous vehicle use is a subscription model similar to how most people pay for cell phones, where you pay a monthly fee for a certain level of service (daily commuting plus some number of trips per week) and additional fees for ancillary service or premium options such as haulage, luxury features, et cetera. If costs are comparable or less than the total costs of ownership of a private vehicle you can expect there to be a large market for a provider who can invest in a fleet, and the subscription model removes a lot of the guesswork about the market and encourages user fealty versus a hypercompetitive pricing model.

Stranger
  #189  
Old 06-05-2018, 11:37 AM
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If you want to see a company taking what I see as a sensible approach to all this, take a look at Toyota. They built a stand-apart tech development company, but they are more heavily focused on advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) than they are producing magical robot cars.

https://www.economist.com/business/2...omous-vehicles

One thing I'd disagree with in that article, though:

Quote:
Lack of “lidar” (light detection and ranging) sensors in Toyota cars could prove a hindrance, however. Lidar works by emitting pulses of laser light and watching for their reflections, thereby building a precise 3D map of the surroundings—essential for training today’s automated driving software, since video and radar do not capture the environment in sufficient detail. Robotaxi firms gather lidar data in every patch of city in which they deploy their cars, but Toyota will not, for the foreseeable future, be able to do so. The firm will either need to find a way to add expensive lidar sensors to the cars it sells, or to advance its machine-learning software to the point where it can learn to drive without it.
There are companies out there right now collecting LIDAR data to monetize it, and LIDAR is also slowly getting cheaper...there isn't anything to say they couldn't buy the data and/or add LIDAR to their cars once it gets cheap enough.
  #190  
Old 06-05-2018, 11:45 AM
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However, the real advantage of autonomously piloted vehicles is in the potential for efficiency in shared use. Privately owned vehicles are only used a small fraction of the time; even most long distance commuters use their vehicle for less than 10% of the day, and the vehicle sits idle in a parking lot or driveway while depriciating in both real and perceived value. Autonomous vehicles can be utilized any time they are not being serviced/fueled/charged, not only for commuting but off-peak usage such as delivery of purchased goods or supplementary logistics, and without the cost or need for availability of a human driver. The most practical business model for fleet autnomous vehicle use is a subscription model similar to how most people pay for cell phones, where you pay a monthly fee for a certain level of service (daily commuting plus some number of trips per week) and additional fees for ancillary service or premium options such as haulage, luxury features, et cetera. If costs are comparable or less than the total costs of ownership of a private vehicle you can expect there to be a large market for a provider who can invest in a fleet, and the subscription model removes a lot of the guesswork about the market and encourages user fealty versus a hypercompetitive pricing model.

Stranger
I think this is the real potential, though it's very long term. As the US urbanizes, however, more people are going to be interested in not owning cars and instead relying on something shared. I'm not sure how big the scale of that is, but it feels big enough. [suburbanites and ruralites? not so much]

The biggest impediment in my mind was mentioned upstream, which is companies like Uber, who are burning through a ton of capital ($4.5B in 2017!) and suppressing rates. At some point that has to stop, however, either Uber prices up more reasonably or the capital runs dry.
  #191  
Old 06-05-2018, 02:06 PM
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I think this is the real potential, though it's very long term. As the US urbanizes, however, more people are going to be interested in not owning cars and instead relying on something shared. I'm not sure how big the scale of that is, but it feels big enough. [suburbanites and ruralites? not so much]

The biggest impediment in my mind was mentioned upstream, which is companies like Uber, who are burning through a ton of capital ($4.5B in 2017!) and suppressing rates. At some point that has to stop, however, either Uber prices up more reasonably or the capital runs dry.
Suburban commuters ride sharing with autonomously piloted vehicles actually makes a lot of sense, especially for a subscription model where the cost is upfront. It doesn’t have the downside of being in a commuter pool where you have to wait or depend upon other pool members to be on time but permits a cost sharing, and makes it practical for a household to have only one or even no private vehicles. One of the ancillary advantages is that it not only reduces traffic congestion once autonomous vehicles become common, but with vehicles not sitting idle parked all day, it also reduces the need for vast parking lots around businesses, which is not only a wasteful use of land but also contributes substantially to the “heat island” effect and reduces footage available for greenspaces. For those living and working in urban environments, it reduces costs associated with parking. Vehicles will still need a place to park for servicing and recharging/refueling, but these can be in offsite locations using real estate that is undesireable for development without consideration for accessibility to businesses and residences. I don’t think this is really all that long term; once the technology reaches a certain level of maturity and cost-effectiveness, adoption and modification of existing transportation infrastructure is likely to be as rapid as the ubiquity of smartphones. If that technology becomes ready for prime time in, say, twenty years, it’ll likely be pervasive in twenty-five to thirty.

