Discussion:
about driverless cars
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Richard Hershberger
2017-05-24 15:56:52 UTC
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Earlier this week I was on my regular commute. It is mostly on two-lane (one each direction) country roads. These have the benefit that traffic volume is predictable and only a factor in a couple of spots. The down side is that an accident will shut down the road pretty easily. Once the problem is obvious the solution is to bail out, making a technically illegal U-Turn and taking an alternate route, typically adding fifteen minutes or so, depending on the precise location.

So traffic came to a spot at a place that could mean a train, as my route crosses over the old B&O tracks, or an accident. A train can take a while, but then you are fine. This was an accident. I could tell by the flow pattern. But I could also tell that I could get through, since traffic was moving, albeit intermittently. The crash turned out to be here:
https://www.google.com/maps/@39.3522061,-77.0158795,3a,60y,212.61h,69.72t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sbKo34-yJpwn0BTPpGuNaQw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

I got there pretty early in the cycle. My lane was completely blocked, but the other side was open. Police and fire had not yet arrived, but there were enough people helping out that my stopping and getting out would have been merely getting in the way. One of the people that had stopped was driving a big utility vehicle of some sort. He stopped in a good place, set his yellows flashing, and got out and directed traffic. He did a good job, alternating so that both directions got past with as little delay as could be hoped for. He had absolutely no legal authority, but he was doing what needed to be done, and the drivers tacitly accepted this and followed his directions. I got through with minimal hassle, about five to ten minutes later than I ordinarily would. The fire and police passed me going the other way soon after that.

What I want to know is, in our brave new world of fully automated cars, how does this scenario play out? If I had been in a Google car with no auxiliary controls, could the car have figured this situation out and acted appropriately? We are piously assured that automated cars follow the letter of the law. I crossed over a double yellow line to get around the wrecks. I did this according to the directions of just some guy who took it upon himself to direct me. A law-abiding automated car would what? Just sat there? Even bailing out entirely and using an alternate route would have involved that illegal U-Turn. What was in fact a ten minute delay at most would seem to turn into hours at a standstill.

There may be a better answer, but what is it? Unfortunately, most of the press reports on automated cars are breathless re-writes of corporate press releases. No one seems to ask this sort of question, lest they be taken off the list for the next press release. I would expect that if the developers had a good answer for this, they would include it in the press release.

Richard R. Hershberger
Les Albert
2017-05-24 16:37:08 UTC
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On Wed, 24 May 2017 08:56:52 -0700 (PDT), Richard Hershberger
Post by Richard Hershberger
Earlier this week I was on my regular commute. It is mostly on two-lane (one each direction) country roads. These have the benefit that traffic volume is predictable and only a factor in a couple of spots. The down side is that an accident will shut down the road pretty easily. Once the problem is obvious the solution is to bail out, making a technically illegal U-Turn and taking an alternate route, typically adding fifteen minutes or so, depending on the precise location.
I got there pretty early in the cycle. My lane was completely blocked, but the other side was open. Police and fire had not yet arrived, but there were enough people helping out that my stopping and getting out would have been merely getting in the way. One of the people that had stopped was driving a big utility vehicle of some sort. He stopped in a good place, set his yellows flashing, and got out and directed traffic. He did a good job, alternating so that both directions got past with as little delay as could be hoped for. He had absolutely no legal authority, but he was doing what needed to be done, and the drivers tacitly accepted this and followed his directions. I got through with minimal hassle, about five to ten minutes later than I ordinarily would. The fire and police passed me going the other way soon after that.
What I want to know is, in our brave new world of fully automated cars, how does this scenario play out? If I had been in a Google car with no auxiliary controls, could the car have figured this situation out and acted appropriately? We are piously assured that automated cars follow the letter of the law. I crossed over a double yellow line to get around the wrecks. I did this according to the directions of just some guy who took it upon himself to direct me. A law-abiding automated car would what? Just sat there? Even bailing out entirely and using an alternate route would have involved that illegal U-Turn. What was in fact a ten minute delay at most would seem to turn into hours at a standstill.
There may be a better answer, but what is it? Unfortunately, most of the press reports on automated cars are breathless re-writes of corporate press releases. No one seems to ask this sort of question, lest they be taken off the list for the next press release. I would expect that if the developers had a good answer for this, they would include it in the press release.
In the brave new world of automated cars there will be automated
helicopter cranes to lift the crashed automated cars out of the way so
that the delayed automatic cars can continue on their way
(automatically). Others have talked or written about automated car
scenarios like yours, but I have a more basic question that came to
mind since the beginning talk of developing automated cars: what
problem do they solve?

One person I asked this question replied that automated cars would
make it possible for blind people and people too infirm to drive to
get around. I responded that I thought that was what taxis were for.
No response to that. So, can anyone tell me what problem is solved by
having cars drive automatically? And please don't say it will reduce
accidents; that won't happen unless *all* cars on the road are
automated. In the meantime any human driver can make a move with his
car that will completely confuse an automated vehicle, and make it
cause an accident.

Les
s***@gmail.com
2017-05-24 20:33:06 UTC
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Post by Les Albert
On Wed, 24 May 2017 08:56:52 -0700 (PDT), Richard Hershberger
Post by Richard Hershberger
Earlier this week I was on my regular commute. It is mostly on two-lane (one each direction) country roads. These have the benefit that traffic volume is predictable and only a factor in a couple of spots. The down side is that an accident will shut down the road pretty easily. Once the problem is obvious the solution is to bail out, making a technically illegal U-Turn and taking an alternate route, typically adding fifteen minutes or so, depending on the precise location.
I got there pretty early in the cycle. My lane was completely blocked, but the other side was open. Police and fire had not yet arrived, but there were enough people helping out that my stopping and getting out would have been merely getting in the way. One of the people that had stopped was driving a big utility vehicle of some sort. He stopped in a good place, set his yellows flashing, and got out and directed traffic. He did a good job, alternating so that both directions got past with as little delay as could be hoped for. He had absolutely no legal authority, but he was doing what needed to be done, and the drivers tacitly accepted this and followed his directions. I got through with minimal hassle, about five to ten minutes later than I ordinarily would. The fire and police passed me going the other way soon after that.
What I want to know is, in our brave new world of fully automated cars, how does this scenario play out? If I had been in a Google car with no auxiliary controls, could the car have figured this situation out and acted appropriately? We are piously assured that automated cars follow the letter of the law. I crossed over a double yellow line to get around the wrecks. I did this according to the directions of just some guy who took it upon himself to direct me. A law-abiding automated car would what? Just sat there? Even bailing out entirely and using an alternate route would have involved that illegal U-Turn. What was in fact a ten minute delay at most would seem to turn into hours at a standstill.
There may be a better answer, but what is it? Unfortunately, most of the press reports on automated cars are breathless re-writes of corporate press releases. No one seems to ask this sort of question, lest they be taken off the list for the next press release. I would expect that if the developers had a good answer for this, they would include it in the press release.
In the brave new world of automated cars there will be automated
helicopter cranes to lift the crashed automated cars out of the way so
that the delayed automatic cars can continue on their way
(automatically). Others have talked or written about automated car
scenarios like yours, but I have a more basic question that came to
mind since the beginning talk of developing automated cars: what
problem do they solve?
The problem that human drivers are only paying minimal attention
to the task of driving.
Post by Les Albert
One person I asked this question replied that automated cars would
make it possible for blind people and people too infirm to drive to
get around. I responded that I thought that was what taxis were for.
No response to that. So, can anyone tell me what problem is solved by
having cars drive automatically? And please don't say it will reduce
accidents; that won't happen unless *all* cars on the road are
automated.
Already to shown to be false. It has also been shown that
having just a few driverless cars seems to reduce stop-and-go
traffic jams.
Post by Les Albert
In the meantime any human driver can make a move with his
car that will completely confuse an automated vehicle, and make it
cause an accident.
Human drivers' cars will soon to be talking to each other, and to the
driverless cars.

"Yellow Saab, look out, my human just asked me to change lanes
and he's ignoring my steering-wheel rattle".

And Yellow Saab, being fully automated, will already have plotted
the possible escape routes, and will react faster than human.

/dps
Opus the Penguin
2017-05-24 20:54:03 UTC
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It has also been shown that having just a few driverless cars seems to
reduce stop-and-go traffic jams.
Cool. I'm tired of doing all the work myself.
--
Opus the Penguin
The best darn penguin in all of Usenet
B***@BillTurlock.com
2017-05-24 23:58:16 UTC
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Post by s***@gmail.com
Human drivers' cars will soon to be talking to each other, and to the
driverless cars.
"Yellow Saab, look out, my human just asked me to change lanes
and he's ignoring my steering-wheel rattle".
And Yellow Saab, being fully automated, will already have plotted
the possible escape routes, and will react faster than human.
Good idea! Let's adapt that to Flying Cars!
Howard
2017-05-25 02:11:33 UTC
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Post by B***@BillTurlock.com
Post by s***@gmail.com
Human drivers' cars will soon to be talking to each other, and to the
driverless cars.
"Yellow Saab, look out, my human just asked me to change lanes
and he's ignoring my steering-wheel rattle".
And Yellow Saab, being fully automated, will already have plotted
the possible escape routes, and will react faster than human.
Good idea! Let's adapt that to Flying Cars!
Bill -- will there ever be flying cars? I'm not sure where you stand on
this issue.
B***@BillTurlock.com
2017-05-25 05:23:49 UTC
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On Thu, 25 May 2017 02:11:33 +0000 (UTC), Howard
Post by Howard
Post by B***@BillTurlock.com
Post by s***@gmail.com
And Yellow Saab, being fully automated, will already have plotted
the possible escape routes, and will react faster than human.
Good idea! Let's adapt that to Flying Cars!
Bill -- will there ever be flying cars? I'm not sure where you stand on
this issue.
Ummm... There. Will. Never. Be. Flying. Cars.
bill van
2017-05-25 07:02:25 UTC
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Post by B***@BillTurlock.com
On Thu, 25 May 2017 02:11:33 +0000 (UTC), Howard
Post by Howard
Post by B***@BillTurlock.com
Post by s***@gmail.com
And Yellow Saab, being fully automated, will already have plotted
the possible escape routes, and will react faster than human.
Good idea! Let's adapt that to Flying Cars!
Bill -- will there ever be flying cars? I'm not sure where you stand on
this issue.
Ummm... There. Will. Never. Be. Flying. Cars.
Unless there are already flying cars, and they are called small
aircraft.
--
bill
Rick B.
2017-05-25 10:37:59 UTC
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Post by bill van
Post by B***@BillTurlock.com
On Thu, 25 May 2017 02:11:33 +0000 (UTC), Howard
Post by Howard
Post by B***@BillTurlock.com
Post by s***@gmail.com
And Yellow Saab, being fully automated, will already have plotted
the possible escape routes, and will react faster than human.
Good idea! Let's adapt that to Flying Cars!
Bill -- will there ever be flying cars? I'm not sure where you stand
on this issue.
Ummm... There. Will. Never. Be. Flying. Cars.
Unless there are already flying cars, and they are called small
aircraft.
Out on the road today^W a couple weeks ago I saw an Amphicar parked at a
little marina. Swimming cars are an actual thing.
danny burstein
2017-05-25 12:31:45 UTC
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In <***@130.133.4.11> "Rick B." <***@sprynet.com.aq> writes:

[snip]
Post by bill van
Post by B***@BillTurlock.com
Post by Howard
Bill -- will there ever be flying cars? I'm not sure where you stand
on this issue.
Ummm... There. Will. Never. Be. Flying. Cars.
Unless there are already flying cars, and they are called small
aircraft.
Out on the road today a couple weeks ago I saw an Amphicar parked at a
little marina. Swimming cars are an actual thing.
Which, natch, bring to mind that famout National Lampoon Parody
political advertisement for VW...

ok, you all know aht I'm talking about:

http://www.tommcmahon.net/2009/06/the-1972-national-lampoon-ted-kennedy-volkswagen-satire-advertisement.html
--
_____________________________________________________
Knowledge may be power, but communications is the key
***@panix.com
[to foil spammers, my address has been double rot-13 encoded]
Charles Bishop
2017-05-25 19:42:22 UTC
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Post by Rick B.
Post by bill van
Post by B***@BillTurlock.com
On Thu, 25 May 2017 02:11:33 +0000 (UTC), Howard
Post by Howard
Post by B***@BillTurlock.com
Post by s***@gmail.com
And Yellow Saab, being fully automated, will already have plotted
the possible escape routes, and will react faster than human.
Good idea! Let's adapt that to Flying Cars!
Bill -- will there ever be flying cars? I'm not sure where you stand
on this issue.
Ummm... There. Will. Never. Be. Flying. Cars.
Unless there are already flying cars, and they are called small
aircraft.
Out on the road today^W a couple weeks ago I saw an Amphicar parked at a
little marina. Swimming cars are an actual thing.
I'm unsure what the benefit is to having a swimming car. Perhaps in an
island nation, but those are mostly in oceans, not good for swimming
cars as they sometimes aren't good for floating boats.

