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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 03-22-18, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
That doesn't cotradict what I said. I believe the "wysiwyg" versions of these came out first on the Mac.


Keep in mind that what I said was a bit of an over simplification.
I will keep that in mind.
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Old 03-22-18, 07:09 AM
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As I was watching the video, and saw the ped/bike crossing the street, I instinctively slammed my foot on the brake. The AV Uber car did not.
Which is better?
I say Uber car failed.
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Old 03-22-18, 07:15 AM
  #2353  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
But wouldn't the apologists just blame the pedestrian victims in most, or even all, those incidents as coming out of nowhere, or they should have seen the vehicle, or shouldn't have been in the way or didn't belong there?
Umm, did you watch the video? The lady literally walked in front of a vehicle that any rational person would have noticed was not stopping.

Do I care to do the work to make a direct statistical connection that you'll just dismiss anyhow? No. Can I say that in the decade that AVs have been on the road, in the neighborhood of 40000 pedestrians have been killed by human drivers, and three hundred some odd thousand other fatalities have happened at the hands of nothing but human fault? Absolutely. Heck, since the beginning of the year in Phoenix alone, I count seven pedestrian deaths from just the first page of Google results: https://www.google.com/search?q=phoe...2F2018&tbm=nws

If a single death is too much, though, shut down all driving. I'll take my chances of a computer glitch versus the distracted, impaired, senile and inept fleshy computers I am currently sharing the roads with. I know with certainty that a computer will never sit in the left lane doing five under the speed limit flipping off everyone passing him on the right, as I encountered this morning, that alone is worth it.
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Old 03-22-18, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
But ... even if it had been a human driver ... 10 p.m. on a Sunday night on a fairly quiet road where one wouldn't expect someone to be walking .... One wouldn't be looking side-to-side for pedestrians crossing a multi-lane, 45-mph roadway at some random point.

This incident makes me wonder if the Uber AVs would respond by doing nothing to avoid hitting deer crossing the road at night, since they also are unexpected, "come from nowhere", and don't always use an officially approved crosswalk.
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Old 03-22-18, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
I will keep that in mind.
If I didn't, you'd get confused.
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Old 03-22-18, 07:23 AM
  #2356  
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
What is certain is that 4000 or pedestrians are killed a year by humans, and after a decade or so of testing AVs on the road, computers have finally hit 1.

By my count, that is still a massive improvement.
It seems possible that, statistically, it's much, much worse.

You'd have to calculate the rate of pedestrian deaths/mile-hours for each.

Originally Posted by jefnvk
Can I say that in the decade that AVs have been on the road, in the neighborhood of 40000 pedestrians have been killed by human drivers, and three hundred some odd thousand other fatalities have happened at the hands of nothing but human fault? Absolutely. Heck, since the beginning of the year in Phoenix alone, I count seven pedestrian deaths from just the first page of Google results:
This is not an argument that makes much sense.

Likely, there are many more than 7 times human drivers than AV cars in Phoenix and the human drivers (likely) drive many, many more miles.

Last edited by njkayaker; 03-22-18 at 07:48 AM.
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Old 03-22-18, 07:50 AM
  #2357  
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Originally Posted by 02Giant
I will blame the vehicle. There is no doubt, it failed.
No doubt... the NTSB analysis will be the final word on this.

I would have expected the sensors to see her, just as I would expect those same sensors to see deer at night.

Whether this a failure of sensors or software is TBD, but either way it is a failure.

The Sherrif's comments could only pertain to legality... she was in the wrong place, crossing illegally.

But the car should have seen her.
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Old 03-22-18, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
This incident makes me wonder if the Uber AVs would respond by doing nothing to avoid hitting deer crossing the road at night, since they also are unexpected, "come from nowhere", and don't always use an officially approved crosswalk.
Doing nothing is far better than what many humans do, which is kill themselves swerving and flipping or hitting something solid.

Originally Posted by Maelochs
Of course, the video camera was only recording---the AV was relying on other sensors.

