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  • That driverless car thing

    Here's an interesting take on it. With an interesting morality issue embedded.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/sorry...2Lhp21MPOmLDs1
    CNC machines only go through the motions

  • #2
    In a sense I brought something up similar in our last spirited debate except it was a fathers decision to "opt out" and take the hit on his side of the front end instead of placing the impact on his young daughters side of the vehicle, a less likely scenario but still one that im sure occurs now and then, at the very least imagine the rotten feeling leaving that one up to a machine and you being the one that made it - you might just end up opting out anyways...

    This semi-transitional stage that we are going through is even harder to imagine for me and someone else brought this up, if most of the systems that are being used are not true autopilots and just are there to "help" and they claim *(tesla) that you should not be using them to actually drive your car then WTF are we doing?
    Why would you want to have something engaged that your having to be on pins and needles and baby sitting it all the time, sounds like about 10 times more "strenuous" than just actually sacking up and doing what you should be doing all along - driving your own car...

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    • #3
      Interesting article that JT linked to, it does on the surface raise some moral issues. But I have to ask, how does the Mercedes approach distinguish if it is indeed a pedestrian in your path and not a dog or a deer?
      Why also would it choose to take the path of a possible pedestrian rather than taking evasive action right or left? Does it detect another vehicle taking evasive action in the other lane on your behalf? Does it know that there is or isn't a cliff or open field to your right?

      These are some of the issues I have with autonomous driving, or even driver "assistance" for that matter. No one should be accountable for my actions but me, not an auto manufacturer, and I certainly would not not like mother government to tell me who should make those decisions for me. My whole career as a professional has centered on me to make those life and death decisions on a daily basis, and in a career that has spanned 4 decades and probably a few million miles, no one has been injured.

      Unfortunately the evidence is overwhelming that many that we share the road with simply are not capable of focusing their attention on what they perceive as a mundane task, even if they accept the fact that lives are at stake. As much as I personally do not advocate the use of driver assistance/autonomous technology I know it will happen because society in general has let it be an issue due to complacency. The insurance industry is watching this one closely and it is only a matter of time before big government will step in and oversee the process in order to help with some of the moral issues, if not the morale ones.
      Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
      Bad Decisions Make Good Stories​

      Location: British Columbia

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      • #4
        I think there's way too much focus on these hypothetical who-do-you-kill scenarios. I would not even represent one in thousand accident situations, and if such a situation occurs normal humans are not fast enough to make that conscious decision. People will just slam on the brakes and steer to avoid the object in front of them, regardless whether kids are in location A or B. To me the question is when will the autonomous vehicle be better than the average driver, not when they will be perfect.
        There was another article somewhere on the fact that anti-social drivers would take advantage of autonomous vehicles by just cutting in front of them. That would be annoying as hell when you're in the autonomous vehicle making emergency stops all the time.

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        • #5
          I think if you stack all the variable hypothetical's together it then becomes something to be concerned with,

          I know in my experience it's already happened once with the Kid that was plotting to use my car to kill himself and did not get the chance because I noticed him acting funny and was ready for him.

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          • #6
            There's always anecdotes, but I have one as well. Yesterday I almost ran into a bicycle around the corner of my street. She came from the left and was hiding for a long time behind my A-pillar to the point where I needed an emergency stop to not hit her. I haven't had such a close call in years. A camera would have seen her earlier than I did as people around here are usually pretty good with right-of-way so I was paying more attention to the right side of the intersection.

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            • #7
              Hi,

              Just for fun,
              http://www.curbed.com/2016/10/26/134...anheuser-busch

              Morally, it matters little who lives or dies in that scenario because all lives have equal import and someone WILL die. But it does matter legally to those involved. And it's the dirty, ugly legal question that matters most and will be the sticky wicket to untangle.

              Dalee
              If you think you understand what is going on, you haven't been paying attention.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by ikdor View Post
                A camera would have seen her earlier than I did as people around here are usually pretty good with right-of-way so I was paying more attention to the right side of the intersection.
                A camera (sensor) "might" have seen her earlier - and then "might" have transmitted the info properly and the pre-fab programmed brain box "might" decipher what's going down and "might" take the appropriate measures to avoid the whole thing,,, then again - it "might" crank right into a street sweeper in full view and "at speed" or see the humanoid as a target to hit rather than something to avoid....

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by dalee100 View Post
                  Morally, it matters little who lives or dies in that scenario because all lives have equal import and someone WILL die. But it does matter legally to those involved. And it's the dirty, ugly legal question that matters most and will be the sticky wicket to untangle.

                  Dalee
                  Technically someone who's already got to live out 9/10ths of their existence has less to lose than someone that's only logged on 1/10th,,, yes it's a "gray area" but this morally transfers at least some...

