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Thread: Consumer Electronics - Self-Driving Vehicles

  1. #1
    C-57D VincentVega's Avatar
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    Consumer Electronics - Self-Driving Vehicles

    OK, I was going to make a new forum for Consumer Electronics, but it seemed like a PITA so I'm dumping this here instead.

    Discussion about self-driving cars. My family here thinks it will never work due to complexity. I'm of the opinion that it is only a matter of time before it is good enough. Here's something to start the thread:

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/uber-se...ort-1490841322

    The Uber vehicle, a Volvo XC90 SUV, was going about 38 miles an hour, slightly under the 40 mph speed limit, as it approached the intersection where traffic turning left was backed up, according to a written statement from Patrick Murphy, the company’s employee who was behind the wheel in case he needed to take control.

    The Volvo entered the intersection heading straight on a yellow light. “As I entered the intersection, I saw the vehicle turning left,” Mr. Murphy wrote. “There was no time to react as there was a blind spot created by the line of traffic.”

    A person who witnessed the accident said in the report that the Uber car was at fault for “trying to beat the light and hitting the gas so hard.”
    I am a very defensive driver. One thing I always do is slow down at intersections, because I have seen bad things too many times: People overtaking (passing) through an intersection (meaning both lanes are occupied, coming at you from the side street), people running red lights, etc. If I am going slower, I have more time to counteract. I NEVER do the speed limit through those. If you can't see the other lanes of traffic (i.e. where people might come in front of you), I slow WAY down. This happens a lot on 4 lane blacktops, where there are two lanes of traffic on your side. If there is a line of cars to your left, sometimes they pause to let a car through turning left. If your lane is free (open), they can appear right in front of you before you know it. So, I also never overtake the next lane if the traffic is slow or stopped.

    I don't know how accurate those eye witnesses are, and I doubt the uber car is programmed to Starman through traffic lights. Sometimes, there really is no way to avoid an accident

  2. #2
    So say we all DennyCrane's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Electronics - Self-Driving Vehicles

    I don't trust them. How are they programmed to deal with a kid on a lawn, throwing a ball or some shit, and then ducking out from 2 parked cars and into traffic? You and I see what's going on, but how can a self-driving car? How about a flag man waving you to slow down? With a hand gesture. There's too many variables that simply can't be programmed into an algorithm.
    I'm not interested in finding a middle ground between what's right and what's wrong.

  3. #3
    Time 2 Play DigitalDD's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Electronics - Self-Driving Vehicles

    Volvo's drive me program is pretty impressive in my book. The illegal stuff (at least in NY/NJ) that my friend does with his Tesla is very impressive too but none of what my friend does is really self driving. He basically uses the phone app to have the car pick him up by the entrance to store when he's in a shopping center or mall. I'll be impressed when an electric car can go charge itself.

    interesting 2014 video from CNET:

  4. #4
    C-57D VincentVega's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Electronics - Self-Driving Vehicles

    Quote Originally Posted by DennyCrane View Post
    I don't trust them. How are they programmed to deal with a kid on a lawn, throwing a ball or some shit, and then ducking out from 2 parked cars and into traffic? You and I see what's going on, but how can a self-driving car? How about a flag man waving you to slow down? With a hand gesture. There's too many variables that simply can't be programmed into an algorithm.
    Neural net.

  5. #5
    Jack pwns my FACE FuzzyLogik's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Electronics - Self-Driving Vehicles

    There will be problems with this until ALL cars are aware of all other cars in their vicinity. But like you mentioned Denny, this wouldn't even solve the random stuff - like crap in the road or balls bouncing from the side - pedestrians etc. What about pot holes or that massive pile of broken glass?
    DennyCrane likes this.
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  6. #6
    C-57D VincentVega's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Electronics - Self-Driving Vehicles

    People drive over that crap all the time as it is. If we want the machine to be at least as good as people, I don't see that as an argument against. It's a pretty low bar. There are more bad drivers out there than not. There is plenty of technology out there to relay state information to the computer, Kinect does this, sonar does this, radar does this, optical imaging does this. And it can be done totally around the car with no blindspots meaning the machine can see better than any human. And it can also be done many times faster than a human. You can buy a system on a chip for 50 bucks that can count people moving by and even recognize gestures from them. And that's bottom shelf stuff. My point is, every day there are better solutions for machines to interpret the world. Your brain does the same thing, it has the same job. To interpret sense data, mentally construct a model of the environment, and allow you to interact with the physical world around you. You are a solution to that problem. Eventually, we will give machines another solution to that problem. The computer power is there, the desire is there, so all it will take is time until there is a minimum implementation people will be able to live with. It's coming

  7. #7
    So say we all DennyCrane's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Electronics - Self-Driving Vehicles

    Let's see that AI spot and deal with black ice.
    I'm not interested in finding a middle ground between what's right and what's wrong.

  8. #8
    Jack pwns my FACE FuzzyLogik's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Electronics - Self-Driving Vehicles

    I agree that it's coming - I'm curious how we'll end up getting there. I'm thinking that it's going to take the work of all the auto companies deciding on a standard set of sensor(s?) to detect proximity of other vehicles with those same standards. Might have to be a law requiring folks with classics (or cars before made before the implementation) to have them installed... which means it has to be cheap or free for those people or it'll likely not happen. :P I'm still curious how long it'll take before dashcams are a normal, standard thing to have here in the US.
    "Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun."

  9. #9
    Jack pwns my FACE FuzzyLogik's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Electronics - Self-Driving Vehicles

    actually was at the tail end of a presentation on tech (LiDAR) and the conversation branched out into self-driving vehicles and tech they were working on. Talked about how it'll be about ten years before self-driving cars become the real deal (and before that, probably limited to specific areas/cities etc). Anyways - talked about the limitation of just using sensors to detect stuff on the road and for a car to really be able to do stuff properly it needs to 'know' what it's surroundings look like (HD imaging) - I.E., stuck behind big trucks that block the view of stop lights down the road, the difference between merge lanes and yield (mentioned specifically an accident with a Google self driving car that got in an accident because it doesn't know what those are (confused a car with merging when it was actually yielding), where the center lane is, where the curb is, is there a curb, is there a median (is it a raised median), how large is the shoulder, are there any buildings close by (for avoidance, choose to go off the road to stop in "safe" locations rather than hit somebody or something) etc. Talked about how challenging it will be because they will need up-to-date and current HD imagery EVERYWHERE for this to really work - so discussions about new cars being fitted with these sensors to continue updating this information while driving - but the amount of information needed is immense and current cellular wireless tech can't handle it. (also saw other tech using satellite imagery from different locations to use some maths on those images (allowing for EXACT distances to be measured like height of objects, angle of slopes etc. Like an insurance company wouldn't even need to come to your house to look at your roof - they could take high res pics of it (one px = a couple inches) and get everything they need to know for materials and potential hazards for workers.)

    Anyways - very cool - and it looks like companies like Ford are already looking at this stuff. actual self-driving cars may not be THAT far off.

    Absolutely fascinating stuff.
    "Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun."

  10. #10
    Jack pwns my FACE FuzzyLogik's Avatar
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    Re: Consumer Electronics - Self-Driving Vehicles

    Actually, looks like Apples new self-driving car is using LiDAR too.
    "Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun."

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