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Offline EEVblog

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Robo-Cab Predictions
« on: May 15, 2019, 06:49:19 am »
Just posted this on twitter, reposting here.
My predictions for Robo-Cabs / Robo-Taxi

PREDICTION #1:
Robocabs that can match a human driver in practicality are *many* years away. Perhaps even a decade or more.
Anyone talking next year is kidding themselves.
And they could still suck in many situations.

PREDICTION #2:
People taking Robo-cabs won't like or trust traditional looking cars with an empty front seat and steering wheel whizzing around.
Expect something different to win out.

PREDICTION #3:
Johnny Cab won't happen. People will detest humanoid robots trying to interact with them.

PREDICTION #4:
The "one bad experience" problem may seriously hamper initial Robo-Cab adoption.
And with social media how it is, all you'll hear about are the bad experiences.
The media & your Facebook friends will lap it up.
Although, Facebook could be dead by then...
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2019, 03:09:49 pm »
PREDICTION #1:
Robocabs that can match a human driver in practicality are *many* years away. Perhaps even a decade or more.
They don't have to. They have to be safer than human drivers, but in other respects it will be a question of price vs convenience. If a robocab is more convenient than the bus and cheaper than a normal cab (and possibly cheaper than the bus!) people will use them.

Anyone talking next year is kidding themselves.
Yes. Although last year Waymo said they would launch Waymo One without safety drivers in Phoenix this year. So far they have launched Waymo One but they are still using safety drivers. It's hard to tell how close they are to the goal because it's such a competitive market now that everything is kept secret.

But Phoenix is only their first pilot project. It will take a few more years before they launch in other cities, and then a few more years before they start to expand the operating area. It will take decades before they will be operating outside the US I suspect.


And they could still suck in many situations.
There will be many instances when the robocabs will seem stupid (because they are, it's not a general AI), especially in the beginning. But as long as it isn't safety related and doesn't cause too much inconvenience I don't think it will be a show stopper. People will use them as long as it is safe, cost effective and "good enough".

PREDICTION #2:
People taking Robo-cabs won't like or trust traditional looking cars with an empty front seat and steering wheel whizzing around.
Expect something different to win out.
I think something different will win out but mostly for other reasons. You want to use all seats for passengers, and the operating companies probably doesn't want the passengers to try and interfere with the driving controls. So the steering wheel, etc, will be removed (or at least hidden).

There will probably also be more specialised vehicles. You use a phone app to order a vehicle, so I assume you will fill in how many you are, where you are going and if you have any luggage or special needs, and then they send an appropriate car to handle your specific request.

If a lot of trips are short with only one passenger for example, then there will probably be small 1-2 seated cars that can handle such requests. One can also imagine there will be mini busses that pick up people during rush hours for example. Time will tell.

PREDICTION #3:
Johnny Cab won't happen. People will detest humanoid robots trying to interact with them.
Agree. A stupid animatronic puppet that annoys you and takes up precious space. Remember Clippy? People doesn't wan't a "human" interface in between them and the machine.

PREDICTION #4:
The "one bad experience" problem may seriously hamper initial Robo-Cab adoption.
And with social media how it is, all you'll hear about are the bad experiences.
The media & your Facebook friends will lap it up.
Although, Facebook could be dead by then...
Yes, if they rush it and launch big before the service is ready it will probably set them back many years because of the publicity backlash. But they have already invested so much in this, they won't abandon this idea easily.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 03:11:52 pm by apis »
 

Offline Bud

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2019, 04:23:28 pm »
Quote
Anyone talking next year is kidding themselves.
Weed smoking Musk has promised exactly that, putting them on the streets next year. Yeah, another visionary thing. With cannabis the term "visionary" takes a new meaning.
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Offline Bud

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2019, 04:26:22 pm »
People will use them for sex, drinking, and leave all sort of garbage behind.
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Online 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2019, 04:36:05 pm »
I would argue that real autonomous driving (in a real world traffic situation you could encounter today in a car) could only work reliably with real artificial intelligence (and not some brainless neuronal network giving somewhat nondeterministic results) so it could react to unexpected situations at least as good as a human driver.
So even ten years from now sounds pretty much optimistic unless there is some unexpected breakthrough in AI. While I would really look forward to have autonomous driving in twenty years or so when I'm retired and half-blind, I would not entrust a car with my life that will decapitate me when mixing up a traffic sign with a truck.
It's somewhat shocking to see how easily today's image recognition systems can be tricked into totally overlooking traffic signs, persons and what not.
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Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2019, 04:50:19 pm »
I still want to see how well a self driving car would do on a typical road in the winter, especially side roads.  No lines (covered in snow) to act as guides and no real distinguishable road edges, other than snow banks.  Any kind of radar/lidar will have a hard time with that texture I think. 

