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The looming threat of autonomous vehicles

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The looming threat of autonomous vehicles

Old 06-05-19, 01:28 PM
  #76  
Daniel4
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Today I got close-passed by a Tesla. Apart from firing off the usual barrage of profanity, I didn't think a whole lot about it, but then later on into the ride, I realized the thing tracked the lane absolutely perfectly, as if I was simply not there, and it then occurred to me it might have been on autopilot, which didn't register my presence, or at least the semi-automated correction didn't work.
That just demonstrates the typical negligence of the driver in that vehicle who, by law, still has control of the vehicle.

If the vehicle didn't detect you, that would be an easy programming or hardware fix which can then be uploaded to all vehicles on the road.

On the other hand, when a driver makes a fatal error, how likely would it be that all other drivers be fixed with the improvements?

But having stated all that, I don't see how this one close-pass would be any different from any other close-pass by any other manually driven vehicle. Or are we imposing or comparing the high standards and expectations of AVs to the low stardards and expectations of bad drivers?

Last edited by Daniel4; 06-05-19 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 06-05-19, 01:54 PM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
You are wrong. How do I know? Because you are alive to write the above (and incorrect) opinion is all the proof I need. AV's are NOT going to pass cyclists with 3' of clearance. Not now, not ever. If you can't abide that ... ...
Did any of that actually make sense in your head? Why does the fact that he is not dead disprove anything he said?

Also, since the law in a lot of states is that the car must give the bike 3 feet, if AV can't learn how to do this, that's a big problem because that's a pretty simple rule.
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Old 06-05-19, 02:49 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Did any of that actually make sense in your head? Why does the fact that he is not dead disprove anything he said?

Also, since the law in a lot of states is that the car must give the bike 3 feet, if AV can't learn how to do this, that's a big problem because that's a pretty simple rule.
A lot of money has been spent making sure AV's don't leave their lane except for the direst of reasons. It is literally baked into the design. Passing a nervous cyclist isn't exactly high on the dire scale. I HOPE that when/if this becomes clear, that cyclists will be given the option: ride with AV's as they must be OR ride the bus. My fear is that the vocal minority of cyclists insisting that AV's cater to ... what ... less than 1% of the traffic stream will win the battle but lose the war. Nevertheless, I HOPE we will be given a choice and those of us that can co-exist with vehicles that pass without hitting us can share the road and that all of us won't be banned off the roads outright.
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Old 06-05-19, 03:31 PM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Did any of that actually make sense in your head? Why does the fact that he is not dead disprove anything he said?

Also, since the law in a lot of states is that the car must give the bike 3 feet, if AV can't learn how to do this, that's a big problem because that's a pretty simple rule.
Thanks. I've been puzzling over this for several minutes. I of course could well be wrong, and probably am, but that just makes no sense whatsoever.
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Old 06-05-19, 03:32 PM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
A lot of money has been spent making sure AV's don't leave their lane except for the direst of reasons. It is literally baked into the design. Passing a nervous cyclist isn't exactly high on the dire scale. I HOPE that when/if this becomes clear, that cyclists will be given the option: ride with AV's as they must be OR ride the bus. My fear is that the vocal minority of cyclists insisting that AV's cater to ... what ... less than 1% of the traffic stream will win the battle but lose the war. Nevertheless, I HOPE we will be given a choice and those of us that can co-exist with vehicles that pass without hitting us can share the road and that all of us won't be banned off the roads outright.
In this case it was a completely deserted country road, with plenty of room and no oncoming traffic in sight. Most people I swear at, at least have the decency to flip me off or threaten my life or something in response. This was just robotic, as if I was not present.
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Old 06-05-19, 03:36 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
You are wrong. How do I know? Because you are alive to write the above (and incorrect) opinion is all the proof I need. AV's are NOT going to pass cyclists with 3' of clearance. Not now, not ever. If you can't abide that ... ...
If they were to consistently continue, not observing three feet clearance, they would be in violation of the current law in my state. I expect the AV programming types will get busy after the first law suit.
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Old 06-05-19, 04:13 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
If they were to consistently continue, not observing three feet clearance, they would be in violation of the current law in my state. I expect the AV programming types will get busy after the first law suit.
I expect they won't. I expect the law will change. Why not. Laws can change. 3' was never rational. A rational law would have said "an overtaking vehicle will maintain its position in the lane and slow to ___mph for the duration of the passing maneuver". Unless I way miss my guess the Tesla above did not blast by wgscott at 55mph with only 6" of clearance. But "lawsuit" would imply there was harm. It would mean the car actually hit someone. If so, by all means, sue the pants off. But if cyclists continue making a stink about 3', 4', or whatever the current insanity wants to be its going to be rail trails and greenways or another hobby. There is already at least one jurisdiction that allows no cycling on public roads. I don't want to see that become a thing.
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Old 06-05-19, 04:35 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
That just demonstrates the typical negligence of the driver in that vehicle who, by law, still has control of the vehicle.
I don't think so. The driver has 'control of the vehicle' in one sense but if the vehicle detected the cyclist it would not passively allow the driver to negligently hit it. The driver would have to forcibly resist the vehicle steering away from the cyclist. I am not prepared to swear that the vehicle 'saw' the cyclist but I suspect it did. And that it saw no threat to the cyclist. The cyclists feelings have no bearing on its actions only the cyclists safety. To imagine that AV programmers WANT their creations running down and murdering cyclists wantonly is just lunacy. We can't have it both ways. On this same page with this thread is another about a car that killed 3 cyclists on the oncoming side when it gave a generous clearance to a cyclist on its own side. How many ways can we have it.

