Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:Winter? (Score 1) 162 162

Ain't nothing going to happen with autonomous vehicles until they solve the rain and snow problem. Maybe California doesn't have to worry about vehicles in precipitation, but the rest of the nation does.

I see this complaint every time an autonomous car story comes up. Is there actual evidence somewhere that rain and snow have any significant impact on the vehicles' ability to perceive an environment or on their ability to navigate it? The sensor fusion algorithms already deal with noise exclusion and transitory sensing failures. I can believe heavy snow which obscures the lane markings would be an issue, but even then that doesn't really prevent collision avoidance, or even safe driving ability so long as there's always to option to just go slower. The rules of traffic interactions in the absence of lane markings are pretty well defined, and are mostly just "do what boats do".

Comment Re:How do they fare in colder climates? (Score 1) 858 858

They lose some range in extreme cold and hot temperature ranges. In cold weather much of that difference is purely in keeping the temperature of the cabin and battery heated to optimal levels. It is suggested that you preheat your vehicle from grid electricity before driving to maximize range (implying plugging it in while you're at work I guess). It is also recommended that you use seat and steering wheel heaters because they more directly reach the passengers, allowing the cabin air to be maintained at a slightly lower temperature.

Comment Re:I sure don't want my co-workers to know my sala (Score 1) 429 429

You are totally missing out on an opportunity to lord your success over your peers. You should feel free to call them minions or vassals; Also, I whole-heartedly recommend using the salary information in your next meeting. "Well, George, from the look of things I make almost twice what you do. Apparently no one who matters actually cares what you think, so STFU."

Winning friends and influencing people through transparency...

Comment Re:How did it react during the accident? (Score 1) 549 549

Hmm. I get what you are saying, but I'm not down with your analysis. There will be a certain amount of energy transferred by the impact. The injurious portion of that impact is during the impulse strike of the two cars. Crumple zones, for instance, work by spreading the impulse experienced by the cabin across a larger time. If some of that same energy goes into accelerating the car and then being dissipated later by braking all that is doing is spreading the total energy dissipation across a larger time window. It should lower the impulse transferred to the cabin by using some of the energy to accelerate the rest of the frame as well.yes, you get slightly more acceleration due to the whole car accelerating, but less total impulse due to the partitioning of the energy transfer.

Not that I think there's any significant difference, since in any serious rear end collision the total acceleration will vastly overwhelm the strength of your legs to press the brake pedal.

Comment Re:Exchanging insurance information (Score 1) 549 549

Right about average. The average US driver drives 13.476 miles per year and goes an average of 10 years between accidents.

Well, the reported accidents at least. Show me the numbers on how many people get into little fender benders that never get reported so we can compare some real data.

Comment Re:Avoidable? (Score 1) 549 549

And it is supposed to do all of that in a split second.

You sir are an idiot.

No way. It's supposed to do that for every car within 300 feet all the time on the off chance one of them is about to cause a problem. Think of the children! Google pinkie-swears they won't do anything bad with the new datastream this represents. Also, there's a Starbuck's we think you'd like on your route to work...

Comment Re: 11 rear enders (Score 1) 549 549

Not googlecar's fault if the laws of physics punish the guy who was trying to hurt it.

"So, you are saying that you specifically programmed it to behave in a way that increased the danger to my client?"

These kinds of things are inevitable. There were some things the car might have tried to do to evade the oncoming collision, but they all have some additional risks, plus they just move the potential accident closer to the intersection. Sometimes the lowest risk thing you can do is get squarely hit from behind.

Comment Re:Smart? (Score 1) 367 367

They aren't that smart if they think machines could ever be sentient. Machines are deterministic. They do what you tell them to.

And what happens if we tell them to behave randomly? A particle filter, for instance, uses randomness to generate a set of states for evaluation. Sensor fusion takes large numbers of highly error prone sensor readings and merges them into state estimates. Both methods introduce uncertainty into state estimation and, therefore, present non-deterministic foundations for reasoning. Even if the reasoning processes are strictly deterministic, you can still get non-deterministic behavior, and that's without even introducing any explicit behavioral randomness.

But, let's be honest: No one has ever provided a definition (that I've ever seen) for sentience which precludes deterministic response. Are you proposing irrationality as a fundamental identifier of intelligence? I'm not sure I'd call it a feature, but maybe it's an inevitable consequence.

Anyone with enough insight and humility knows there's still an extremely large piece of the puzzle missing in our understanding of life. And you need to understand how something works before you can create it.

I don't think there is an extremely large piece. I think there are hundreds of thousands of little pieces. Also, we create things all the time without understanding them. I mean most people don't have any idea how mitosis works and yet we don't have much problem reproducing. Anyway, the point is that I don't think we need a full understanding of human intelligence to create some kind of intelligent agent.

Comment Re:dream on (Score 1) 389 389

Nobody who is driving today will ever see ubiquitous self-driving cars. You don't realize the deep connection between the automobile and drivers' need for autonomy. How closely the desire to own a car is tied to the desire to drive.

I own a car, but I've always hated driving. I value the freedom of having the ability to go anywhere, whenever I want. I also value my free time. I would trade the joy of attending to my 45 minute commute in the morning for the next episode/chapter of whatever in an instant. The desire to drive isn't a desire I share. I share the desire to get somewhere, which an autonomous vehicle will, pretty soon, achieve.

And the biggest problem with self-driving cars is that they don't really show their benefit until everybody's using them. A busy highway filled with a mixture of human-driven and machine-driven cars would make for a very enjoyable Michael Bay movie.

Actually, self driving cars will always have to deal with unpredictable behavior from neighboring vehicles. This will never change. They can react faster to other's wrong behaviors, evaluate and plan faster than human drivers, have greater knowledge of road conditions and environment, plus they don't get bored or inattentive. While they aren't up to the task yet, they are coming fast, because they have value for every driver who isn't just driving to drive.

I agree pervasiveness will be more than 5 years, but you'll be able to buy any car with an autonomous driver option in less than 20 years. In 5 years the first autonomous work vehicles will be on the road (specifically long haul trucking). Shortly after that someone will implement the autonomous traffic cop (red light camera on wheels), and traffic cops will be on their way out.

Comment in RE: Privacy, not Ownership (Score 4, Insightful) 379 379

Well, he clearly owns the copyright on the photographs, so if anyone wants to contest that they are SOL. The privacy concern is legitimate if and only if the pictures were taken in an area where there was an expectation of privacy. A sporting event with people in the stands cheering certainly doesn't seem like a private event...

"What I've done, of course, is total garbage." -- R. Willard, Pure Math 430a

Working...