...

And all the "blame the victim" talk is trash.

if that is me pushing my bike, AVs would still have a fatality-free record.

Any of us who ride bikes ... can Any car sneak up on you at night, with full headlights and traveling 38 mph?

Doubt it. Cars are loud, and headlights are bright.

The lady Obviously was oblivious to her surroundings--and I don't car if you are crossing in a crosswalk, you have to be aware that you are crossing the road where cars travel.

I will blame the victim, and if that makes the irrational people trying to "win" the debate in their own minds angry, so be it. Crazy people need treatment, not others to buy into their craziness.

This lady walked right in front of a car traveling at 38 mph, with full lights, and which would have been audible and visible for quite a ways.

An alert driver might have noticed her ... can't tell from the video. I would have expected the AV to have noticed her. But another simple, obvious fact is that she should have seen the car and not walked right in front of it.
Bingo. Although to your point about the camera, I'm not sure what all they were running for sensors, it is possible that that was the visible camera equipment.

Originally Posted by 02Giant
I will blame the vehicle. There is no doubt, it failed.
And I will unabashedly blame the victim while saying they should use this to figure out how to make their system better. As Maelochs pointed out, sometimes people are clearly at fault for their death, and it helps no one to find ways to absolve them of that. I've nearly ran over kids playing in a dark street in black clothes before in nearly that same lighting condition (sitting behind a lit area), their only saving grace was it was a 20MPH road and I was doing the speed limit. 40MPH and they would have been toast.

Originally Posted by trailangel
As I was watching the video, and saw the ped/bike crossing the street, I instinctively slammed my foot on the brake. The AV Uber car did not.
Which is better?
I say Uber car failed.
Lets repeat the experiment with you not knowing when she is going to appear, with your foot actually on the accelerator instead of hovering over an imaginary brake pedal, actually doing 38MPH down a road. I'd put large sums of money on you hitting her.

By the time her feet are visible in the video, she is standing at the end of the second completely visible road marking, with almost no space in front of the first visible one. Those lines are standardized ten feet long, thirty feet of spacing, all over the country (https://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/htm/2003r1/part3/part3a.htm), meaning there is give or take fifty five to sixty feet of stopping distance. Again, since people claim to like evidence, this study (https://copradar.com/redlight/factors/IEA2000_ABS51.pdf) shows an average reaction time of 0.96 seconds for a person to begin to take evasive actions while driving, defined as letting off the accelerator. One second at 38MPH is equivalent to 55.7 feet per second, meaning if you are an average person you have travelled 53.5 feet before you have even stopped providing power to the car. Before you say you'd steer, time to initial steering and max braking are far slower than 0.96 seconds.

How likely are you to actually not hit her, again?
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Old 03-22-18, 08:05 AM
  #2359  
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What this shows (to people who like facts and stuff): Uber's detection system is not yet ready for prime time. It seems to be about as good as a human driver but even that is questionable because in the one second in which the lady was in the headlights the car took no action.

No one knows if Waymo's system is better (it has been under development for five times as long and has at least three times as many miles of testing) so it could be better, maybe not.

Uber's old management was not averse to cheating, lying, or cutting corners, and we don't know how much of the development/presentation of the AV package was overseen by the old management.

The new management seems to be bwetter ... but they might have to explain a few unexpected expenditures to the shareholders after this.

It mystifies me that this scenario wasn't part of every AV system test, since it is such a common scenario---obstacles moving perpendicular to the vehicle's path of travel .... i.e. pedestrians not paying attention--are or should have been an expected obstacle.

I think (based on posts here) that everyone in these threads expected that AV sensors would recognize pedestrians on sidewalks and be prepared for sudden moves. And I think everyone expected AV sensors to be full-spectrum.

The question I have to ask is, did Uber oversell to Phoenix, then cheap out on the build, rushing to service with a substandard system in hopes of gaining market share by beating Waymo? or did it fail to meet deadlines and went forward anyway?

