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  1. #176
    John Handley
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    Regarding this bit from the article:

    " Perhaps more disturbing to engineers, is the levelling off in the graph of auto-driving ‘disengagements’ recently. A disengagement is when the automatic control system fails in some way and the car returns to manual driving. The return of control could be instigated by the computer system itself, or by the human driver who is always expected to be vigilant. The fact is, this failure rate amongst all the test cars on the road is large and although reliability had been steadily improving, it may now have bottomed-out. Why? What’s going on (if anything)?"

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    I don't see that zero disengagements is a pre-requisite for a useable autonomous car, for the simple reason that a truly autonomous car could never 'disengage' anyway. That would be completely inconsistent with being autonomous and not needing a human as a backup. The fact that autonomous cars under test conditions, and which are programmed to 'disengage' under some circumstances, sometimes do so, does not necessarily mean that they couldn't have successfully worked it out themselves. It may simply be an expression of understandable caution on the part of those operating the tests. I think the reasoning in that part of the article is quite faulty.

    John

  2. #177
    John Handley
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    I just noticed a link on that page to another story from the same author, but 3 years ago, in which he said:

    "Last week a major car company announced they were spending $1billion setting up an artificial intelligence and robotics R & D lab in California. I think it’s fairly certain now that production driverless cars will soon be appearing on our roads."

    His thoughts are interesting, but obviously not definitive.

  3. #178
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    How can a driver remain vigilant all the time when he is doing nothing but watching, to me that it a recipe for zoning out. What helps to keep me alert behind the wheel is the constant driver input in response to the changing circumstances outside the vehicle. I thought they stopped making overly long straight roads for the same reason, driver needs to be engaged to maintain high level of concentration, particularly over longer distances. Can autonomous car ever be safe, given the danger of driver driver zoning out due to driver disengagement?
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  4. #179
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    You couldn't have outlined it better.
    Many drivers no longer know whether their headlights are on, off, or on high beam. Newer cars turn them on or off according to the conditions .... such as passing under a bridge!

    I remember Dad's PMG Chev service van in the mid '50s. It was a late 1940s model.
    The tail-light had to be turned on with a weatherproof switch beside it. This was to force the driver to turn it on while standing beside the light. That way he knew it was on.

  5. #180
    John Handley
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    Quote Originally Posted by FIVEDOOR View Post
    Can autonomous car ever be safe, given the danger of driver driver zoning out due to driver disengagement?
    I would say No, if that is the requirement, but if a car requires a human on standby, then it isn't autonomous. It is a Tesla Model S.
    My understanding of the situation is that noone is aiming for such an arrangement, and where it exists it is only because they are being tested. The actual goal is to have real autonomous vehicles, so no stand by driver and no 'disengagements' possible.

    John

  6. #181
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    I expect that the software will be like airforce manuals, written in blood. After an accident the manuals are amended to address previously unforeseen situation.
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  7. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by WLB View Post
    I think this is highly likely.
    If vehicles with autonomous braking had easily identifiable markings indicating such, this 2CV driver would be very happy changing lanes in front of them. The people inside the vehicle may experience unanticipated emergency stops (which could result in coffee scalds amongst other reactions) but the 2CV wobbling down the road would probably be because the irreverent driver was peeing his pants laughing.

    The human spirit is indomitable and it is very hard to automate appropriate responses to it.

    John
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  8. #183
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    Nothing can go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go wrong....
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    Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone............

  9. #184
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    Cruise control is almost essential today just to avoid the speeding fines. I never particularly liked it in the past and I've always felt it can allow me to slip towards a state of slight disconnection with the car and the journey. Specifically, I've never felt 100% comfortable during those few seconds when taking back control. At least a driver is actively engaging and disengaging cruise control so is mentally pre-prepared for that transition.

  10. #185
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    I use cruise control constantly, even in metropolitan traffic. The up and down buttons allow me (most of the time) to follow the flow of traffic without having to use brakes or the accelerator pedal. There is no sudden "disconnect" if I have to use the brakes because of stupidity in front of me, I have been driving about half a kilometer up the road anyway. I despair of drivers who have so little skills that they have to jam on the brakes because they think they're going to run into the car in front when all they needed to do was take their big fat feet off the accelerator pedal for a moment or two a few seconds earlier....................
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  11. #186
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    My Xantia has cruise control. I've never tried to use it. The brake/accelerator setup on the Xantia is as close to perfection as I have ever had on a car. The "silly spring" to give the Xantia a more "normal" brake pedal feel was dispensed with on the first day I owned the car and replaced with a similar length of conduit. The result is instant/no lag braking as the foot slides off the accelerator onto the brake pedal which is actually lower than the accelerator in most cases except very hard acceleration.

    With cruise control, where does the right foot go? Resting on the floor? In an emergency, one can use the right foot on either the brake pedal or the accelerator pedal. If it is always on the accelerator (ie non-cruise control), the brake is a split second sideways movement away. It is also on the correct pedal if the best cause of action is acceleration.

    In a considered reaction I favour acceleration as it stabilises the car and removes one from potential danger. Front wheel drive aids in this as it drags the car away in whatever direction one is steering.

