Has America ever been great and why?

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by narad, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    ^ I don't know how much driving you do in snow, but Canadian winter driving is very.... variable, and unpredictable. I wouldn't expect it to be easy to model in software, by any stretch. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I can see lots of ways it would go wrong. On top of that, even in summer, our roads are very often in terrible shape - the potholes and cracks everywhere are probably easier for software to avoid, but it's still a big obstacle.

    IMO, the biggest thing automated driving is going to lack is a sort of intuition. Things like understanding when it's appropriate to take an alternate route because school has just started back, and there's construction starting on a particular route, and certain roads are going to be cracked for a few months after winter because of the ice before they can fix it, or how to change up the drive because of heavier foot traffic in some areas at certain times of the year, or how to get around an accident or something that there's no data for, etc.

    I've always thought that automated transportation would only really work on a large scale once we're able to build dedicated infrastructure for it. I can imagine a whole bunch of cool futuristic automated transportation systems that would maybe work really well if we have infinite resources to implement them. But the current roads and cars weren't made with automation in mind.
     
  2. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    ^ Everything in baby steps. You know?

    Saying self-driving cars will never work in Canada is like someone, a century ago, saying that automobiles won't work in Canada, for the same reasons. Given enough time, it'll get sorted out.

    I think the issue that won't go away is people's desire to be in control. Some folks won't drive an automatic transmission vehicle, because of the lack of control and feedback between the driver and the machine. Here in Vermont, we have carpenters who refuse to use power tools, among other high-tech professions with low-tech "traditional" folks. Throughout the Eastern USA, you have religious sects like Amish, Mennonite, etc., who prefer to eschew technology in general. So...when self-driving cars are introduced, there will be early adopters, there will be problems with the technology, it will very likely be addressed and the technology will very likely re-emerge more reliable. If that happens, it'll only be a matter of time before it starts to spread to folks with less and less income. But...there will still be resistance to it, just like anything and everything else.

    What I see as a likely scenario, and this is pure speculation territory, is that industry where driving is necessary- freight, taxi, bus, and so forth, will see a lot of self-driving vehicles, but, private individuals will likely be much slower to give up driving. Driving used to be a leisurely thing, and, despite the stress of sitting in traffic, I think we will see a significant portion of the population prefer to drive manually, even if the cost of automation was negligible and there was a measurable increase in safety.

    Also, insurance and things will either get really simplified or really complicated. If insurance companies make auto insurance of these things complex, it'll significantly delay adoption.
     
  3. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    Seeing as how the autonomous vehicle research going on now for everyday driving grew out of a DARPA initiative for military off-road self-driving, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Naturally snow is a different type of obstacle than sand, but with respect to potholes, definitely not an issue.
     
  4. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    DHARMA initiative*
     
  5. MFB

    MFB ExBendable

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    Beat me to it, but with LIDAR in combination with automation, I don't see why we couldn't automate vehicles to avoid potholes/cracks/etc to the best degree we could?
     
  6. sezna

    sezna undermotivated

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    I work as a programmer for a company that does self driving cars. There is no way cars are gonna be programmed to handle winter roads. They're gonna be equipped with winter tires, and the pressure to maintain stable road conditions will be increased. Cars simply won't drive on roads whose condition isn't known, and if the car senses unstable terrain it will self-arrest (pull over or do the most "controlled" thing possible).
     
  7. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    ^ That's where I was thinking about automated-car-specific infrastructure. Creating roads, or some kind of system, where all (or most) of the required conditions can be known or controlled for. Canadian roads don't really fit that description. I can see a lot of cars just stopped somewhere, and jams happening, because the automation can't handle the cracks and potholes and garbage left in the road, and snowy patches, or 'black ice' or whatever else you have. If there was some kind of system where everything was on rails or something, then those wouldn't matter anymore, but a standard wheels-on-pavement kind of car needs a lot of on-the-spot intuitive decision making that computers aren't very good at.

    Closest thing I've worked on is video game vehicles - where you have full control of the environment and the vehicle - and that's hard enough to get right.
     
  8. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    You think the roads in Quebec are bad...have you ever been to Michigan? :lol: Have you ever heard of pothole fishing? It's a pastime in Detroit. So is pothole diving...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  9. JSanta

    JSanta SS.org Regular

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    We just bought a Subaru with Eyesight, and it has to be turned off if it is either snowing or raining too hard. Sensors are only so good. I will not be one of those people saying it won't happen (because it will), but it may be a decade or two for it to be viable.
     
  10. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

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    Take things one step further, and explore the moral dilemma of the self-driving car:

    What if your self driving sedan sees an inevitable collision with either a schoolbus or another sedan?

    What if your self driving sedan sees an inevitable head on collision with another sedan, OR it can drive itself off a cliff?

