2.9 trillion miles driven in 2009 http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/tvtw/09dectvt/09dectvt.pdf
10.8 million traffic accidents in 2009 http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s1103.p...
If my math is correct the average american can expect to get in an accident every ~250,000 miles driven, (NYC to LA 90 times) so this does seem to be an improvement if all else is equal (which I'm sure is not the case!).
As is, it should be pretty unlikely for the autonomous cars to cause accidents, even if they were much less reliable than human drivers (since there is always a human ready to step in).
I think autonomous cars are awesome and very clearly the future, but I find it hard to believe that humans never had to step in, especially not in the beginning. I mean, that’s why they do those extensive test drives, right? To find bugs that they can squash.
The "just stop" approach isn't available for planes or nuclear power plants for example.
Don't get me wrong: things aren't so grim for the "just stop" approach of dealing with a problem. There's no reason an automated vehicle won't be able to communicate with other cars, warn everyone of an emergency stop (at a minimum), even find the best path off the road, depending on how serious the problem is.
If their functionality included stopping on a dime at a duck on the road, and human reaction speed isn't equivalent, it isn't safe to human drivers. But cost and manufacturing has to factor in before we can just replace every car on the road. People still drive 20 year old cars.
Eventually making it mandatory for some classes of roads (motorways / highways).
At some point in the very distant future your classic car will only be good for showing off on track days or classic car meets.
They have done this by attacking the problem from the 'Big Data' mindset which Google are intimately familiar with. Instead of trying to crack hard AI problems (computer vision being the most obvious) they are simply counting on being able to record and use enough information both before and during the actual driving that they simply avoid these problems.
From what I have seen this approach seems to be working. My real concern is it will not be economically viable to integrate the kind of sensor arrays they are depending on into a real car (2 radars and the laser scanner being the killers).
If you make the assumption that all cars will be AI, then traffic-handling becomes very, very simple. It's not obstacles or accidents that cause serious problems for traffic, it's the fact that you can't know what all other drivers are thinking.
If all vehicles behaved to a certain rule set then all vehicles actions could be predicted, and as a result designing logic to accommodate that is made much easier.
... or, potentially, hacked.
The company is pretty well off, but pays 95% of the premiums in claims payment.
Doing a very back-of-the-envelope calculation, 22.5% of our insured cars had a claims payment this year (august to august), so an average insured person has a traffic accident every 4 years or so, and does way less than 300,000 miles every 4 years (more like 100,000 being generous).
all I was trying to say is that I think the best human drivers can pull off three hundred thousand miles; it's not inhuman. and that's what we are going to need for self-driving cars to become widely accepted; something that would seem impossibly good to a human. And I bet they will do it, eventually.
I was responding to
>My suspicion is that the figures quoted around these Google cars and their safety record, if you take them at face value, lead to a ludicrous level of optimism.
and I don't think 300,000 miles without an accident is a ludicrous number; it's something a human can achieve, (even if it's something most humans don't.) It's a milestone, sure, but like I said, for self-driving cars to be accepted, they can't just be better than the average driver; they need to be better than the best drivers.
I'm looking forward to self driving cars because of their convenience ! Imagine being able to sleep during road trips, using them as a taxicab for places where there's no parking (and ask it to park itself :) ), sending them to pick up somebody... the possibilities are endless !!
What sort of accidents will GoogleCar be prone to? Fender benders, or a head on at 65mph every 500K?
I'm very hopeful about this. Most people don't want to drive most of the time. As long as I can still drive my V12 Aston martin manually when I want to, this is awesome.
They way that would work is that when you car is in semi-manual mode, it tells the others cars that a human is controlling steering and speed. The other cars will then give the human extra room (e.g., no drafting or close formation driving on the freeway, no crossing at right angles in an intersection at full speed just inches apart, or that kind of stuff that the cars will do when computers are driving all of the cars in an area).
The automated system will still be monitoring the human and can take over if the human does something bad, so the other drivers don't have to worry that a human driven car will suddenly cross the line into their lane and kill them.
This could even be turned into a game, where the automated system can score the human driver based on how well the human drove and how often the system had to intervene to keep the human from crashing.
Note that racing could also be allowed in such a system. Want to take that Aston Martin out for a race against your neighbor's Ferrari? Let the system know, and it can give you a course through the city, clear a bubble around you two, and let you go at it.
With a system like that you could easily design a market where vehicles can choose to pay a toll to get a favorable path through traffic. You might see a few options and incentives given for choosing a more fuel-efficient path, etc.