For rural communities shared use autonomous vehicles make less fiscal sense and would probably have to be subsidized with public money or incentives, but the advantages for public safety and convenience may be a legitimate trade. The more problematic issue is having vehicles sufficiently distributed that wait times for a ride are not unduly long. The adoption of fully autonomous vehicles may take much longer, both because there is less of an incentive for ride sharing services and because fewer people in rural areas are financially able to adopt a new technology and may be culturally unwilling to give up control to an autonomous piloting system even if it is demonstrably safer.

I’m not betting any money on Uber (or Lyft) in particular, though. For one, the company does not appear to be well-managed or have an actual coherent vision. For another, adoption will, as someone else pointed out, undercut their current contract-driver model and raise their expenses without immediately generating more revenue. And frankly, there is probably someone waiting in the wings now waiting to undercut Uber and Lyft that they aren’t even aware of. By the time the technology becomes practical they’ll be an established player in their existing business and likely won’t have the flexibility to make that kind of pivoting change.

Stranger

Last edited by Stranger On A Train; 06-05-2018 at 02:11 PM.
  #192  
Old 06-05-2018, 02:20 PM
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Suburban commuters ride sharing with autonomously piloted vehicles actually makes a lot of sense, especially for a subscription model where the cost is upfront.It doesn’t have the downside of being in a commuter pool where you have to wait or depend upon other pool members to be on time but permits a cost sharing, and makes it practical for a household to have only one or even no private vehicles. One of the ancillary advantages is that it not only reduces traffic congestion once autonomous vehicles become common, but with vehicles not sitting idle parked all day, it also reduces the need for vast parking lots around businesses, which is not only a wasteful use of land but also contributes substantially to the “heat island” effect and reduces footage available for greenspaces. For those living and working in urban environments, it reduces costs associated with parking. Vehicles will still need a place to park for servicing and recharging/refueling, but these can be in offsite locations using real estate that is undesireable for development without consideration for accessibility to businesses and residences.
To my layman's eye, it looks an awful lot like a municipal transit system, minus the drivers.
  #193  
Old 06-05-2018, 02:56 PM
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Suburban commuters ride sharing with autonomously piloted vehicles actually makes a lot of sense, especially for a subscription model where the cost is upfront. It doesn’t have the downside of being in a commuter pool where you have to wait or depend upon other pool members to be on time but permits a cost sharing, and makes it practical for a household to have only one or even no private vehicles. One of the ancillary advantages is that it not only reduces traffic congestion once autonomous vehicles become common, but with vehicles not sitting idle parked all day, it also reduces the need for vast parking lots around businesses, which is not only a wasteful use of land but also contributes substantially to the “heat island” effect and reduces footage available for greenspaces. For those living and working in urban environments, it reduces costs associated with parking. Vehicles will still need a place to park for servicing and recharging/refueling, but these can be in offsite locations using real estate that is undesireable for development without consideration for accessibility to businesses and residences. I don’t think this is really all that long term; once the technology reaches a certain level of maturity and cost-effectiveness, adoption and modification of existing transportation infrastructure is likely to be as rapid as the ubiquity of smartphones. If that technology becomes ready for prime time in, say, twenty years, it’ll likely be pervasive in twenty-five to thirty.

For rural communities shared use autonomous vehicles make less fiscal sense and would probably have to be subsidized with public money or incentives, but the advantages for public safety and convenience may be a legitimate trade. The more problematic issue is having vehicles sufficiently distributed that wait times for a ride are not unduly long. The adoption of fully autonomous vehicles may take much longer, both because there is less of an incentive for ride sharing services and because fewer people in rural areas are financially able to adopt a new technology and may be culturally unwilling to give up control to an autonomous piloting system even if it is demonstrably safer.

I’m not betting any money on Uber (or Lyft) in particular, though. For one, the company does not appear to be well-managed or have an actual coherent vision. For another, adoption will, as someone else pointed out, undercut their current contract-driver model and raise their expenses without immediately generating more revenue. And frankly, there is probably someone waiting in the wings now waiting to undercut Uber and Lyft that they aren’t even aware of. By the time the technology becomes practical they’ll be an established player in their existing business and likely won’t have the flexibility to make that kind of pivoting change.