I don't know anything about it but if I were programming AV behavior they wouldn't pass anything but stationary objects. Bicycles count as stationary objects. The vehicle would not leave its lane for any reason except the lane is blocked by a stationary object. It would NEVER cross a real or implied center line for any reason whatsoever. Waymo alone has more money in petty cash than the League of American Wheel(wo)men do in their entire Treasury. The fight will be brutal, but brief. Bicycles will FRAP and will not impede the progress of the vehicles around them under penalty of law.
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Old 06-05-19, 04:37 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
In this case it was a completely deserted country road, with plenty of room and no oncoming traffic in sight. Most people I swear at, at least have the decency to flip me off or threaten my life or something in response. This was just robotic, as if I was not present.
Seriously? I'll forgive this ... nonsensical post if you return the favor. Criss-cross.
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Old 06-05-19, 04:39 PM
  #85  
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Most of the people I see on the road here are my neighbors, and are courteous and give a wide bit of space for a pass, or slow down until it is safe. I have a radar, and I try not to hog the lane when I don't need to.

The 3 ft rule is the law in CA. I can't be certain it came closer than 3ft, but it was certainly much closer than is typical, and like I said, it made no adjustment whatsoever with respect to lane position, before or after.
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Old 06-05-19, 04:41 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Seriously? I'll forgive this ... nonsensical post if you return the favor. Criss-cross.
Do you drive a white Tesla in the Santa Cruz mountains by chance?

Maybe we should just put each other on our ignore lists.

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Old 06-05-19, 04:58 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Today I got close-passed by a Tesla. Apart from firing off the usual barrage of profanity, I didn't think a whole lot about it, but then later on into the ride, I realized the thing tracked the lane absolutely perfectly, as if I was simply not there, and it then occurred to me it might have been on autopilot, which didn't register my presence, or at least the semi-automated correction didn't work.
I commute to work on a 4 lane (2 ea direction) highway and generally 95+% of vehicles and trucks are considerate and move over to the far lane or move over in their lane. A while back I recalled a couple of close passes, both by a red Tesla X. My guess is they were on autopilot. I'm assuming eventually Tesla will sort out their algorithms to be considerate like most vehicles. After all they don't have to leave their 12' wide lane, just move over a little to the left side of the lane. It shouldn't be difficult for a vehicle to give 3' of clearance even if I'm riding on the fog line. 2 lanes are about 24' wide which is plenty of space for 2 vehicles and a bike.
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Old 06-05-19, 07:12 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I don't think so. The driver has 'control of the vehicle' in one sense but if the vehicle detected the cyclist it would not passively allow the driver to negligently hit it. The driver would have to forcibly resist the vehicle steering away from the cyclist. I am not prepared to swear that the vehicle 'saw' the cyclist but I suspect it did. And that it saw no threat to the cyclist. The cyclists feelings have no bearing on its actions only the cyclists safety. To imagine that AV programmers WANT their creations running down and murdering cyclists wantonly is just lunacy. We can't have it both ways. On this same page with this thread is another about a car that killed 3 cyclists on the oncoming side when it gave a generous clearance to a cyclist on its own side. How many ways can we have it.