Well, I do know, since it would be cool to drive a car into a lake for a
short pleasure cruise, but how many people want to pilot one across a
lake to save a few minutes on a commute? Hmmm?
--
charles
Tim Wright
2017-05-25 19:53:27 UTC
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Post by Charles Bishop
Post by Rick B.
Post by bill van
Post by B***@BillTurlock.com
On Thu, 25 May 2017 02:11:33 +0000 (UTC), Howard
Post by Howard
Post by B***@BillTurlock.com
Post by s***@gmail.com
And Yellow Saab, being fully automated, will already have plotted
the possible escape routes, and will react faster than human.
Good idea! Let's adapt that to Flying Cars!
Bill -- will there ever be flying cars? I'm not sure where you stand
on this issue.
Ummm... There. Will. Never. Be. Flying. Cars.
Unless there are already flying cars, and they are called small
aircraft.
Out on the road today^W a couple weeks ago I saw an Amphicar parked at a
little marina. Swimming cars are an actual thing.
I'm unsure what the benefit is to having a swimming car. Perhaps in an
island nation, but those are mostly in oceans, not good for swimming
cars as they sometimes aren't good for floating boats.
Well, I do know, since it would be cool to drive a car into a lake for a
short pleasure cruise, but how many people want to pilot one across a
lake to save a few minutes on a commute? Hmmm?
When I was a young lad I received a boomerang as a gift. My mother
being ever fearful of someone getting hurt forbade its use at home. One
weekend my dad took me to the nearby lake so we could give it a try. On
the first throw, it circled around and landed in the water about 100
yards out. As far as we were concerned it was gone forever.
Fortunately there was someone there with an amphicar, who had seen what
had happened and motored out to the boomerang and brought it back to me.
--
Studies have shown that the people of Dubai don't understand the humor
of the Flintstones, but the people of Abu Dhabi do.

Tim W
B***@BillTurlock.com
2017-05-25 23:14:37 UTC
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On Thu, 25 May 2017 14:53:27 -0500, Tim Wright
Post by Tim Wright
When I was a young lad I received a boomerang as a gift. My mother
being ever fearful of someone getting hurt forbade its use at home. One
weekend my dad took me to the nearby lake so we could give it a try. On
the first throw, it circled around and landed in the water about 100
yards out. As far as we were concerned it was gone forever.
Fortunately there was someone there with an amphicar, who had seen what
had happened and motored out to the boomerang and brought it back to me.
https://imgur.com/t/boomerang/SHV0S
Tim Wright
2017-05-26 00:25:21 UTC
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Post by B***@BillTurlock.com
On Thu, 25 May 2017 14:53:27 -0500, Tim Wright
Post by Tim Wright
When I was a young lad I received a boomerang as a gift. My mother
being ever fearful of someone getting hurt forbade its use at home. One
weekend my dad took me to the nearby lake so we could give it a try. On
the first throw, it circled around and landed in the water about 100
yards out. As far as we were concerned it was gone forever.
Fortunately there was someone there with an amphicar, who had seen what
had happened and motored out to the boomerang and brought it back to me.
https://imgur.com/t/boomerang/SHV0S
For all intents and purposes my boomerang skills entail turning a
boomerang into a stick.
--
Studies have shown that the people of Dubai don't understand the humor
of the Flintstones, but the people of Abu Dhabi do.

Tim W
Greg Goss
2017-05-26 13:38:54 UTC
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Post by Charles Bishop
Post by Rick B.
Out on the road today^W a couple weeks ago I saw an Amphicar parked at a
little marina. Swimming cars are an actual thing.
I'm unsure what the benefit is to having a swimming car. Perhaps in an
island nation, but those are mostly in oceans, not good for swimming
cars as they sometimes aren't good for floating boats.
Well, I do know, since it would be cool to drive a car into a lake for a
short pleasure cruise, but how many people want to pilot one across a
lake to save a few minutes on a commute? Hmmm?
Swimming buses are common for tourism in waterfront cities.

One of the managers where I worked in the nineties had a second
(beater) car and a small boat to go back and forth between Bowen
Island (a suburb of Vancouver) and work, rather than depending on an
overbooked ferry. So an amphicar might be useful to residents of that
particular Vancouver suburb. https://goo.gl/maps/2qnJyX8NyJw
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Les Albert
2017-05-25 01:37:08 UTC
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Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Les Albert
In the brave new world of automated cars there will be automated
helicopter cranes to lift the crashed automated cars out of the way so
that the delayed automatic cars can continue on their way
(automatically). Others have talked or written about automated car
scenarios like yours, but I have a more basic question that came to
mind since the beginning talk of developing automated cars: what
problem do they solve?
The problem that human drivers are only paying minimal attention
to the task of driving.
Yes, that's a problem. But to solve that problem you have to
eliminate *all* human drivers, and have 100% driverless cars.
Otherwise there will be problems caused by the human drivers.
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Les Albert
One person I asked this question replied that automated cars would
make it possible for blind people and people too infirm to drive to
get around. I responded that I thought that was what taxis were for.
No response to that. So, can anyone tell me what problem is solved by
having cars drive automatically? And please don't say it will reduce
accidents; that won't happen unless *all* cars on the road are
automated.
Already to shown to be false. It has also been shown that
having just a few driverless cars seems to reduce stop-and-go
traffic jams.
I tend to disbelieve that. Who/what/where was this shown to be false?
Also, the same questions about your claim of stop-and-go traffic jams
being reduced by just a few driverless cars present.
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Les Albert
In the meantime any human driver can make a move with his
car that will completely confuse an automated vehicle, and make it
cause an accident.
Human drivers' cars will soon to be talking to each other, and to the
driverless cars.
"Yellow Saab, look out, my human just asked me to change lanes
and he's ignoring my steering-wheel rattle".
And Yellow Saab, being fully automated, will already have plotted
the possible escape routes, and will react faster than human.
The cars, driverless and driverful, will be talking to each other
*soon*? I don't think so. But if your scenario does come true then
the drivers you mentioned above who pay minimal attention will create
problems, just as they do now.

Les
Whiskers
2017-06-18 14:07:13 UTC
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[...]
Post by Les Albert
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Les Albert
One person I asked this question replied that automated cars would
make it possible for blind people and people too infirm to drive to
get around. I responded that I thought that was what taxis were for.
No response to that. So, can anyone tell me what problem is solved by
having cars drive automatically? And please don't say it will reduce
accidents; that won't happen unless *all* cars on the road are
automated.
Already to shown to be false. It has also been shown that
having just a few driverless cars seems to reduce stop-and-go
traffic jams.
I tend to disbelieve that. Who/what/where was this shown to be false?
Also, the same questions about your claim of stop-and-go traffic jams
being reduced by just a few driverless cars present.
[...]

The Policeman's Dilemma, again. How do you measure the crimes that
never happened? How do you count the traffic jams that never happened?

It's easy enough to identify the plonker who drives his car into the
crash barrier at high speed and brings a three lane highway to a
standstill for hours while the mess is cleared up. But not so easy to
notice all the brief spontaneous courtesies and exercises of patience
and restraint by others, which together helped that driver to contain
his impatience and bad judgment just enough for him to not crash his
car and so not cause any incidents. One hopes that autonomous vehicles
would be among those exercising restraint good judgment and courtesy.

Presumably a statistical analysis of the same stretch of road over
several years, with and without autonomous vehicles permitted, would
produce graphs to show any correlation between their presence and 'hold
ups'.
--
-- ^^^^^^^^^^
-- Whiskers
-- ~~~~~~~~~~
Les Albert
2017-06-18 15:27:13 UTC
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On Sun, 18 Jun 2017 15:07:13 +0100, Whiskers
Post by Whiskers
[...]
Post by Les Albert
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Les Albert
One person I asked this question replied that automated cars would
make it possible for blind people and people too infirm to drive to
get around. I responded that I thought that was what taxis were for.
No response to that. So, can anyone tell me what problem is solved by
having cars drive automatically? And please don't say it will reduce
accidents; that won't happen unless *all* cars on the road are
automated.
Already to shown to be false. It has also been shown that
having just a few driverless cars seems to reduce stop-and-go
traffic jams.
I tend to disbelieve that. Who/what/where was this shown to be false?
Also, the same questions about your claim of stop-and-go traffic jams
being reduced by just a few driverless cars present.
[...]
The Policeman's Dilemma, again. How do you measure the crimes that
never happened? How do you count the traffic jams that never happened?
It's easy enough to identify the plonker who drives his car into the
crash barrier at high speed and brings a three lane highway to a
standstill for hours while the mess is cleared up. But not so easy to
notice all the brief spontaneous courtesies and exercises of patience
and restraint by others, which together helped that driver to contain
his impatience and bad judgment just enough for him to not crash his
car and so not cause any incidents. One hopes that autonomous vehicles
would be among those exercising restraint good judgment and courtesy.
Presumably a statistical analysis of the same stretch of road over
several years, with and without autonomous vehicles permitted, would
produce graphs to show any correlation between their presence and 'hold
ups'.
That's why I asked him for some verification of what he claimed, that
driverless cars have been shown to reduce accidents, and that having
just a few driverless cars on the road seems to reduce stop-and-go
traffic jams. He never responded to my request.

