Author Topic: Self-Driving Cars  (Read 41085 times)

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Offline Teslaborscht

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Self-Driving Cars
« on: April 13, 2015, 09:37:39 AM »
Rather than have the general public adopt self-driving cars in the next decade or so, I suspect that those who have the most to gain will adopt self-driving cars: taxi, bus, and truck companies. Car companies will push (and get government handouts for) fleet sales first. So it is quite likely that we'll be riding in self-driving taxis (with a driver) before we see consumer-level self-driving cars.

Offline Andrew Clunn

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Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2015, 09:43:05 AM »
I doubt it.  Liability is a huge issue, and because of the autonomous nature of vehicles, a bottom up approach works just as well.  I think this is going to more likely follow the luxury item curve, where wealthy (aging) individuals will buy in first.  Well aside from the military, which is already on this bandwagon.
I agree with Clunn, which makes me feel all weird inside.

Offline The Latinist

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Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2015, 10:21:43 AM »
I understand that all Tesla vehicles will soon come with a self-driving feature for highways only.  I've also seen advertisements for vehicles that will automatically brake to avoid collisions.  I imagine such things will soon be common at least in higher-end vehicles.  Over time, it will trickle down.  I imagine that will be the sort of piecemeal approach we'll see, rather than a system-wide rollout like the rogues seemed to be envisioning.
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Offline superdave

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Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2015, 11:31:15 AM »
I doubt it.  Liability is a huge issue, and because of the autonomous nature of vehicles, a bottom up approach works just as well.  I think this is going to more likely follow the luxury item curve, where wealthy (aging) individuals will buy in first.  Well aside from the military, which is already on this bandwagon.

This is pretty much true already.  Certain Mercedes cars can already theoretically drive autonomously on the highway but the software requires the driver can't take his hands off the wheel for my than 5 seconds or it shuts off. 

Offline frothy

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Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2015, 12:09:59 PM »
What do you mean by "Liability is a huge issue"?

Offline TheIrreverend

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Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2015, 12:13:52 PM »
If a self-driving car gets in an accident, who is to blame?  The person behind the wheel?  The software developer?  The vehicle manufacturer?  Until those problems are solved, almost definitely by legislative intervention, widescale adoption is unlikely.
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Offline Andrew Clunn

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Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2015, 12:15:25 PM »
What do you mean by "Liability is a huge issue"?

There's no real legal notion of what to do in situations where self driving cars get into accidents.  Large companies are going to wait for personal cases to flesh that out before putting themselves on the hook.  This could be mitigated by insurance companies, but they'll likely want to test the waters at smaller scales to get data for determining risk and costs before scaling up for large corporate policies.

EDIT - Yeah, what he said above.
I agree with Clunn, which makes me feel all weird inside.

Offline PANTS!

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Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2015, 12:48:54 PM »
If a self-driving car gets in an accident, who is to blame?  The person behind the wheel?  The software developer?  The vehicle manufacturer?  Until those problems are solved, almost definitely by legislative intervention, widescale adoption is unlikely.

Who get sued when a train derails?  When the solar powered monorail speeds out of control?  When an airplane crashes?

I mean I get that it hasn't been solved for cars, but I do not think it is too insurmountable.  There are transportation models we can draw upon now.  Seems to me like the adjusters and the police will need some training, and some new laws would need to be drafted.  But hell, if anything our current system of determining liability is far far more ambiguous when determining fault.  Not to mention there will be FAR fewer crashes, so in general each crash will be investigated more thoroughly.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 12:51:07 PM by PANTS! »
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Offline frothy

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Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2015, 12:53:46 PM »
But why is this a huge issue?

Just make some self driving cars, eventually an accident will happen, the courts will figure out how to apportion blame, and then the world continues. I don't see how it's a roadblock to progress.

Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2015, 01:00:22 PM »
But why is this a huge issue?

Just make some self driving cars, eventually an accident will happen, the courts will figure out how to apportion blame, and then the world continues. I don't see how it's a roadblock to progress.

Well, if one anticipated apportioning of blame is "manufacturer sued for hundreds of millions of dollars" I can understand some reluctance to become one.
Big Mike
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Offline PANTS!

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Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2015, 01:07:27 PM »
But why is this a huge issue?

Just make some self driving cars, eventually an accident will happen, the courts will figure out how to apportion blame, and then the world continues. I don't see how it's a roadblock to progress.

Well, if one anticipated apportioning of blame is "manufacturer sued for hundreds of millions of dollars" I can understand some reluctance to become one.

I think that happens quite often even in today's climate.
Now where I come from
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-Uptown, Prince 👉

We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.

Offline frothy

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Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2015, 01:11:28 PM »
Couldn't you use that argument for any product?

Offline Andrew Clunn

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Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2015, 01:18:22 PM »
Here's the thing.  If the first accident that results in a lawsuit is with a private car owner, then if the owner of the self driving vehicle ends up on the hook, it will be for far less since they're just some person.  If the first lawsuit is against a large company with several of these, then it's likely to come back higher, and the first court case sets at lot for future ones.  This is what we libertarians calls, impeding progress through fear of litigation and anti-corporate sentiment, or "fuck lawyers" for short.
I agree with Clunn, which makes me feel all weird inside.

Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2015, 01:20:28 PM »
Couldn't you use that argument for any product?
You could.  It boils down to some suit's cost-benefit analysis.  Some projects have a higher potential return and/or lower anticipated risk than others. 

You could argue that the estimation of either is being done incorrectly, but that's what it's about.
Big Mike
Calgary AB Canada

Offline The Latinist

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Re: Self-Driving Cars
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2015, 01:35:10 PM »
I have another concern with self-driving cars: icy and snowy roads.  I can readily believe that current technology is capable of driving a car on a dry road, but driving on ice or in snow is a significantly different task, one which requires a fair amount of counter-intuitive action.  I have my doubts that the sensor technology used in such cars is capable of detecting and responding to winter road conditions.
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