I don't know anything about it but if I were programming AV behavior they wouldn't pass anything but stationary objects. Bicycles count as stationary objects. The vehicle would not leave its lane for any reason except the lane is blocked by a stationary object. It would NEVER cross a real or implied center line for any reason whatsoever. Waymo alone has more money in petty cash than the League of American Wheel(wo)men do in their entire Treasury. The fight will be brutal, but brief. Bicycles will FRAP and will not impede the progress of the vehicles around them under penalty of law.
Well, you have a gift for dystopian fantasy, I'll give you that. I'm just too busy to go point to point with all this silly.
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Old 06-05-19, 07:14 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Today I got close-passed by a Tesla. Apart from firing off the usual barrage of profanity, I didn't think a whole lot about it, but then later on into the ride, I realized the thing tracked the lane absolutely perfectly, as if I was simply not there, and it then occurred to me it might have been on autopilot, which didn't register my presence, or at least the semi-automated correction didn't work.
and... That WILL change, If, it was on "auto-pilot", it will be changed/upgraded, to "obey" the 3' rule...eventually,...
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Old 06-05-19, 09:52 PM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
and... That WILL change, If, it was on "auto-pilot", it will be changed/upgraded, to "obey" the 3' rule...eventually,...
I agree - there is no technical reason I can see that prevents the AI from pulling into a passing lane to pass a bike. Think of it this way: if the AI cannot determine when it is safe from oncoming traffic when passing, it also cannot determine safe maneuvers from traffic inside the lane. Same problem, just different parameters for the closing distance and relative velocity.
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Old 06-06-19, 01:11 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I agree - there is no technical reason I can see that prevents the AI from pulling into a passing lane to pass a bike. Think of it this way: if the AI cannot determine when it is safe from oncoming traffic when passing, it also cannot determine safe maneuvers from traffic inside the lane. Same problem, just different parameters for the closing distance and relative velocity.
One of the reasons that upwards of 40,000 people die every year in vehicle accidents is because people WAY underestimate how precarious their position is on the road. AV's can't take anything for granted. One of the reasons they are so safe is because they drive like an aged Grandmother taking ZERO chances that might result in a collision. Every lateral acceleration is a potential disaster and if humans understood this and reduced their lateral movements our roads would be tons safer. IF regulations mandate 3' passing distances for cyclists then the likely outcome is that AV's simply will not pass cyclists. The risk is too great. Better to slow to the cyclists speed and wait. Because humans are so used to just blasting over into the next lane and flying by cylists like they are standing still doesn't mean that AV's can or will do the same. And if cyclists cannot use shoulders or allow AV's to pass within 2' or less, then bicycles will be banned from all but the residential side streets.

Collision avoidance systems in aircraft are a mature science. Multi-million dollar aircraft with hundreds of souls onboard cannot rely on human reflexes to avoid mid-air collisions. Aircraft on a collision course can have closing speeds of well over 1,000mph. If both pilots were to panic and the pilot approaching from the East failed to move in the appropriate direction. Boom. So computers do the controlling of aircraft in close proximity to one another. The computers never panic, never forget the rules. Private aircraft don't have these systems and cannot be allowed to fly in airspaces where the big jets predominate. For AV's to really fulfill their potential they will have to communicate with one another the way aircraft do. In typical human fashion that wisdom is being resisted. AV's may not (yet) have the ability to communicate with one another but they can easily lock on to the large radio-reflective surface of another car. Bicycles with their small size and erratic movements are very much like small private aircraft in the glide path of a large metropolitan airport.
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Old 06-06-19, 01:20 AM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
and... That WILL change, If, it was on "auto-pilot", it will be changed/upgraded, to "obey" the 3' rule...eventually,...
Nah. Easier to just ban bicycles. IF AV's had any intention of honoring the 3' rule they would be doing it already. They don't need to be 'upgraded' to do it. It was a stupid law the true impractically of which is now being realized when you have 'intelligent systems' that need to parse the cognitive dissonance of being given an impossible mandate. So ... what WILL change is that AV manufacturers are not going to allow their industry to be pushed around by the cyclist lobby the way the motor vehicle regulators did.
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Old 06-06-19, 05:32 AM
  #93  
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for some reason this does not worry me
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Old 06-06-19, 05:46 AM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
One of the reasons that upwards of 40,000 people die every year in vehicle accidents is because people WAY underestimate how precarious their position is on the road. AV's can't take anything for granted. One of the reasons they are so safe is because they drive like an aged Grandmother taking ZERO chances that might result in a collision. Every lateral acceleration is a potential disaster and if humans understood this and reduced their lateral movements our roads would be tons safer. IF regulations mandate 3' passing distances for cyclists then the likely outcome is that AV's simply will not pass cyclists. The risk is too great. Better to slow to the cyclists speed and wait. Because humans are so used to just blasting over into the next lane and flying by cylists like they are standing still doesn't mean that AV's can or will do the same. And if cyclists cannot use shoulders or allow AV's to pass within 2' or less, then bicycles will be banned from all but the residential side streets.
All subjective personal opinion, which evidently is not shared by designers of automatic vehicles, law-makers, people who drive and so on.

