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Driverless cars.... one step closer.....

losiglow

Well-Known Member
I've posted my 2 cents on this in other forums so I'm just copying and pasting. Don't worry about your side gig just yet.

This should probably be in Car Talk or something like that. But anyway, here's my


Autonomous car technology isn't the problem. With the big bucks being thrown at it by Google, Uber and Microsoft, it's only a matter of time (probably a short amount of time) before the technology is viable. What I believe will be the sticking point is liability.

We currently address auto liability by individual drivers having auto insurance, which covers the other party or themselves when an accident occurs. Relatively simple. Granted, insurance claims themselves can be a bit complicated but the system is set up in such a way that it's pretty easy to point the finger at one party or another (that party usually being the insurance company if you've paid your premiums).

The million dollar question is, who's liable with an autonomous car? If we're talking something like Tesla's autopilot, then it's still the driver. That system is meant only as an "assist" and is clearly described so. However, in a truly autonomous car that requires NO human input and clearly states it as such, it would be unreasonable to hold the owner accountable, and impossible in the case of the car being a taxi or Uber.

The only one I can see taking the liability is the manufacturer of the car. Obviously there's no manufacturer that is going to take full accountability of their cars' actions. In many situations, the cars computer may have to make a split second decision between two "bads" such as hitting the old lady with the walker, or running into a cyclist. That's extreme but with millions of cars in millions of different situations there's going to be situations exactly like that. If an auto manufacturer takes on that liability, they'll have a lot of lawsuits on their hands real quick.

Insurance companies could take on the risk. But how would you feel as a consumer if your automated car got into an accident (at no fault of your own) and your rates went up? There would be a world of pissing and moaning over something like that.

Anyway, I'm sure they'll figure something out but it's going to have to be different than what we're doing now.

___________

I may be wrong, but I think self-driving cars are waaaaaaaaay off.

There are 6 Levels of autonomy that SAE has designated for self-driving cars - 0 being completely human controlled, 6 being 100% autonomous where the passenger literally has to do nothing but enter a location and that's it.

Most cars are level 1. Some are 2. Level 1 have things like cruise control or lane assist. Level 2 are things like Tesla that can control both speed and steering on a minor scale. The Audi A8 is the only Level 3 that I've read about which is essentially level 2 but at a higher function (greater speed, monitors environment, complete steering, but only at relatively low speeds).

Level 4 are autonomous with exception to odd situations like bad weather. We're relatively close on this.

Level 5 is the kicker. Absolutely 100% autonomous. Like on iRobot and Enders game. It theoretically won't even have a steering wheel or pedals. Or if it does, it will be as optional as cruise control is on a vehicle today.

With level 5, two hurdles appear. Liability and Security. The liability is almost entirely transferred to the auto manufacturer. You cannot place liability on the passenger in a 100% autonomous vehicle. How that's going to be done is the question. In addition, a software controlled, network connected car entirely driven by computer is vulnerable to hacks which could result in HUGE catastrophic results including mass amounts of death and injury, property damage and utter chaos and anarchy. We're not talking something like credit card numbers getting stolen from Home Depot or phishing scams on the internet. We're talking millions and millions of vehicles simultaneously traveling, many at freeway speeds, all of which are controlled by similar software on a network behind the scenes, rather than individually driven by a human.

Yes, humans are stupid and cause lots of accidents. But they can't all simultaneously be controlled, especially in such a way that would wreck havoc.

Just imagine if you could suddenly command all the cars on the road to take a sharp right turn right now. All the cars at crosswalks, all the cars going 75mph down the freeway, all the semi-trucks on bridges, everything. Or if you could command all vehicles on the road to increase throttle to 100% (and eliminate any override from the passenger). This could be done by either a malfunction or a malevolent individual. It may literally be worse than any recorded disaster in human history. It could cause more deaths around the world all at the same time than the holocaust, black plague and great Chinese famine put together.


I think 100% autonomous vehicles will be a reality one day. But not until we figure out a way to assign liability with insanely high costs and create some sort of software or network that is literally impervious to hacking, or at least cannot be hacked on a large scale.
 

Chops

New Member
Here's a point to consider..when these truly driverless cars come into action it will literally put lyft and uber out of business..at least here in Boise..most riders here are avoiding the high cost of airport parking ..or out drinking and don't want a DUI..well when you have a driverless car all you have to do is tell the car..come pick me up at whiskey bar..drive me home..drive me to the airport then ..drive back home..hmm..or if they can't drive like a lot now with suspended license ..sounds like I don't need a ride from lyft or uber..I don't need to drive so I'm free from getting a ticket for drinking ..nice..now why does uber and lyft want to put them selves out if business ??
 

DriverMark

Well-Known Member
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4
Here's a point to consider..when these truly driverless cars come into action it will literally put lyft and uber out of business..at least here in Boise..most riders here are avoiding the high cost of airport parking ..or out drinking and don't want a DUI..well when you have a driverless car all you have to do is tell the car..come pick me up at whiskey bar..drive me home..drive me to the airport then ..drive back home..hmm..or if they can't drive like a lot now with suspended license ..sounds like I don't need a ride from lyft or uber..I don't need to drive so I'm free from getting a ticket for drinking ..nice..now why does uber and lyft want to put them selves out if business ??
Going to be a different world once it happens. That is for sure. So many unknowns and once the tech is solid, hard to predict what things will end up looking like 10, 20, 50 years after it goes mainstream. Little toddlers running around now will most likely never know how to driver a car when they hit adulthood. Much like they can't use a rotary phone. Or my kids couldn't figure out how to roll the windows down without "power windows" once. "Kid, turn that nob there on the side of the door".
 
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