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(Tech Crunch)   Google's Eric Schmidt explains biggest problem with self-driving cars: robots obey speed limits   (techcrunch.com) divider line 97
    More: Obvious, Eric Schmidt, Google, form of transport, driving car, Sun Valley  
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3886 clicks; posted to Geek » on 13 Jul 2012 at 10:44 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-07-13 09:54:00 AM
But if everyone is in self-driving cars, why can't you then increase the speed limit?
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2012-07-13 10:26:06 AM

scottydoesntknow: But if everyone is in self-driving cars, why can't you then increase the speed limit?


You probably could, someday in the future when all cars are self driving.

It will probably happen someday though. What do you think is going to happen when those Google goggles come out and people can post on Fark when while they drive?
 
2012-07-13 10:35:38 AM

vpb: scottydoesntknow: But if everyone is in self-driving cars, why can't you then increase the speed limit?

You probably could, someday in the future when all cars are self driving.

It will probably happen someday though. What do you think is going to happen when those Google goggles come out and people can post on Fark when while they drive?


I think the biggest obstacle for the self-driving cars will be law enforcement. Imagine not being able to pull anyone over for infractions because the car is programmed to obey all rules of the road. DUIs, speeding, running redlights/stop signs, etc., will disappear, as will the need for traffic enforcement.
 
2012-07-13 10:41:23 AM
I'm looking forward to self driving car so I can get sloppy drunk at the bar and be driven home.

What will the courts do without all that DUI revenue coming in?
 
2012-07-13 10:46:33 AM

scottydoesntknow: I think the biggest obstacle for the self-driving cars will be law enforcement.


Here's the saving grace: traffic laws are usually set at the state level, and the states generally don't use traffic enforcement to generate revenue. That's local governments.

scottydoesntknow: But if everyone is in self-driving cars, why can't you then increase the speed limit?


Because, in addition to reaction times, speed limits are also a function of basic physics. While a computer driven car can react faster and make better decisions than a human being, it's still got to negotiate with things like momentum.

Now, the next step is to have the cars communicate. They can negotiate out speed limits based on current conditions, they can alert each other to hazards, they can offer to allow other cars to merge in and out. By integrating with signalling systems, the roadway itself can interact with the cars. The whole system would be smart and efficient.
 
2012-07-13 10:52:08 AM
When the first self-driving car crashes, people will be up in arms about how dangerous this is. Nevermind all the deaths caused by human drivers, those usually only make the local news. A self-driven car crash would be national news.
 
2012-07-13 10:53:22 AM

t3knomanser: Now, the next step is to have the cars communicate. They can negotiate out speed limits based on current conditions, they can alert each other to hazards, they can offer to allow other cars to merge in and out. By integrating with signalling systems, the roadway itself can interact with the cars. The whole system would be smart and efficient.


You still hit a wall with that, too. Sometime in the late 90s, somebody was showing off a computerized system that allowed self-driving cars to navigate at high speeds within 1 foot or so of each other. It made for an interesting demo, but you could never do that in real life because a tire blowout or other mechanical failure would take out every other car in the chain.
 
2012-07-13 10:54:50 AM

t3knomanser: scottydoesntknow: I think the biggest obstacle for the self-driving cars will be law enforcement.

Here's the saving grace: traffic laws are usually set at the state level, and the states generally don't use traffic enforcement to generate revenue. That's local governments.
.



Have you ever gotten a traffic ticket in new york state?
I did. The actual penalty was 30$ for failure to use designated lane. After the "New york state surcharge" for processing the ticket, it cost me 158$.
Now, factor in that I plead guilty to it when I mailed it in because I didn't want to go to court so there was no court fee.
 
2012-07-13 10:55:26 AM

t3knomanser: Now, the next step is to have the cars communicate. They can negotiate out speed limits based on current conditions, they can alert each other to hazards, they can offer to allow other cars to merge in and out. By integrating with signalling systems, the roadway itself can interact with the cars. The whole system would be smart and efficient.


...until some jackass starts monkeying with the settings of the driving software. If you can take out the "obey speed limit", "let others merge" or "use signals when changing lanes" functions, we return to the Stupid Age of driving.

Hopefully, it won't be as easy as "Settings" -> "Speed Limit" -> "100", though.
 
2012-07-13 10:57:52 AM
Does anyone else whip out their phone and check their location and see they're off by a few feet and facing the wrong direction? I assume they'll make them with better GPS stuff but still, can they completely eliminate all little foibles of the system?
 
