1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

AI Controlled Cars, or Your Right to Drive

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by illram, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Silurian

    Silurian Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,567
    I do not think that computers are magic but any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

    So you can build more roads and improve the use of the existing roads.
     
  2. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy The trees are actually quite lovely.

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    16,858
    A significant portion of drivers with manual transmissions do this properly.
     
  3. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Messages:
    15,847
    Location:
    Canada
    Yeah, but that's still <10% of drivers total, not many manual sales in North America anymore.
     
  4. bhsup

    bhsup Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Messages:
    30,387
    Wait, wait, what points? The pictures were of 1) Will Smith in I, Robot being assaulted by his friendly robots that took over his AI car and 2) Sly Stallone in Demolition Man after wrecking because his AI car couldn't handle some bullet damage and went all berserko and wouldn't relinquish control to Sly. This resulted in his car crashing and encasing him in secure foam. It probably saved his life. (the secure foam, not the AI car, which caused the situation to begin with.)
     
  5. IglooDude

    IglooDude Enforcing Rule 34 Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2003
    Messages:
    21,384
    Location:
    Igloo, New Hampshire
    It's from the movie I, Robot. And Form's is from a movie that I forget the name of, but only remember that it stars Rowdy Roddy Piper.


    And AI controlled cars will happen, it's really only a matter of time. At which point it'll stop mattering if you leave your NSA-tracked phone at home, the government will know where you are (within a mile or two) at all times and store your movements in a permanent database. I suppose it matters a lot less to urban folk, because walking distance in a city encompasses so many more possibilities. And, with your electronic communication being more pervasive and few people communicating with handwriting or in person, and cash being used less and less, Snowden's statement about the death of privacy seems unavoidable.
     
  6. bhsup

    bhsup Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Messages:
    30,387
    I thank God I'll probably be dead before 2050. It would probably take at least that long to mandate such a system. Plus, I'll miss the inevitable PRC invasion of America.
     
  7. Borachio

    Borachio Way past lunacy

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    26,698
    Nononono. The current narrative, in the UK, is that building more roads just increases the traffic.

    What we need is double-decker cars.

    Hardly anyone knows how to merge from two lanes into one.
     
  8. Silurian

    Silurian Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,567
    Building roads does increase traffic but it should still be done to get past bottle necks, for new developments etc.

    Traffic and demand management is cheaper and so is preferable if possible.



    Thats true:sad:
     
  9. bhsup

    bhsup Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2004
    Messages:
    30,387
    [011247] <+OwenGlyndwr> we just need auto-driving cars
    [011251] <+OwenGlyndwr> I WANT IT NOW
    [011252] <LOUDBONG> WHAT ARE YOU SOME KIND OF COMMUNIST
     
  10. timtofly

    timtofly One Day

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    9,429
    It is not that they don't know. It is that some are head strong and some are timid and that personalities do not make for great merging.

    Instead of submitting one on one when necessary, some will get over too soon and add to the lengthening of the merge. Some will just block people, and some will either pass legally or too fast and do it proper, but tick off all those people who thought it proper to form a long line.
     
  11. illram

    illram Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    Messages:
    9,218
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Masada earlier mentioned insurance, which is spot on. I think before the government regulates it, this will happen due to prohibitively expensive insurance policies for non autonomous vehicles.

    As for the whole "well you have to then outlaw swimming and skiing thing," I think that's oversimplifying the issue. Would this hypothetical future ban or eliminate driving on public roads? Yes. Will it ban your ability to be transported in a vehicle to your destination of choice? No. No one is talking about banning vehicular transport. We are talking about regulating it. Pools are regulated--you need a fence around it in many states, for instance, to protect trespassers/kids from drowning in it. Most public beaches and pools must have lifeguards. In California (and elswehere?) I believe you need to wear a helmet if you're under 18 and are skiing or snowboarding. Ski resorts around the world also reserve the right to throw you out if they catch you behaving recklessly or going too fast in slow areas. They have "slow" areas and "expert" only areas. They sometimes make you pay if you get lost outside the ski area necessitating rescue. And so on and so forth. These regulations facilitate the public's enjoyment of these activities in a safe environment.

    So I would argue that autonomous cars are a regulation meant to facilitate, rather than inhibit, your pursuit of the right to travel (which is actually a right, as opposed to driving, which is not). The issue is where do you balance safety with the freedom to pursue the activity being regulated, so that you reach that optimum level of public safety and freedom? For luxury pursuits like skiing and swimming, maybe you don't need to regulate it that much, given the diminishing returns from regulation vs. saved lives, and the fact that a slim minority of people will ever engage in these activities for any purpose other than fun, or put themselves or anyone else in danger by pursuing them. (Do we need to do more than make people put up fences, or have life guards at public beaches, to save lives? Do we need to do more than make skiers wear helmets?) As Angst pointed out earlier, traveling in a vehicle on a public road with other cars, in stark contrast to skiing and swimming, is something billions of people do every day, many of them (most?) in order to maintain their livelihood. As such perhaps that activity requires a stricter framework of rules so that everyone can more safely enjoy a freedom necessary in all of our daily lives. (Freedom of movement is a right recognized in the US and in one way or another in almost every first world nation including the UN Charter.) The individual privilege of driving is thus curtailed (by say, requiring you to only drive on a closed course) to facilitate the public's enjoyment of a public right. Just like my individual privilege to go swimming and enjoy my private pool (if I had one, let's say) is curtailed by my fascist dictatorship State rules requiring me to build a fence around it.