Les
Snidely
2017-06-19 06:32:54 UTC
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Post by Les Albert
On Sun, 18 Jun 2017 15:07:13 +0100, Whiskers
Post by Whiskers
[...]
Post by Les Albert
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Les Albert
One person I asked this question replied that automated cars would
make it possible for blind people and people too infirm to drive to
get around. I responded that I thought that was what taxis were for.
No response to that. So, can anyone tell me what problem is solved by
having cars drive automatically? And please don't say it will reduce
accidents; that won't happen unless *all* cars on the road are
automated.
Already to shown to be false. It has also been shown that
having just a few driverless cars seems to reduce stop-and-go
traffic jams.
I tend to disbelieve that. Who/what/where was this shown to be false?
Also, the same questions about your claim of stop-and-go traffic jams
being reduced by just a few driverless cars present.
[...]
The Policeman's Dilemma, again. How do you measure the crimes that
never happened? How do you count the traffic jams that never happened?
It's easy enough to identify the plonker who drives his car into the
crash barrier at high speed and brings a three lane highway to a
standstill for hours while the mess is cleared up. But not so easy to
notice all the brief spontaneous courtesies and exercises of patience
and restraint by others, which together helped that driver to contain
his impatience and bad judgment just enough for him to not crash his
car and so not cause any incidents. One hopes that autonomous vehicles
would be among those exercising restraint good judgment and courtesy.
Presumably a statistical analysis of the same stretch of road over
several years, with and without autonomous vehicles permitted, would
produce graphs to show any correlation between their presence and 'hold
ups'.
That's why I asked him for some verification of what he claimed, that
driverless cars have been shown to reduce accidents, and that having
just a few driverless cars on the road seems to reduce stop-and-go
traffic jams. He never responded to my request.
Of course not!

/dps
--
I have always been glad we weren't killed that night. I do not know
any particular reason, but I have always been glad.
_Roughing It_, Mark Twain
Snidely
2017-06-19 06:34:52 UTC
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Post by Snidely
Post by Les Albert
On Sun, 18 Jun 2017 15:07:13 +0100, Whiskers
Post by Whiskers
[...]
Post by Les Albert
Post by Les Albert
One person I asked this question replied that automated cars would
make it possible for blind people and people too infirm to drive to
get around. I responded that I thought that was what taxis were for.
No response to that. So, can anyone tell me what problem is solved by
having cars drive automatically? And please don't say it will reduce
accidents; that won't happen unless *all* cars on the road are
automated.
Already to shown to be false. It has also been shown that having just a
few driverless cars seems to reduce stop-and-go
traffic jams.
I tend to disbelieve that. Who/what/where was this shown to be false?
Also, the same questions about your claim of stop-and-go traffic jams
being reduced by just a few driverless cars present.
[...]
The Policeman's Dilemma, again. How do you measure the crimes that
never happened? How do you count the traffic jams that never happened?
It's easy enough to identify the plonker who drives his car into the
crash barrier at high speed and brings a three lane highway to a
standstill for hours while the mess is cleared up. But not so easy to
notice all the brief spontaneous courtesies and exercises of patience
and restraint by others, which together helped that driver to contain
his impatience and bad judgment just enough for him to not crash his
car and so not cause any incidents. One hopes that autonomous vehicles
would be among those exercising restraint good judgment and courtesy.
Presumably a statistical analysis of the same stretch of road over
several years, with and without autonomous vehicles permitted, would
produce graphs to show any correlation between their presence and 'hold
ups'.
That's why I asked him for some verification of what he claimed, that
driverless cars have been shown to reduce accidents, and that having
just a few driverless cars on the road seems to reduce stop-and-go
traffic jams. He never responded to my request.
Of course not!
But IIRC the citation was phys.org; admittedly, the study didn't
include the Crookedest Street In The World.

/dps
--
There's nothing inherently wrong with Big Data. What matters, as it
does for Arnold Lund in California or Richard Rothman in Baltimore, are
the questions -- old and new, good and bad -- this newest tool lets us
ask. (R. Lerhman, CSMonitor.com)
Greg Goss
2017-05-25 01:35:51 UTC
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Post by Les Albert
One person I asked this question replied that automated cars would
make it possible for blind people and people too infirm to drive to
get around. I responded that I thought that was what taxis were for.
No response to that. So, can anyone tell me what problem is solved by
having cars drive automatically? And please don't say it will reduce
accidents; that won't happen unless *all* cars on the road are
automated. In the meantime any human driver can make a move with his
car that will completely confuse an automated vehicle, and make it
cause an accident.
They make taxis affordable. One of the big problems with car-oriented
North American cities is the shortage and enormous expense of downtown
parking. If you can ride to work in the morning then your car does
other stuff during the day and be there for you again in the evening,
or even park a mile or three out of the core where parking prices are
affordable, that saves a lot.

Basically a taxi metaphor, but not paying a driver a whole day for
your two rides.
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Les Albert
2017-05-25 01:45:14 UTC
Reply
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Post by Greg Goss
Post by Les Albert
One person I asked this question replied that automated cars would
make it possible for blind people and people too infirm to drive to
get around. I responded that I thought that was what taxis were for.
No response to that. So, can anyone tell me what problem is solved by
having cars drive automatically? And please don't say it will reduce
accidents; that won't happen unless *all* cars on the road are
automated. In the meantime any human driver can make a move with his
car that will completely confuse an automated vehicle, and make it
cause an accident.
They make taxis affordable. One of the big problems with car-oriented
North American cities is the shortage and enormous expense of downtown
parking. If you can ride to work in the morning then your car does
other stuff during the day and be there for you again in the evening,
or even park a mile or three out of the core where parking prices are
affordable, that saves a lot.
Basically a taxi metaphor, but not paying a driver a whole day for
your two rides.
Do you mean that the driverless car is transporting other people while
the car owner is at work? Sort of like a driverless Uber?

Les
Greg Goss
2017-05-25 03:26:53 UTC
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Post by Les Albert
Post by Greg Goss
They make taxis affordable. One of the big problems with car-oriented
North American cities is the shortage and enormous expense of downtown
parking. If you can ride to work in the morning then your car does
other stuff during the day and be there for you again in the evening,
or even park a mile or three out of the core where parking prices are
affordable, that saves a lot.
Basically a taxi metaphor, but not paying a driver a whole day for
your two rides.
Do you mean that the driverless car is transporting other people while
the car owner is at work? Sort of like a driverless Uber?
That's what I'm visualizing. Sort of halfway between Uber and
https://www.car2go.com .

Car2go and zipcar don't work in suburbia because the car gets orphaned
in the middle of nowhere. If the car can take itself to its next
mission, it becomes more practical.
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Whiskers
2017-06-18 14:35:42 UTC
Reply
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Raw Message
Post by Greg Goss
Post by Les Albert
One person I asked this question replied that automated cars would
make it possible for blind people and people too infirm to drive to
get around. I responded that I thought that was what taxis were for.
No response to that. So, can anyone tell me what problem is solved by
having cars drive automatically? And please don't say it will reduce
accidents; that won't happen unless *all* cars on the road are
automated. In the meantime any human driver can make a move with his
car that will completely confuse an automated vehicle, and make it
cause an accident.
They make taxis affordable. One of the big problems with car-oriented
North American cities is the shortage and enormous expense of downtown
parking. If you can ride to work in the morning then your car does
other stuff during the day and be there for you again in the evening,
or even park a mile or three out of the core where parking prices are
affordable, that saves a lot.
Basically a taxi metaphor, but not paying a driver a whole day for
your two rides.
Sort of like having a spouse to drive you to work then take the car home
again to park it and coming back later to drive you home. Only without
the spouse. I doubt if many of the cars used by commuters would ever
find much alternative use during the day; after all, most of the
journeys are commuting. So they'd all have to park up somewhere all day
(unless there's still a spouse with independent travel requirements,
perhaps - do many spouses not have regular employment that requires them
to commute too, these days?).
--
-- ^^^^^^^^^^
-- Whiskers
-- ~~~~~~~~~~
Greg Goss
2017-06-18 16:38:52 UTC
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Post by Whiskers
Post by Greg Goss
They make taxis affordable. One of the big problems with car-oriented
North American cities is the shortage and enormous expense of downtown
parking. If you can ride to work in the morning then your car does
other stuff during the day and be there for you again in the evening,
or even park a mile or three out of the core where parking prices are
affordable, that saves a lot.
Basically a taxi metaphor, but not paying a driver a whole day for
your two rides.
Sort of like having a spouse to drive you to work then take the car home
again to park it and coming back later to drive you home. Only without
the spouse. I doubt if many of the cars used by commuters would ever
find much alternative use during the day; after all, most of the
journeys are commuting. So they'd all have to park up somewhere all day
(unless there's still a spouse with independent travel requirements,
perhaps - do many spouses not have regular employment that requires them
to commute too, these days?).
If the spouse also commutes, then we're talking least-efficient
carpooling.