The sensors to detect a person walking across a street unquestionably exist. IR would have picked up a pedestrian well in advance of the lights hitting it, and that tech was old years ago. Maybe Uber didn't incorporate it, because it would only be useful at night, and would be hard to filter in a high-traffic environment?

As far as how many pedestrian deaths in Phoenix ... not really an issue. The question might be, how many people tried to cross a multi-lane, high-speed road without bothering to look?

But the real question is, how many of Uber's and Waymo's test miles included pedestrians crossing streets, and were the systems designed so focused on avoiding cars that pedestrians can get overlooked. Easy to see how that could happen, but pretty hard to see how any company could go forward without accounting for that--if it even is a real issue.

My thought is, if I were a city official in Phoenix (because I would be willing to lose my job (something I have proven too frequently)) I would demand that Uber do a night-time demonstration---pick a couple Uber cars at random, find some unused, unlit pavement, rig some kind of trolley with a mannequin, and see how many times the car hit the mannequin as it was pulled across its path.

Might get the mayor pissed, but it would sure create some buzz if Uber failed repeatedly to detect a human-sized target crossing its path.
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Old 03-22-18, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
This is not an argument that makes much sense.

Likely, there are many more than 7 times human drivers than AV cars in Phoenix and the human drivers (likely) drive many, many more miles.
The argument makes perfect sense, when the point it was in response to was a single death is too much and should be a show stopper.

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Old 03-22-18, 08:11 AM
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It looks to me that there would have been enough time for an alert driver to notice the person, and hit the brakes/swerve. Is it correct that the vehicle took zero evasive action prior to the collision? If so, that really shows poorly on the technology's readiness to replace humans.
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Old 03-22-18, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
The argument makes perfect sense, when the point it was in response to was a single death is too much and should be a show stopper.
The other argument was bad.

Yours is still a bad argument. That the other argument was bad doesn't excuse making a bad counter argument.
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Old 03-22-18, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
Umm, did you watch the video? The lady literally walked in front of a vehicle that any rational person would have noticed was not stopping.
Any rational person would not be making excuses for an allegedly "safe" AV that is blind to people walking across the road at night just because the video camera it is using is incapable of recording very much at night.

A rational person would not be assuming that anything the AV video camera cannot see is fair game for hitting at full speed.
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Old 03-22-18, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
And I will unabashedly blame the victim while saying they should use this to figure out how to make their system better. As Maelochs pointed out, sometimes people are clearly at fault for their death, and it helps no one to find ways to absolve them of that. I've nearly ran over kids playing in a dark street in black clothes before in nearly that same lighting condition (sitting behind a lit area), their only saving grace was it was a 20MPH road and I was doing the speed limit. 40MPH and they would have been toast.
It seems clear to me that the Uber was driving too fast for its sensors. That was a dry clear night and its sensors should have easily been able to detect the woman. If you can't safely stop for an object in your field of view you are driving too fast plain and simple. Unfortunately, it's a common occurrence with human drivers but I expect an improvement from self driving cars.

Blame the victim all you like but the technology still has a ways to go before I'd feel comfortable riding near one. What happens when it's dark and raining with reflections from oncoming vehicles?

I hope they continue to test but they should be placing 100% of the blame on the car and working hard to improve it.
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Old 03-22-18, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker
The other argument was bad.

Yours is still a bad argument. That the other argument was bad doesn't excuse making a bad counter argument.
I can only argue what is put out there.

Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Any rational person would not be making excuses for an allegedly "safe" AV that is blind to people walking across the road at night just because the video camera it is using is incapable of recording very much at night.

A rational person would not be assuming that anything the AV video camera cannot see is fair game for hitting at full speed.
A rational person would also not argue that humans are in any way intelligent drivers. I can root corner cases out of software over time. Time has shown that you cannot root out all human's faults, or simply their willful idiocy, from driving.