By the time all personal transportation is automatic, it won't just be the status quo with "robot chauffeurs". The whole transportation ecosystem will have to change substantially. Self-driving cars are just a first step to get people used to (or even enamored with) the idea of automatic transportation on a large scale.
I think horse riding might be the best example of the way things will go if and when automatically driven cars become a reality. Once a life skill required by everyone, now a hobby in all but the most extreme of communities.
6M police-reported crashes in 2007. 1.71 million police-reported crashes with an injury. 37,000 traffic fatalities in 2007, 30,862 in 2009.
Traffic fatality data is here with only some high-level info about non-fatality crashes: http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov/Main/index.aspx
I know I'm a worse driver than most. But I also wouldn't say that my similarly young friends average anywhere close to 1 such error per 250k miles. Definitely closer 25k.
 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VaMP (their citations pages aren't responding at the moment)
 - http://www.argo.ce.unipr.it/argo/english/index.html
In summary: They can handle darkness and rain, but not snow.
If you're interested, Sebastian Thrun has an intro to the topic as this course (you can preview all videos and problems)
Snow is much harder for the time being. A snow drift falling off a car can make a google car think a cooler has appeared in the road.
How would it react to a roadway that's covered in several feet of water due to flooding (and poor road design)? Or sinkholes? One-way streets? Freeways which change directions at different times of day? Dirt roads? (Can we make it autonomously offroad?) How will it react during an earthquake or tornado? How will it react to a bicyclist running a red stoplight and into the car's path, when the car has a green light? When the car comes across kids playing football/street hockey/baseball in the street, will it stop for them? How far out of the way will the kids have to move before the car thinks it's safe to go past?
Will these cars have systems to react when they take damage?
How will it react to a bicyclist running a red stoplight and into the car's path, when the car has a green light?
It will stop. In fact, the "failure mode" of self-driving cars will be how pedestrians can bully them by stepping in front of them so they stop.
When the car comes across kids playing football/street hockey/baseball in the street, will it stop for them?
There is already video of this. The radar/lidar isn't good enough to see a baseball, but it's definitely good enough to see a kid.
It will probably pull over and stop if something is wrong.
https://www.ai-class.com/course/video/videolecture/210 (Lombard Street at about 4:40)
One thing that strikes me is how much more these robots can potentially see than a human driver. Imagine how much better you could drive if you could see in all directions at once with multiple range-finding sensors and cameras, track dozens of moving objects simultaneously, never get sleepy or look away from the road at the wrong time, react to events in milliseconds, and learn from hundreds of thousands of miles of training data as your driving "experience".
I think the answer is: "not very well."
Not that I hold any of this against the car - it was clearly doing the intelligent thing. But people... we are animals.
Anyway, I wanted to say that I read an article about a guy in Seattle that always kept a couple car lengths ahead of him. I seem to remember the article saying he was able to get home quicker that way than by behaving like the rest of the cars on the road.
- if truckers can maintain a bubble, how can it be impossible?
- yes, aggressively weaving drivers sometimes jump in ...then they jump out again.
- at merge zones, the entire point is to let people into your lane.
- In theory, everyone else wants your precious bubble. In practice, not.
...and in a burning building, we all know the best way to escape, eh? EVERYONE AGGRESSIVELY PUSH FORWARD, DON'T LET ANYONE ELSE GET PAST, COOPERATION AND TEAMWORK ARE FOR LOSERS! Yep, that certainly won't trigger a huge clogged mess where everyone dies.
The Google cars probably also have additional margins of safety to allow for the driver to react to unexpected computer behavior _and_ actually step in and perform the maneuver himself.
> Most people stay way too close to the car in front, though.
Very impressive spec - as you'd expect for a $75,000 product.
I don't think it's going to do a very good job driving in San Francisco city streets (but then, who does?)
Knowing where there should be a stop sign and traffic lights significantly reduces risks. The computer still needs to be able to learn when new ones appear, of course.
Guess I really don't have to worry until they figure out how to get the car to drive on snow covered roads.
Census needs to fix their reports to be consistent with Department of Transportation terminology...
Around fifteen years ago, I read as a child with fascination an account in Scientific American about an automated highway project where sensors were to be placed every few feet on the road, and cars would follow them, until a driver retook control at the end. I imagined a future network of roads in which cars read from sensors to determine where they were, and was kind of saddened that governments didn't immediately start putting these sensors into highways. This is such a cooler solution, one that doesn't depend on a parallel development of infrastructure, one that would presumably take lots of bureaucratic steps that are naturally associated with usage decisions on publicly owned land (which makes sense).