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                  • #10
                    I'd argue that a teenager playing Pokemon Go and walking directly into the path of an oncoming car will probably die in a car accident while texting within a couple of years, therefore you save the old guy.

                    Steve

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SteveF View Post
                      I'd argue that a teenager playing Pokemon Go and walking directly into the path of an oncoming car will probably die in a car accident while texting within a couple of years, therefore you save the old guy.

                      Steve
                      lol and I really can't argue with that one... u got me there lol

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ikdor View Post
                        .....There was another article somewhere on the fact that anti-social drivers would take advantage of autonomous vehicles by just cutting in front of them. That would be annoying as hell when you're in the autonomous vehicle making emergency stops all the time.
                        I've seen and had to dodge enough of those on the freeways that this scenario would not be an uncommon thing either. And that alone would prove to be a bit of a menace to smooth traveling even if it does not create a dangerous situation.

                        It's not only on the highway either. How often do we see pedestrians with a high sense of entitlement step out in front of oncoming traffic with the idea that the traffic MUST stop because pedestrians have the right of way regardless of how little room to stop safely they allow? I know I've had to screech to a halt on more than one occasion when one of these Prima Dona types just walked out in front of me without even looking and flashed me the finger even before I hit my horn.

                        One way around this could be if the processors controlling the vehicles had a cooperative contact mode with nearby vehicles so that pedestrians or folks driving on manual mode in an aggressive manner don't come as a surprise to more than the first couple of vehicles within a larger group. This may also have some benefit in tracking of pedestrians near a larger group of vehicles in contact as knowing the pattern of a pedestrian moving around on the side walk could aid vehicle processors further back to observe some pattern that suggests that they may dart out into traffic. In use I would see something of this sort in the lead or trailing cars informing the others within range that a person is walking along the road and that some pattern recognition of their path and location suggests that there's something to watch for. Or the rear cars within a group that is in contact would sense a rapidly closing vehicle from the rear and inform ahead of such.

                        If something like that was in place it would be another tool but not an overall answer by any means. As mentioned those with a strong sense of self entitlement would still behave like doofuses to the expense of others.
                        Chilliwack BC, Canada

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                          Here's an interesting take on it. With an interesting morality issue embedded.

                          https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/sorry...2Lhp21MPOmLDs1
                          Being a "hard A$$" the quote here:
                          < In a modified version of the Trolley Problem, imagine you’re cruising along in your autonomous vehicle, when a team of Pokemon Go playing kids runs out in front of your car. Your vehicle has three choices: Swerve left into oncoming traffic, which will almost certainly kill you. Swerve right across a sidewalk and you dive over an embankment, where the fall will most likely kill you. Or continue straight ahead, which would save your life, but most likely kill a few kids along the way. > Is justification for Darwin to rule. It's the responsibility of the "pedestrians" an/or their parents to abide by the rules
                          governing the particular "transportation media". SO! the Mercedes , and/or other auto mfgrs. have the right approach.
                          ...lew...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BCRider View Post
                            I know I've had to screech to a halt on more than one occasion when one of these Prima Dona types just walked out in front of me without even looking and flashed me the finger even before I hit my horn.
                            In this case you were going too fast for the conditions. I thought you were going to say they flashed you the finger before you hit them Other parts of the world don't give pedestrians the right of way. Step off the curb in Panama and see how many cars swerve towards you...

                            I'm looking forward to driverless cars. When I'm 90, I'd rather not be driving.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by elf View Post
                              In this case you were going too fast for the conditions. I thought you were going to say they flashed you the finger before you hit them Other parts of the world don't give pedestrians the right of way. Step off the curb in Panama and see how many cars swerve towards you...

                              I'm looking forward to driverless cars. When I'm 90, I'd rather not be driving.
                              Let's see. Traveling at roughly 50 to 55kph. (30 to 33mph) As I approach the intersection I see a pedestrian walking strongly towards the curb. I take my foot off the gas because clearly this guy is walking with a purpose in mind. He doesn't look to either side at all. At around 35 to 40 feet from the corner he steps out onto the road without a single break in his stride or with any side to side glance at all. Lucky for him my "spidy senses" spotted him and my foot was already off the gas. But it was still a near lockup stop with the tires squeaking at the limit. Again lucky for him that my old racing days had taught me how to brake at the limits of traction and I didn't simply slam into full lockup and drift right into his legs like some other less skilled drivers likely would have done. This all being in the days before anti lock brakes. Even with all this I came to a halt half way into the area that would have been a cross walk if there were lines.

                              There's clearly some responsibility for the drivers to drive to a speed that is within safe limits for the area. But there's equally a level of responsibility for pedestrians to have some respect for the laws of physics and realize that cars cannot stop within less than some reasonable distance. When I was a kid I was taught not to step out in front of any car that was less than around 25 yards away. This guy gave me roughly half or a bit less than that.
                              Chilliwack BC, Canada

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