And never once have I claimed AVs are fool proof. You are the one stuck on them being perfect before allowing their use. They simply have to be as good as humans, which is an incredibly low bar to reach, and I would argue that in this case, they did no worse.
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Old 03-22-18, 08:40 AM
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The video doesn't show much, and to be fair, there is a huge difference between a skilled alert driver and an inattentive one that was in the car at the time.

I would NEVER drive again if that happened to me, and that should be the case whenever there is a fatality that is caused by impairment.
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Old 03-22-18, 08:49 AM
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Airplanes still have pilots, and sometimes they crash.

The standards for safe driving, have been in steady decline since the introduction of the smart phone, and before that it was drunk driving, which is still quite problematic, last I checked.

There are plenty of drivers that I don't trust, yet somehow I'm not convinced that AV cars are any safer.
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Old 03-22-18, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83
It seems clear to me that the Uber was driving too fast for its sensors.

Seems more likely either the sensors or the software malfunctioned. The technology should have readily seen the pedestrian.

The tech simply didn't work. The victim should not have been crossing in that manner of course and I doubt a human driver would be charged in the incident, but that's only relevant in terms of liability. The technology should have worked regardless of that.
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Old 03-22-18, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83
It seems clear to me that the Uber was driving too fast for its sensors. That was a dry clear night and its sensors should have easily been able to detect the woman. If you can't safely stop for an object in your field of view you are driving too fast plain and simple. Unfortunately, it's a common occurrence with human drivers but I expect an improvement from self driving cars.

Blame the victim all you like but the technology still has a ways to go before I'd feel comfortable riding near one. What happens when it's dark and raining with reflections from oncoming vehicles?

I hope they continue to test but they should be placing 100% of the blame on the car and working hard to improve it.
I don't disagree and in no way do I think the improvements need to stop, or that it is anywhere near perfect. My bar of where they need to be at before being on the roads is simply at the level of a human driver, somewhere I think we are at.

Of course, one can get into the argument about what the definition of an object in your view actually is, and argue the sensitivity of how it should work. This is a pretty extreme case, someone who chose to walk in front of a car in a manner that I doubt the laws of physics would have allowed anyone or anything to avoid without extreme caution being implemented way before the lady got anywhere near being in danger. Of course, that can introduce its own issues, if a system is set up so sensitive you are getting false positives and braking the car in an extreme manner anytime you see a person withing a few feet of your lane.

Originally Posted by SHBR
and that should be the case whenever there is a fatality that is caused by impairment.
Hey, we agree on something!

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Old 03-22-18, 09:19 AM
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Old 03-22-18, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
And I will unabashedly blame the victim while saying they should use this to figure out how to make their system better. As Maelochs pointed out, sometimes people are clearly at fault for their death, and it helps no one to find ways to absolve them of that. I've nearly ran over kids playing in a dark street in black clothes before in nearly that same lighting condition (sitting behind a lit area), their only saving grace was it was a 20MPH road and I was doing the speed limit. 40MPH and they would have been toast.
Of course you will. To me, this isn't about a woman being hit and killed. It is about the vehicle failing at one of it's primary responsibilities, not hitting objects within the roadway.

The vehicles detection systems should have determined there was an object crossing the road.
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Old 03-22-18, 10:13 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk
I can only argue what is put out there.
???

You don't have to use an argument that is bad.
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Old 03-22-18, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick
It looks to me that there would have been enough time for an alert driver to notice the person, and hit the brakes/swerve. Is it correct that the vehicle took zero evasive action prior to the collision? If so, that really shows poorly on the technology's readiness to replace humans.
Yeah, it might seem that way ... until you break it down into facts.

Look through the video and check the time stamp. It is about one second from the time the lights hit the lady's sneakers until the car hits the lady. Best--Best---human reaction time is at least half a second, and for most people, more. Particularly if you are just cruising down a dark, empty road at 10 p.m. on a Sunday.

