Self driving cars are farther off than one is led to believe

Discussion in 'The off ramp' started by chittychittybangbang, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. chittychittybangbang

    chittychittybangbang Administrator

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    I'm cross posting this from my VW-Audi-Porsche hybrid forum and would be interested in any feedback.

    The CES (consumer electronics show) was recently held in Las Vegas, showing lots of cool consumer electronics. One that always makes the news is the new car stuff. Cars are becoming platforms for their infotainment systems vs. a vehicle to get you from point A to point B. Tesla, Infiniti, Mercedes Benz, and BMW all have some level of “hands off” self driving cars. While these still require your hands to be at least occasionally on the steering wheel, they’re not without flaws and they sometimes try to send the car into traffic or off the road! The reason why is because they can’t possibly see all the conditions and anticipate things as well as a human.

    Here’s a test: do you see a cat or a dog below? (yes, this is the myturbodiesel cat of youtube fame!)

    [​IMG]

    A computer couldn’t! Computers are good at quickly calculating things with 99.99999% accuracy. But they don’t have any common sense. It wasn’t until last year that someone developed a computer program that can tell the difference between a cat and a dog, but only AFTER a human has programmed and taught what’s a cat and what’s a dog. NPR 2014 While this sounds like a simple problem, it’s actually a major breakthrough. The guy who wrote it was quickly hired by Facebook as head of AI. So far it’s the only thing that has come close to solving this common sense problem.

    Audi recently tested their autonomous RS7 racing car…if you don’t trust a self driving car on the road, would you trust it at 140 mph? Here's a link to Audi where you can read more. Even though the car will race on a track better than most people, it still needs to be “trained” what the left and right boundaries of the track are, and even still, can’t race as good as a professional because there are limitations on adapting how a human can. For example, if a deer runs out onto the track, you get smashed deer. What if another car spins out or rubber track marbles get throwing into the camera? A blind car moving at deadly speeds.

    The point is that computers can do a task that was previously extremely difficult, as long as it’s within strict parameters and taught by a human what to look for. There are simply too many variables and unknowns for a computer to deal with, to safely drive on the public roads….for now. I’m sure someone will solve it but it’s much farther off than the recent demos at the CES would suggest.
     
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  2. Ol'Rattler

    Ol'Rattler Well-Known Member

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    Something that is borrowed from airplanes is something called "Control Laws". I think that what happens is that if the computer sees something that violates a control law, a known safe algorithm is applied completely bypassing the unsafe condition. So really, the computer does not need to know ALL of the possible scenarios, just the scenarios that violate a control law.

    And really, the computer does not need to know if an animal is a dog or a cat, only that it is in a place were it shouldn't be.

    Really great subject, but I would anti-up with autonomous cars might be closer that you think...............

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_control_modes
     
  3. Sparkn

    Sparkn Member

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  4. Ol'Rattler

    Ol'Rattler Well-Known Member

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    Yup. that's what happens when the pilot does not have a good understanding of how to interface with the aircraft. The aircraft was set to land and the pilot didn't realize it before it was to late. Of course that was almost 30 years ago and hopefully the man/machine interface will be well understood by the time cars routinely drive themselves.
     
  5. Sparkn

    Sparkn Member

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    The more we allow electronics to be smarter for us, the dumber we become.
     
  6. diesel2

    diesel2 New Member

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    I thought they were already.
    Oh sorry that was cell phones.
    One more thing to take cell drivers minds off the road.
    They could be in the back set with their other making out.
     

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