2012-07-13 10:59:03 AM
The great thing about automated cars is that they will flow better. human drivers overreact, creating things like compression wave traffic jams. If one guy, going 70 mph, taps his brakes and the guy behind him slows down to 1 mph slower than him and every one slows down to 1 mph slower than the car in front of them, 70 cars back, traffic has screached to a halt.

Even if you are driving slower, the average speed is actually higher and you arrive at your destination sooner. The human element is the flaw in the current system. The hard part is handing over control to the car itself.

Intervehicle communication is an important next step. If the cars know that a vehicle 10 ahead of them is going to slow to make a turn, all the cars behind can create preemptive gaps to alleviate the compression effect. Communicating with intersections can help the vehicle choose the most efficient route to avoid unnecessary stops and congestion.
 
2012-07-13 10:59:24 AM

t3knomanser: scottydoesntknow: I think the biggest obstacle for the self-driving cars will be law enforcement.

Here's the saving grace: traffic laws are usually set at the state level, and the states generally don't use traffic enforcement to generate revenue. That's local governments.


That's not really a saving grace: Those local governments are going to look to replace that revenue stream. They aren't going to say "Hey, all of a sudden we've lost this $4 million in traffic enforcement revenue, so I guess we'll just have to cut that much from the budget". They'll step up enforcement of other regulations. They'll increase taxes. They'll pass new local regulations against non-traffic related stuff in order to be able to fine you for them.
 
2012-07-13 11:00:23 AM

scottydoesntknow: I think the biggest obstacle for the self-driving cars will be law enforcement. Imagine not being able to pull anyone over for infractions because the car is programmed to obey all rules of the road. DUIs, speeding, running redlights/stop signs, etc., will disappear, as will the need for traffic enforcement.


Your tail light is out.

You don't have updated tabs on your plate.

Your windows are tinted too dark.

Your stereo was playing too loud.

You were obviously smoking weed.

You're an illegal immigrant.

/papers, citizen
//the notion that authority will reduce itself in scope is laughable
 
2012-07-13 11:03:27 AM

Dr Dreidel: ...until some jackass starts monkeying with the settings of the driving software. If you can take out the "obey speed limit", "let others merge" or "use signals when changing lanes" functions, we return to the Stupid Age of driving.


If the cars are doing quorum-building, it doesn't really matter unless a majority of the cars in that area are all hacked.

IrateShadow: You still hit a wall with that, too


You're still constrained by the laws of physics, yes. But let's say a car a mile down the road has a blow out. That car can alert every other car behind it, nearly instantly. The cars around the area can negotiate out a sequence for getting into the left lane to navigate around the snarl. The overall flow of traffic will slow down, but without the sort of snarl that usually accompanies a blocked lane.

The software can either be tweaked to cooperate or cheat. This is game theory, here, specifically hawks and doves. The reward is fast transit, the penalty is slow transit and possibly accidents. Hawks would be cars tweaked to cheat the system and abuse the cooperating cars, doves would be the cooperators.

What we know of these situations is this: if most of the cars are doves, hawks will generally do worse. This is even more true if the doves are given the option to refuse to cooperate with hawks- imagine if one car kept saying, "Make the speed limit 100MPH! MAKE IT 100!" and the other cars not only ignored it, but refused to let it merge into the faster lane.

Assholes will always have the ability to be assholes, but this is exactly the sort of system that can be built to encourage cooperation.
 
2012-07-13 11:04:50 AM

dittybopper: t3knomanser: scottydoesntknow: I think the biggest obstacle for the self-driving cars will be law enforcement.

Here's the saving grace: traffic laws are usually set at the state level, and the states generally don't use traffic enforcement to generate revenue. That's local governments.

That's not really a saving grace: Those local governments are going to look to replace that revenue stream. They aren't going to say "Hey, all of a sudden we've lost this $4 million in traffic enforcement revenue, so I guess we'll just have to cut that much from the budget". They'll step up enforcement of other regulations. They'll increase taxes. They'll pass new local regulations against non-traffic related stuff in order to be able to fine you for them.


You have to look no further than the US military complex. We haven't reduced spending in how long? Keep on telling yourself it is to protect the people of this fine nation and not the business interests of America.

Self driving vehicles will have a tremendous impact on society. Many avoidable deaths will be averted. Sure people will still die in vehicles. I would venture to say it would be a lot fewer if computers were doing the work. Also a system of communicating between the vehicles would be obviously necessary to allow the system to act and react to save lives and time.
 