    What "choices" will self driving cars be allowed to make? A: who knows.

    What rights will you have as an operator with regrads to those choices? A: none, go read any contract you've signed in the last decade with any service provider.
     
  11. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    You will always have the option to take the wheel yourself, at least until self-driving becomes so perfectly tuned to render human driving comparatively reckless.
     
  12. flint757

    flint757 SS.org Regular

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    It may be awhile before everyday people are passengers in driver-less cars, but the tech can cost a significant amount of money and still be financially beneficial for a transportation company since they would no longer have to pay a driver 5-6 figure salary annually.
     
  13. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    The thought is humourous to me that a programmed automaton would ponder moral choices, rather than simply turn to avoid collisions and brake, as it's programmed to do. As if the car's sensors can even distinguish between a small animal and a toddler, and then the onboard computer would have to take a moment to think about whether or not to wreak havoc or simply brake and turn away.

    That's what human's do. The car will, much more likely, malfunction, when the cheap half-baked design GM comes up with stops working and then the car will simply drive in a straight line into everything in its path.

    I mean, we can't even make cars where the accelerator doesn't inexplicably stick to the floor, where the steering column doesn't suddenly jam up, the lock cylinder eats your key and keeps the car from shutting off, blah blah blah look up automotive recalls.
     
  14. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    It wouldn't, literally, but instead just follow whatever instructions it was programmed to follow. If you imagine that the machine is able to identify that this scenario is happening, it doesn't ponder anything, it just follows whatever it has been instructed to do in that scenario- which more likely than not would be a pre-existing list of priorities, or some sort of system of evaluating those priorities. At the end of the day, it's the programmer who has to ponder those moral choices.
     
  15. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    You are correct, which is why I found the post to which I referred somewhat humourous. My point was that the car is not going to see a schoolbus at any rate, just a large moving object.
     
  16. CapnForsaggio

    CapnForsaggio Cap'n (general)

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    That's very obtuse... why wouldn't the network of AI cars talk to each other? This would be necessary for any large scale deployment of the technology....

    There will CERTAINLY be scenarios where an AI car decides to kill an innocent person, to save more innocent people. Are you ready for this?

    I am not.
     
  17. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Get real, not every object is going to have an ID, and even if it did, the "network" isn't going to have time to handshake everything else before it makes a snap decision to avoid collision. I find it entertaining that you call me "very obtuse" after all of your reckless conjectures in this thread. I tell you what, I'll buy you a beer if there are not self-driving cars or trucks on the road in ten years, otherwise, I like Guinness. I guess if the AI goes all skynet on us and slaughters everyone before then, you'll have to give me a pass on the beer I'd bet you on that one. :rolleyes:

    In the past, the technologies have made use of phase angle radar, which pings objects with a unique sweep in order to not only determine position and size, but also speed and direction. This is crucial for the device to recognize the amount of danger another object poses. Objects moving at a high rate of speed toward the device are given high priority in avoiding collision, as are larger objects. I was working on such a devise at Delphi automotive in the Detroit area before it went bankrupt. Of course, they have come a long way since then, but the basics are still the same.

    Again, baby steps - this is not going to roll out all at once. To expect such is just silly. You are going to see some concepts in the next couple years, some high end novelty vehicles a couple years after that, then it will gradually work its way toward being a regular consumer item, as the bugs are worked out, unless some sort of Hindenberg-level catastrophe occurs, which is not null liklihood, of course.
     
  18. AxeHappy

    AxeHappy SS.org Regular

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    As a professional driver, I have a lot of problems with self-driving cars, but most of them are based off the risk of me losing my job in 15-20 years. Not to mention that most the cost in transit is not the driver's wages (despite people loving to bitch about them, as if Transit is an easy job) but rather the cost of fuel and maintenance. Meaning, that the economy could lose a bunch of good paying jobs and save very little money.


    But you can't argue that they won't be safer. Driving a car is the most dangerous thing the average person will do in their entire life and most treat it with a complete lack of disregard that they are driving multi-ton death machines at football fields/seconds speeds.

    The concept that the AI choosing to kill *less* people (not really sure what innocent has to do with any of this? Would it be okay if the car ran over an ex-con?) than more people is bad. Would you prefer it like now, where the human simply panics doesn't think at all and .... just happens? How is causing the *least* possible harm not a good thing?
     
  19. TheHandOfStone

    TheHandOfStone E♭M7(♭5)

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    AxeHappy's post is good. :yesway:
     
  20. narad

    narad SS.org Regular

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    ^^ Almost hit a deer coming home tonight. Definitely a moment where I thought, man, wish there was some autonomous co-pilot to at least recognize the hazard and begin the slow down before I figure it out.
     

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