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Comment: Re:Defective (Score 1) 194

by OzPeter (#49632489) Attached to: 17-Year-Old Radio Astronomy Mystery Traced Back To Kitchen Microwave

An 8ms (falling phase of the 60hz power cycle) broad-spectrum burst of microwaves from a tired old oven won't cause even the slightest bit of damage to you.

Yeah .. but the microwave burst from that 50Hz power cycle in Australia is really nasty - its just like all the animals that either want to eat you or simply kill you.

Comment: Re:I for one welcome our truck driving overlords (Score 1) 208

by OzPeter (#49629487) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

Tacking "...or not" onto the end of a sentence is an extremely common construct in American English, which denotes acceptance of irony.

I am well aware of the concept of irony, but that was not the subject of my rebuttal. As it seems that you are more interested in playing word games rather than discussing the subject at hand, my feeling is that you are just trying to show off your stunning intellect and masterful debating skills, or not.

Comment: Re:Idiots in passenger vehicles (Score 1) 208

by OzPeter (#49629349) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

Having driven a large rig before I can assure you that usually the problem is NOT the big rig driver. It is the idiots in passenger vehicles who cut them off and do all kinds of stupid driving around big vehicles. You cannot really appreciate how little regard many people have for the risks they take until you've driven one of these.

I am not denying that car drives can be idiots and have seen a bunch of them as well, but I have seen just as many bad truck drivers. And FWIW I've also seen a fair share of bad cop drivers.

Comment: Re:I for one welcome our truck driving overlords (Score 1) 208

by OzPeter (#49629195) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

I think once self-driving vehicles are more common, a great deal more effort will be put into map accuracy and route planning.

I agree that mapping will improve in the future - but in order to do so it will need to take vehicle dimensions/weight into account as constraint, as well as indicating how things like how seasonal and day to day weather affects the route.

And already I would expect a commercial trucking operation to use a more robust navigation solution than a $99 TomTom.

Given that the majority of trucking companies are owner/operators, I am not so sure of that assumption.

Comment: Re:I for one welcome our truck driving overlords (Score 1) 208

by OzPeter (#49629099) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

Currently, the trucks will be operated the old-fashioned way in towns, so there will still be a human behind the wheel reading the signs and responding to them, or not.

If that was the case then trucks wouldn't go down the wrong road ever. 2 weeks ago there was a report on the local news of a truck driver ignoring the sign that said "Don't drive here", and crashing and causing an issue.

You know there's a bit more to that story, right? Got stuck in snow, wandered off alone and died. Wife and kid survived him by staying with the car like sensible people. Carry water and blankets in your car.

While he may have died because of bad survival skills, the root cause of his death was the choice of route.

Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong (Score 1) 208

by OzPeter (#49628983) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

AutoTrucker> 10:17 Mode Freeway, Speed Limit 75, Speed 70, Following planned route
AutoTrucker> 10:23 Mode Freeway, Speed Limit 75, Speed 70, Following planned route
AutoTrucker> 10:28 Mode Freeway, Speed Limit 75, Speed 0, Planed route blocked, No alternative possible
AutoTrucker> 10:28 Notify home base, Request human oversight: normal, upload last 10 minutes of video camera footage
AutoTrucker> 10:29 Detected unauthorized access to load, Request human oversight: Urgent, Upload video camera live feed
AutoTrucker> 10:29 Activate dye bombs, Request human oversight: Urgent, Upload video camera live feed
. . .

Comment: I for one welcome our truck driving overlords (Score 2) 208

by OzPeter (#49628613) Attached to: Self-Driving Big Rigs Become a Reality

If a self driving big rig is going to make freeway driving better for the rest of us, then I am all for it.

I have personally encountered truck drivers weaving side to side, tailgating and making sudden lane changes (the worst one was also in heavy rain just as I was about to pass a truck) - and I don't even drive that much. I blame all that activity on drivers who either don't pay attention, are possibly sleep deprived and/or are trying to make some arbitrary (and possibly illegally imposed) mileage requirement. If that can be eliminated then the roads will be a safer place to be.

On the other hand I also see on local roads, signs that say things like "Truckers - the GPS information for this road is wrong - you cannot get through this way". So I am interested in knowing in general how route planning will be made for all driverless vehicles, as it would seem that local knowledge and common sense will (currently) always trump a computer selected route. Worst case scenario was that tech journalist who took the wrong road in northern CA (?) in winter and got stuck in snow and died.

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