What this reminds me of, rather spectacularly, is that if one method of getting to your solution fails, either because those sensors didn't work out, or the bureaucracy didn't, if you come up with a solution, and say "oh by the way I did it already", it's a lot harder for anyone to ignore it.
And taxes. Google isn't being funded by our dollars, except through a series of indirections.
Seems possible, and certain kinds of tax credit may as well be subsidies. All speculation on my part, though. I wonder if anyone knows?
Small, on-demand personalised mass transit has the potential to be the most efficient transport system.
Only a few Asian cities get more than their public transport systems cost to run back. This page has more info:
When economists think about technology, they look at it as a productivity booster. From that angle, robot cars will have a huge impact - so many commute hours will be transformed to work, or even leisure, which also boosts productivity.
So many smart people are about to be given a 10% or better bump in time to make and to do.
So, while autonomous cars could and probably will replace regular cars in places that have regular roads and good infrastructure they will definitely face a lot of resistance from consumers.
Further, better public transportation isn't a practical substitute for many scenarios in the United States where these driverless cars could make great inroads (no pun intended). It's not at all uncommon for someone to live 20+ miles away from the nearest public transportation in the United States without being "rural." If you're already far enough away from public transportation that it's unusable, you aren't likely to move without at least considering whether a driverless car will ease the pain of your commute.
Further, there are plenty of reasons that public transportation simply isn't a feasible option but a driverless car would rule. Two of my very good friends got married this summer, for instance, and their wives were from extremely rural areas such that plane tickets were ~$700 a piece. Instead of buying ~$3000 worth of plane tickets for my wife and I to attend each wedding, we drove 800 miles to each for far cheaper. If I could tell my car on Saturday night "Take me to Peioria, IL - and I need to be there by 3 PM on Sunday. Pace yourself accordingly." and know that I'd get there on time and safely, I'd absolutely do it.
I think that, within 20 years, driving manually will be seen in a similar vein to how driving a stickshift is seen now, and within 50 years, it'll be unusual for anyone to drive themselves anywhere.
Yeah, I felt this way for about two weeks after I learned how to drive. After that, it quickly got tedious and boring.
I can't wait for the self driving car, because I have much more faith in computer systems than your average person off the street.
Even if you thoroughly enjoy driving, a driverless car would afford other emotional highs from:
- Allowing you to get an extra [insert unit of time] of sleep
- A bit of hanky-panky (even the one-man party variety)
- Eating a meal (preferably not from a tube)
- Playing games (a driving simulator if so inclined)
- Reading HN
I love driving as well but I can see the benefits that'll come from automated cars will easily outweigh the negatives. One of those positives might be a more energised, happier workforce.
Eh, no we don't, we don't do it because it's not available on the market and because there is no way to make such food sit well with our digestive systems, otherwise many many people would 'eat' (or should I say 'drink' or just 'swallow') food like that. I'd pay good money for not having to think about what to cook, actually cooking it, doing dishes etc. 3x7 times a week (if I still had the option to eat recreationally - i.e. no solutions that replace my digestive system with something else allowed).
Which is a large "exception", since by definition lots of driving occurs in heavy traffic.
I wouldn't be so sure. Yeah, it might prove to be a very good thing for the United States, but for the rest of world there's first Europe's public transport networks (I'm 31, don't have a driver's license, I live in Europe, I'm doing perfectly fine, thank you), and short of us reaching the Singularity I honestly don't see any of these cars driving in the crazy traffic of Cairo, Istanbul, or any other metropolis from the rest of Asia or Africa.
Not only do you need less parking for fewer cars, but you could have less parking for the same number of cars. For example there is no need for stores to have huge car parks - customer and employee cars can go and wait somewhere else and only return to the front door just as you come out with your goods. This can lead to far denser human centric areas.
Some roads can actually be decommissioned. Vehicles can load balance across existing alternatives and respond far quicker to developing bottlenecks. Occupied vehicles can be given priority over shorter routes than non-occupied ones.
Deliveries can be done without drivers. For example the delivery vehicle can drive to your home, work or anywhere else and you enter a code to get your items vending machine style.
It will give people greater freedom. For example if your vision isn't acceptable, or you have physical issues then it won't matter. In general the maladies that come with age won't affect mobility anywhere near as much as they do today.
