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Autonomous vehicles

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Moriarte, Oct 13, 2017.

  1. uppi

    uppi Deity

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    In theory, yes. In practice, this is going to be very hard, because you need to create the software that turns the car into psycho killing machines. It is very unlikely that once you have hacked a car you could just sen the command "enable psycho killer mode" and it will behave as such. Instead you would have to teach the car how to behave on a murderous rampage, how to target fleeing pedestrians. To do that you would have to interact with all its sensors and disable all safety mechanisms, some of which may be implemented in hardware so that they cannot be touched by an over the air update. It would be possible to do that, but it would require a significant amount of effort for development and testing. Someone on the terrorist watch list building a test track, where he has cars trying to run over cardboard figures with images of pedestrians on them, would draw serious attention from law enforcement and other agencies, don't you think?
     
  2. Samson

    Samson Deity

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    I guess it depends how it is implemented. If it is some human defined decision tree, like if(pedestrian) then (stop) else if(cyclist) then (go round) else if(car) then (follow) else if(empty tarmac) then (drive into) then you could change it to if(vulnerable object) then (drive into). Given that it is likely to be a convolutional neural network that no-one understands it will be a lot more difficult than that, but still it is likely to be much easier to develop an unsafe AI than a safe one.

    One that just turned off the brakes and maxed the throttle and was uploaded to a small percentage of cars could well be enough to turn public opinion away from automated cars for a generation, as well as potentially killing more people than 9/11. The fact that this was still fewer than would have died from manual cars in the time since adoption would not make much difference.
     
  3. civvver

    civvver Deity

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    It's indeed a drastically changing time, though I'm not sure if 15-20 years is a quick enough time frame. But it'll happen in my life time. Bad news for me is my parent company is a huge automotive supplier. I suppose they could adapt and start building parts for autonomous vehicles. But we can already see some of our sales dipping as companies move away from internal combustion and into ev. Their main products are combustion engine parts.

    Semi bad news is the division I work for our business is all software auto diagnostics. We could transition easily into a new market like this, surely av's will need diagnostic software too, but I worry that our relationships with the big autos won't transition. Like are ford, gm and chrysler account for probably 80% of our sales. If some new company pops up and puts one of those out of business will we be able to get some contracts with them? I'm not sure our sales team has it in them right now to see this future.

    Good news is like I said I'm in software. Software will be around until it gets advanced enough that ais self program and eliminate my use. But that won't be during my working lifetime. And if ai's ever get that advanced our entire workforce is in serious trouble and we're going to have to move to some sort of social income when robots take all the jobs.


    It is frightening what a drastic reduction in autos produced/sales and all that infrastructure will do to the economy, plus removing all the transport industry jobs. The only solace is that in general technology has always created more jobs than it has eliminated. I just worry people who say oh well this is just like when autos replaces horse and buggys, it's not the same thing because we have a global economy now. Horse and buggy guy lost his job to an auto plant down the road, not some conglomerate in china. Where you could once adapt to the changing industry and re-position, you can't if the jobs are all off shored or replaced by robots.
     
  4. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    The social benefits of self driving cars are too great to be delayed. Now is the time to be planning changes. I think that it won't be long before fuel cell engines will replace electric battery vehicles as the go to technology. That may be the place to investigate. Battery are a transition tech.
     
  5. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    The average/max life of an auto will play an important role. Current cars will always be grandfathered since it will be unrealistic for the government to expect people to just give up the cars they have purchased.
     
  6. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Probably so, but the tide will turn quickly for all of those people who aren't enamored with cars and who see them as mostly a big expense. As soon as a viable alternative for getting around quickly and easily without delay appears, they will join that band wagon.

    I love cars and having one, but we would probably drop one easily; then hold out a bit longer before we get rid of the second.
     
  7. OldBoomer

    OldBoomer Warlord

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    I think we will see self-driving vehicles for public transportation long before they ever become commonplace for private use and this would depend on how affordable these self driving vehicles are. It may be more economically viable to keep paying the bus driver who's only making $30,000 per year driving the city bus that's 15 years old and doesn't require much maintenance.

    For private use I personally don't see the appeal. You'd put your life in the hands of a computer and of course everyone who's ever worked with electronics knows that they never malfunction. Not to mention that you'd be tracked everywhere you go and just imagine the giant pain in the ass it would be trying to get the stupid thing to turn around and go back to your house because you forgot something. Repairs would also cost a fortune and need to be done at a dealership. No thanks.
     