    In an instinctive reaction I brake (eg ball rolls onto road often followed by a child chasing it).

    Looking at my driving record, maybe I should be on cruise control but I tend to drive as though the world is a game of chess, and each player has its own range of movement and in context the most likely moves it will make. So when I look out of the windscreen I am taking in all of the players and making my moves to accomplish my goals in an ever changing scenario. My concentration often ignores non-physical threats such as speed cameras but I pay my bribes on time and in full. I am not prepared to pay in blood so I stick to a style that is natural for me. I learned a lot about a serious accident I had in 1965 (my fault), two years after gaining my licence. For the last half century I haven't made that mistake.
    In a 2CV as a daily driver there is no second chance in an accident. It is a full time job reading the traffic and keeping momentum (crucial in a car with no torque). I know where I stand when I look up at the bullbars of a Ford Ranger, and wonder why they allow such devices in our large cities that bade the bullock drays farewell a century ago.

    John
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  12. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kim Luck View Post
    I use cruise control constantly, even in metropolitan traffic. The up and down buttons allow me (most of the time) to follow the flow of traffic without having to use brakes or the accelerator pedal. There is no sudden "disconnect" if I have to use the brakes because of stupidity in front of me, I have been driving about half a kilometer up the road anyway. I despair of drivers who have so little skills that they have to jam on the brakes because they think they're going to run into the car in front when all they needed to do was take their big fat feet off the accelerator pedal for a moment or two a few seconds earlier....................
    That is what I found fun about it on the few rentals I have had with cruise control.

    I don't think most people use it like that. They use it to "cruise". Usually on the freeway, usually at a lower speed than the zoning, usually in the far right lane, mind AWOL.

    One thing though. I found it took balls of steel to keep calm on cruise control at high speeds when passing trucks on some of the freeways where the lines were narrowed down to accomodate roadworks. I guess I had less than one metre either side (concrete barrier on the left, semi double on the right - feels like being between a truck and a hard place). Didn't like it.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

  13. #188
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    Well if the current and recent train wrecks are any indication of driverless vehicles and the obvious lack of sensible backup systems I will not go near them. With trains they developed systems 100-150 years ago to limit problems. It would appear as though the current computer nerds have thrown out those old fashioned ideas and 'developed' what a nerd sees as reliable control systems. Hmmmm

    Looking at the carnage you can see that saving man power has saved a lot of money. Interesting to know where the money saving went ??

    When you read these pages about the problems of 'limp' mode and unreliability of the computerised systems, and the difficulty of fixing them, it again does not give me any confidence in autonomous vehicles and I do not think we will have them in my lifetime, and am thankful for that. Should I mention Boeing's faulty sensor in their new aircraft !
    Jaahn

  14. #189
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    Computer systems are exceptionally reliable as far as human made stuff goes. By comparison, you would have to go back a fair distance in time to arrive at something comparable and that something would most likely be a rock.

    It is not the computers, but the systems and the software they are daisy chained into. Mining companies are not interested in jobs but are interested in cutting cost hence the system has to be as simple and cheap as possible and most likely designed by the cheapest engineer they could find. The industry is not legislated so it's anyone's game what they do with their trains.

    By comparison, air travel is legislated, so the computers and systems that fly our planes are the most reliable we can come up with.

    The BHP incident highlights their strategic problem. The train took off by itself and they could not stop it remotely so I take it they did not have the system to do it or it did not work. What are the chances of that? Your B plan fails exactly when plan A (train does not drive off by itself) fails?

    All of this would have been academic if the train was electric, of course. Another cost cutting decision biting the arse who made it.
    Last edited by schlitzaugen; 8th November 2018 at 06:30 PM.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

  15. #190
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    Video of (this) BHP trainwreck on this page:
    https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/201...d-train-wreck/
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  16. #191
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    In humans we use the term "ashes to ashes, dust to dust". This is the first time I have seen the concept of steel to iron ore. I guess the good part is that no human lost their life in the making of that news clip.

    John

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    Meh, all they lost is a bit of time. The whole lot is going to be loaded on the next train and shipped to China (again). All they need is a big magnet.

    They may even turn a (higher) profit if they rent out the place as a set for the next instalment of Mad Max.
    ACHTUNG ALLES LOOKENPEEPERS

    Das computermachine is nicht fur gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitssparken. Ist nicht fur gewerken bei das dummkopfen. Das rubbernecken sightseeren keepen hands in das pockets-relaxen und watch das blinkenlights.

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    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-...tempt/10481598
    The driverless train in Devonport could not be stopped because a transmitter failed.
    Remember the Skoda that crashed on a British motorway a couple of years ago? Driver was on the phone to police, said he couldn't stop it. Crashed at 110 mph, computer showed he had the foot flat to the floor - or had the computer malfunctioned? Open finding at the inquest, Coroner thought suicide unlikely.

  19. #194
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    Hi,
    Despite the doubts of some, it appears Waymo is about to commence a fully driverless car service in the USA.
    There are self imposed restrictions to begin with, but in short, driverless cars are here, now.

    https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/w...n=One%20Signal

    As of a couple of weeks ago, the company has a permit to test driverless cars without a safety driver.
    https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/w...in-california/

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    What's the point of them if the driver has to stay vigilant at all times?