Stranger
I agree that businesses are likely to try and move this to a subscription service (it is the trend right now) but I'm not sure how widespread or how popular such a program could be:

I have a very short drive to work, usually 30 minutes or less. Then another 30 minutes going home. For those two half hour periods, I do not want to be sitting in someone else's filth. How many other people will use this subscription car when I am not using it, and are they clean, non-ill people? I'm not sure that I'd like a subscription car service any more than I'd like a "clothes-sharing" program that didn't include pre-use (MY use) cleaning. And I don't see how it can be economical to have every auto return for cleaning in between every use. That's one speed bump to get over, for instance.

I do see that driving is much, much less of a priority for younger generations and I also see that these generations have much different notions of both privacy and ownership than I do, so I can see that my concerns might not be broadly shared.
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To my layman's eye, it looks an awful lot like a municipal transit system, minus the drivers.
Well, it would be that. It just would be privately owned and operated, even by multiple businesses and people.

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  #194  
Old 06-05-2018, 02:57 PM
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To my layman's eye, it looks an awful lot like a municipal transit system, minus the drivers.
Except you aren’t locked into an new infrastructure that costs hundreds of millions or billions of dollars to deploy and that can only service people on a set timetable and within walking distance of a depot. One of the failings of commuter rail in many cities like St. Louis or Charlotte is that it just doesn’t offer enough flexibility to be useful to the majority of commuters. Even in New York City, Boston, or San Francisco with high population densities plenty of people still drive despite the inconvenience because public transit doesn’t suit their needs, and as cities evolve it is often difficult to expand transit routes to support them.

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  #195  
Old 06-05-2018, 03:02 PM
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I thought he was talking about a public bus system.
  #196  
Old 06-05-2018, 03:15 PM
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This is simply untrue. Off the top of my head, Volvo, Tesla, Ford, and Google have all made promises toward autonomous vehicle timelines that either disappeared, were supplanted by additional timelines, or for which the deliverable was significantly modified. And I'm sure I could find more if I went trolling through old news articles. The reality is this is proving much harder than they thought it would, and so timelines have been pushed back.
Honestly, I can't find a lot of these statements that have been walked back or ignored. Google said in 2012 it would have self-driving cars on the market in 2018. It won't but it seems to be close to offering a commercial self-driving car service this year. It's already offering a limited experimental self-driving car service in Arizona. GM said it would be the first to produce self-driving prototypes on an assembly line. It did. In 2014, Audi said it would offer a Level 3 self-driving car with its 2018 Audi A8, which includes "Traffic Jam Pilot."It did too.

Most of the aggressive targets are for 2021. Audi has promised that its Traffic Jam Pilot will work up to highway speeds. BMW, Ford, and Volvo have promised self-driving cars on the market or in fleet service available to the public by the end of 2021. Daimler said that self-driving cars will be on the market by 2021, without saying it will be their cars.

A few companies are walking back their predictions. NuTonomy (now owned by Aptiv) said in mid-2016 it would have a self-driving taxi service available in Singapore by 2018. Now, they are saying it won't be until 2021, so their self-driving taxi is now further away than it was two years ago. They are the exception though in walking back their predictions so strongly. Tesla has also completely blown its deadlines, but it does that with all its self-imposed deadlines, including those having absolutely nothing to do with self-driving cars. I can conclude from this only that Tesla doesn't have its shit together.

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OK, so what you're saying is that I should interpret language about money being made available to produce a product that isn't in existence yet and whose workability is still speculative, exactly the same as I'd interpret similar language about an existing product that's manufactured and sold on a routine basis.
No, I'm saying that that you are obtusely interpreting GM's fundamentally clear statement about its self-driving car goals and pretending it doesn't say what it does.

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One of the ancillary advantages is that it not only reduces traffic congestion once autonomous vehicles become common, but with vehicles not sitting idle parked all day, it also reduces the need for vast parking lots around businesses, which is not only a wasteful use of land but also contributes substantially to the “heat island” effect and reduces footage available for greenspaces.
Self-driving cars will increase traffic congestion rather than reducing it. Self-driving cars will be able to drive more densely packed into lanes and with fewer traffic-causing accidents than ordinary cars. This would tend to reduce congestion if those effects weren't, in my humble opinion, going to be completely swamped by self-driving cars' ability to increase traffic.

Self-driving cars reduce the opportunity cost of spending lots of time in traffic. Once people can work, watch movies, sleep, or be drunk while traveling alone in their cars, many more people will spend more time in their cars doing those things. People who can start their work day in their car might decide that a one or two hour commute from the distant suburbs makes more sense than living close to work. People who can't drive at all today, like the very elderly, the blind, and the very young, might start to be ferried around by self-driving cars. People who can't afford to own cars today and who can rarely afford to take cabs or car services might be able to use a low-cost self-driving car service much more frequently.