Collision avoidance systems in aircraft are a mature science. Multi-million dollar aircraft with hundreds of souls onboard cannot rely on human reflexes to avoid mid-air collisions. Aircraft on a collision course can have closing speeds of well over 1,000mph. If both pilots were to panic and the pilot approaching from the East failed to move in the appropriate direction. Boom. So computers do the controlling of aircraft in close proximity to one another...
Not true. Collision avoidance only takes over in cases of imminent collision, and separation assurance which is closer to what you describe is not a mature technology. I don't see what point it is that you're trying to get across here though. You think it's mature science in aircraft but impossible in ground craft?

Whatever you mean here, I don't think it impacts the fact that there is little technical difference between in-lane driving and passing. Cars are still approaching at the same speed on a non-divided street and the only difference is the vector's direction. To me it's silly to think that an autonomous vehicle will never pass a cyclist if it has to partially or fully change lanes to do it.
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Old 06-06-19, 09:09 AM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
All subjective personal opinion, which evidently is not shared by designers of automatic vehicles, law-makers, people who drive and so on.



Not true. Collision avoidance only takes over in cases of imminent collision, and separation assurance which is closer to what you describe is not a mature technology. I don't see what point it is that you're trying to get across here though. You think it's mature science in aircraft but impossible in ground craft?
My point is that when collision avoidance systems 'take over' the aircraft involved are communicating with each other at light speed. Dozens of messages fly back and forth between the two aircraft on a collision course each second! Unless an AV can likewise communicate electronically with the control systems of all the vehicles in its collision envelope, the safest maneuvers are those with the least risk. The centerline becomes a hard barrier. On a road with two lanes in each direction, yes, an AV could pull over into the 'passing lane', but is that the 'safest maneuver'? Possibly, if that AV could communicate with following traffic and issue a 'hold your position'. They presently can't. But we only have anecdotal evidence that they are passing cyclists 'close'. I'm not trusting that all of us really know what 'close' is. I saw a guy with a pool noodle in his front basket. All the cars I saw pass him gave him no more (or less) clearance than what they were giving me riding with no lane control device whatsoever. I was wrong to even interact with the paranoia and lack of scientific and computer background in the general aggregate of Americans. All I will say before I never engage this topic again is: when AV are authorized to use American roads unfettered, the rules of engagement will be codified to a fare the well. If us cyclists cannot abide them we will be the ones denied access to the roadways. That would bug me big time. Alarmist threads like this one do not help. The irony is inescapable. We should be looking forward to sharing the road with vehicles devoid of ego, aggression, lack of judgement, prone to distraction, and, and. Instead we get "the looming threat of autonomous vehicles". SMH ...