In a southern city where the roads are super smooth, and have nice crisp lines it should not be too hard, but it's not like that everywhere.

I think driving assist technologies will continue to improve, where the driver can do a bit less of the work, but driverless is a long ways away I think.  Then again it's easy to underestimate just how advanced technology can get sometimes.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2019, 05:37:46 pm »
People will use them for sex, drinking, and leave all sort of garbage behind.
Well, they will be charged for the cleanup if they do. Expect inwards facing cameras.

It's somewhat shocking to see how easily today's image recognition systems can be tricked into totally overlooking traffic signs, persons and what not.
Only Tesla are relying that heavily on neural networks and they haven't demonstrated the same level of self driving as the others. The Tesla autopilot is basically advanced cruise control. Everyone else is using very good sensors and deterministic algorithms for the basic steering and collision avoidance. They extend here and there with neural networks when it makes sense and is safe. It's ironic that people first think of Tesla when self driving cars are mentioned, based on what they have shown so far they are way behind Waymo and the others.

I still want to see how well a self driving car would do on a typical road in the winter, especially side roads.  No lines (covered in snow) to act as guides and no real distinguishable road edges, other than snow banks.  Any kind of radar/lidar will have a hard time with that texture I think. 

In a southern city where the roads are super smooth, and have nice crisp lines it should not be too hard, but it's not like that everywhere.
I don't think it matters if the roads are super smooth or not, it all began when the Stanford team won the 2005 DARPA grand challenge and that was a 212 km (132 mi) course through desert. What they have problems with today are things like figuring out the best place to stop and pick up passengers at a crowded shopping center parking lot, etc.

They don't pretend to be able to handle heavy snow yet, but there are plenty of places without snow. The cars use the detailed maps to determine where it is to within a few centimeters (without gps) by comparing the map with the sensor data. If everything is covered in a meter of snow the maps won't be of much use though. Even humans can have problems determining where the road is in such conditions. Might be a while before they solve that.

From the DARPA grand challenge course:
 

Online 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2019, 06:13:13 pm »
That DARPA challenge course looks like a piece of cake compared to driving through most European cities in the rush hour.

And regarding Tesla's "autopilot": It's what other manufacturers had for years but called it something like "lane departure warning system" or "adaptive cruise control".
Actually I read a pretty balanced article lately about driving experience with a model 3 and the author stated the "auto pilot" worked worse than similar systems of other (gasoline/diesel) cars in the same price range.
Tesla's achievement is mainly to create the impression to be ahead of anybody else regarding autonomous driving even though they drag behind in ACC etc.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 06:20:41 pm by 0xdeadbeef »
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Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2019, 06:39:22 pm »
That DARPA challenge course looks like a piece of cake compared to driving through most European cities in the rush hour.
Yes, driving on dirt roads isn't the difficult part. What might be difficult for humans can be easy for a self driving car and vice versa. After the grand challenge there was the urban challenge in 2007 which the Stanford team also won. Then they managed to convince Alphabet to invest in a self driving car project which later became Waymo. Since then they have focused on driving in all kinds of traffic.

https://waymo.com/360experience/
 

Online 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2019, 07:05:17 pm »
My main issue with the common approach of training a system in a well defined scenario is that this implicitly means that anything outside that scenario will cause a more or less unpredictable and thus potentially catastrophic behavior.
Like in 2016 there were reports of Google's self-driving car getting confused by cyclists executing a track stand. Now I guess they trained their cars in the meantime to cope with that but what happens if a clown on a unicycle appears next to the car? Or a bear on a unicycle? Or an elephant that escaped from a circus? What if there is a hailstorm at the same time or an eclipse or the road is undermined by water and somebody in a penguin costume is trying to warn people about a rampage?
There are just too many unexpected situations that you can't train you system for so you need a system that can actually judge a complex situation just as a human could. Even if it involved elephants or people in penguin costumes. And that is just not going to happen soon.
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Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2019, 07:14:50 pm »
Unpredictable situations are naturally the most difficult. The basic parts of the drive system is deterministic though, it will avoid driving into anything the lidar sees whether it's a bear or someone wearing a penguin costume. Self driving cars don't have to be 100% safe, nothing is. Human drivers certainly are not: "In 2010, there were an estimated 5,419,000 crashes, 30,296 deadly, killing 32,999, and injuring 2,239,000." source. If robocabs are much safer than that it's acceptable if they fail in some very rare cases.
 
