Yes, I understand the point that self driving are an incredible potential life saving tool, and when perfected, thousands of lives will be saved. But if they’re released too early (know of any company with a financial incentive to release a product too early?) they are going to have many victims - possibly someone I know. And yes, the safety of autonomous cars driving on bumper to bumper LA traffic is going to be used to justify their safety on single lane highways during a Michigan snowstorm. Remember that when self driving companies are citing their “better than human drivers” claim, the humans they’re comparing against is “all humans”. Who causes the human accidents? The drunk, distracted, inexperienced or very old. Eliminating those drivers from the statistics, incorporate non-boring highway miles from the statistics, and you’ll quickly find that human drivers are likely tens of thousands of times safer than autonomous cars. Isn’t that a story the public should understand?
But, if you add on automatic red light/stop sign detection and auto braking to augment a human driver, even the drunk, distracted, inexperienced and very old will become 1000x better than today, and that’s going to save lives.
Don’t become blinded by the starry future. It’s coming, but before we get there, it’s more likely to be an the fire of an autonomous car that mistook a fire engine as a drivable highway.
As long as self driving companies release PR materials (and the fanboys as well) there should be fine with everyone to see the other side too.
Btw the claim that autopilot is better then an average human was not proven yet, all the existing statistics are very misleading comparing some new cars versus all vehicles in all conditions. Or the other statistic from Tesla is under doubt due the fact when asked for the actual data to be made public Tesla refused (let me know if there was any progress in this case)
Weather and environmental factors aren't a dominant force in auto accidents - https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/weather/q1_roadimpact.htm
Idiots are - https://www.reddit.com/r/IdiotsInCars/
Notice that the human eye is amazing. Resolution is in the hundreds of millions of pixels equivalent, and yet we don’t allow drivers to have less than half the standard resolution (20/40). But, what resolution are self driving car cameras? 50 million pixels? Hardly. They’re legally blind.
Human eyes are even more impressive with their dynamic range. The ability to see a deer on the side of the road while simultaneously being blinded by an oncoming cars headlights, is truly incredible. Self driving car cameras don’t have the dynamic range of a 90 year old.
When one sensor is temporarily blinded by a drop of rain, how does the car react? When one sensor has failed and the other is blinded by a drop of rain?
Weather causes many more problems for self driving cars, and yet Waymo is testing primarily in sunny locales during the daytime.
There needs to be some kind of common public protocol and infrastructure that allows the government to audit potential crashes and then test other self driving car systems to see how they'd react in the same situation. That'd also likely help with giving visibility into why a particular system acted the way it did, and give the public a better view into how the companies are performing. E.g. how well would Waymo handle the areas that Cruise is currently focusing on?
But even if Waymo beats all the odds and common sense and makes an autonomous vehicle that can function as a taxi in a way people actually want to use outside of highly regularized low-density suburban environment, I continue to be surprised that anyone thinks these services would be able to operate in a profitable way, or that they will change anything about how cities work except for doubling automobile traffic and irritating any human drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians that are forced to interact with them.
Free travel for employees in a limited area.