2012-07-13 11:04:52 AM

dittybopper: t3knomanser: scottydoesntknow: I think the biggest obstacle for the self-driving cars will be law enforcement.

Here's the saving grace: traffic laws are usually set at the state level, and the states generally don't use traffic enforcement to generate revenue. That's local governments.

That's not really a saving grace: Those local governments are going to look to replace that revenue stream. They aren't going to say "Hey, all of a sudden we've lost this $4 million in traffic enforcement revenue, so I guess we'll just have to cut that much from the budget". They'll step up enforcement of other regulations. They'll pass new local regulations against non-traffic related stuff in order to be able to fine you for them.


I think I'm ok with this though. I'd rather the LEO's be enforcing the people and property safety laws rather than traffic violations.
 
2012-07-13 11:06:28 AM

Dr Dreidel: t3knomanser: Now, the next step is to have the cars communicate. They can negotiate out speed limits based on current conditions, they can alert each other to hazards, they can offer to allow other cars to merge in and out. By integrating with signalling systems, the roadway itself can interact with the cars. The whole system would be smart and efficient.

...until some jackass starts monkeying with the settings of the driving software. If you can take out the "obey speed limit", "let others merge" or "use signals when changing lanes" functions, we return to the Stupid Age of driving.

Hopefully, it won't be as easy as "Settings" -> "Speed Limit" -> "100", though.



Easy fix. Like my work station requires a compliance check before I can log in. An intelligent road would also require a similar compliance check for any vehicle that attempted to drive on it. Violators would be conveniently flagged, and if the violation was severe enough, remotely disabled to the side of the rode pending an officer check-in and tow. After receiving incrementing fines starting at $500 a pop, event he most stubborn douchebags will get the message.
 
2012-07-13 11:11:14 AM

v2micca: Like my work station requires a compliance check before I can log in


That can still be defeated. The people who own the car control the software, and no matter what technical checks you put in place, someone will always be able to alter the software in a way you can't detect. But how do we deal with assholes in the real world? We shun them. If the other cars have their own metrics for recognizing assholes (they want to drive fast all the time, they want me to slow down and yield all the time, they merge without advance notice, etc.) they can "shun" them.

And yes, they could report them to the roadway to be dealt with more legally.
 
2012-07-13 11:12:34 AM
No crashes? Where will I got my organs from when I'm old?
 
2012-07-13 11:20:13 AM

t3knomanser: v2micca: Like my work station requires a compliance check before I can log in

That can still be defeated. The people who own the car control the software, and no matter what technical checks you put in place, someone will always be able to alter the software in a way you can't detect. But how do we deal with assholes in the real world? We shun them. If the other cars have their own metrics for recognizing assholes (they want to drive fast all the time, they want me to slow down and yield all the time, they merge without advance notice, etc.) they can "shun" them.

And yes, they could report them to the roadway to be dealt with more legally.


Compliance measures can be defeated, yes. But doing so eventually shows up in any system with even a half competent network admin. And like Microsoft, the road can schedule regular updates be pushed to the vehicles that will routinely change the exploits a savvy use has learned to game the system. Will we be able to prevent 100% from cheating? No, probably not. But as a previous poster noted, we can get a level of compliance that effectively prevents the cheaters from gaining any true advantage.
 
2012-07-13 11:21:54 AM

Virtual Pariah: dittybopper: t3knomanser: scottydoesntknow: I think the biggest obstacle for the self-driving cars will be law enforcement.

Here's the saving grace: traffic laws are usually set at the state level, and the states generally don't use traffic enforcement to generate revenue. That's local governments.

That's not really a saving grace: Those local governments are going to look to replace that revenue stream. They aren't going to say "Hey, all of a sudden we've lost this $4 million in traffic enforcement revenue, so I guess we'll just have to cut that much from the budget". They'll step up enforcement of other regulations. They'll pass new local regulations against non-traffic related stuff in order to be able to fine you for them.

I think I'm ok with this though. I'd rather the LEO's be enforcing the people and property safety laws rather than traffic violations.


You will OK with this, of course, until the day you get a $50 ticket for not looking both ways before crossing a street. Then you'll get pissed about it because it's costing *YOU* money.
 
2012-07-13 11:23:49 AM

DrewCurtisJr: No crashes? Where will I got my organs from when I'm old?


If we're not growing livers in farking jars in the next 10-20 years, I'm going to be seriously pissed off.
 