Even if the self-driving car is parked during the day, it can be
parked in a cheap zone. My brother, before he retired, parked about a
half mile from work and walked. That half mile saved him well over a
hundred bucks a month in parking fees.
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Charles Bishop
2017-05-25 19:38:09 UTC
Reply
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Post by Les Albert
On Wed, 24 May 2017 08:56:52 -0700 (PDT), Richard Hershberger
Post by Richard Hershberger
Earlier this week I was on my regular commute. It is mostly on two-lane
(one each direction) country roads. These have the benefit that traffic
volume is predictable and only a factor in a couple of spots. The down side
is that an accident will shut down the road pretty easily. Once the
problem is obvious the solution is to bail out, making a technically illegal
U-Turn and taking an alternate route, typically adding fifteen minutes or
so, depending on the precise location.
So traffic came to a spot at a place that could mean a train, as my route
crosses over the old B&O tracks, or an accident. A train can take a while,
but then you are fine. This was an accident. I could tell by the flow
pattern. But I could also tell that I could get through, since traffic was
a=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sbKo34-yJpwn0BTPpGuNaQw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
I got there pretty early in the cycle. My lane was completely blocked, but
the other side was open. Police and fire had not yet arrived, but there were
enough people helping out that my stopping and getting out would have been
merely getting in the way. One of the people that had stopped was driving a
big utility vehicle of some sort. He stopped in a good place, set his
yellows flashing, and got out and directed traffic. He did a good job,
alternating so that both directions got past with as little delay as could
be hoped for. He had absolutely no legal authority, but he was doing what
needed to be done, and the drivers tacitly accepted this and followed his
directions. I got through with minimal hassle, about five to ten minutes
later than I ordinarily would. The fire and police passed me going the
other way soon after that.
What I want to know is, in our brave new world of fully automated cars, how
does this scenario play out? If I had been in a Google car with no
auxiliary controls, could the car have figured this situation out and acted
appropriately? We are piously assured that automated cars follow the letter
of the law. I crossed over a double yellow line to get around the wrecks.
I did this according to the directions of just some guy who took it upon
himself to direct me. A law-abiding automated car would what? Just sat
there? Even bailing out entirely and using an alternate route would have
involved that illegal U-Turn. What was in fact a ten minute delay at most
would seem to turn into hours at a standstill.
There may be a better answer, but what is it? Unfortunately, most of the
press reports on automated cars are breathless re-writes of corporate press
releases. No one seems to ask this sort of question, lest they be taken off
the list for the next press release. I would expect that if the developers
had a good answer for this, they would include it in the press release.
In the brave new world of automated cars there will be automated
helicopter cranes to lift the crashed automated cars out of the way so
that the delayed automatic cars can continue on their way
(automatically). Others have talked or written about automated car
scenarios like yours, but I have a more basic question that came to
mind since the beginning talk of developing automated cars: what
problem do they solve?
One person I asked this question replied that automated cars would
make it possible for blind people and people too infirm to drive to
get around. I responded that I thought that was what taxis were for.
No response to that. So, can anyone tell me what problem is solved by
having cars drive automatically? And please don't say it will reduce
accidents; that won't happen unless *all* cars on the road are
automated. In the meantime any human driver can make a move with his
car that will completely confuse an automated vehicle, and make it
cause an accident.
In this Dark Scenario, in a dystopian society, a new game is born. The
disaffected, using junker cars, are prowling the freeways, racking up
points, as they see how many cars they can get involved in an accident.
Also, hackers get control of many individual cars, make them drive to a
large vacant lot and cause them to perform a Square Dance for Cars. The
confused drivers and passengers can do nothing but stare in horror.
--
charles, do si do
Tim Wright
2017-05-25 19:55:04 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Charles Bishop
Post by Les Albert
On Wed, 24 May 2017 08:56:52 -0700 (PDT), Richard Hershberger
Post by Richard Hershberger
Earlier this week I was on my regular commute. It is mostly on two-lane
(one each direction) country roads. These have the benefit that traffic
volume is predictable and only a factor in a couple of spots. The down side
is that an accident will shut down the road pretty easily. Once the
problem is obvious the solution is to bail out, making a technically illegal
U-Turn and taking an alternate route, typically adding fifteen minutes or
so, depending on the precise location.
So traffic came to a spot at a place that could mean a train, as my route
crosses over the old B&O tracks, or an accident. A train can take a while,
but then you are fine. This was an accident. I could tell by the flow
pattern. But I could also tell that I could get through, since traffic was
a=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sbKo34-yJpwn0BTPpGuNaQw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
I got there pretty early in the cycle. My lane was completely blocked, but
the other side was open. Police and fire had not yet arrived, but there were
enough people helping out that my stopping and getting out would have been
merely getting in the way. One of the people that had stopped was driving a
big utility vehicle of some sort. He stopped in a good place, set his
yellows flashing, and got out and directed traffic. He did a good job,
alternating so that both directions got past with as little delay as could
be hoped for. He had absolutely no legal authority, but he was doing what
needed to be done, and the drivers tacitly accepted this and followed his
directions. I got through with minimal hassle, about five to ten minutes
later than I ordinarily would. The fire and police passed me going the
other way soon after that.
What I want to know is, in our brave new world of fully automated cars, how
does this scenario play out? If I had been in a Google car with no
auxiliary controls, could the car have figured this situation out and acted
appropriately? We are piously assured that automated cars follow the letter
of the law. I crossed over a double yellow line to get around the wrecks.
I did this according to the directions of just some guy who took it upon
himself to direct me. A law-abiding automated car would what? Just sat
there? Even bailing out entirely and using an alternate route would have
involved that illegal U-Turn. What was in fact a ten minute delay at most
would seem to turn into hours at a standstill.
There may be a better answer, but what is it? Unfortunately, most of the
press reports on automated cars are breathless re-writes of corporate press
releases. No one seems to ask this sort of question, lest they be taken off
the list for the next press release. I would expect that if the developers
had a good answer for this, they would include it in the press release.
In the brave new world of automated cars there will be automated
helicopter cranes to lift the crashed automated cars out of the way so
that the delayed automatic cars can continue on their way
(automatically). Others have talked or written about automated car
scenarios like yours, but I have a more basic question that came to
mind since the beginning talk of developing automated cars: what
problem do they solve?
One person I asked this question replied that automated cars would
make it possible for blind people and people too infirm to drive to
get around. I responded that I thought that was what taxis were for.
No response to that. So, can anyone tell me what problem is solved by
having cars drive automatically? And please don't say it will reduce
accidents; that won't happen unless *all* cars on the road are
automated. In the meantime any human driver can make a move with his
car that will completely confuse an automated vehicle, and make it
cause an accident.
In this Dark Scenario, in a dystopian society, a new game is born. The
disaffected, using junker cars, are prowling the freeways, racking up
points, as they see how many cars they can get involved in an accident.
Also, hackers get control of many individual cars, make them drive to a
large vacant lot and cause them to perform a Square Dance for Cars. The
confused drivers and passengers can do nothing but stare in horror.
Sounds like synopsis of "Mad Max, The Hoedown".
--
Studies have shown that the people of Dubai don't understand the humor
of the Flintstones, but the people of Abu Dhabi do.

Tim W
Peter Boulding
2017-05-25 21:03:01 UTC
Reply
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Post by Tim Wright
Post by Charles Bishop
In this Dark Scenario, in a dystopian society, a new game is born. The
disaffected, using junker cars, are prowling the freeways, racking up
points, as they see how many cars they can get involved in an accident.
Also, hackers get control of many individual cars, make them drive to a
large vacant lot and cause them to perform a Square Dance for Cars. The
confused drivers and passengers can do nothing but stare in horror.
Sounds like synopsis of "Mad Max, The Hoedown".
See also Peter Weir's first movie---The Cars That Ate Paris
--
Regards, Peter Boulding
***@UNSPAMpboulding.co.uk (to e-mail, remove "UNSPAM")
Fractal Images and Music: http://www.pboulding.co.uk/
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=794240&content=music
B***@BillTurlock.com
2017-05-25 23:12:22 UTC
Reply
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Raw Message
On Thu, 25 May 2017 12:38:09 -0700, Charles Bishop
Post by Charles Bishop
In this Dark Scenario, in a dystopian society, a new game is born. The
disaffected, using junker cars, are prowling the freeways, racking up
points, as they see how many cars they can get involved in an accident.
Also, hackers get control of many individual cars, make them drive to a
large vacant lot and cause them to perform a Square Dance for Cars. The
confused drivers and passengers can do nothing but stare in horror.
--
charles, do si do
::like::
Les Albert
2017-05-26 00:19:14 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
On Thu, 25 May 2017 12:38:09 -0700, Charles Bishop
Post by Charles Bishop
Post by Les Albert
In the brave new world of automated cars there will be automated
helicopter cranes to lift the crashed automated cars out of the way so
that the delayed automatic cars can continue on their way
(automatically). Others have talked or written about automated car
scenarios like yours, but I have a more basic question that came to
mind since the beginning talk of developing automated cars: what
problem do they solve?
One person I asked this question replied that automated cars would
make it possible for blind people and people too infirm to drive to
get around. I responded that I thought that was what taxis were for.
No response to that. So, can anyone tell me what problem is solved by
having cars drive automatically? And please don't say it will reduce
accidents; that won't happen unless *all* cars on the road are
automated. In the meantime any human driver can make a move with his
car that will completely confuse an automated vehicle, and make it
cause an accident.
In this Dark Scenario, in a dystopian society, a new game is born. The
disaffected, using junker cars, are prowling the freeways, racking up
points, as they see how many cars they can get involved in an accident.
Also, hackers get control of many individual cars, make them drive to a
large vacant lot and cause them to perform a Square Dance for Cars. The
confused drivers and passengers can do nothing but stare in horror.
That could work! It brought to mind the Flesh Fair scene in "AI",
a gathering at night for people to "kill" damaged robots that have
been captured after their owners abandoned them.


Les
Les Albert
2017-05-26 16:37:44 UTC
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... but I have a more basic question that came to
mind since the beginning talk of developing automated cars: what
problem do they solve?
...
I found an answer to my question in today's Car and Driver section of
the newspaper - garbage trucks. An excerpt:
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Far from the sleek and futuristic concept cars often showcased by
automakers, the first iterations of self-driving vehicles to reach the
road may be no more glamorous than garbage trucks. That’s because they
may literally be garbage trucks.

Volvo has started work on joint research and development with Renova,
a waste-disposal company in western Sweden. The project explores how
automated garbage trucks can make pickup more efficient and safe in
urban environments.

Many of the first automated vehicles to first reach public roads,
especially in complex environments like cities, will need to operate
at low speeds and travel along predefined or pre-mapped routes.
Garbage trucks, with their predictable schedules and inchworm pace,
fit both parameters. Further, commercial operators could cut the labor
costs of two-person crews, electing instead to let the vehicle drive
itself while a human handles the trash collection.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

According to the article, "Although it has kept a lower profile than
some of its competitors, Volvo has been active in pioneering
autonomous technology. It has partnered with Uber, providing
autonomous XC90 SUVs that are later outfitted with Uber’s self-driving
system.".

The entire article, with photos, is at:
http://blog.caranddriver.com/in-ordinary-trash-volvo-sees-autonomous-treasure/

Les
Tim Wright
2017-05-24 17:15:34 UTC
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Post by Richard Hershberger
Earlier this week I was on my regular commute. It is mostly on two-lane (one each direction) country roads. These have the benefit that traffic volume is predictable and only a factor in a couple of spots. The down side is that an accident will shut down the road pretty easily. Once the problem is obvious the solution is to bail out, making a technically illegal U-Turn and taking an alternate route, typically adding fifteen minutes or so, depending on the precise location.
I got there pretty early in the cycle. My lane was completely blocked, but the other side was open. Police and fire had not yet arrived, but there were enough people helping out that my stopping and getting out would have been merely getting in the way. One of the people that had stopped was driving a big utility vehicle of some sort. He stopped in a good place, set his yellows flashing, and got out and directed traffic. He did a good job, alternating so that both directions got past with as little delay as could be hoped for. He had absolutely no legal authority, but he was doing what needed to be done, and the drivers tacitly accepted this and followed his directions. I got through with minimal hassle, about five to ten minutes later than I ordinarily would. The fire and police passed me going the other way soon after that.
What I want to know is, in our brave new world of fully automated cars, how does this scenario play out? If I had been in a Google car with no auxiliary controls, could the car have figured this situation out and acted appropriately? We are piously assured that automated cars follow the letter of the law. I crossed over a double yellow line to get around the wrecks. I did this according to the directions of just some guy who took it upon himself to direct me. A law-abiding automated car would what? Just sat there? Even bailing out entirely and using an alternate route would have involved that illegal U-Turn. What was in fact a ten minute delay at most would seem to turn into hours at a standstill.
There may be a better answer, but what is it? Unfortunately, most of the press reports on automated cars are breathless re-writes of corporate press releases. No one seems to ask this sort of question, lest they be taken off the list for the next press release. I would expect that if the developers had a good answer for this, they would include it in the press release.
Richard R. Hershberger
I doubt there will ever be purely autonomous cars. I'm pretty sure
there'll always be a manual override of some sort.
--
Studies have shown that the people of Dubai don't understand the humor
of the Flintstones, but the people of Abu Dhabi do.

Tim W
Kerr Mudd-John
2017-05-24 18:41:49 UTC
Reply
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[]
Post by Tim Wright
Post by Richard Hershberger
There may be a better answer, but what is it? Unfortunately, most of
the press reports on automated cars are breathless re-writes of
corporate press releases. No one seems to ask this sort of question,
lest they be taken off the list for the next press release. I would
expect that if the developers had a good answer for this, they would
include it in the press release.
Richard R. Hershberger
I doubt there will ever be purely autonomous cars. I'm pretty sure
there'll always be a manual override of some sort.
I, for one welcome our new driverless overlords.
--
Bah, and indeed, Humbug
Howard
2017-05-24 19:07:50 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Tim Wright
Post by Richard Hershberger
There may be a better answer, but what is it? Unfortunately, most of
the press reports on automated cars are breathless re-writes of
corporate press releases. No one seems to ask this sort of question,
lest they be taken off the list for the next press release. I would
expect that if the developers had a good answer for this, they would
include it in the press release.
I doubt there will ever be purely autonomous cars. I'm pretty sure
there'll always be a manual override of some sort.
I think the transition from a full-auto state to manual control (for
instance, what to do if really crappy road conditions pop up) will be
really hard in any mass rollout. I wouldn't be surprised if the
development may stop (except in limited circumstances) at the point of
auto assist with some kind of constant manual involvement by the driver
-- sort of the way a lot of trains require the engineer to always
manually activate a throttle or else automatic brakes kick in.
s***@gmail.com
2017-05-24 20:35:39 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Howard
Post by Tim Wright
Post by Richard Hershberger
There may be a better answer, but what is it? Unfortunately, most of
the press reports on automated cars are breathless re-writes of
corporate press releases. No one seems to ask this sort of question,
lest they be taken off the list for the next press release. I would
expect that if the developers had a good answer for this, they would
include it in the press release.
I doubt there will ever be purely autonomous cars. I'm pretty sure
there'll always be a manual override of some sort.
I think the transition from a full-auto state to manual control (for
instance, what to do if really crappy road conditions pop up) will be
really hard in any mass rollout. I wouldn't be surprised if the
development may stop (except in limited circumstances) at the point of
auto assist with some kind of constant manual involvement by the driver
-- sort of the way a lot of trains require the engineer to always
manually activate a throttle or else automatic brakes kick in.
This sounds much better than your "Maneuver 1269-B" approach.