    The problem is computers are the most unreliable piece of rubbish ever invented, they crash all time and people except it.
    We sell second hand computers for late model cars all the time, often cars still under warranty.

    Anyone who thinks it's a good idea to your life in the hands of an electronic gizmo that is prone to failure has got rocks in there head.
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    Quote Originally Posted by turnbull151 View Post
    Hi
    Yes and we all know what a set of great ideas have been foisted on Newcastle lately.
    Jaahn
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Cavanagh View Post
    What's the point of them if the driver has to stay vigilant at all times?
    Hi. They don't. That is why they are "driverless".

  24. #199
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Cavanagh View Post
    What's the point of them if the driver has to stay vigilant at all times?

    The problem is computers are the most unreliable piece of rubbish ever invented, they crash all time and people except it.
    We sell second hand computers for late model cars all the time, often cars still under warranty.

    Anyone who thinks it's a good idea to your life in the hands of an electronic gizmo that is prone to failure has got rocks in there head.
    Maybe, but how many accidents are due to driver error vs equipment error.

    I would suggest that there are far more accidents caused by drivers using a phone, drunk/drugged, putting on lippy, fiddling the radio, fatigued, chastising the kids, speeding, not driving to the conditions, or just plain inexperienced, etc. then there are caused by car failure, e.g. brake failure, steering failure, blowouts, etc.

    Taking the biggest factor in causing accidents out (i.e. the driver), should ease the road toll, provided it is done correctly.
    But hey, we have to start somewhere. The cars of 100 years ago were not as good or safe as they are today and the driverless cars of today are going to evolve. Yes, a computer is not 100% reliable but they are still several orders of magnitude more reliable than a human driver. If a computer fails then it usually (or should) fails safe, i.e. stops working. It will be inconvenient and maybe even dangerous (busy road, etc.) but not harm the occupants. If it's not programmed correctly then that is a human failure, not a computer failure.

    The alternative is a well trained chauffeur that doesn't drink, smoke, eat, sleep or have a life that distracts them from their driving performance. Or we could all take a bus or train and there is only one (trained and qualified) driver per 50 - 500 people.

    But driverless cars are purely to get from point A to point B.
    If you drive for enjoyment then there is no substitute to getting behind the wheel and controlling your 'beast' and no driverless car is ever going to replace that experience.

    Personally, 90% of the time I'd be happy for a driverless car to take me where I need to go.
    The other 10% would be good to blow-off some cobwebs.

    Cheers
    RTT
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    Quote Originally Posted by REN TIN TIN View Post
    Maybe, but how many accidents are due to driver error vs equipment error.

    I would suggest that there are far more accidents caused by drivers using a phone, drunk/drugged, putting on lippy, fiddling the radio, fatigued, chastising the kids, speeding, not driving to the conditions, or just plain inexperienced, etc. then there are caused by car failure, e.g. brake failure, steering failure, blowouts, etc.

    Taking the biggest factor in causing accidents out (i.e. the driver), should ease the road toll, provided it is done correctly.
    But hey, we have to start somewhere. The cars of 100 years ago were not as good or safe as they are today and the driverless cars of today are going to evolve. Yes, a computer is not 100% reliable but they are still several orders of magnitude more reliable than a human driver. If a computer fails then it usually (or should) fails safe, i.e. stops working. It will be inconvenient and maybe even dangerous (busy road, etc.) but not harm the occupants. If it's not programmed correctly then that is a human failure, not a computer failure.

    The alternative is a well trained chauffeur that doesn't drink, smoke, eat, sleep or have a life that distracts them from their driving performance. Or we could all take a bus or train and there is only one (trained and qualified) driver per 50 - 500 people.

    But driverless cars are purely to get from point A to point B.
    If you drive for enjoyment then there is no substitute to getting behind the wheel and controlling your 'beast' and no driverless car is ever going to replace that experience.

    Personally, 90% of the time I'd be happy for a driverless car to take me where I need to go.
    The other 10% would be good to blow-off some cobwebs.

    Cheers
    RTT
    Will they or will they not reduce accidents. That is the question?

    They don't fail safe, usually they do but often do all sorts of stupid things.

    The big question is who's responsible? When people stuff up they are responsible (until the lawyers show up) but when a computer stuffs up who's responsible.

    Like I said what's the purpose of them?

    In theory lets all go out and get pissed and our driverless car will take us home. But if we have to stay vigilant then what's the point?

    But in a book I'm reading now.

    It says that in the 120 odd years the motor car has been around it has been responsible for killing more people than every single war ever recorded since the birth of Christ.

    But modern cars are partly to blame. Back in the 70's a kid wasn't allowed to buy a GTHO because of the performance but these days your average 6 cylinder Commodore is just as fast and yet kids are allowed to drive them. If we really want to put computers to good use and cut the road toll lets go back to building cars as slow and as bad as HQ's with all the modern driver assists and safety gear fitted.
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