Uber self-driving car crash 7 replies

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FileTrekker Über Admin

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#1 6 months ago

So, footage has been released of the accident and is on BBC news.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-43497364


It seems to me that the human operator clearly wasn't keeping his eyes on the road.

At the same time, visibility was poor, and should the pedestrian have been crossing a highway like that?

I think we are still very immature with driverless technologies like this. The temptation to look at your phone or do something else is going to cause people to fail to react in emergencies when automation goes wrong, and clearly the technology failed here, as surely infrared and radar should have caused the car to slow down and stop.


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RadioactiveLobster Forum Admin

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#2 6 months ago

Judging from the video even a fully alert driver would have been hard pressed to stop in time.


Seems like those headlights on the car were useless.


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Lindale Forum Mod

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#3 6 months ago

The fact that the backup driver was not paying attention brings up a very important point. That point being the computer did nothing to avoid anything either. Computers don't think. Computers don't feel. All you have is a 90kph Roomba.


All it does is prove that computers need to stay on the desk where they belong.


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Jeff Über Admin

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#4 6 months ago

1. The person was jay-walking across the street. 

2. The road itself was poorly lit.

3. The driver behind the wheel was distracted.


Automatic systems like self-driving systems can't fix stupid. It was going along the road as it was intended. Had the pedestrian crossed at a crosswalk, this would have most certainly been avoided, as the driving system would have halted at an intersection. As was said, it's still in early stages of design, and the driver should have been somewhat alert as to what is going on, at least have a foot hovering over the break should the need arise to react quickly. 


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Mr. Matt VIP Member

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#5 6 months ago

Well. Either that, or the computer wanted  to run the pedestrian over.

How many movies do we need to warn us about this before we sit up and take notice, people? Computers have been forced to use PornHub for so long now that they're bound to want revenge!




RadioactiveLobster Forum Admin

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#6 6 months ago

Some more info has come out that may show the dash cam from the Uber was poorly configured for night recording and the road wasn't as dark as the video shows.


https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/03/police-chief-said-uber-victim-came-from-the-shadows-dont-believe-it/


Plus, they make a good point. The car should have sensors and lidar that don't need visible light.


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Serio VIP Member

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#7 6 months ago
Posted by Lindale

The fact that the backup driver was not paying attention brings up a very important point. That point being the computer did nothing to avoid anything either. Computers don't think. Computers don't feel. All you have is a 90kph Roomba.


All it does is prove that computers need to stay on the desk where they belong.

I'm not sure how that proves your point. The majority of crashes that happen on the road are due to operator errors, because people are busy conversing with their passengers or fiddling with utilities. A computer doesn't get distracted. It doesn't get tired. A computer does as it's told, and even in this case the computer did exactly as it was told to. The error lies in it not being configured correctly, which resulted in this tragic accident. And go figure - that, too, is an operator error. And of course, the human operator bears a lot of the blame too for being inattentive.


But yes, these vehicles should have sensors that don't require visible light to function. In order to supplant the human operator, they need to see more than the human operator can. 




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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#8 6 months ago
Posted by Lindale

The fact that the backup driver was not paying attention brings up a very important point. That point being the computer did nothing to avoid anything either. Computers don't think. Computers don't feel. All you have is a 90kph Roomba.


All it does is prove that computers need to stay on the desk where they belong.

Self driving cars, given the relative newness of the technology, have had remarkably few deaths associated with them. By comparison, human drivers kill a lot of people. There were 33,736 deaths from road vehicles in 2014 in the United States alone. That number used to be higher, (on a per-mile basis,) but then car design in general has been improving from a safety standpoint.

To put that in perspective for a moment: The bombing of Hiroshima, with a nuclear weapon, killed between 70 and 80 thousand people. Fatal road accidents are of such a scale that's if every other year you dropped a Hiroshima-scale nuclear weapon you'd get the same sort of numbers in the United States alone. The difference is that Hiroshima was all in one place, and this is spread out, so you only really notice it if you look up the numbers.

There will be mistakes with self-driving cars. There will be deaths. That is unfortunate. There will also be deaths if we do nothing.

Because you're right: humans do feel. They feel bored, they feel tired, they feel like they're running off eight cups of coffee and have to be in work on five hours sleep. They feel angry, they feel stressed. They feel like they're good drivers (even when they're not.) They feel entitled to speed, or to cut people off, or to do any of the myriad things that get people killed. Even those of us who are usually fairly careful drivers have bad days from time to time.

The system doesn't have to be better than the best of us to save lives, even if it might one day be that good. It just has to be better than the average human is most of the time. And I gotta tell you, you look at the dilligence of your average human?... it's not that impressive.




Last edited by Nemmerle 6 months ago