Note that cars are beginning to communicate to each other,
and it is expected to be a requirement of new cars soon.
This will provide additional means of avoiding the incident.

/dps
bill van
2017-05-24 22:42:07 UTC
Reply
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Raw Message
Post by Tim Wright
Post by Richard Hershberger
Earlier this week I was on my regular commute. It is mostly on two-lane
(one each direction) country roads. These have the benefit that traffic
volume is predictable and only a factor in a couple of spots. The down
side is that an accident will shut down the road pretty easily. Once the
problem is obvious the solution is to bail out, making a technically
illegal U-Turn and taking an alternate route, typically adding fifteen
minutes or so, depending on the precise location.
So traffic came to a spot at a place that could mean a train, as my route
crosses over the old B&O tracks, or an accident. A train can take a while,
but then you are fine. This was an accident. I could tell by the flow
pattern. But I could also tell that I could get through, since traffic was
ta=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sbKo34-yJpwn0BTPpGuNaQw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
I got there pretty early in the cycle. My lane was completely blocked, but
the other side was open. Police and fire had not yet arrived, but there
were enough people helping out that my stopping and getting out would have
been merely getting in the way. One of the people that had stopped was
driving a big utility vehicle of some sort. He stopped in a good place,
set his yellows flashing, and got out and directed traffic. He did a good
job, alternating so that both directions got past with as little delay as
could be hoped for. He had absolutely no legal authority, but he was doing
what needed to be done, and the drivers tacitly accepted this and followed
his directions. I got through with minimal hassle, about five to ten
minutes later than I ordinarily would. The fire and police passed me going
the other way soon after that.
What I want to know is, in our brave new world of fully automated cars, how
does this scenario play out? If I had been in a Google car with no
auxiliary controls, could the car have figured this situation out and acted
appropriately? We are piously assured that automated cars follow the
letter of the law. I crossed over a double yellow line to get around the
wrecks. I did this according to the directions of just some guy who took
it upon himself to direct me. A law-abiding automated car would what?
Just sat there? Even bailing out entirely and using an alternate route
would have involved that illegal U-Turn. What was in fact a ten minute
delay at most would seem to turn into hours at a standstill.
There may be a better answer, but what is it? Unfortunately, most of the
press reports on automated cars are breathless re-writes of corporate press
releases. No one seems to ask this sort of question, lest they be taken
off the list for the next press release. I would expect that if the
developers had a good answer for this, they would include it in the press
release.
I doubt there will ever be purely autonomous cars. I'm pretty sure
there'll always be a manual override of some sort.
I'd prefer to see much more emphasis on convenient transit --
preferably on rails -- in the cities, and more/better passenger train
service between cities. I'm not saying get rid of cars -- some people
will need/want them for the foreseeable future -- but provide other
travel means for those willing and able to use them. That can take so
many cars off the roads that traffic for the remaining drivers can be
decongested, and far fewer new highway lanes will need to be built.

Trying to find new ways to let individual cars function on our roads
seems like a severe case of barking up the wrong tree. And I have
severe doubts that it will really make driving safer. I suspect there
will be new wrinkles in how people are killed in traffic, but no major
reductions.
--
bill
s***@gmail.com
2017-05-24 23:07:50 UTC
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On Wednesday, May 24, 2017 , bill van wrote:
[and it was at at 3:42:09 PM UTC-7 by his clock and mine!]
Post by bill van
Post by Tim Wright
I doubt there will ever be purely autonomous cars. I'm pretty sure
there'll always be a manual override of some sort.
I'd prefer to see much more emphasis on convenient transit --
preferably on rails -- in the cities,
To a certain extent, that will require changing the way we build cities.
That's begining, both with gentrification
(reusing inner city industrial and commercial areas)
and with building up instead of out,
but that's got a ways to go yet before making transit more feasible
in American urbanities.
Post by bill van
and more/better passenger train
service between cities.
Sure. That's easy for me to approve of,
but I'm no longer registered Republican.
Post by bill van
I'm not saying get rid of cars -- some people
will need/want them for the foreseeable future -- but provide other
travel means for those willing and able to use them. That can take so
many cars off the roads that traffic for the remaining drivers can be
decongested, and far fewer new highway lanes will need to be built.
Well, yeah, but one of the ways that driverless cars (or at least,
full automatic mode in driver-assist cars) is to enable trains.
That is, a string of automobiles as cars of a train,
with both smoother flow and closer spacing (NOT 3 seconds!)
being the result.
This will be more fuel and time efficient than car pool lanes.

The promoters of this mode generally concede the need to have Human In Charge,
by having the lead unit be a Mother Duck with a trained (in the other sense)
driver supervising the progress down the train lane.
(Train lanes can probably just be re-purposed car pool lanes,
perhaps with some "smart road" features added to improve train performance.
Post by bill van
Trying to find new ways to let individual cars function on our roads
seems like a severe case of barking up the wrong tree. And I have
severe doubts that it will really make driving safer. I suspect there
will be new wrinkles in how people are killed in traffic, but no major
reductions.
Getting inattentive drivers' hands off the wheel looks to be a big win.
But perhaps a sensor that isn't fooled by white should be included.

/dps
Charles Bishop
2017-05-25 19:32:19 UTC
Reply
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Post by s***@gmail.com
[and it was at at 3:42:09 PM UTC-7 by his clock and mine!]
Post by bill van
Post by Tim Wright
I doubt there will ever be purely autonomous cars. I'm pretty sure
there'll always be a manual override of some sort.
I'd prefer to see much more emphasis on convenient transit --
preferably on rails -- in the cities,
To a certain extent, that will require changing the way we build cities.
That's begining, both with gentrification
(reusing inner city industrial and commercial areas)
and with building up instead of out,
but that's got a ways to go yet before making transit more feasible
in American urbanities.
We have the cities, we have now, with their burbs, both sub- and ex-,
because of the way cars were given precedence over other forms of
transportation. They may have look like good reasons then, but it turns
out they weren't sometimes. Of course graft and corruption probably were
there too.

If you build up, rather than out, you get more people/sq meter, but then
you are also putting stress on the surface transportation. It's easily
seen in some areas in LA at "go to work time", though this is spilling
over into other times during the day - what do these people do? They
surely all can't be second shift workers.

Of course building out, does much the same and this can be seen at
6:00am if you are driving north on the 14 Freeway, and the entire
population of Palmdale and Lancaster is making it way south.
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by bill van
and more/better passenger train
service between cities.
Sure. That's easy for me to approve of,
but I'm no longer registered Republican.
If you do that, change the zoning so that the land around the train
stations can have your buildings that go up.
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by bill van
I'm not saying get rid of cars -- some people
will need/want them for the foreseeable future -- but provide other
travel means for those willing and able to use them. That can take so
many cars off the roads that traffic for the remaining drivers can be
decongested, and far fewer new highway lanes will need to be built.
Well, yeah, but one of the ways that driverless cars (or at least,
full automatic mode in driver-assist cars) is to enable trains.
That is, a string of automobiles as cars of a train,
with both smoother flow and closer spacing (NOT 3 seconds!)
being the result.
This will be more fuel and time efficient than car pool lanes.
Does everyone have to have a self driving car?

[snip]
--
charles
Snidely
2017-05-26 06:46:29 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Charles Bishop suggested that ...
Post by Charles Bishop
Post by s***@gmail.com
[and it was at at 3:42:09 PM UTC-7 by his clock and mine!]
Post by bill van
Post by Tim Wright
I doubt there will ever be purely autonomous cars. I'm pretty sure
there'll always be a manual override of some sort.
I'd prefer to see much more emphasis on convenient transit --
preferably on rails -- in the cities,
To a certain extent, that will require changing the way we build cities.
That's begining, both with gentrification
(reusing inner city industrial and commercial areas)
and with building up instead of out,
but that's got a ways to go yet before making transit more feasible
in American urbanities.
We have the cities, we have now, with their burbs, both sub- and ex-,
because of the way cars were given precedence over other forms of
transportation. They may have look like good reasons then, but it turns
out they weren't sometimes. Of course graft and corruption probably were
there too.
If you build up, rather than out, you get more people/sq meter, but then
you are also putting stress on the surface transportation. It's easily
seen in some areas in LA at "go to work time", though this is spilling
over into other times during the day - what do these people do? They
surely all can't be second shift workers.
Well, the point of building up, from the transportation point of view,
is that it makes it easier to provide large-scale transit.
Post by Charles Bishop
Of course building out, does much the same and this can be seen at
6:00am if you are driving north on the 14 Freeway, and the entire
population of Palmdale and Lancaster is making it way south.
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by bill van
and more/better passenger train
service between cities.
Sure. That's easy for me to approve of,
but I'm no longer registered Republican.
If you do that, change the zoning so that the land around the train
stations can have your buildings that go up.
See above.
Post by Charles Bishop
Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by bill van
I'm not saying get rid of cars -- some people
will need/want them for the foreseeable future -- but provide other
travel means for those willing and able to use them. That can take so
many cars off the roads that traffic for the remaining drivers can be
decongested, and far fewer new highway lanes will need to be built.
Well, yeah, but one of the ways that driverless cars (or at least,
full automatic mode in driver-assist cars) is to enable trains.
That is, a string of automobiles as cars of a train,
with both smoother flow and closer spacing (NOT 3 seconds!)
being the result.
This will be more fuel and time efficient than car pool lanes.
Does everyone have to have a self driving car?
Only those wanting to be in the train lane.
Post by Charles Bishop
[snip]
/dps
--
There's nothing inherently wrong with Big Data. What matters, as it
does for Arnold Lund in California or Richard Rothman in Baltimore, are
the questions -- old and new, good and bad -- this newest tool lets us
ask. (R. Lerhman, CSMonitor.com)
Greg Goss
2017-05-26 13:43:27 UTC
Reply
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Raw Message
Post by Snidely
Charles Bishop suggested that ...
Post by Charles Bishop
Post by s***@gmail.com
Well, yeah, but one of the ways that driverless cars (or at least,
full automatic mode in driver-assist cars) is to enable trains.
That is, a string of automobiles as cars of a train,
with both smoother flow and closer spacing (NOT 3 seconds!)
being the result.
This will be more fuel and time efficient than car pool lanes.
Does everyone have to have a self driving car?
Only those wanting to be in the train lane.
There are at least two brands of cars currently advertising "Buy our
fun-to-drive sports cars while you're still allowed to drive."
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Charles Bishop
2017-06-14 20:12:29 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Snidely
Charles Bishop suggested that ...
Post by Charles Bishop
Post by s***@gmail.com
[and it was at at 3:42:09 PM UTC-7 by his clock and mine!]
Post by bill van
Post by Tim Wright
I doubt there will ever be purely autonomous cars. I'm pretty sure
there'll always be a manual override of some sort.
I'd prefer to see much more emphasis on convenient transit --
preferably on rails -- in the cities,
To a certain extent, that will require changing the way we build cities.
That's begining, both with gentrification
(reusing inner city industrial and commercial areas)
and with building up instead of out,
but that's got a ways to go yet before making transit more feasible
in American urbanities.
We have the cities, we have now, with their burbs, both sub- and ex-,
because of the way cars were given precedence over other forms of
transportation. They may have look like good reasons then, but it turns
out they weren't sometimes. Of course graft and corruption probably were
there too.
If you build up, rather than out, you get more people/sq meter, but then
you are also putting stress on the surface transportation. It's easily
seen in some areas in LA at "go to work time", though this is spilling
over into other times during the day - what do these people do? They
surely all can't be second shift workers.
Well, the point of building up, from the transportation point of view,
is that it makes it easier to provide large-scale transit.
It's happening in LA - there are many plans to build taller building
where now there are shorter ones. However, in LA, I'm not sure how many
of the people in the buildings will take transit over driving a car. If
not many use transit for travel, this will only add to the congestion.