Drives can be over longer distances as there is no driver fatigue. Perhaps there could be sleeper cars for when you want to go somewhere overnight.
Heck they can even do things like deal with you in the vehicle while you are driving to an airport or a border. You could show your passport, answer questions, check luggage etc. And then go straight through the border or walk straight to your gate at airport, or even be driven to a closer access point to the gate.
And I suspect we never get flying cars out of this. When the two dimensional earth surface is used so much more efficiently, why expand into 3 dimensions? And since we can increase the speed the more vehicles are automated, what advantage does flight have?
A car right now needs regular maintenance as it is every few months, even if it's just changing the oil. That will go from months to days if they're being used 24/7.
I have a license but don't have a car (actually owning a car was too much of a hassle) and you're only telling half the story. Yes, day to day not having a car is fine, but every once in a while you want to buy something larger that is not delivered, or move some stuff, or go for a short vacation, or even just drive out of the city to pick some mushrooms and you're stuck. You either borrow/rent a car or skip on the activity.
A car does provide a kind of freedom that public transport simply can't. A car that drives itself, or, even better, a car that I can cheaply rent that will drive itself to my doorsteps, then drive me wherever I want to go, and then return itself would be absolutely perfect.
We have those, they're called cabs/taxis ;) Well, I suppose they're not exactly cheap, but personally I use them so rarely that it doesn't really matter, even though I'm on a tight budget.
Imagine instead being able to use an app where, in any urban area, you can have a car sitting in front of your house in 3-5 minutes, with reasonable mileage rates, exact GPS coordinates preprogrammed, and no haggling over tip and payment method at the end of the ride.
Speaking as half a couple paying $1000 a month in car payments, car insurance, maintenance and gas, this is going to fundamentally change the calculus for private car ownership in America.
Yes. cabs are useless where I am, too. They say they will be there in 30 minutes, but that's best case.
But there are plenty of unemployed folks with cars. How much of the cab shortage is due to regulatory capture?
Imagine, for instance, an app where I could give my location, a timeframe and, say, an amount I was willing to pay. "Hey, $50 if you pick me up from the office and drive me home... if you get here within 10 minutes"
Such an app is technically easy, and I imagine there are enough people with cars either going where I'm going or simply idle to make it work. But there are... legal barriers in place.
Want a big car for a family trip? Just order one and it turns up where you are, ready to take you where you want to go.
A sleeper car for two? A flash sports car for the afternoon? A van for the day?
Pay-as-you-go personal transport from anywhere to anywhere where you can still be productive during the journey... Sounds pretty revolutionary to me.
See the following sites for examples of car share schemes.
Anecdote does not data make. I'm 32, I have a drivers license and two cars, I live in Europe, and my quality of life would be severely impacted if I didn't have a car. The vast majority of Europeans live in places where the population density is too low for it to be sensible to depend solely on public transport, not to mention that only a part of Europe has any 'reliable' (I use that word loosely, because name me one public transport system outside of the German one that works 'reliably') form of public transport at all.
It only takes one or two times a month that you need a car (for big groceries, visiting a far away friend or relative, or going somewhere where there is no public transport) to make it worth while to get a car, and once you have it, it's better to use it as much as possible to make it pay for itself. Public transport is not a viable long-term option to satisfy our transportation needs - it's too expensive, inconvenient and inefficient. Lean, pay-per-use and easily rentable autonomously driven cars are the way of the future, and the near future, at that.
Or you could turn the theory on its head - use the rail corridors as motorised transport arteries and open up the roads to the bipeds.
(From Sydney where the rail network is extensive - I'd imagine places with less ubiquitous rail wouldn't benefit as much)
You're wrong. Japan is also planning on introducing self-driving cars shortly.
On a related note: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yurikamome
In Tokyo they already have an automated transit system that is basically a truck on rails. See this image to get a better picture: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Model_7000-Fourth_of_Yurik...
But if we go to robot cars we no longer have to park.
Also, places like Cairo are bad because of the human drivers. If you only allow robot cars that all goes away. The system can know where everyone is and where they are going and adjust speeds to the point of having your car end up 20cm behind the next car instead of having to use the breaks if you went 1/kmph faster for the last 200km.
Actually, even a glance at my GPS while driving wil occasionally cause a twinge.
So it's more up to the individual in question, then the driver (considering a normal, average car ride, not anything in the extremes).
