Waymo is going at this right. They sense as much as they can, build a detailed 3D model of the world, and only use machine learning to help classify objects. Classifier failures aren't too serious; the obstacle still gets avoided, but you might not get as smooth a ride as the behavior prediction won't be as good. Compare Tesla's self-driving videos.
I don't see what grounds you can have for saying that. We don't know if we'll be able to develop human-level AI (or beyond).
Another point is that I'm sure there are lots of unusual circumstances that human drivers sometimes face that they're poor at getting a clear snap-judgement of -- of what it is they're seeing and of how it will move (and thus how they'll need to react to it).
I hope this will overcome the "advantage" that humans gain by exploiting unsafe openings.
I mean, as is, I'm not a particularly aggressive driver; I lose some car-lengths because of that, and personally? I think that's okay.
I of course want to see the video where the human drivers do things that human drivers do. They illegally pull out of left turn lanes to go straight, they fail to stop when they turn right in the intersection you are about to enter, they make an illegal u-turn when they realize they turned the wrong way. What does the car do when someone tailgates it? What does it do when pedestrians step off the curb but then don't cross? Watching how the car navigates those situations would make me feel a lot better than watching it drive around where everyone was following the rules.
There's little upside for them to release videos from such testing. It's not sexy, it's not polished and they don't tip off competitors about how advanced (or not) they are.
The car was programmed to be sentient and think he was giving rides to real people... but it was all fake so they could make a fancy tech demo. And when the car finds out how people act in the real world, that's the beginning of judgement day.
The above scenarios are great, but I like the one Mercedes got in a little trouble for “is the cars priority your saftey or is it other people’s? You bought the expensive car, it should protect you first”, gets into a trolley problem pretty quickly.
Got any links on the Mercedes issue?
There is a logical answer though. He’s right. Each car is going to look out for itself primarily. They have to. No car is going to have a “sacrifice” mode.
At some point they'll flag some other drivers as idiots and avoid them, speed past or fall back a safer distance. Other drivers will be aware of what the Waymo car is doing - oh look, it sped past that OAP driving, why? Are they jabbing the breaks unexpectedly? Drifting out of lane? Hm.
Then this data is going to get fed into other agencies and insurance dudes...
This whole thing is going to get messy and just push everyone to get rid of cars and just use taxi services.
They already do this, however their source of data is just the DMV via traffic violations.
This can also be a source of (small) revenue for mapping providers and sensor aggregators (eventually).
I'm a bit skeptical about if those are real graphics though -- they look quite detailed beyond what I feel the 'sensors' can see, but maybe I just underestimate this technology.
The screens are also (unfortunately) a great place to blast ads at a quite literally "captive" audience, but I digress.
They drew a comparison to the early days of elevators, when everyone was terrified of them, especially after transitioning away from having a lift operator controlling it. The solution at the time was the big red emergency stop button.
It seems like the it's the real UI currently used.
Looking at , a typical LIDAR uses 10 ns pulses, at 140 kHz for pulse rate. So one LIDAR uses only 0.14% of air time. A LIDAR is also a rotating device, looking at reflections only from a narrow angle at any give time (how large this angle? TBD). That also reduces the risk of looking at another reflection in the right direction at the right time. Raw collisions should be rare, even in a crowded environment (you're 1000s of cars is extreme, 100s will already be very crowded).
Then if it's using the usual techniques for signal detection, each pulse is encoded with a randomized pattern, so that a LIDAR can recognize its own pulses reflections using correlation. So a given LIDAR will only consider reflections using the right coded sequence. That will further reduce the risk of wrong interpretation, depending on how many bits in the synchronization sequence.
Lastly, at 140 kHz you can do quite a lot of filtering and still have a fast update. If by extraordinary bad luck another reflection comes from the right direction in the right time window with the same sync pattern, this would create an odd input that's unlikely to fit with one's own echo pattern, so could be filtered out. And it's not likely to last long considering all that has to align.
That's my armchair analysis based on a quick search and a single set of slides ;) But it's enough to see that interference is not likely to be a problem. And I would expect this question to have been considered by AV LIDAR experts in much more detail.
If not, then maybe Tesla's camera only approach might not seem as bad as it first sounds?
But I’ll take all of this a LOT more seriously if there was a serious effort in V2V / V2I (vehicle to vehicle/infrastructure) systems - AND - if semi trucks that take known and constant routes were being deployed.
It seems obvious to me for SDCs to be a Railroad v2 at first. Vehicle takes a long distance and known route back and forth. Seems far easier and immediately makes money.
What could possibly go wrong?
Tesla Autopilot Full Self-Driving (Paint It Black soundtrack) - YouTube
The manual control should be easily accessed by the passengers. Will Waymo even allow people to sit in the front seat at the wheel and allow them to control it whenever they want?
Also if the car is really broken down, as in doesn't start, you can get into the front seat and steer + push like a normal car, or emergency services can do that after an accident and so on. Likewise if the sensor system fails this provides a cheaper method than calling a tow truck to move it back to their shop.
In normal situations where manual intervention is required, I believe the plan is to have a Waymo employee drive it remotely, not have the passengers drive it. Apart from the obvious business reasons for this (partially discussed below, also insurance), this should mean that you don't even know how to drive to use one of these cars, which is a clear advantage.
> Will Waymo even allow people to sit in the front seat at the wheel and allow them to control it whenever they want?
Why the hell would they do that? The whole purpose of this vehicle is self driving car research, they don't get anything out of letting you drive it, so they'd just be providing you a free car.
Hah, my thoughts exactly. Besides, when was the last time you jumped in a taxi and told the taxi driver the let you drive? Is that even a thing people do anywhere in the world?
What if the car doesn't have a network connection for whatever reason?
But if doesn't have a network connection, and manual intervention is required, that's just like the "sensor failed" case except you might have to rely on the passengers contacting waymo to tell them where the car is. Which they'll be motivated too since they are somewhat stranded.
There is no need for a passenger to take manual control. If the car or the self driving system has a problem. The car will pull over and another Waymo self driving call will arrive to allow you to complete your journey.
So if a (perhaps malicious) environmental configuration consistently causes Waymo cars to fail, you’ll just collect an ever-increasing number of them at that point?
As far as front seats are concerned, why even have a front seat? Have people sit in a circle facing each other, with a table in the middle - so you can have a conversation. Not having a wheel allows us to reimagine the interiors of cars which are currently built around the driver.
If you sent your seven-year-old to baseball practice in your self-driving car, or you got wasted at a party, you're better off if the car stops and calls for help than letting someone incompetent try to take over.