No data here, only speculation, but I think history bears this out. The
developers can build the big buildings because the associated costs of
transportation are the responsibility of others. I don't know how many
of the people in the new buildings will be able to use the public
transportation on a regular schedule. Not a large percentage, I'd guess.


[snip]
--
charles, shouldn't have gotten rid of the Red Cars
bill van
2017-06-14 23:49:06 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Charles Bishop
Post by Snidely
Charles Bishop suggested that ...
Post by Charles Bishop
Post by s***@gmail.com
[and it was at at 3:42:09 PM UTC-7 by his clock and mine!]
Post by bill van
Post by Tim Wright
I doubt there will ever be purely autonomous cars. I'm pretty sure
there'll always be a manual override of some sort.
I'd prefer to see much more emphasis on convenient transit --
preferably on rails -- in the cities,
To a certain extent, that will require changing the way we build cities.
That's begining, both with gentrification
(reusing inner city industrial and commercial areas)
and with building up instead of out,
but that's got a ways to go yet before making transit more feasible
in American urbanities.
We have the cities, we have now, with their burbs, both sub- and ex-,
because of the way cars were given precedence over other forms of
transportation. They may have look like good reasons then, but it turns
out they weren't sometimes. Of course graft and corruption probably were
there too.
If you build up, rather than out, you get more people/sq meter, but then
you are also putting stress on the surface transportation. It's easily
seen in some areas in LA at "go to work time", though this is spilling
over into other times during the day - what do these people do? They
surely all can't be second shift workers.
Well, the point of building up, from the transportation point of view,
is that it makes it easier to provide large-scale transit.
It's happening in LA - there are many plans to build taller building
where now there are shorter ones. However, in LA, I'm not sure how many
of the people in the buildings will take transit over driving a car. If
not many use transit for travel, this will only add to the congestion.
It depends on the transit. Buses that get stuck in traffic jams are
not the answer. Rapid transit with its own right of way -- at grade,
underground or elevated -- works way better.

Is it competitive with driving in terms of cost and travel time? Here
in Vancouver, rapid transit is way cheaper than driving and, most
days, faster as well. Population density is a factor; the greater the
density, the more efficient the transit.
Post by Charles Bishop
No data here, only speculation, but I think history bears this out. The
developers can build the big buildings because the associated costs of
transportation are the responsibility of others. I don't know how many
of the people in the new buildings will be able to use the public
transportation on a regular schedule. Not a large percentage, I'd guess.
Among the approaches you can take are building rapid transit where the
population density already is *and* where residents need to commute;
and building rapid transit where there is not necessarily enough
density yet but there is scope for denser redevelopment.

Vancouver's first three rapid transit lines catered largely to
existing population centres, but after they were completed, a lot of
multiple-unit buildings including high-rises were built within walking
distance of the stations.

The fourth and newest line went from downtown Vancouver to the
airport, with most of the route passing through suburban-type low
densities. But the city has rezoned the corridor along the route, and
for the last few years, developers have been buying up single family
homes along the multi-lane boulevard under and over which the trains
pass. As a result, the population density along the route is expected
to double over the next decade.

This should further reduce the number of motor vehicles entering the
downtown; that number has been dropping since the 1990s, due partly to
densification of the downtown itself (tens of thousands of mainly
younger workers now live downtown and walk to work) and partly to the
increasing transit options.
--
bill
Greg Goss
2017-05-25 01:41:38 UTC
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Post by bill van
Trying to find new ways to let individual cars function on our roads
seems like a severe case of barking up the wrong tree. And I have
severe doubts that it will really make driving safer. I suspect there
will be new wrinkles in how people are killed in traffic, but no major
reductions.
Telephony started with individual wires. Eventually they muxed a
bunch of wires into a coax, kinda like freeways.

But the end product was packaging each unit of content into one piece,
writing an address on it and sending it out into a cloud, where it is
expected to arrive at its destination pretty much on time.

In transportation, we're going the other way. We're taking
individually targeted packages called cars, grouping them into buses
that go somewhat near the destination slower, or connecting the buses
to trains that go to even fewer destinations. We're taking a
transportation internet and turning it back into individual wires.
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Whiskers
2017-06-18 14:29:12 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Greg Goss
Post by bill van
Trying to find new ways to let individual cars function on our roads
seems like a severe case of barking up the wrong tree. And I have
severe doubts that it will really make driving safer. I suspect there
will be new wrinkles in how people are killed in traffic, but no major
reductions.
Telephony started with individual wires. Eventually they muxed a
bunch of wires into a coax, kinda like freeways.
But the end product was packaging each unit of content into one piece,
writing an address on it and sending it out into a cloud, where it is
expected to arrive at its destination pretty much on time.
In transportation, we're going the other way. We're taking
individually targeted packages called cars, grouping them into buses
that go somewhat near the destination slower, or connecting the buses
to trains that go to even fewer destinations. We're taking a
transportation internet and turning it back into individual wires.
There may be thousands of people wanting to go from Birmingham to
London, and trains are the best way of doing that. But each of those
people wants to go to somewhere different in London. There may be only
one wanting to go to my aunt Betty's place, and another wanting to go
from their place in London to aunt Betty's at that same time. Then we
might decide with aunt Betty that she's up for a night out somewhere.

Walking and cycling are good, for those who can do it and over suitable
distances in suitable weather; otherwise, nothing beats a car (if you
can park it!). Buses and trams really only cater for the fairly fit and
fairly determined and fairly patient, without much luggage.

So inside each town or city, there will still be a demand for flexible,
ideally individual and personal, cars.

I should also declare an interest, as I'm about to start using a
campervan to flit about all over the country according to my whims. You
can't do that any other way.
--
-- ^^^^^^^^^^
-- Whiskers
-- ~~~~~~~~~~
Jack Campin
2017-06-18 18:31:18 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Whiskers
Walking and cycling are good, for those who can do it and over
suitable distances in suitable weather;
The problem with cycling is more often the private car owners who
want to kill you. I have a bike but haven't used in 20 years because
there is no way I get it past the village centre safely. Cars are
the ONLY reason I don't cycle.
Post by Whiskers
otherwise, nothing beats a car (if you can park it!).
Nothing beats a car for the amount of destruction it inflicts on
the future.
Post by Whiskers
Buses and trams really only cater for the fairly fit and
fairly determined and fairly patient, without much luggage.
That's the defensive fantasies of a car owner speaking. I haven't
driven anything since 1974 and the last one was a forklift. I do
20 miles by public transport most days. 2 or 3 days a week I'm
taking about 40 pounds of musical instruments with me.
Post by Whiskers
So inside each town or city, there will still be a demand for
flexible, ideally individual and personal, cars.
A "demand" which can be eliminated, and has to be if we're to retain
a livable planet.
Post by Whiskers
I should also declare an interest, as I'm about to start using a
campervan to flit about all over the country according to my whims.
You can't do that any other way.
You can't do recreational serial killing without real humans either.

Try having less whims.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
e m a i l : j a c k @ c a m p i n . m e . u k
Jack Campin, 11 Third Street, Newtongrange, Midlothian EH22 4PU, Scotland
mobile 07895 860 060 <http://www.campin.me.uk> Twitter: JackCampin
Les Albert
2017-06-18 18:40:58 UTC
Reply
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On Sun, 18 Jun 2017 19:31:18 +0100, Jack Campin
Post by Jack Campin
Post by Whiskers
Walking and cycling are good, for those who can do it and over
suitable distances in suitable weather;
The problem with cycling is more often the private car owners who
want to kill you. I have a bike but haven't used in 20 years because
there is no way I get it past the village centre safely. Cars are
the ONLY reason I don't cycle.
Post by Whiskers
otherwise, nothing beats a car (if you can park it!).
Nothing beats a car for the amount of destruction it inflicts on
the future.
Post by Whiskers
Buses and trams really only cater for the fairly fit and
fairly determined and fairly patient, without much luggage.
That's the defensive fantasies of a car owner speaking. I haven't
driven anything since 1974 and the last one was a forklift. I do
20 miles by public transport most days. 2 or 3 days a week I'm
taking about 40 pounds of musical instruments with me.
Post by Whiskers
So inside each town or city, there will still be a demand for
flexible, ideally individual and personal, cars.
A "demand" which can be eliminated, and has to be if we're to retain
a livable planet.
Post by Whiskers
I should also declare an interest, as I'm about to start using a
campervan to flit about all over the country according to my whims.
You can't do that any other way.
You can't do recreational serial killing without real humans either.
Try having less whims.
Your open-mindedness and flexible thought process is an inspiration to
us all. You deserve the reward to shlep 40 pounds of musical
instruments on the bus several days a week.