As it happens, the same types of driving that are more fuel efficient cause less motion sickness. Still, driving anywhere with stop lights and other traffic probably necessitates enough stopping and starting that even maximally efficient driving software would cause motion sickness in many people.
I've always worn glasses but my vision has gotten progressively worse as I've aged - it's not bad, even now, I can legally drive without glasses - but it's enough to be noticeable.
I also was much less prone to motion sickness when I was younger - I would happily read full novels while riding along as a grade schooler.
Turned out that I had similar issues, just not noticeable. It had to do with my eyes not being able to properly maintain a focus at a specific distance over time, and their ability to track properly. I've always been a slow reader - this is at least partly why. I was told that it's also responsible for the fact that I get car sick within seconds of reading in the car, and that it goes away with therapy. Unfortunately, I never did go through with the therapy.
Also, who's commute doesn't involve temporary construction signs?
Myself, I'm extremely skeptical about self-driving cars, and I've never understood why I seem to be massively outnumbered by people who are utterly convinced it is possible to create AI that can handle the billions of different and sometimes completely arbitrary traffic situations you'll encounter while driving on current road infrastructure. Sure enough it will work great 90% of the time in some places, but that's not enough. It needs to work 99% of the time everywhere. Simply looking at the achievements made in AI in the last 50 years or something doesn't really warrant a whole lot of optimism we'll get there anytime soon.
Even if it never reaches the level where you can truly step away from the wheel while the computer drives 100 miles in rush hour traffic, attaching an AI to help avoid accidents in many common situations still sounds revolutionary. I forsee something similar to a plane's autopilot -- where it greatly reduces user error yet sometimes still needs a human to take over when it doesn't know what to do.
Don't get me wrong by the way, I'm not 'against self-driving cars' or anything, I simply think it can't be done. Not unless we replace all road infrastructure with something that supports autonomous vehicles, and introduce some form of centralized traffic control, ie: more like air traffic.
That's a really good point, all though I'd wager a guess that most catastrophic accidents (e.g. crashes at highway speeds and t-bones at left-hand turns) happen when the driver is lulled into complacency by normal conditions.
The car is pretty eye catching: http://www.vibe.com/sites/vibe.com/files/styles/main_image/p...
So it gets attention...and most accidents happen when people don't pay attention.
Once these become more common, it won't be a huge deal, so people will stop noticing them and accident rates will go up. Probably not by much, since you'd eliminate most of the driver caused accidents
As an aside, I've been waiting to buy my Google car for 5 long years. During this time I've become so disenfranchised with day to day driving that I avoid it at all costs. Commuting via roads in a car is such a mundane task that is, in my opinion, a solved problem. Bring on the autonomous cars!
I just don't see the few cases where it's enjoyable to be worth the other costs. I'd consider it similar to smoking in that regard.
Smoking is a much greater nuisance than driving, because a nearby smoker will foul the air for a fairly large radius through no choice of the people around them. Driving only affects other people who choose to be on the road.
That's not true at all, the incidence rate of lung cancer in smokers is less than 20%. That's still much higher than for non-smokers (0.4% - 2%), but hardly a "virtual guarantee".
With a Google car, I'd a) be able to send her by herself and b) even if I had to come, I could work on the way, meaning I'd have more than a week's worth of vacation/sick time restored.
Yes, I'd happily accept ads.
True privacy is very hard. You could set up a camera to read plates at some choice points and know the whereabouts of most of the people in your city. If you want to do something privately you have to act deliberately in this day and age.
To set up such cameras, you'd need permission from our National Data Protection Commission and if you were to store footage with car plates you'd fall under the Personal Data Protection Law which requires you to either get explicit consent or fall under one of the few exceptions in the law (and no, tracking random people isn't one of them).
And even if you qualify, you can only use that data for the specific purpose you said you needed it for and it needs to be well protected (for example, a governmental CCTV installation was suspended because the recording weren't being well encrypted).
That is going to be hard to pull off. For places that get a lot of snow, often you can't even be sure if you're on the road or not.
1. Road indicators are difficult to identify
2. Roadway has less traction than usual
3. Humans are having emotional reactions (joy, terror) which impacts their processing abilities.
There are many causes of slick road surfaces, from snow and ice to excessive water, spilled materials, collision debris, and low-quality roadways (dirt and gravel roads). Driving in reduced-traction situations shouldn't be an edge-case.
What about where a street has parked cars on both sides and just enough room for one car to go through the middle of the street - one of the narrow city streets where drivers have to wait in the intersection for oncoming cars - will these autonomous cars wait and let drivers through, or will they get stuck?
