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Comment: Re:Unless (Score 1) 301

by sl149q (#49503379) Attached to: Joseph Goebbels' Estate Sues Publisher Over Diary Excerpt Royalties

Government official is NOT an accurate description of Goebbels. By that analogy you could say Hitler was just a democratically elected leader following the wishes of his electorate.

Most of the diaries have been available since I believe the 50's or 60's in English translation. They where rescued after the bulk where left to burn in a ditch. So incomplete at best. And chilling to read what is available.

Comment: Re:So how long before (Score 1) 181

by sl149q (#49456087) Attached to: Autonomous Cars and the Centralization of Driving

Versus a car chase that injures how many other people and ends with you crashing into a barrier and / or being shot by police as they try to apprehend you.

Not saying its a good idea to have the police control your car... just saying that the current defacto law enforcement is not much better when you get down to it.

Comment: Re:Start with an erroneous *world view* ... (Score 2) 181

by sl149q (#49456061) Attached to: Autonomous Cars and the Centralization of Driving

Because one of the first perks that well off people get is to be driven around in cars by other people.

A lot of people like driving, on some roads, for pleasure, some of the time.

That does not describe the vast majority of required driving in most conditions. I.e. to and from work or the mall.

Again, small enough demand that driving clubs will accommodate it. Just like some people own and ride horses, other people will own and drive cars.

The vast majority of people won't own horses or drive their own cars.

Comment: Re:Start with an erroneous *world view* ... (Score 3, Insightful) 181

by sl149q (#49456047) Attached to: Autonomous Cars and the Centralization of Driving

Who cares if autonomous cars can't take you up an old mining road in the Colorado Rockies. The number of trips along those roads is small enough that the EXISTING set of vehicles will satisfy all demand for many decades EVEN if no more are built.

On the other hand, for the other 99.999% of required commutes autonomous vehicles will do fine.

Comment: Re: What an Embarrassingly Vapid Article (Score 1) 477

I have a computer in my pocket that would have cost $5-10 thousand dollars on my desktop 4-5 years ago. And $30-40 thousand dollars in a rack 15-20 years ago. And simply could not have been built in any shape or form 30-40 years ago.

$20k lasers will be dirt cheap and in mass production at some point. The ONLY question is HOW LONG that will take. There is no question about whether it will or won't happen.

Comment: Re:What an Embarrassingly Vapid Article (Score 1) 477

Re: traffic ticket income...

Yes, but... I'll note that many jurisdictions are already foregoing tax income simply to foster (for example) electric vehicles by not forcing them to pay gas taxes.

Locally (BC Canada) that amounts to roughly $4/100kmh (assuming roughly $.50/l taxes and 8l/100km average consumption.)

Which also means at some point, when the ratio of electric vehicles gets high enough, that saner heads will prevail and some sort of tax will be introduced which will make those who purchased EV's pissed off.

The point being, things change and then we adapt. Taxes are no exception.

Comment: Re:What an Embarrassingly Vapid Article (Score 1) 477

It will also be solved by society simply deciding that human drivers are too dangerous to allow on the roads.

Think Mothers Against Human Drivers (MAHD). Campaigns like MADD made it unacceptable to drive while drunk. That saved (is saving) some tens of thousands of peoples lives every year.

Human drivers (non drunk ones) continue to kill even more (est 30,000 per year in the US.) Once society realizes that autonomous cars don't kill people at the same rate there will be a change in perception. Just like it is unacceptable to drive while drunk it will become unacceptable to drive at all. Show up at your kids baseball game with a mini-van full of kids and you'll get a ton of disapproving stares from the other parents etc.

Comment: Re: What an Embarrassingly Vapid Article (Score 1) 477

From a strictly mechanical engineering perspective....

Cars travelling at 100 kph are travelling about 28 mps (meters per second.) If the average reaction time for a human driver is 150 mS then he needs to be at least maintain at least 5 meters of space just too account for how long it will take before he can actuate his brakes. And you get a chain reaction as the cars behind him need the same amount of time to react again and again. The chain of human driven cars react at a rate of 1 every 150-200 mS.

By the time autonomous cars are driving in convoys the reaction time should be well under (for example) say 1 mS. Which is about 28 cm. You still need to also allow for distance for actually braking. Cars in that chain react at the rate of 1 every 1-3 mS. So in the time that just the first human driver could react. Something on the order of 50 autonomous vehicles could react and be applying their brakes.

Making (the modest) assumption that autonomous cars can signal other information (e.g. I see a possible obstruction, I may need to brake) allows following cars to increase their follow distance to increase their follow distance which increases their safety margin. All within a few mS of the possible obstruction being seen.

The current roads are built to be safe for cars driven up to about 120kmh by drivers with about 150-250 mS reaction times by drivers that focus their attention ahead and only periodically (once per many seconds) check conditions to the side and rear.

Drivers (i.e. autonomous vehicle drivers) that can react in under 5 mS to changing conditions in any direction will be far far safer.

Just put lots of sensors on the vehicle. And lots of computers to analyze the data. Moores Law will make them cheap over time.

Comment: Re:Morality Framework UNNEEDED (Score 1) 177

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) 177

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) 177

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) 177

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) 177

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.

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