Les
Whiskers
2017-06-18 19:33:38 UTC
Reply
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Post by Les Albert
On Sun, 18 Jun 2017 19:31:18 +0100, Jack Campin
Post by Jack Campin
Post by Whiskers
Walking and cycling are good, for those who can do it and over
suitable distances in suitable weather;
The problem with cycling is more often the private car owners who
want to kill you. I have a bike but haven't used in 20 years because
there is no way I get it past the village centre safely. Cars are
the ONLY reason I don't cycle.
Post by Whiskers
otherwise, nothing beats a car (if you can park it!).
Nothing beats a car for the amount of destruction it inflicts on
the future.
Post by Whiskers
Buses and trams really only cater for the fairly fit and
fairly determined and fairly patient, without much luggage.
That's the defensive fantasies of a car owner speaking. I haven't
driven anything since 1974 and the last one was a forklift. I do
20 miles by public transport most days. 2 or 3 days a week I'm
taking about 40 pounds of musical instruments with me.
Post by Whiskers
So inside each town or city, there will still be a demand for
flexible, ideally individual and personal, cars.
A "demand" which can be eliminated, and has to be if we're to retain
a livable planet.
Post by Whiskers
I should also declare an interest, as I'm about to start using a
campervan to flit about all over the country according to my whims.
You can't do that any other way.
You can't do recreational serial killing without real humans either.
Try having less whims.
Your open-mindedness and flexible thought process is an inspiration to
us all. You deserve the reward to shlep 40 pounds of musical
instruments on the bus several days a week.
Les
I routinely carry an 8lb rucksack of 'art stuff' on the bus, and that's
quite enough to cope with. I also own a few bikes - and have been known
to use them. Most days I just walk. Living in a large city I can do
that sort of thing, now I'm retired.
--
-- ^^^^^^^^^^
-- Whiskers
-- ~~~~~~~~~~
Les Albert
2017-06-18 19:46:44 UTC
Reply
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Raw Message
On Sun, 18 Jun 2017 20:33:38 +0100, Whiskers
Post by Whiskers
Post by Les Albert
On Sun, 18 Jun 2017 19:31:18 +0100, Jack Campin
Post by Jack Campin
Post by Whiskers
Walking and cycling are good, for those who can do it and over
suitable distances in suitable weather;
The problem with cycling is more often the private car owners who
want to kill you. I have a bike but haven't used in 20 years because
there is no way I get it past the village centre safely. Cars are
the ONLY reason I don't cycle.
Post by Whiskers
otherwise, nothing beats a car (if you can park it!).
Nothing beats a car for the amount of destruction it inflicts on
the future.
Post by Whiskers
Buses and trams really only cater for the fairly fit and
fairly determined and fairly patient, without much luggage.
That's the defensive fantasies of a car owner speaking. I haven't
driven anything since 1974 and the last one was a forklift. I do
20 miles by public transport most days. 2 or 3 days a week I'm
taking about 40 pounds of musical instruments with me.
Post by Whiskers
So inside each town or city, there will still be a demand for
flexible, ideally individual and personal, cars.
A "demand" which can be eliminated, and has to be if we're to retain
a livable planet.
Post by Whiskers
I should also declare an interest, as I'm about to start using a
campervan to flit about all over the country according to my whims.
You can't do that any other way.
You can't do recreational serial killing without real humans either.
Try having less whims.
Your open-mindedness and flexible thought process is an inspiration to
us all. You deserve the reward to shlep 40 pounds of musical
instruments on the bus several days a week.
Les
I routinely carry an 8lb rucksack of 'art stuff' on the bus, and that's
quite enough to cope with. I also own a few bikes - and have been known
to use them. Most days I just walk. Living in a large city I can do
that sort of thing, now I'm retired.
Umm ... I wasn't really complimenting him about shlepping 40 pounds of
stuff on the bus. However, if you think your bus/bike use is
admirable then I salute you as a fellow bike rider; I have two bikes
that I use routinely but only for cardiovascular and muscular fitness.
But I never ride the bus. I prefer to drive everywhere.

Les
bill van
2017-06-19 00:07:13 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Les Albert
On Sun, 18 Jun 2017 19:31:18 +0100, Jack Campin
Post by Jack Campin
Post by Whiskers
Walking and cycling are good, for those who can do it and over
suitable distances in suitable weather;
The problem with cycling is more often the private car owners who
want to kill you. I have a bike but haven't used in 20 years
because there is no way I get it past the village centre safely.
Cars are the ONLY reason I don't cycle.
Post by Whiskers
otherwise, nothing beats a car (if you can park it!).
Nothing beats a car for the amount of destruction it inflicts on
the future.
Post by Whiskers
Buses and trams really only cater for the fairly fit and fairly
determined and fairly patient, without much luggage.
That's the defensive fantasies of a car owner speaking. I haven't
driven anything since 1974 and the last one was a forklift. I do
20 miles by public transport most days. 2 or 3 days a week I'm
taking about 40 pounds of musical instruments with me.
Post by Whiskers
So inside each town or city, there will still be a demand for
flexible, ideally individual and personal, cars.
A "demand" which can be eliminated, and has to be if we're to
retain a livable planet.
Post by Whiskers
I should also declare an interest, as I'm about to start using a
campervan to flit about all over the country according to my
whims. You can't do that any other way.
You can't do recreational serial killing without real humans
either.
Try having less whims.
Fewer, Shirley.
Post by Les Albert
Your open-mindedness and flexible thought process is
are, Shirley. Two things.
Post by Les Albert
an inspiration
to us all. You deserve the reward to shlep 40 pounds of musical
instruments on the bus several days a week.
He wins the D.F. Manno award for subtle argument.

What he hasn't stopped to notice is that this group has about 18
discussions a week about driving motor vehicles, and zero about
walking. There is the occasional mention of bicycling and effective
transit, but the usual response is, "Great idea, but it won't work
here".
--
bill
Greg Goss
2017-06-19 10:29:02 UTC
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Raw Message
Post by bill van
Post by Les Albert
On Sun, 18 Jun 2017 19:31:18 +0100, Jack Campin
Post by Jack Campin
Post by Whiskers
I should also declare an interest, as I'm about to start using a
campervan to flit about all over the country according to my
whims. You can't do that any other way.
You can't do recreational serial killing without real humans
either.
Try having less whims.
Fewer, Shirley.
Lesser whims would also work. But less is wrong. Even though "less"
was an attempt to correct Les, and half the attributions are missing.
Post by bill van
Post by Les Albert
Your open-mindedness and flexible thought process is
are, Shirley. Two things.
We could head towards [open minded and flexible] thought process. But
it still would need a correction.

I thought you retired from editing. Take a deep breath, lay the blue
pencil on the ground and step slowly away from it.
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Peter Boulding
2017-06-19 11:15:47 UTC
Reply
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Post by Greg Goss
I thought you retired from editing. Take a deep breath, lay the blue
pencil on the ground and step slowly away from it.
<holds newly-sharpened blue pencil to the back of Greg's neck>

Drop it, schweinhund. Ve haf vays of making you use ze proper English.
--
Regards, Peter Boulding
***@UNSPAMpboulding.co.uk (to e-mail, remove "UNSPAM")
Fractal Images and Music: http://www.pboulding.co.uk/
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=794240&content=music
Whiskers
2017-06-18 19:22:50 UTC
Reply
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by Jack Campin
Post by Whiskers
Walking and cycling are good, for those who can do it and over
suitable distances in suitable weather;
The problem with cycling is more often the private car owners who
want to kill you. I have a bike but haven't used in 20 years because
there is no way I get it past the village centre safely. Cars are
the ONLY reason I don't cycle.
Post by Whiskers
otherwise, nothing beats a car (if you can park it!).
Nothing beats a car for the amount of destruction it inflicts on
the future.
Apart from people of course.
Post by Jack Campin
Post by Whiskers
Buses and trams really only cater for the fairly fit and
fairly determined and fairly patient, without much luggage.
That's the defensive fantasies of a car owner speaking. I haven't
driven anything since 1974 and the last one was a forklift. I do
20 miles by public transport most days. 2 or 3 days a week I'm
taking about 40 pounds of musical instruments with me.
Long may you stay that fit and active, and have public transport services
that tolerate that sort of thing. Remember this when you find you can't
lift 40 pounds let alone climb onto a bus with it.
Post by Jack Campin
Post by Whiskers
So inside each town or city, there will still be a demand for
flexible, ideally individual and personal, cars.
A "demand" which can be eliminated, and has to be if we're to retain
a livable planet.
Post by Whiskers
I should also declare an interest, as I'm about to start using a
campervan to flit about all over the country according to my whims.
You can't do that any other way.
You can't do recreational serial killing without real humans either.
Try having less whims.
Yes, we'll all work from home till we go to glory at an early age in a
horse-drawn cart. Welcome to circa 1580.
--
-- ^^^^^^^^^^
-- Whiskers
-- ~~~~~~~~~~
Charles Bishop
2017-06-20 16:29:54 UTC
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Post by Jack Campin
Post by Whiskers
Walking and cycling are good, for those who can do it and over
suitable distances in suitable weather;
The problem with cycling is more often the private car owners who
want to kill you. I have a bike but haven't used in 20 years because
there is no way I get it past the village centre safely. Cars are
the ONLY reason I don't cycle.
Post by Whiskers
otherwise, nothing beats a car (if you can park it!).
Nothing beats a car for the amount of destruction it inflicts on
the future.
As with anything, current benefits weighed against future debts.

Also in this mix, at least for much of the area around me, is that
infrastructure has been built to accommodate the car (or truck) and
there are few usable alternatives.

I usually drive between 300 - 600 miles per month, though.
Post by Jack Campin
Post by Whiskers
Buses and trams really only cater for the fairly fit and
fairly determined and fairly patient, without much luggage.
That's the defensive fantasies of a car owner speaking. I haven't
driven anything since 1974 and the last one was a forklift. I do
20 miles by public transport most days. 2 or 3 days a week I'm
taking about 40 pounds of musical instruments with me.
Post by Whiskers
So inside each town or city, there will still be a demand for
flexible, ideally individual and personal, cars.
A "demand" which can be eliminated, and has to be if we're to retain
a livable planet.
I invite you to visit LA, CA and provide a detailed plan to do this,
without draconian measures.
Post by Jack Campin
Post by Whiskers
I should also declare an interest, as I'm about to start using a
campervan to flit about all over the country according to my whims.
You can't do that any other way.
You can't do recreational serial killing without real humans either.
Excellent argument.
Post by Jack Campin
Try having less whims.
or desires or pleasures?
--
charles
B***@BillTurlock.com
2017-06-18 19:31:58 UTC
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On Sun, 18 Jun 2017 15:29:12 +0100, Whiskers
Post by Whiskers
I should also declare an interest, as I'm about to start using a
campervan to flit about all over the country according to my whims. You
can't do that any other way.
You could NOT do that. And soon there'll be a ban on that.
Howard
2017-05-24 18:45:15 UTC
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Post by Richard Hershberger
There may be a better answer, but what is it? Unfortunately, most of
the press reports on automated cars are breathless re-writes of
corporate press releases. No one seems to ask this sort of question,
lest they be taken off the list for the next press release. I would
expect that if the developers had a good answer for this, they would
include it in the press release.
In theory, you can program around anything. If you have a road blocked
ahead and 100 cars stuck between the obstruction and the last cross
road, in theory you can have emergency responders send out a signal to
execute Maneuver 1269-B, and the self driving cars could do some kind of
method for safely sorting things out after overriding normal procedures.

Having said that, the programming is going to be very hard, and
realistically you may well get a long period where cars in different
situations will get into some kind of loop where all of the self driving
cars get knotted up until some kind of human intervention takes place.

It's a cousin to the issue that often gets raised about what happens
when a pedestrian steps in front of a self driving car and the only
option is for the car to swerve into another vehicle in another lane.
Figuring out who the car hits is a tough thing to figure out, since the
answer may well depend on how fast they're moving, whether the vehicle
in the other lane is a school bus or a tank, and so on.

These issues may be solvable over time with enough data and enough
brainpower, but it's not clear whether people will put up with the
problems before they are solved.
Tim Wright
2017-05-24 22:18:03 UTC
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Post by Howard
Post by Richard Hershberger
There may be a better answer, but what is it? Unfortunately, most of
the press reports on automated cars are breathless re-writes of
corporate press releases. No one seems to ask this sort of question,
lest they be taken off the list for the next press release. I would
expect that if the developers had a good answer for this, they would
include it in the press release.
In theory, you can program around anything. If you have a road blocked
ahead and 100 cars stuck between the obstruction and the last cross
road, in theory you can have emergency responders send out a signal to
execute Maneuver 1269-B, and the self driving cars could do some kind of
method for safely sorting things out after overriding normal procedures.
1269-B sounds like a thing of beauty. 100 cars stopped on the road
suddenly get the signal. 100 cars in unison execute a perfect U-turn
and head back the way they came. I can just see the YouTube video now.
Post by Howard
Having said that, the programming is going to be very hard, and
realistically you may well get a long period where cars in different
situations will get into some kind of loop where all of the self driving
cars get knotted up until some kind of human intervention takes place.
It's a cousin to the issue that often gets raised about what happens
when a pedestrian steps in front of a self driving car and the only
option is for the car to swerve into another vehicle in another lane.
Figuring out who the car hits is a tough thing to figure out, since the
answer may well depend on how fast they're moving, whether the vehicle
in the other lane is a school bus or a tank, and so on.
These issues may be solvable over time with enough data and enough
brainpower, but it's not clear whether people will put up with the
problems before they are solved.
I just want to know how soon those convicted of DUI will be required to
use self driving cars. Sounds like a good solution to me.
--
Studies have shown that the people of Dubai don't understand the humor
of the Flintstones, but the people of Abu Dhabi do.

