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[WIRED]Uber's Self-Driving Car Just Killed Somebody. Now What?

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post #21 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 09:37 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Gunderman456 View Post
^ The robot was speeding.

Anyway, I'm never getting into one of those monstrosities.
Who doesn't go 5 over on pretty much any road...

Even a robot knows better than only going the speed limit.

I'll for sure get a self driving car in the 2020s. It will be great for getting to work.

Nothing is going to replace something like a MX-5 on a nice weekend. I don't want a self driving Camaro. But I would love a self driving Jeep.

In a decade these are going to be common place regardless. Just like having a computer in your pocket, self driving cars are going to be the norm for pretty much any new car.

It is pretty much the only way to get the death rate down. As Humans are the biggest factors in roadway accidents and deaths. Take them away it that number will drop to crazy low numbers.
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post #22 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 09:46 AM
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This is an unfortunate, but sadly inevitable, occurrence.

No one who was has seriously thought about autonomous vehicles has ever pretended that they will be 100% perfect 100% of the time. In order to improve on the current situation they only need to be better than most human drivers, most of the time. Sadly, this is not hard.

A lot more needs to be understood about this incident before we can make a judgement about it. For example - there was a safety driver on board who did not react in time. Did they not see the pedestrian? Did they think the car would react for them? Was there no time to react? How did the pedestrian enter the road? Was the pedestrian visible to the car or driver in time for either to take action? And so on.

I would be surprised if the car didn't record the incident, so thankfully all these questions will probably be answered. That means that if the car was at fault, the fault can be corrected.

And here is the nice thing about autonomous vehicles - once one of them makes an avoidable mistake, you can roll out the fix to every single vehicle so that none of them make the same mistake again. In contrast, humans seem quite happy to make the same mistakes over and over again. Below, for your amusement, is a compilation of people doing the same stupid thing over and over again.

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post #23 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 10:39 AM
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People are freaking out about this unjustifiably.

Autonomous cars will still kill lots of people. That will happen when you send a ton of metal hurtling down roads at high speeds.

The question is not whether they will be perfectly safe. The question is whether they will be safer than people. And that, sadly, is a very low bar.

How many pedestrians got killed by human drivers that day?
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post #24 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 10:47 AM
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The question is: what was the human driver doing? The whole point of the human driver is to intervene , not sit and enjoy the ride.

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post #25 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 11:05 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by AlphaC View Post
The question is: what was the human driver doing? The whole point of the human driver is to intervene , not sit and enjoy the ride.
I would like to know this too. From what little was released apparently the car did not make an effort to significantly slow down before the impact. I can think of a few different possibilities:

  1. The pedestrian stepped out from between two cars close enough to the car that neither the driver nor the autonomous system had sufficient time to react (human) or stop the vehicle before the impact (autonomous system).
  2. The car didn't see the pedestrian and the human driver assumed that it had / would stop, so didn't intervene in time.
  3. Neither the human driver nor the car saw the pedestrian.
  4. The pedestrian saw the car and hesitated. The car saw the pedestrian and slowed slightly. Both the car and pedestrian then decided to proceed at the same time. You see this all the time with two humans (how many times have you done the left-right-left shuffle whilst walking towards someone) but it seems unlikely given what little I know about how autonomous cars 'think', they are usually very conservative.

Edit: It seems from the update below that option 1 is the closest - the pedestrian stepped out from behind a sign and into the road right in front of the car. She was wearing dark clothes and it was dusk. Neither the car nor the driver had chance to react. It is unlikely a human driver would have been able to avoid the collision.

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Last edited by GingerJohn; 03-20-2018 at 11:50 AM.
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post #26 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 11:11 AM
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From viewing the videos, “it’s very clear it would have been difficult to avoid this collision in any kind of mode (autonomous or human-driven) based on how she came from the shadows right into the roadway,” Moir said. The police have not released the videos.

The incident happened within perhaps 100 yards of a crosswalk, Moir said. “It is dangerous to cross roadways in the evening hour when well-illuminated, managed crosswalks are available,” she said.
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post #27 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 11:18 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by KC_Flip View Post
Update from another source
It's starting to sound like the cyclist was negligent and stepped out into traffic. If she wasn't wearing a reflector she might have truly been invisible until the moment the vehicle struck her.

One of the proposed solutions for autonomous cars are stricter jaywalking laws.

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post #28 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 11:51 AM
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So if I jump out right in front of an autonomous car, it's at fault, right?

No and that's not necessarily what happened here. People love the draw the Mona Lisa of conclusions with no data. It' very possible this wreck would have happened with a human driving instead riding behind the wheel too.

If you want to get mad about something, be mad about the FLU bridge. No excuse for that.

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post #29 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 11:56 AM
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What a stunning twist, the driver at the wheel was previously convicted of felony armed robbery.

The defense attorneys for Uber are definitely going to use the pedestrian's past against her , jury emotions are going to play heavily into that trial since there's no precedent:

Sgt Elcock said he believed Herzberg may have been homeless.
According to a Facebook page believed to be hers, Ms Herzberg became a mother at the ages of 15 and 18 and had been married three times.
She had spent time in prison in the past for minor crimes including drug offences.
The technology review suggests she might have been in a blind spot?
The car in this diagram is a Lexus not a volvo XC90

The impact on the car was apparently at the right hand corner near the front headlight.
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Last edited by AlphaC; 03-20-2018 at 12:08 PM.
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post #30 of 116 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 12:06 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by SavantStrike View Post
Tesla never sold that car as self driving, autopilot is a driver assist tool only.
Saying auto-pilot is "an assistance tool only" reminds me of an add I saw for a shower radio that said "do not get wet." Something you conveniently throw in there to try and avoid getting sued when your product doesn't perform as advertised.

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