    So if in a hypothetical future it were shown that AI controlled traffic was significantly safer than what we have now--a long bet I am definitely willing to make--I think it would be justified considering the central importance of transportation in the daily lives of humanity and the tremendous difference such a change could make in making our communities as a whole better.

    Given that, I understand why people would think someone who thinks like me is a dangerous, freedom hating big government liberal who must be stopped at all costs.:)
     
  12. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    45,355
    Location:
    US of A
    You know, the insurance companies are a lot more likely to hurt you for not locking your pool than the government is.....
     
  13. Zelig

    Zelig Beep Boop

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Messages:
    15,847
    Location:
    Canada
    Well, I think auto insurance should be state-run, as state-run insurance works better than private insurance for vehicles, but that's separate issue from robocars.
     
  14. illram

    illram Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    Messages:
    9,218
    Location:
    San Francisco
    Exactly! It's the free market, man.
     
  15. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    45,355
    Location:
    US of A

    I think if we're going to have a real discussion about privacy and liberty, then that discussion fails from the start if we aren't talking about both what the government and the market are doing which is chewing away at those 2.
     
  16. illram

    illram Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2005
    Messages:
    9,218
    Location:
    San Francisco
    I'm not sure what you mean?
     
  17. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Messages:
    45,355
    Location:
    US of A
    I mean the average Joe Schmuck is losing his privacy and liberty in both directions, to the government, and to the markets. As IglooDude is saying, now the government will know where you are at all times. Well, guess what? So will the private sector! And while the government is more powerful in what it can do to you, the private private companies are more voracious in what they will do to you! So if you are looking at the liberty issues concerning this, you are utterly failing to appreciate the scope and the scale of the problem if you are just looking at that the government will gain in information. For while the government may act on that information, should it have a reason to, it still needs to generate a reason to. And while that reasoning may be flimsy as hell, it still needs something. Where the market already has all the reason it could ever want to misuse any increase in knowledge or power that falls their way. And so the market will misuse and abuse any new powers and information that it gets, because that's the way it always operates now, and no one will bat an eye when it just keeps doing what it has been doing all along. Only more of it. And there's the thing, the market is intrusive on your property and liberty at all times.

    For, you know, that's where the money is.

    And so as we move to self driving cars, as we move to more and more of our lives on computer, as we move to world where nothing in your life is ever deleted from the net, we really need a national discussion on just how much of our power and privacy we are yielding up.

    And where to draw the line.

    Cause that line ain't gonna get drawn until all the Joe Schmucks out there take a stand, and that stand has to be equally against the government, and against an unbridled 'free market'. Going against one or the other alone is just going to leave the other ubiquitous.
     
  18. Lord of Elves

    Lord of Elves Suede-Denim Secret Police

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Messages:
    6,923
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    right behind u ;)
    The "then you must outlaw anything that could ever result in harm to anyone" assertion is a strawman. No one is proposing this, and as has been demonstrated by several posters (to no avail), there is an obvious and important dichotomy between the proposition that something is dangerous and should therefore be regulated and that all dangerous things ought to be regulated or banned. The state has no control over you doing things that can result only in harm to yourself (like swimming, or skiing, or bungee-jumping) or result in harm to others engaging in that activity by their own choice outside of the context of a public, civilian space. The state does and should have the authority to regulate or ban activity in the context of a public space that can endanger the safety and well-being of people other than the person engaging in the dangerous activity, whatever it might be.

    But all this is irrelevant for the reasons that firstly, this syllogism construct that regulating activities which are dangerous to large groups of people means you have to regulate all dangerous activities ever, is a strawman; and secondly, strawmanning is a particularly frustrating logical fallacy. The majority of the time strawmanning either results from the emotional and kneejerk belief that what the opposite side is proposing is actually a clever and evil front for their actual intention, in this case the creation of an omnipotent and unassailable nanny-state, or from an intentional and disingenuous desire to manipulate and obstruct the debate. In either case pointing out the fact that the strawman is a strawman does nothing for anyone. The offending parties will continue assembling strawmen until they die of exhaustion or burst into tiny, logically-incoherent bits. I suspect that in this case it is primarily the former, that the posters assembling strawmen believe that the real crux of the debate is one of personal freedom and social responsibility as opposed to public safety and transportation efficiency. It is prohibitively difficult to disavow people of the notion that something threatens their way of life (which apparently automated driving does), so the thread is at an impasse :p
     
  19. Ayatollah So

    Ayatollah So the spoof'll set you free

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2002
    Messages:
    4,388
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    OK here's the compromise. Anyone should be able to drive manually if they want, provided that the robo-system can take over in an emergency, avoiding imminent collision. Even on a crowded highway, the (otherwise inactive) robo-system can still alert the other cars as to position and speed, so stop-and-go traffic still won't happen, provided manual drivers are a minority. Which they will be.