Sorry about physiology, but human nerve signals only travel so fast---and the signal has to reach the brain and be processed, then sent to the appropriate muscle groups. Unless you are not a human being, you have certain human physiological limitations.

jefnvk posted a study ((https://copradar.com/redlight/factors/IEA2000_ABS51.pdf)) showing Average human reaction time to be .94 seconds. Which means you wouldn't have gotten to the brake before the bumper got to the pedestrian.

At best you would have reached the brake---and by "at best" I mean a top-class athlete, freak-of-nature, best---but in half a second you wouldn't have slowed appreciably. It would take a full second of hard braking at least to stop from 38 mph.

If you tried to steer, your reaction would be slower (more complex motion) and A.) you'd likely have still hit the woman and B.) you'd likely have run off the road or flipped your car----that's the common outcome from panicked steering responses.

Most likely, with .94 seconds average reaction time, you'd have both hit the woman And flipped your own car.

Sorry, physics and physiology pretty much limit what a human can do and avoiding something fifty feet away which is suddenly revealed when you are traveling at fifty feet per second ...

Of course, some people simply don't admit they have limits. Whatever.

By the way .... for people who don't really speak English that well ... yes, BLAME the victim.

Blame is a word indicating which party is at fault, and I am sorry for the recently deceased, but walking in front of a moving car is not correct behavior. The lady screwed up, plain and simple.

I know everyone wants to think he or she is Superman, and would never have an accident ... but it is possible for something to happen to which you cannot react in time. People only dodge bullets in the movies.

In this case, the lady crossing the road illegally and paying zero attention to an oncoming car caused her own death.

If this had been a guy who had just committed a burglary, and was hit by a regular car and Not an AV, none of us would be talking about this, except maybe to say, "Good riddance."

Because an AV was involved, suddenly a lady who walks right into the path of a moving car is a faultless saint. To some.

The point here is not to "Blame."

The point here is analyzing how this can be avoided in the future (and i give credit to the others who have said this.)

How can a car capable of highway speeds "overdrive its sensors" at 38 mph? How did this car fail to sense the lady? All that is where the meat of the discussion lies ... and all that won't be known for a while.

Maybe NTSB or NHTSA will demand a series of specific tests to see whether an AV can see well enough at night? I have heard of AVs working in snowstorms in Russia, so I don't know why this one couldn't handle a clear night.

In fact, there are nothing but questions. We have seen the video (funny how all the folks claiming it would be suppressed or doctored, dropped that crap---good thing too) so we have some idea of what happened at the grossest level.

What we don't know is what sensors were on, what sensors were equipped, what sensors were aimed in which direction. If the car had Lidar, radar, and IR ... no way this should have happened, as I see it (and I can admit i don't know squat.)

Maybe the AV was programmed to ignore info from areas not in its possible path of travel, to keep from getting distracted from stuff on the side of the road it was passing? Just a guess.

Nothing but questions. Nothing to do but wait for answers.

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Old 03-22-18, 10:19 AM
  #2374  
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Originally Posted by 02Giant
Of course you will. To me, this isn't about a woman being hit and killed. It is about the vehicle failing at one of it's primary responsibilities, not hitting objects within the roadway.

The vehicles detection systems should have determined there was an object crossing the road.
And I've stated multiple times, they need to analyze this, figure out why it didn't detect, and figure out how to avoid this in the future.

In the meantime, I have no indication that a human would have done anything different, or resulted in the woman still being alive, as a counter to those who seem to think that a sytem should be flawless in all aspects before it is allowed on the road. Stepping into the lane fifty some feet in front of a car doing 38MPH is always bad news, the only difference being if it were a human driving we aren't even discussing it, we are just accepting of it.
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Old 03-22-18, 10:25 AM
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None of us need to "argue" here at all. All this crap of scoring cheap debating points .... we should be big enough to let stuff slide.

As it happens, i don't think jefnvk's analogy regarding seven deaths makes the point well, for the reasons others have stated.

What i wish I didn't understand, is why people are still discussing it, as opposed to all the very valid points which he and others have made, which actually move the discussion forward.

Whatever.
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