  8. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    Buses and mass transit will continue. Computers will be better drivers than people. To begin, they won't drink, text or run red lights. They won't smoke dope either. You are likely being tracked already. Do you use a smart phone? A credit card? Use the internet at home? To go get a forgotten item, I'm pretty sure you will only have to speak up and tell the car to do so. Isn't that what happens now? If your wife is in the car with you and says "I forgot my purse", what do you do? You turn the car around and go home. All the aging baby boomers are an impediment to change; it's time for us to die off not live longer. :)
     
  9. OldBoomer

    OldBoomer Warlord

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    Do you really think there will be no malfunctions that get people killed? There's been countless parts that have malfunctioned in cars that are not self driving which have gotten people killed.

    I know I am. At least when I have my phone's GPS on and everything I've ever saw, searched, or downloaded on the internet; a record of it has been collected and stored in a massive NSA data center in Arizona. The NSA even knows what my favorite genre of porno is.

    No it's not because I just turn around in the nearest driveway and go home. A GPS will most likely reroute you around the nearest block. I can only imagine the dumb crap these things would pull rerouting in the middle of a downtown core with a bunch of one-way streets in heavy traffic. I've been burned by Google maps on countless occasions.
     
  10. OldBoomer

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    I meant there would be self-driving pubic transit vehicles long before anything private use became mainstream and even then it could still be a long time before public use is economically viable.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  11. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    I doubt that there will be more system failures than drunk, texting, speeding, stupid, distracted drivers that we have now.

    How many times a month do you forget things and have to go home?
     
  12. OldBoomer

    OldBoomer Warlord

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    Most of those situations aren't fatal though and a human driver always has the opportunity to go, "oh ****!' and correct, or lessen the damage of dumb actions. A computer just keeps speeding up and smashes into that utility pole because it never occurs to the machine that it's doing something wrong.

    Enough that it would be a nuisance.
     
  13. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    The technology for self driving cars is developing very quickly. We're counting down the days before this becomes mainstream but I think it will be decades (if ever) before manually-driven cars are banned.

    The legislative framework for how this will work (be it insurance, traffic laws, how to program an AI to handle the trolley situation) will fall in place basically as soon as the technology is released into the wild. I'm not saying the legislation will be perfect on the first go but this is the kind of issue that doesn't have a huge partisan aspect to it but has huge economic, social and health implications and thus legislatures will move very quickly to put a framework in place when it is appropriate to do so.

    The arguments that somehow AI drivers will be worse than people is silly to be honest to the point where I can't even understand the arguments against AI drivers.
     
  14. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    Most people are being tracked if you use tollways and have an electronic pass. And many highways now have license scanners.
    And yeah a lifetime in technology doesn't exactly fill me with confidence. But it will probably perform better than the other distractions that can happen to regular drivers. My biggest concern is when the system has to decide who dies. Whoever loses that one will probably lead to some nasty lawsuits.
     
  15. hobbsyoyo

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    Last I heard the strategy was going to be that the manufacturers were going to carry the liability in these situations. I also don't really see how this is different from people driving cars. It's not like when you're going down the road at 50 miles an hour you have the time to make a rational decision in an impending impact. You may react but there's very little chance it will be the 'correct' course of action. At least a computer will have the time to make a decision based on inputs, which I believe is better than a person taking random action (if any). And in any case, even if the computer can make a decision, that doesn't mean it can meaningfully act on it - momentum is a thing and there are only so many things you can do going 50 miles an hour to avoid a crash that won't end up causing another crash.
     
  16. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    While I generally agree, people expect other people to not be able to make a perfect decision but the expectation for a computer may be different. Someone is going to think that the programmer made the decision. Probably not a concern in the long run but initially it may cause a problem.
     
  17. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    To an extent the programmer will make the decision. To be fair, things get muddy because the resulting fault trees set up to decide what course of action to take will grow beyond human comprehension very quickly. Programmers will end up doing their best effort at programming the fault tree and then run simulations to see how things play out statistically, then tweak the algorithms and try again. That's my guess anyways.

    In any case the results will be far better than what a human can manage in the same situation because these simulations can be run millions of times with no one getting hurt and the software update concurrently. You can't really re-program human drivers in the same way. And all of that will happen before the cars are actually released to the public. Once that happens there will be even more tweaking in rapid order to fix missed problems.
     
  18. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    As a past developer and now a director of them, I understand, but fear there are others not as familiar will think it differently.
     
  19. Manfred Belheim

    Manfred Belheim Moaner Lisa

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    Well it's going to be a deep learning thing surely, rather than manual programming.
     
  20. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Hanafubuki Retired Moderator Supporter

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    You need to study up on how driverless cars respond to problems. So, non fatal accidents where people are crippled, but left alive are OK? Today's WSJ had a really interesting article on the future of e-cars. It was in the third section. You should seek it out.

    Leaving what you need at home is a different problem. You need to solve that one first, then the "going back" issue goes away.
     

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