Once cars don't need a driver to go somewhere, more cars will be driving around without people in them. If I didn't have to pay for parking, I might take my car to work rather than rely on public transit. If my car can drive itself, I can ride it to work and send it home to park for free. If that's the paradigm, not only do I replace six or seven miles of transit commuting with car commuting, my car clogs the roads twice as much. If my car can run errands for me while I'm at work, like picking up my and dropping off my dry cleaning or shopping, I might send it to the cheap dry cleaner across town rather than walking to the local dry cleaner and have it pick up specialty sausage from the suburban store instead of settling for the local butcher's stuff.

Finally, today's ride-sharing services are already causing public transit usage to decline. (http://fortune.com/2017/10/13/uber-l...sit-ridership/). I have read that 60% of the cost of today's ride-sharing services is paying the driver. If self-driving ride-sharing services are cheaper than today's services, public transit use will continue to drop and many places may stop investing meaningfully in making them viable competitors to car sharing services. This effect may be mitigated if self-driving buses make it cheaper to expand public bus routes or if they attract private entrants into the bus market.
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Old 06-05-2018, 04:00 PM
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Suburban commuters ride sharing with autonomously piloted vehicles actually makes a lot of sense, especially for a subscription model where the cost is upfront. It doesn’t have the downside of being in a commuter pool where you have to wait or depend upon other pool members to be on time but permits a cost sharing, and makes it practical for a household to have only one or even no private vehicles. One of the ancillary advantages is that it not only reduces traffic congestion once autonomous vehicles become common, but with vehicles not sitting idle parked all day, it also reduces the need for vast parking lots around businesses, which is not only a wasteful use of land but also contributes substantially to the “heat island” effect and reduces footage available for greenspaces. For those living and working in urban environments, it reduces costs associated with parking. Vehicles will still need a place to park for servicing and recharging/refueling, but these can be in offsite locations using real estate that is undesireable for development without consideration for accessibility to businesses and residences. I don’t think this is really all that long term; once the technology reaches a certain level of maturity and cost-effectiveness, adoption and modification of existing transportation infrastructure is likely to be as rapid as the ubiquity of smartphones. If that technology becomes ready for prime time in, say, twenty years, it’ll likely be pervasive in twenty-five to thirty.
...

Stranger
The issues around suburbanites are 1) in large, sprawling metropolises (like, say, Dallas), rush-hour commutes aren't from or to a centralized location, so capacity is going to be an issue (whereas a Boston or SF might be okay?), but more importantly 2) people who've bought houses in suburbs aren't indicating a very high interest in ridesharing right now, or in relying on an autonomous vehicle. I think that's a culture thing that may have to age out of the population, but existing car culture will be difficult to shake up.

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  #198  
Old 06-05-2018, 04:05 PM
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Honestly, I can't find a lot of these statements that have been walked back or ignored. Google said in 2012 it would have self-driving cars on the market in 2018. It won't but it seems to be close to offering a commercial self-driving car service this year. It's already offering a limited experimental self-driving car service in Arizona. GM said it would be the first to produce self-driving prototypes on an assembly line. It did. In 2014, Audi said it would offer a Level 3 self-driving car with its 2018 Audi A8, which includes "Traffic Jam Pilot."It did too.

Most of the aggressive targets are for 2021. Audi has promised that its Traffic Jam Pilot will work up to highway speeds. BMW, Ford, and Volvo have promised self-driving cars on the market or in fleet service available to the public by the end of 2021. Daimler said that self-driving cars will be on the market by 2021, without saying it will be their cars.

A few companies are walking back their predictions. NuTonomy (now owned by Aptiv) said in mid-2016 it would have a self-driving taxi service available in Singapore by 2018. Now, they are saying it won't be until 2021, so their self-driving taxi is now further away than it was two years ago. They are the exception though in walking back their predictions so strongly. Tesla has also completely blown its deadlines, but it does that with all its self-imposed deadlines, including those having absolutely nothing to do with self-driving cars. I can conclude from this only that Tesla doesn't have its shit together.
I'll respond to these as I can. Here's Volvo in 2014 - this was very cool, they were going to give 100 families AVs to drive around! (not being sarcastic here, i was very excited by this and envied the Swedes)

https://www.media.volvocars.com/glob...und-Gothenburg

Unfortunately, it didn't pan out, and in 2017 they announced it was being moved to 2021. (everyone does like moving things to 2020+)

https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/14/...r-sweden-delay
  #199  
Old 06-05-2018, 07:20 PM
Richard Pearse is offline
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Originally Posted by Stranger On A Train View Post