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Old 06-06-19, 10:20 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
My point is that when collision avoidance systems 'take over' the aircraft involved are communicating with each other at light speed. <snip>
I for one advocate for and expect eventually small and inexpensive or even free transponders that can be carried by cyclists, pedestrians or I guess manually driven vehicles which will provide standard telemetry to nearby vehicles, particularly autonomous vehicles. That would more or less solve those concerns

Why not, when a small investment by the auto companies would drastically improve the autonomous systems? They would logically want those to be ubiquitous. Why wouldn't any cyclist want to strap one on his seat post, if it cost a few dollars or was free, and improved AV or collision avoidance? I am convinced this will happen naturally as demand grows for autonomous vehicles.
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Old 06-06-19, 10:23 AM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
But we only have anecdotal evidence that they are passing cyclists 'close'. I'm not trusting that all of us really know what 'close' is. I saw a guy with a pool noodle in his front basket. All the cars I saw pass him gave him no more (or less) clearance than what they were giving me riding with no lane control device whatsoever. I was wrong to even interact with the paranoia and lack of scientific and computer background in the general aggregate of Americans.
Anecdotes treated as evidence of significant problems for the public at large, and cyclists in specific, as well as hyperbolic posts reflecting paranoia about motorists (and so-called inexperienced/untrained/not "serious" cyclists and pedestrians on MUPs) are the meat and potatoes of A&S.

Lack of understanding about risk evaluation and risk management in general, and bicyclists' risk in specific is reflected in some of the more hysterical rhetoric posted.

Probably is better to avoid participating but admittedly it is difficult to avoid staring at a logical wreck when passing by, isn't it?
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Old 06-06-19, 10:46 AM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I for one advocate for and expect eventually small and inexpensive or even free transponders that can be carried by cyclists, pedestrians or I guess manually driven vehicles which will provide standard telemetry to nearby vehicles, particularly autonomous vehicles. That would more or less solve those concerns

Why not, when a small investment by the auto companies would drastically improve the autonomous systems? They would logically want those to be ubiquitous. Why wouldn't any cyclist want to strap one on his seat post, if it cost a few dollars or was free, and improved AV or collision avoidance? I am convinced this will happen naturally as demand grows for autonomous vehicles.
You are assuming there is a public demand for autonomous vehicles and that the manufacturers of motor vehicles see that meeting that demand will be a profitable enterprise. Who do you think is anxious to buy these vehicles with their own money? The general public? Ha, Ha!

Do you think the current customers of Uber and Lyft car services are demanding to be chauffeured in vehicles that have no human behind the wheel? Where is the benefit for the customers? Is it the sales pitch of an alleged "safer" ride?

Do you think some Venture Capitalists are willing to put up even more money to subsidize the money losing ride-share taxi operation because now their money is going to suppliers of autonomous vehicles and AV technology manufacturers instead of human drivers?

In all the hoopla about the amount of money being thrown at Uber and Lyft, that manage to lose billions of dollars a year without buying any product from the automobile manufacturers, the hypsters forget that Uber and Lyft are on the road to bankruptcy now and replacing drivers' expense with vehicle purchase, operation and maintenance expenses will only get them there sooner.

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Old 06-06-19, 11:54 AM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I expect they won't. I expect the law will change. Why not. Laws can change. 3' was never rational. A rational law would have said "an overtaking vehicle will maintain its position in the lane and slow to ___mph for the duration of the passing maneuver". Unless I way miss my guess the Tesla above did not blast by wgscott at 55mph with only 6" of clearance. But "lawsuit" would imply there was harm. It would mean the car actually hit someone. If so, by all means, sue the pants off. But if cyclists continue making a stink about 3', 4', or whatever the current insanity wants to be its going to be rail trails and greenways or another hobby. There is already at least one jurisdiction that allows no cycling on public roads. I don't want to see that become a thing.
There's no reason for AV's to not follow existing traffic regs. AV's are going to be in the minority for decades so laws won't be changing to accommodate them for a while.
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Old 06-06-19, 12:07 PM
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wphamilton
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
You are assuming there is a public demand for autonomous vehicles and that the manufacturers of motor vehicles see that meeting that demand will be a profitable enterprise. Who do you think is anxious to buy these vehicles with their own money? The general public? Ha, Ha!
"as demand grows" does not make an assumption about demand. It means that when there are enough of those vehicles on the road, or projected to be sold, supplying hose transponders will become more viable. Here is the logic that you've evidently neglected: if there is no demand for autonomous vehicles, there is no particular risk from them and no reason to carry transponders. When there is greater demand, then supplying transponders is in the interest of auto manufacturers.

Last edited by wphamilton; 06-06-19 at 12:24 PM.
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