2012-07-13 11:27:36 AM

IrateShadow: You still hit a wall with that, too. Sometime in the late 90s, somebody was showing off a computerized system that allowed self-driving cars to navigate at high speeds within 1 foot or so of each other. It made for an interesting demo, but you could never do that in real life because a tire blowout or other mechanical failure would take out every other car in the chain.


I saw a demo like this with trucks, to demonstrate control and the fuel savings from drafting.

I guess the safe distance will be determined how well the computer systems can communicate with each other and react. I wouldn't surprised if the safe distance even for large vehicles was 2 or 3 feet, especially if there was another lane or shoulder to escape to.
 
2012-07-13 11:27:40 AM

Grither: DrewCurtisJr: No crashes? Where will I got my organs from when I'm old?

If we're not growing livers kidneys in farking jars in the next 10-20 years, I'm going to be seriously pissed off.


FTFY.
 
2012-07-13 11:32:31 AM

cgraves67: The great thing about automated cars is that they will flow better. human drivers overreact, creating things like compression wave traffic jams. If one guy, going 70 mph, taps his brakes and the guy behind him slows down to 1 mph slower than him and every one slows down to 1 mph slower than the car in front of them, 70 cars back, traffic has screached to a halt.

Even if you are driving slower, the average speed is actually higher and you arrive at your destination sooner. The human element is the flaw in the current system. The hard part is handing over control to the car itself.

Intervehicle communication is an important next step. If the cars know that a vehicle 10 ahead of them is going to slow to make a turn, all the cars behind can create preemptive gaps to alleviate the compression effect. Communicating with intersections can help the vehicle choose the most efficient route to avoid unnecessary stops and congestion.


d24w6bsrhbeh9d.cloudfront.net
 
2012-07-13 11:36:54 AM

v2micca: But doing so eventually shows up in any system with even a half competent network admin


This simply isn't true. You're relying on cheaters being dumber than you are. Every system can be compromised, and that includes systems for detecting attempts to compromise the system.

v2micca: And like Microsoft, the road can schedule regular updates be pushed to the vehicles that will routinely change the exploits a savvy use has learned to game the system.


That assumes a lot about the computer system in use. I would assume, for example, that software updates come from the manufacturer of the vehicle. It's far to complex and difficult to make one-size-fits-all software.

Further, what if someone is using a well-behaved, but uncertified software package? They're not trying to cheat the system, but they want to have some degree of control over how their car behaves outside of the system's key parameters?

v2micca: But as a previous poster noted, we can get a level of compliance that effectively prevents the cheaters from gaining any true advantage.


I believe I was that poster. I still say compliance checks aren't a good choice. A much better choice is to have cars peer with each other and establish a model of the kind of behavior they want on the road, and each car rewards and punishes by other cars. Smart software packages will seek rewards, and hence be good roadway citizens. The only way assholes can get any real traction is by banding together into a large group of assholes.
 
2012-07-13 11:40:16 AM

Slaxl: Does anyone else whip out their phone and check their location and see they're off by a few feet and facing the wrong direction? I assume they'll make them with better GPS stuff but still, can they completely eliminate all little foibles of the system?


My car's GPS talks to the ABS sensors and the steering rack to guess where it is even when it has no GPS lock. It can get a surprisingly accurate track of where I've been through that alone.

My dad's car has a radar based parking system and my mom has a reverse camera. Combine all this stuff and make sure that map files stay up to date, and I think you're pretty much all the way there in terms of hardware.


I see a problem that most other people here have missed though.

I enjoy driving my car

I don't like commuting, but boy do I love to drive my car.

I want a self commuting car, not a self driving car. Build me a car that will find the nearest windy back road with no traffic and take me to it, then let ME drive down it.
 
2012-07-13 11:41:46 AM
www.imgimg.com

But does it automatically turn in to a cannoli, too?
 
2012-07-13 11:45:47 AM
It's also an advantage in that those who are to tachophobic (tachophobia = fear of speed) or too much of a sightseer to at least go the speed limit are forced to do so whether they like it or not.
 
2012-07-13 11:46:02 AM

DrewCurtisJr: IrateShadow: You still hit a wall with that, too. Sometime in the late 90s, somebody was showing off a computerized system that allowed self-driving cars to navigate at high speeds within 1 foot or so of each other. It made for an interesting demo, but you could never do that in real life because a tire blowout or other mechanical failure would take out every other car in the chain.

I saw a demo like this with trucks, to demonstrate control and the fuel savings from drafting.

I guess the safe distance will be determined how well the computer systems can communicate with each other and react. I wouldn't surprised if the safe distance even for large vehicles was 2 or 3 feet, especially if there was another lane or shoulder to escape to.


