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What Happens When A.I. Takes the Wheel? (npr.org)
10 points by rfreytag 5 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 4 comments

It's interesting to me that he touched on something that I think is still in the learning loop... that "semi-autonomous" isn't going to work. You can't have a car that does most of its own driving, but then calls on a human when it winds up in an emergency situation. How do you get the person's attention? And how do you get them up to speed? Part of the ability to respond to emergencies while driving, as a human, comes from already having the mental model of your non-emergency environment. If you get pulled into the emergency, you have to construct that model, and it takes time, and it's hard to do under the influence of adrenaline.

Stuff that puts a human in primary control, but then assists, though... that's pretty awesome. Emergency braking and lane assist tech is terrific. I'd love to have a car that just warns me of hazards when backing out of a parking space while mostly blind. Even if I'm doing the backing out, just a warning of oncoming cars/pedestrians would help. (Better yet, that's a great place to have the car do all the driving for me - just get me out of this parking space, and let me take over).

I hate most of the driver assist technologies I've used or witnessed so far. Backing out in my coworker's new Subaru, it beeps like crazy when there is a pedestrian 50' off to the side. Already there's a slew of problems: what do the various beeps mean, and how to interpret them in context? Lane assist I find even less useful. My current rental car just started beeping seemingly at random then I finally realize it's because I drifted across the end of the dashed line at a merge point without signaling. I was the only car around! A huge distraction trying to figure out what the problem was.

Even anti-lock brakes and traction control systems are imperfect, I've had traction control come on after going over a big bump and causing me to lose traction completely for about half a second.

ACC seems useless, I don't use cruise control at all because there's no place to comfortably rest my foot where I can still quickly reach the brake except for the throttle.

Backup cameras are great. Give me more useful information like this that doesn't make me think, please!

The first time your lane-keeping beeper goes off, it's a huge distraction. The hundredth time, it's normal, just one more sensory input. The time it saves your life, well...

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