However, the real advantage of autonomously piloted vehicles is in the potential for efficiency in shared use. Privately owned vehicles are only used a small fraction of the time; even most long distance commuters use their vehicle for less than 10% of the day, and the vehicle sits idle in a parking lot or driveway while depriciating in both real and perceived value. Autonomous vehicles can be utilized any time they are not being serviced/fueled/charged, not only for commuting but off-peak usage such as delivery of purchased goods or supplementary logistics, and without the cost or need for availability of a human driver. The most practical business model for fleet autnomous vehicle use is a subscription model similar to how most people pay for cell phones, where you pay a monthly fee for a certain level of service (daily commuting plus some number of trips per week) and additional fees for ancillary service or premium options such as haulage, luxury features, et cetera. If costs are comparable or less than the total costs of ownership of a private vehicle you can expect there to be a large market for a provider who can invest in a fleet, and the subscription model removes a lot of the guesswork about the market and encourages user fealty versus a hypercompetitive pricing model.

Stranger
How many people who currently own vehicles do you see using car sharing services to the point that they wouldn't own their own car anymore?

I don't know about other people's habits, but this is how I use my car and why using a shared car would be an inconvenience for me:

1. I use it to drive to work and back, about a 45 - 60 minute commute. A shared car would be inconvenient because I am often on call and don't know when I will need the car until I need it. I also like to keep certain work items in my car, I can't do that with a shared car.

2. I use it to transport my children. I have two child seats in my car, they are set up for each child, with the head rest height, shoulder strap height specifically tailored to the child. If I used a share car to transport my children I would either have to install their seats into the share car every time I want to use it and then uninstall them when finished (what do I do with the seats while we are out at the shops for the afternoon?), or the car would have to already have seats installed in which case I'd still have to adjust the shoulder straps and head rest. Now the pool of cars available is limited to only those that have the specific seat arrangement I need, one baby seat and one toddler seat.

3. I go mountain biking. This involves putting my bike on a bike rack on the car, loading the car up with helmet, gloves, water, shoes, etc. Then driving to the trails where I will ride for several hours. While I'm riding the car has my non riding stuff in it (shoes, jacket, sunglasses) plus any bike equipment that doesn't go with me on the ride, e.g., a floor pump. I like to go riding early in the morning and have the car loaded up the night before. Obviously a share car wouldn't work.

4. I go on holidays. The car is loaded up the night before for an early start. The car must also have child seats. Again a share car wouldn't work.

Even if only one of those situations applied to me, I'd still have to own a car.

Obviously a car sharing service wouldn't work for me enough that I could dispense with owning a car. I suspect that the vast majority of people who currently own a car would still have to own a car because a share car wouldn't cover all of their personal travel needs.

A car sharing service could nicely replace current public transport options, but I don't see it significantly reducing private car ownership. People who don't need a car for the types of things I've described already get by without a car.
  #200  
Old 06-06-2018, 05:31 AM
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I'll respond to these as I can. Here's Volvo in 2014 - this was very cool, they were going to give 100 families AVs to drive around! (not being sarcastic here, i was very excited by this and envied the Swedes)

https://www.media.volvocars.com/glob...und-Gothenburg

Unfortunately, it didn't pan out, and in 2017 they announced it was being moved to 2021. (everyone does like moving things to 2020+)

https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/14/...r-sweden-delay
In 2012 Sergey Brin got California to support testing in the state, which is great, but proclaimed that robot cars would be available to the general public in five years. Maybe undefined enough to give it a pass, but in retrospect woefully optimistic.

https://www.cnet.com/news/googles-se...ithin-5-years/

Just two years ago Ford said they'd have fully autonomous vehicles on the road by 2021...

https://www.wired.com/2016/08/ford-a...vehicles-2021/

...just two years later, they're setting more realistic expectations:

https://www.sfgate.com/business/arti...e-11859110.php

Quote:
Q: Your predecessor committed the company to getting self-driving taxis out there by 2021. Is the company still committed to that vision, and is it doable?

A: The answer is, we are going to be in the market with products in that time frame. But the nature of the romanticism by everybody in the media about how this robot works is overextended right now. It will be a progressive thing, just like computing. If you think about a vehicle that can drive anywhere, anytime, in any circumstance, cold, rain — that’s longer than 2021. And every manufacturer will tell you that.

Last edited by Maserschmidt; 06-06-2018 at 05:34 AM.
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