Another weird things to think about would be packet scheduling. Essentially your car becomes a packet in the network. If you need to get from point A to point B would the network schedule your entire trip and preplan your need for a gap to merge and everything from start to stop. Also it might need to tell you to wait 15 minutes extra before leaving because there are too many cars on the road. That sounds nice temporarily, until they stop building new roads and you've got to start scheduling your trip hours in advance.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2012-07-13 11:53:08 AM
The cars around the area can negotiate out a sequence for getting into the left lane to navigate around the snarl

Reminds me of a scene from the SF novel The Mote In God's Eye. One of Larry Niven's favorite themes is intelligent beings finding the unique optimum solution to a problem. The world lacked crosswalks. To cross a street you just start walking at a constant speed. Hyperintelligent drivers will figure the best way to flow around you without hitting anything.
 
2012-07-13 11:54:08 AM
Law Enforcement is going to push back because they consider traffic enforcement a big part of their job. If they don't have to do traffic enforcement, they don't need as many officers/vehicles, smaller budgets etc.

Traffic Enforcement is one of the key ways they pick up low priority fugitives (I am using the word fugitive to refer to anyone who has a warrant, whether they know it or not). With out the excuse of traffic enforcement, they would almost never have a legitimate reason to stop and identify most of these people.
 
2012-07-13 11:57:13 AM
I take a self-driving car to work every day. It's called the train.

/well, driven by somebody
//but not somebody that I ever see
 
2012-07-13 11:59:19 AM

IamKaiserSoze!!!: I'm looking forward to self driving car so I can get sloppy drunk at the bar and be driven home.

What will the courts do without all that DUI revenue coming in?


You are crazy if you think the government will let you ride in a self driving car drunk. I have seen people arrested for attempted DWI when passed out in the back seat of a parked car with the keys in their pockets.
 
2012-07-13 11:59:52 AM

weiserfireman: Law Enforcement is going to push back because they consider traffic enforcement a big part of their job. If they don't have to do traffic enforcement, they don't need as many officers/vehicles, smaller budgets etc.

Traffic Enforcement is one of the key ways they pick up low priority fugitives (I am using the word fugitive to refer to anyone who has a warrant, whether they know it or not). With out the excuse of traffic enforcement, they would almost never have a legitimate reason to stop and identify most of these people.


Your post reminded me of this:

http://abovethelaw.com/2012/07/quote-of-the-day-i-got-99-problems-an d- the-fourth-amendment-is-one/
 
2012-07-13 12:05:38 PM
Will the "cars" come with a free can of snowflakes and a testicle repository?
 
2012-07-13 12:05:46 PM

IamKaiserSoze!!!: I'm looking forward to self driving car so I can get sloppy drunk at the bar and be driven home.

What will the courts do without all that DUI revenue coming in?


It will become illegal to park anywhere, and parking ticket fines are going to be in the 4 figures.
 
2012-07-13 12:07:50 PM
Self driving cars will never work as long as rednecks and old people exist. Rednecks will fark with it and old people will be confused and angry.
 
2012-07-13 12:08:00 PM
gamersushi.com

A Man chooses. A Slave obeys.
 
2012-07-13 12:11:16 PM

weiserfireman: Law Enforcement is going to push back because they consider traffic enforcement a big part of their job. If they don't have to do traffic enforcement, they don't need as many officers/vehicles, smaller budgets etc.


This will impact jobs in varying degrees in all kinds of sectors. The transportation industry, auto insurance, body shops, health care, etc.
 
2012-07-13 12:16:15 PM
The beta version has only one destination... Taco Bell and I'm not complaining.
 
2012-07-13 12:20:25 PM

barefoot in the head: Will the "cars" come with a free can of snowflakes and a testicle repository?


Because nothing makes me feel more like a man than stop-and-go traffic on my way to work in the morning. Seriously, unless you live in Bumfark, Nebraska or do all your driving between 11pm-5am when is driving ever fun?

This is a great technological advancement. Please, humans, just this once, can we not drag our feet?
 
2012-07-13 12:32:30 PM

Pilikia: weiserfireman: Law Enforcement is going to push back because they consider traffic enforcement a big part of their job. If they don't have to do traffic enforcement, they don't need as many officers/vehicles, smaller budgets etc.

Traffic Enforcement is one of the key ways they pick up low priority fugitives (I am using the word fugitive to refer to anyone who has a warrant, whether they know it or not). With out the excuse of traffic enforcement, they would almost never have a legitimate reason to stop and identify most of these people.

