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I was driving the other day and stopped behind a stop sign at a 4-way intersection. A police car was already stopped at the same intersection, to my left. Since he had the right of way I waited for him to proceed. But after a few seconds without moving he flashed his high beams, which I understood to mean that he was waiting for something and was yielding to me. Now that's not a standard signal for yielding in the California Vehicle Code but most humans can figure it out.

These are the type of odd little situations that come up all the time in real world driving. I can't understand how anyone would expect level 4+ autonomous driving to work on a widespread basis without some tremendous breakthroughs in AGI.




Do you really need AGI to understand that some drivers don't respect the right-of-way rules at 4-way intersections? And even if you don't detect the high beams flashing, do you need AGI to know that you shouldn't lock yourself out of the intersection purely based on your place in the queue?


Regardless of the possible solutions for that one particular situation, my point was that odd unpredictable situations come up all the time in real world driving. We can't hope to code rules in advance for every possible situation. In the general case is it possible to handle unexpected situations without true AGI? That remains an unanswered question.


I like the analogy of the internet. In order to have the internet, we have packet switching, retransmissions, flow control with exponential backoff, distributed spanning tree algorithms, etc. If we accept what the AI proponents say, the internet is a jumbled mess of conflicting hand-crafted rules that has no chance of ever working. And yet here we are on the internet, and we don't even need a Go or chess solver running in each router.


You're making a strawman argument and I have no idea which AI proponents you're referring to. Internet routers mostly rely on deterministic non-conflicting rules with little or no AI involved. It generally works fine, although there are multiple major failures every year.

How much large scale network engineering have you done?


>Internet routers mostly rely on deterministic non-conflicting rules

Exponential backoff (which the previous poster mentioned) is randomized and success is by definition non-deterministic algorithm to resolve conflicting usage. It works very well, and is very simple. But deterministic and non-conflicting are really not qualities that the IP protocol is known for.


And sometimes networks go down, but nobody dies.


That is what my retort was going to be. The stakes are a lot higher when it's a human at 65 mph.


And packet collisions are not unusual. But then you simply wait a short time, and try again.


    10 Drive forwards a bit
    20 Stop
    30 Did we hit something?
    35 YES: Sleep for a short time
    40 GOTO 10


Reminds me of the development of Diablo. Once that sleep time became small enough the game took off.


Well Waymo has demonstrated their reliability enough to be able to have a fleet of driverless vehicles: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/newsrel/2018/2...


Yes, they have a fleet... that also fails in a number of ambiguous situations that average human drivers handle easily. I've observed failures in more than half my trips through Mountain View.

Two use cases happen repeatedly: first, it's indecisive on lane changes when there are vehicle(s) in its targeted lane for a long time. If it cannot merge over safely due to traffic or rudeness, it will Stop in its lane until a clearance occurs -- the concept of proceeding to the next left and making a U-turn seems incomprehensible. Second, in certain right turn situations on a red light, it will hever turn if there is traffic in far lanes even if the nearest lane has a generous opening. I see this all the time on the right turn from eastbound Central turning onto southbound Castro St., for example.


>Second, in certain right turn situations on a red light, it will hever turn if there is traffic in far lanes even if the nearest lane has a generous opening. I see this all the time on the right turn from eastbound Central turning onto southbound Castro St., for example.

To be fair, even I do that sometimes if I just don't trust oncoming traffic not to do something like changing lanes in the intersection or at the last second. To your point, though, it's all dependent upon the intersection, number of lanes, etc., and I'm not familiar with the intersection in question.


...continuously supervised by humans (either remotely, or in the vehicle) I believe.


They are supervised remotely no doubt, but they are driverless and driven autonomously.


Super simple solution is to dial in a remote human operator whenever something 'odd' happens.

'Odd' events like that are probably only 5 seconds out of every hour of driving, so in aggregate one operator could handle 720 cars. At that point, the operator is far cheaper than further work on the AI.


Sure, that wo-NO CARRIER


Side note: The police officer may have thought that you both arrived at the same time, in which case you would have right-of-way, since the right-most driver has priority at a four way stop (if one wasn’t clearly at the intersection first).

(If four cars arrive at the same time ... you just wing it, I guess.)


Nope. He was already stopped when I rolled up to the intersection, and I could see he remained stopped after I went through.


Never mind then. I've been in similarly frustrating situations, where I try to accommodate someone while driving and they just don't even recognize it:

- Someone will tailgate me like they want to pass ... but I'm safely in the right lane, and they can easily pass in one of the other two lanes.

- They want to drive a lot faster than me in a residential area, so I pull to the side and wave them to pass, but they just stop there.


These situations can result in the vehicle notifying the human driver, or for fully-driverless operation, remote operator taking control of the vehicle (at greater expense, of course).


Level 3 autonomy such as you describe is generally considered unsafe because the human driver may not have been paying attention and lacks the context to safely take control.

Remote operation is a total non-starter. Our existing cellular networks lack the bandwidth and redundancy for safety critical applications. What happens if the local tower is down because the cooling system failed or a construction crew accidentally cut the backhaul fiber?


You're describing an anecdotal and seemingly trivial corner case, which may very well have been solved by these secretive companies already (wish we saw more data). It's most likely the scenarios we haven't thought of, the truly unique/very hard scenarios, the ones humans would fail at as well: those are the truly hard edge cases. Not 2 cars sitting stopped at stop signs... are you seriously claiming 2 stopped cars requires AGI?




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