    Oooh, Detroit is really going to hate this. Zipcar is bad enough, but robo-car really takes it up a notch. Instead of most cars being parked most of the time - like now - we go to most being used most of the time. Meaning, far fewer cars are needed overall.

    Also, this.
     
  20. Cheetah

    Cheetah Deity

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Messages:
    7,788
    Location:
    the relative oasis of CFC
    Okay, I skipped most of the thread, but here's my take on it:

    Currently, error-prone humans are controlling several tons of metal at speeds up to 10 or even 50 meters per second! And they're all doing this together in large groups, and often moving in opposite directions! That's ridiculous stupid when you actually come to think about it.

    Driving cars in normal traffic is a tractable problem and fully solvable. The main problem is still to develop sensors that can provide clear enough knowledge of the environment, but it seems very likely that this will be achievable within the next ~10 years.

    Machines, except when created with design faults or programming bugs, do not make mistakes. And the problems that are found can be addressed. This means that as the systems mature, they will become ever less error-prone. When they have reaches sufficient maturity, they will be allowed to drive on the roads.

    Automating the driving of cars will have enormous benefits:

    1. Less accidents.
    Machines will not fall asleep, drive while drunk, be preoccupied with texting or with kids in the backseat having an argument. Traffic accidents have a huge cost every year, both in human lives and in resources needed to clean up after the accident and fixing the road (and that's not taking into account the losses to other who are delayed on their way because of the accidents).

    2. Coordinated driving.
    A huge system such as vehicular traffic is extremely difficult to comprehend for the individual parts (the drivers). When all the parts are automated, they can also communicate much more effectively (all parts here includes the drivers, the roads themselves, the intersections, etc.).

    Congestions occur because human drivers are unable to coordinate their movements efficiently, and any vehicle that accelerates or retards, have cascading effects that go over several dozen links at a minimum, and usually ripple through the entire congestion. On huge motorways this means that a single car breaking for a few seconds can lead to minutes of standing still for a car following hundreds of meters behind it.

    Automated systems will be able to accelerate and all affected vehicles in a coordinated manner, saving several seconds each time (at a minimum) and easily adding up to hours saved every day. Intersections can know the exact number, dimensions and direction of vehicles approaching from each direction, and can coordinate the speed for all vehicles so that the intersection has maximum utilization and and the vehicles spend a minimum of time going through it.

    3. Benefits of numbers.
    When the whole system is automated, the vehicles can be further coordinated. For instance it could be possible to chain several cars together, and have a leading, special-purpose built vehicle in front or back doing the pulling/pushing, much like a traditional train, which could potentially save energy, increase speeds or make the traffic coordination problem more tractable. The big difference is that each car could attach or detach itself from these trains when their routes demand it, and then continue on their own engine.

    All in all, these improvements will mean less fatalities and injuries, more energy-efficient transportation, higher potential speeds, less time spent going from place to place, less intruding roads as less space needs to be set aside for security on the sides of the roads (and, since land prices are a huge expense in urban areas, cheaper roads).

    The benefits of automated cars are so overwhelming, that there are no ways around it.

    The implementation will most likely go something like this:

    1. Automated cars are developed, but are only driven on test ranges.

    2. Automated cars are given limited permission to drive on public roads, and will most likely include a demand for a human driver that can take control if something goes wrong. The human driver is still held accountable for everything the car does (and the owner of the car is of course responsible for the proper functioning and maintenance of the car - which I believe is the current law in all/most countries atm?). [This is the stage we're entering right now.]

    3. Automated cars become commonplace, if not yet ubiquitous, on all roads. Human drivers very seldom has to intervene, and when traffic accidents do happen, more often than not the cause is found to be human errors committed by the drivers who overrode the automatic system.

    4. Car manufacturers, the laws, traffic authorities and insurance companies finally agree on how to distribute responsibilities and liabilities regarding automated cars. Insurance companies increase the fees for customers who demand to drive manually. This is when the Robo-Car Taxi fleets become operational.

    5. Some large urban areas makes it compulsory to hand over driving to automatic systems (given that all the benefits will be useful everywhere, but urban areas will still see the greatest improvements from them). As such, it is now illegal to manually drive cars in these areas.

    6. The Automated-Only zones are expanded to whole states or regions.

    7. Finally, manual driving is prohibited, except for special exceptions, which I can imagine would include things like certain emergencies occurring, driving veteran cars (which already are limited by laws and insurances), and closed-off, private roads and race tracks.

    Conclusion:
    Automatic, self-driving cars is a good thing. They will become ubiquitous sooner rather than later, and younger people will not understand the reasoning for manually driving cars.

    After all, every young person will know that it's much preferable to use their iPhone 47 S to browse LinkedFace+ while driving than to look at a boring road... :dunno:
     

Share This Page