Your post reminded me of this:

http://abovethelaw.com/2012/07/quote-of-the-day-i-got-99-problems-an d- the-fourth-amendment-is-one/


Thanks for that. I read the linked Law Journal article the quote came from. It was pretty fun read, for a law journal article.
 
2012-07-13 12:32:40 PM
If I crash my car into a bus load of children it's my fault. If my self driving car crashes into a bus load of children who's fault is it?

That's the problem I see. The laws would have to change making the person in the car responsible even if the car is driving itself since you should be paying attention anyway. I think it'll take a few generations to phase it in so people aren't all suing the companies.
 
2012-07-13 12:33:23 PM

DrewCurtisJr: weiserfireman: Law Enforcement is going to push back because they consider traffic enforcement a big part of their job. If they don't have to do traffic enforcement, they don't need as many officers/vehicles, smaller budgets etc.

This will impact jobs in varying degrees in all kinds of sectors. The transportation industry, auto insurance, body shops, health care, etc.


True, but Law Enforcement is a lot better at lobbying the legislature
 
2012-07-13 12:37:47 PM

NBSV: If I crash my car into a bus load of children it's my fault. If my self driving car crashes into a bus load of children who's fault is it?

That's the problem I see. The laws would have to change making the person in the car responsible even if the car is driving itself since you should be paying attention anyway. I think it'll take a few generations to phase it in so people aren't all suing the companies.


Whoa, hang on there, if I'm being driven by a human or a robot I do not accept responsibility for accidents. If the car malfunctions and accelerates into a bus instead of breaks then yes, sue the company if you're overly litigious but not the passenger, because that's what you'll be, not a driver but a passenger, a drunk passenger smoking crack and injecting heroin into your eyeballs, but a passenger none the less and devoid of responsibility because the car is self driving.

Step 1 to fixing the world is to stop people suing everyone they can for every minor bump and scrape. Step 2 is legalise more drugs.
 
2012-07-13 12:40:15 PM

HK-MP5-SD: IamKaiserSoze!!!: I'm looking forward to self driving car so I can get sloppy drunk at the bar and be driven home.

What will the courts do without all that DUI revenue coming in?

You are crazy if you think the government will let you ride in a self driving car drunk. I have seen people arrested for attempted DWI when passed out in the back seat of a parked car with the keys in their pockets.


Initially you are right, initially the law will require a sober alert driver in the front seat ready to take over. Eventually once we trust these cars there will be autonomous taxi's that you can't drive even if you want to. You could probably be drunk in those, this will drive prices for taxis to the point where most won't bother buying their own car.
 
2012-07-13 12:48:24 PM
Self driving cars would be great -- I hate probably 90% of driving. Even when I get to the 10% I truly enjoy, I usually end up sucking the tail fumes of an SUV driver who doesn't know the meaning of a "turn out".

Here's why We Can't Have Nice Things: there will be accidents, some fatal, with self driving cars. And our moran populace will deem this unacceptable. Never mind the fact that human driven cars kill tens of thousands per year. If robo-cars kill a hundred, they will be banned. Stupid, but it will happen.

The best near term tech I see coming out of this program is augmented human driving. It seems trivially easy to put a radar in the front of a car, and compute the distance between the car in front compared against the car's stopping distance. If it gets too close, the car takes over and automatically adjusts -- thus, no more rear-end collisions. And so on with additional tech to minimize driver error crashes. Leave the human in control, but don't let them drive poorly.
 
2012-07-13 12:48:36 PM

MindStalker: Another weird things to think about would be packet scheduling.


I once talked to a roadway engineer. He explained that they actually used the same mathematical formulas as network engineers for managing packets, but with different tolerances. "Losing a packet on a network is no big deal, you just resend it. Losing a packet on the road means a school bus just vanished."

Slaxl: If the car malfunctions and accelerates into a bus instead of breaks then yes


That's assuming the accident was caused by a malfunction. Roadways are complex places, and there will be situations that arise where accidents are inevitable. The simple solution is: a) even if insurance isn't mandatory in a given state, it must be mandatory on an automated car, and b) all accidents involving only automated vehicles are no-fault, accidents involving one or more non-automated vehicles use the normal "at-fault" rules.
 
2012-07-13 12:49:10 PM
Dr Dreidel: Hopefully, it won't be as easy as "Settings" -> "Speed Limit" -> "100", though.

It would probably be *nix based,

so you would have to pass settings to the speed daemon.
 
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