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Comment: Re:Morality Framework UNNEEDED (Score 1) 176

by sl149q (#49352379) Attached to: German Auto Firms Face Roadblock In Testing Driverless Car Software

While you might like to make the decision in most cases there simply isn't time in the fraction of a second you have available during a crash.

The issue about moral decisions with self driving cars arises because for computers, first they will have far more situational awareness. They will have been monitoring and possibly making worst case projections showing the possibility of an accident for a long time (for computers seconds is a very long time...)

So even once the probability of collision reach 100% there may be decisions that can be made based on previously collected information and previously projected possibilities. And there may be lots of time to influence the outcome with differential braking, steering etc.

So AT THAT POINT there needs to be rules that govern how to make those decisions. Humans cannot because they are not fast enough in most cases. Computers can and must make decisions. Those are predicated on algorithms written by programmers. So there needs to be a basis for making them.

Comment: Re:Biggest issue is still liability (Score 1) 176

by sl149q (#49352365) Attached to: German Auto Firms Face Roadblock In Testing Driverless Car Software

Exactly. Do you think you ARE NOT paying insurance when you are in the back of a taxi? Its just that the fare reflects the operating cost. And part of the operating cost is the insurance. And you really want the driver to HAVE insurance. So you pay the fare which pays the insurance.

How is that different from buying insurance to cover the self driving car you buy or lease or rent to get you from point a to point b. The insurance is there to make sure that any parties injured in a collision (including yourself) will be covered.

Comment: Re:Biggest issue is still liability (Score 1) 176

by sl149q (#49352361) Attached to: German Auto Firms Face Roadblock In Testing Driverless Car Software

And that is why we have insurance.

Why do you assume that insurance would not be available? And if insurance is available why is this an issue?

Sure if there are multiple vehicles and multiple insurance companies they might have a proxy battle to determine the answers to these questions.... but that is how issues like this have been sorted out for the last couple hundred years and will continue to be sorted out. Once you have precedents the insurance companies just adjust their rates accordingly.

Comment: Re:Black and White (Score 1) 176

by sl149q (#49352353) Attached to: German Auto Firms Face Roadblock In Testing Driverless Car Software

Its postulated that the teenagers of tomorrow may have a new fun game that involves playing chicken with autonomous cars on the local freeway. Just walk across and watch all the cars veer away and avoid hitting you.

Avoiding them is no different from avoiding other moving targets such as dogs, deer, moose, etc. Anything that might damage the vehicle or occupants needs to be avoided. With the message (moving obstacle on road) being broadcast to the rear for following cars and the front for approaching (in the opposite lane) cars to also avoid.

In theory at least if you are visible at the side of the road then all of the cars on that stretch of road will be aware of your position and movement vector and the probability (updated in real time based on your observed movements) that you might enter the road way. The only way to get onto the road and "surprise" a robotic car will be to hide behind something and leap out at high speed. Or possibly off something.

Comment: Re:Not concerned (Score 1) 176

by sl149q (#49352341) Attached to: German Auto Firms Face Roadblock In Testing Driverless Car Software

Self driving vans will be deployed by UPS / Fed Ex / et al simply so that they can have the driver become a full time package sorter and deliverer. On some routes in a busy downtown area there may even be multiple people in the van getting dropped off and picked up by the self driving van which then does not need to park.

You could also see people moving from an empty truck to a newly arrived full one. The empty one heading back to the depot to fill up. The full one having driven itself out from the depot.

People will still be involved. They just won't be driving the vans around. Using them optimally will be a competitive advantage.

Comment: Re:Buggy whip makers said automobiles aren't... (Score 1) 451

by sl149q (#49296689) Attached to: Lyft CEO: Self-Driving Cars Aren't the Future

Hm, 30,000 people a year killed in traffic accidents in the US. The vast majority caused by driver fault. I.e. they where not actually accidents.

If autonomous vehicles simply reduce that by half we are 15,000 people to the good. Not to mention the substantial number of people not injured or cars needing repairs.

Autonomous cars do not need to be perfect. They just need to be better than 50% of the human drivers out there.

Comment: Re:HUH (Score 2) 341

by sl149q (#49296631) Attached to: Musk Says Drivers May Become Obsolete, Announces Juice-Saving Upgrades

We can allow people to fly small planes because so few of them want to do it.

It would be a nightmare if everybody who currently owns a car had a plane and wanted to fly it in the numbers we see cars on the road.

Effectively, given the requirements for distance before and after each plane, it would be impossible to actually get everyone into the air and flying at the same time.

Comment: Re:The real question in my mind... (Score 1) 341

by sl149q (#49296583) Attached to: Musk Says Drivers May Become Obsolete, Announces Juice-Saving Upgrades

Its mass transit if it effectively moves the same amount of passengers at the same or lower cost.

Don't get stuck on definitions. The bigger issue is should we be deploying large and expensive "mass transit" solutions that have a lifetime (and amortization schedule) measured in decades (30-50 years in many cases) if it simply won't be able to cover the cost of operation before that. Leaving the operators and local government holding the bag (to finish paying for it.) Typical case of stranded capital.

If autonomous vehicles effectively (and cheaply) replace the need for mass transit then purchase decisions on mass transit being made today need to be considered. Road improvements and (for example) buses (which have a shorter life cycle) may be the best investment today. Fixed infrastructure (subways, rail, etc) may be riskier.

Comment: Re:Ergo! (Score 1) 451

by sl149q (#49277991) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Keyboard?

I'm typing this on one of my newer Model M's, actually a Unicomp variant (same factory after IBM divested it.) Getting close to 20 years old. All of the other ones I have where purchased used about 1995 and are going strong.

I'm at the point where I wish my fleet of Model M's would simply die so I could justify getting another set (need about 4-5) from Unicomp. Mainly because the new ones are USB and have a Windows key.

"Mach was the greatest intellectual fraud in the last ten years." "What about X?" "I said `intellectual'." ;login, 9/1990

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