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Would a self driving car world make it safe for cyclists?

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Would a self driving car world make it safe for cyclists?

Old 06-16-18, 10:30 AM
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I'm not sure what this incident tells us about "cyclists," as the person in this scenario was neither on nor riding their bike. Even if we ignore that, it sounds like the production automatic braking system actually DID detect her in time to prevent an accident, were it not disabled. Let's argue the experimental system "should have" intervened... well, there was enough doubt about its maturity/reliability in the field that they put a human in the driver seat. That human driver did not prevent the accident either.

I doubt anything will ever make bicycling or walking near to cars completely safe. Even if autonomous cars and emergency braking systems reduce the number of annual fatal US car vs. cyclist accidents from 700 to 300, or pedestrian accidents from 6000 to 1000, there will still be hundreds of people eager to sue on the principle that an autonomous vehicle is not perfect, and no voice from the hundreds of others there to say "my loved one was saved by this technology" That is the problem with this type of discussion.

Not to sound like I'm defending autonomous cars either, because the technology has a long way to go before I'd consider a car without a steering wheel. But let's not lose sight of the fact that human drivers fatally injure pedestrians or cyclists several times a day, on average.
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Old 06-16-18, 10:52 AM
  #2977  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
And if the woman was riding on a flying pig, it would not have made any difference that the so-called self driving car ignored its own sensors and run her down without making any effort to slow down or avert the collision. And the indifference to the safety of the public in the AZ prototype testing playground may not have become a roadblock in the blitz of PR hype and promotion of autonomous vehicles as the savior of public transportation.


But she wasn't riding a flying pig, nor driving a motor vehicle so the presence of meth and/or weed in her bloodstream is a red herring for those looking to divert attention from the near criminal indifference to public safety by Uber, Tempe police chief, and Az government officials.
A bit of clarification here, the car did not ignore it's own sensors. The human driving the car turned off the braking features... it was human intervention that caused the death. The car noted the impending crash, notified the human, and recorded the whole incident.

The car did NOT make any choices on it's own, as your statement implies.
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Old 06-16-18, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by genec
A bit of clarification here, the car did not ignore it's own sensors. The human driving the car turned off the braking features... it was human intervention that caused the death. The car noted the impending crash, notified the human, and recorded the whole incident.

The car did NOT make any choices on it's own, as your statement implies.
Wrong, and wrong.

"According to Uber, emergency braking maneuvers are not enabled while the vehicle is under computer control, to reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behavior. The vehicle operator is relied on to intervene and take action. The system is not designed to alert the operator."

Source: https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/05...are-ntsb-says/
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Old 06-16-18, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Shimagnolo
Wrong, and wrong.

"According to Uber, emergency braking maneuvers are not enabled while the vehicle is under computer control, to reduce the potential for erratic vehicle behavior. The vehicle operator is relied on to intervene and take action. The system is not designed to alert the operator."

Source: https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/05...are-ntsb-says/
I stand corrected on this and apologize to ILTB... the sensors DID see the pedestrian, but due to software issues, the car did not respond.
The report confirms that the sensors on the vehicle worked as expected, spotting pedestrian Elaine Herzberg about six seconds prior to impact, which should have given it enough time to stop given the car's 43mph speed.
from the same arstechnica report.

Bottom line, the sensors were plenty effective, the software was not. No doubt yet another Uber rush to get something done.

Last edited by genec; 06-16-18 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 06-16-18, 01:51 PM
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Summary: You can design the perfect system but it's those imperfect critters/folks throwing a spanner in the works.

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Old 06-16-18, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast
Summary: You can design the perfect system but it's those imperfect critters/folks throwing a spanner in the works.

Or you can't design the "perfect system", but boast anyway as if you had, and pay for the PR that say you can.
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Old 06-16-18, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Rollfast
Summary: You can design the perfect system but it's those imperfect critters/folks throwing a spanner in the works.

What perfect system? The system where the autonomous system would have done the "right" thing but didn't, and would have slammed on the brake and maybe even turned the vehicle away from the bicyclist... ??? and was shut out,/down by the "programmer's", to smooth out the ride... The "problem" here seems to be mainly the humans... and... I do not think it was the bicyclist..
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Old 06-16-18, 07:21 PM
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Yep. What I said.
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Old 06-20-18, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Or you can't design the "perfect system", but boast anyway as if you had, and pay for the PR that say you can.
That seems to be the Uber approach. Very consistent with their whole "square peg in a round hole" entry into the taxi market. (or perhaps "heavy handed" is a better metaphor...)

We do not however know if Waymo software would fail the same way... or the software that GM and others are proposing to use. So all self driving cars cannot be condemned by Uber's poor showing. And Tesla is not a self driving car, so whatever they do also doesn't actually count.

According to the investigators, the sensors did work... the software was the failure item. Gee... no project manager in the world has ever pushed out software "too early," eh? (and yes, people have been killed in other industries by such bad management.)
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Old 06-22-18, 09:46 AM
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Turns out that there is more to that fatal Uber crash.
https://www.cnet.com/google-amp/news...r-driver-hulu/

So the software was "detuned" to avoid sudden stops... but the driver was watching Hulu.

Does it get any more crazy?
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Old 06-22-18, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by genec
Turns out that there is more to that fatal Uber crash.
https://www.cnet.com/google-amp/news...r-driver-hulu/

So the software was "detuned" to avoid sudden stops... but the driver was watching Hulu.

Does it get any more crazy?
It doesn't get much scarier.
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Old 06-22-18, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by no motor?
It doesn't get much scarier.
Just wait until Google/Waymo launches/unleashes its self-driving, ride-hailing service in Phoenix later this year.

Google/Waymo's past, present and future autonomous vehicle operations in AZ appear shrouded in secrecy. Apparently AZ has a don't ask, don't tell policy when it comes to regulating or even being aware of the extent or safety of autonomous vehicle testing on its public streets, or at least until the testers kill someone on the street.


See https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/...crash-10319379 for more details about AZ's loosey-goosey oversight of Uber/Waymo et al. and lack of concern for public safety.

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 06-22-18 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 06-22-18, 02:34 PM
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Boston...


...and Arlington, Braintree, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Newton, Revere, Somerville, Weymouth, Winthrop and Worcester.

“Come to Massachusetts to test your cars, we have bad roads, worse weather, even worse drivers.”

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