More importantly - who will be maintaining all the traffic changes? An example - a section of Interstate or road is closed for months, whether by damage or construction. And then, when it's clear again?
I'm interested in seeing how these things play out.
Trains are basically semi-autonomous, and out of the way of cars anyway.
The hard part will be fighting the technophobes when somebody drives into the side of one of these and kills themselves. I don't envy being in that battle.
By that point, we will all have integrated computers in our body, probably with some kind of brain-machine interface so we don't need to interact with them. We can just telepathically request a vehicle to take us somewhere.
Screw that, I want Star Trek style beaming up by the Scottie5000 bot in space.
That use a heck of a lot more gas ;)
Obviously that doesn't mean it isn't using a fossil fuel somewhere along the power chain, but I imagine the efficiency isn't much worse than bus routes - and it's not like they need to target the exact same use case, either.
First, Amazon and Wal-Mart and Fed-Ex will have giant fleets - then consumers and mid-sized businesses will follow. Small local governments and developed Asian nations like South Korea and Japan will also drive adoption.
Having a fully-automated supply chain will break the competition who doesn't have the capital to get there fast enough. The big companies already automate the factories, and once delivery is automated, the circle is complete.
What if the car was smart enough to identify situations where it was unable to auto-navigate safely? It could pull-over and ask the human to take-over for awhile. I would rather see a mostly capable self-driving car come to market sooner than wait around for near perfection.
On this note, it seems that the trucking industry could adopt a self-driving truck even if it was only good enough to travel along long stretches of highway. The first/last miles would be manually driven just like today. Could the trucking companies use remote navigation (much like military drones) to handle first/last mile and perhaps problem spots along the way?
What's the minimum viable product?
This is precisely what the Google car does, in fact.
1. http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811552.pdf table 4
On the one hand, these will help close the "fun gap" between the city and the suburbs. One big problem with living in the suburbs is that you can't really drink a lot wherever you are, because you have to drive home afterwards. If your car drove itself that restriction would be removed, and over time the suburbs could start to compete with cities for nightlife despite the large delta in density. Places might even start staying open later because they could make more money selling alcohol.
On the other hand, I have a power-nothing manual-everything sports car that I love to drive. Already most people I know drive cars with automatic transmissions, and now some manufacturers don't even ofter manuals anymore, even on fairly powerful high-end cars. I can imagine many of the same people who choose an automatic transmission today will choose a fully automatic self-driving car tomorrow because to them it's a utility and not a form of entertainment. Eventually, the market for non-self-driving cars will shrink in the same way the market for cars with manual transmissions has.
It doesn't matter if you reduce by a 1000 the risk of accident. When an accident is caused by a human error you have someone to blame, you can think "I would have done better". But when the accident is cause by a machine, then people will stop trusting the car and be done with it.
People will be upset, even outraged, by the first few autonomous car accidents. But as long as they're still legal, they'll be building up a safety record that will quickly surpass what humans can achieve. Google has already invested enough money in the legislative system to prevent laws from being yanked off the books after one accident.
The general form of "People won't like it when machines do X" doesn't have a lot of merit. There are always problems and people never like it at first. Then they get used to it and quality of life improves over time. I'm sure similar arguments were made about the automobile itself.
(from http://www.slate.com/blogs/thewrongstuff/2010/08/03/error_me... )
Trivial example, could i choose to always pull out in front of the robot even if it's not my right of way? (presumably safe in the knowledge the robot will always give way to avoid a collision)
Could that escalate to the robot being treated as a mobile speed trap / felony snitch?
- scalability cases : many many moving obstacles.
- reversal cases : gCar behavior if a vehicle is misbehaving.
What happens ? can they compute a safe avoidance path ?
if not but with impact still being detected in advance
by the system, can there be a pre-protection system ?
- systemic cases : how 2 gCars react to each others, any oscillatory patterns ?
computing a path using the same heuristic leading to
avoidable collision. With more than 2 ?
If it becomes a problem, the car can transmit images of the jaywalkers to the police.
That's not a lot of miles, but the fact that they've done it completely without accident is relatively impressive.
The real safety improvements will come when all cars are autonomous and they talk to each other.
Autonomous cars never get distracted, have 360 degree vision, look at all things all the time, and can react in tens of milliseconds versus hundreds of milliseconds. I'd trust that over a "professional driver."
Oh, and I would very much like if every vehicle put on the back and front of the car - it's current speed measured by the car.