Tim W
Whiskers
2017-06-18 13:50:18 UTC
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[...]
Post by Tim Wright
I just want to know how soon those convicted of DUI will be required
to use self driving cars. Sounds like a good solution to me.
Better than the French arrangement, where drivers with no licence
(including those 'banned') can drive 'moped cars' that are restricted to
less than 30mph (actually 'light quadricycle'; looks like a small car
but lacks the passive safety features modern cars require).
--
-- ^^^^^^^^^^
-- Whiskers
-- ~~~~~~~~~~
Greg Goss
2017-06-18 20:34:04 UTC
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Post by Whiskers
[...]
Post by Tim Wright
I just want to know how soon those convicted of DUI will be required
to use self driving cars. Sounds like a good solution to me.
Better than the French arrangement, where drivers with no licence
(including those 'banned') can drive 'moped cars' that are restricted to
less than 30mph (actually 'light quadricycle'; looks like a small car
but lacks the passive safety features modern cars require).
Here, there are three levels of motorbike driver licensing. The
regular biker license is an additional qualification added to the
regular license. (My licence is a class 56, which makes more sense
with an implied comma - 5 is the regular car driver and 6 is the biker
license. My ex had a class 26.)

A second category is any motorbike with less than 50 cc. The bike
still needs a license plate, and the driver needs a driver license,
but it can be any driver's license including a learner permit. There
is a watts cutoff for electric motorbikes, but I don't remember what
it is.

The third category is a "motor assisted bicycle." These don't need
any license. Some bikes built to be in this category have clips
inside the trunk to store the pedals. You need to be able to install
the pedals by the side of the road and pedal the bike for a few feet
to prove to any officer that "it's really a bicycle" on request, but
the pedals don't need to be in place during regular use.

A friend of mine with an unspecified licensing problem (probably a
DUI) drove a bicycle with a 49.5cc bolt-on motor pushing the back
tire. He got around Vancouver pretty well on it for three years or
so.

All roadworthy three wheel vehicles come under motorbike rules (eg
requiring a helmet even if there's a roll cage.) I don't know if
there are quads that fall into bike rules.
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Sanford Manley
2017-05-25 03:19:11 UTC
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Post by Richard Hershberger
Earlier this week I was on my regular commute. It is mostly on two-lane (one each direction) country roads. These have the benefit that traffic volume is predictable and only a factor in a couple of spots. The down side is that an accident will shut down the road pretty easily. Once the problem is obvious the solution is to bail out, making a technically illegal U-Turn and taking an alternate route, typically adding fifteen minutes or so, depending on the precise location.
I got there pretty early in the cycle. My lane was completely blocked, but the other side was open. Police and fire had not yet arrived, but there were enough people helping out that my stopping and getting out would have been merely getting in the way. One of the people that had stopped was driving a big utility vehicle of some sort. He stopped in a good place, set his yellows flashing, and got out and directed traffic. He did a good job, alternating so that both directions got past with as little delay as could be hoped for. He had absolutely no legal authority, but he was doing what needed to be done, and the drivers tacitly accepted this and followed his directions. I got through with minimal hassle, about five to ten minutes later than I ordinarily would. The fire and police passed me going the other way soon after that.
What I want to know is, in our brave new world of fully automated cars, how does this scenario play out? If I had been in a Google car with no auxiliary controls, could the car have figured this situation out and acted appropriately? We are piously assured that automated cars follow the letter of the law. I crossed over a double yellow line to get around the wrecks. I did this according to the directions of just some guy who took it upon himself to direct me. A law-abiding automated car would what? Just sat there? Even bailing out entirely and using an alternate route would have involved that illegal U-Turn. What was in fact a ten minute delay at most would seem to turn into hours at a standstill.
There may be a better answer, but what is it? Unfortunately, most of the press reports on automated cars are breathless re-writes of corporate press releases. No one seems to ask this sort of question, lest they be taken off the list for the next press release. I would expect that if the developers had a good answer for this, they would include it in the press release.
Richard R. Hershberger
I am of the opinion that driverless cars are the biggest
fraud ever UNLESS liability laws change. JUST ONE good
accident in which hardware or software is blamed and
the legal sharks will fill the water with the blood of
every corporation involved. If nobody will write the
liability insurance, there will be no driverless cars
in normal operation. Further, if a problem is found,
they will all need to be parked until a fix is found
and implemented. Further, the litigation will be difficult
and expensive as software engineers contend with finding
bugs that caused the problem or denying software bugs.
Look at the problems we have with computer software
and hackers. We are talking about immersing large segments
of the population in a risk environment that is unknown and
potentially fatal. If your computer crashes at home and
you lose data, that is a pain in the ass. If your car crashes
or interprets data wrong or a sensor fails and someone is
hurt there is going to be hell to pay for the companies,
their insurance carriers, their legal departments, and
other people who own the vehicles.
s***@gmail.com
2017-05-25 05:01:23 UTC
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Post by Sanford Manley
Post by Richard Hershberger
Earlier this week I was on my regular commute. It is mostly on two-lane (one each direction) country roads. These have the benefit that traffic volume is predictable and only a factor in a couple of spots. The down side is that an accident will shut down the road pretty easily. Once the problem is obvious the solution is to bail out, making a technically illegal U-Turn and taking an alternate route, typically adding fifteen minutes or so, depending on the precise location.
I got there pretty early in the cycle. My lane was completely blocked, but the other side was open. Police and fire had not yet arrived, but there were enough people helping out that my stopping and getting out would have been merely getting in the way. One of the people that had stopped was driving a big utility vehicle of some sort. He stopped in a good place, set his yellows flashing, and got out and directed traffic. He did a good job, alternating so that both directions got past with as little delay as could be hoped for. He had absolutely no legal authority, but he was doing what needed to be done, and the drivers tacitly accepted this and followed his directions. I got through with minimal hassle, about five to ten minutes later than I ordinarily would. The fire and police passed me going the other way soon after that.
What I want to know is, in our brave new world of fully automated cars, how does this scenario play out? If I had been in a Google car with no auxiliary controls, could the car have figured this situation out and acted appropriately? We are piously assured that automated cars follow the letter of the law. I crossed over a double yellow line to get around the wrecks. I did this according to the directions of just some guy who took it upon himself to direct me. A law-abiding automated car would what? Just sat there? Even bailing out entirely and using an alternate route would have involved that illegal U-Turn. What was in fact a ten minute delay at most would seem to turn into hours at a standstill.
There may be a better answer, but what is it? Unfortunately, most of the press reports on automated cars are breathless re-writes of corporate press releases. No one seems to ask this sort of question, lest they be taken off the list for the next press release. I would expect that if the developers had a good answer for this, they would include it in the press release.
Richard R. Hershberger
I am of the opinion that driverless cars are the biggest
fraud ever UNLESS liability laws change. JUST ONE good
accident in which hardware or software is blamed and
the legal sharks will fill the water with the blood of
every corporation involved. If nobody will write the
liability insurance, there will be no driverless cars
in normal operation. Further, if a problem is found,
they will all need to be parked until a fix is found
and implemented. Further, the litigation will be difficult
and expensive as software engineers contend with finding
bugs that caused the problem or denying software bugs.
Look at the problems we have with computer software
and hackers. We are talking about immersing large segments
of the population in a risk environment that is unknown and
potentially fatal. If your computer crashes at home and
you lose data, that is a pain in the ass. If your car crashes
or interprets data wrong or a sensor fails and someone is
hurt there is going to be hell to pay for the companies,
their insurance carriers, their legal departments, and
other people who own the vehicles.
Doesn't that already apply to Flight Control Software
in airliners?
Oh, we have full auto-pilot in airliners .... hmmmm.

/dps
Howard
2017-05-25 16:10:34 UTC
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Post by s***@gmail.com
Post by Sanford Manley
I am of the opinion that driverless cars are the biggest
fraud ever UNLESS liability laws change. JUST ONE good
accident in which hardware or software is blamed and
the legal sharks will fill the water with the blood of
every corporation involved. If nobody will write the
liability insurance, there will be no driverless cars
in normal operation. Further, if a problem is found,
they will all need to be parked until a fix is found
and implemented. Further, the litigation will be difficult
and expensive as software engineers contend with finding
bugs that caused the problem or denying software bugs.
Look at the problems we have with computer software
and hackers. We are talking about immersing large segments
of the population in a risk environment that is unknown and
potentially fatal. If your computer crashes at home and
you lose data, that is a pain in the ass. If your car crashes
or interprets data wrong or a sensor fails and someone is
hurt there is going to be hell to pay for the companies,
their insurance carriers, their legal departments, and
other people who own the vehicles.
Doesn't that already apply to Flight Control Software
in airliners?
Oh, we have full auto-pilot in airliners .... hmmmm.
There are some differences, though. Autopilot is generally used in very
safe situations -- cruising on a set flight plan -- and the odds of
death or injury are very, very low. There are a lot of established
precedents for crashes, so it's relatively easy for carriers and
insurance companies to make financial plans to cover expected claims.
Also, airlines tend to kill only people onboard, so they generally don't
need to worry about suits from other parties.

Self driving cars have very little in the way of established cases, so
it's hard to predict what judges and juries will do regarding claims.
Car crashes kill a lot of innocent people, so liability is also a lot
more vague. And the systems are going to be much, much more complicated
than autopilot systems, which leads to vastly more opportunities for
litigation.

Under the current legal system in the US, I can believe that self
driving cars won't have a problem with drivers. You can easily get
people to sign away their rights the moment they buy one, and the
Supreme Court has no problem forcing people to go to whatever biased
arbitrator the manufacturer hires. But that doesn't cover pedestrians
and passengers and occupants of other cars.

Insurance companies ought to jump at the opportunity to switch drivers
to self driving cars once they get to a high level of reliability. I
agree that they're going to operate at a level of safety far greater
than your average driver. But insurance companies are also exceedingly
conservative in a lot of ways, they can be very dumb about how they do
business, and insurance regulators can also be dumb or subject to
political whims. So I don't see insurance issues necessarily being
fixed quickly.
Opus the Penguin
2017-05-25 16:16:22 UTC
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Post by Sanford Manley
If your car crashes
or interprets data wrong or a sensor fails and someone is
hurt there is going to be hell to pay for the companies,
their insurance carriers, their legal departments, and
other people who own the vehicles.
Haven't car companies already opened themselves up to this liability with
cars that apply the brakes automatically if you get too close?
--
Opus the Penguin
The best darn penguin in all of Usenet
Questor
2017-07-09 06:11:12 UTC
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I could go on for a bit about autonomous vehicles, and perhaps with the correct
tuit I will. (I want a round one.) Until then, here's an amusing tidbit:

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/jul/01/volvo-admits-its-self-driving-cars-are-confused-by-kangaroos

Volvo admits its self-driving cars are confused by kangaroos

Volvo's self-driving car's animal detection system can identify and avoid
deer, elk and caribou, but is yet to work against the marsupial movements
of kangaroos -- because hopping confounds its systems.

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