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Online 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2019, 07:32:30 pm »
Currently, autonomous cars just stop when something unexpected happens - but that is not a behavior that can be accepted in any situation. Actually stopping or blocking a street can kill people in certain situations.
Besides, not judging a situation correctly can also result in driving into a truck that was mistaken for a traffic sign or whatever.
And yes, human drivers make mistakes as well, but not the same idiotic category of mistakes unless they are drunk or copulating or both.
Now coming up with numbers of accidents caused by humans is somewhat pointless as obviously there is no way to compare that to issues caused by autonomous cars given the very few of them that only drive in the brightest sunshine after the track was examined in each and every detail. Actually, taking into account the ridiculous small number, slow speed, ideal conditions and possibility of human intervention, the accidents caused by prototypes are somewhat alarming. Admittedly, most accidents were caused by unexpected braking (i.e. another car hit the dumb autonomous car which was confused and hit the brakes without any warning). But there was already at least one fatality despite of the somewhat ideal conditions and low number of self driving prototypes (which most likely would not have happened if they hadn't disabled Volvo's emergency brake system).
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Online nctnico

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2019, 07:53:10 pm »
People will use them for sex, drinking, and leave all sort of garbage behind.
That is the first thing I told my wife: if we buy a self driving car we can have fun in the back seat while driving around (after a stop at Ikea to buy some curtains and sticker to put onto any camera to avoid getting lawsuits from people being traumatised from seeing my hairy buttocks).
« Last Edit: May 15, 2019, 07:55:09 pm by nctnico »
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Online magic

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2019, 07:54:39 pm »
People will use them for sex, drinking, and leave all sort of garbage behind.
People will fill them with TNT suitcases in some back alley and dispatch them on their last journey >:D
Not even kidding, I'm sure genuinely criminal uses will be found for dumb machines which blindly deliver arbitrary payloads to arbitrary destination.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2019, 07:56:20 pm »
Quote
Anyone talking next year is kidding themselves.
Weed smoking Musk has promised exactly that, putting them on the streets next year. Yeah, another visionary thing. With cannabis the term "visionary" takes a new meaning.
Don't expect anything from Tesla. They probably won't exist in a couple of years. Either bankcrupted or borged by a Chinese firm.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2019, 09:16:02 pm »
Currently, autonomous cars just stop when something unexpected happens
How do you know that? In fact, the last thing I heard from a Waymo official was that the car would pull over and stop if there was a situation it couldn't deal with. That's the same thing a human would do. (And in some occasions stepping on the brakes is the right thing to do.)

Besides, not judging a situation correctly can also result in driving into a truck that was mistaken for a traffic sign or whatever.
Yes, and the same applies for humans. What matters is how often something like that happens, if it happens less often with robocars then they are better obviously.

And yes, human drivers make mistakes as well, but not the same idiotic category of mistakes unless they are drunk or copulating or both.
Humans both drive when drunk and when copulating (and probably both), they also drive while using their smart phone or when they are too tired or distracted by other things. They also cause accidents when at their best. But in the end it just comes down to who killes fewest people. I don't care if I get run over by a human or a self driving car, what I care about is how likely it is to happen.

Now coming up with numbers of accidents caused by humans is somewhat pointless as obviously there is no way to compare that to issues caused by autonomous cars given the very few of them that only drive in the brightest sunshine after the track was examined in each and every detail. Actually, taking into account the ridiculous small number, slow speed, ideal conditions and possibility of human intervention, the accidents caused by prototypes are somewhat alarming. Admittedly, most accidents were caused by unexpected braking (i.e. another car hit the dumb autonomous car which was confused and hit the brakes without any warning). But there was already at least one fatality despite of the somewhat ideal conditions and low number of self driving prototypes (which most likely would not have happened if they hadn't disabled Volvo's emergency brake system).
Only one of Uber's prototype cars have caused a fatality (not counting Tesla since we seems to agree it's not a self driving car).

Waymo has driven autonomously over 16 million km (10 million mi) now without causing any accidents. As you rightly point out they have sometimes been hit by tailgaters when the Waymo car did something "stupid" like stop for a red light or a stop sign, but I would argue that is a problem with human drivers not the self driving cars. So the stats are looking pretty good for Waymo. Still, we won't get any real data until they begin driving without safety driver completely, which should happen within the next few years.

Some companies should't have been allowed to test their cars on public roads. Uber had not only disabled Volvo's crash avoidance system, but also their own built in emergency brake system (which actually detected the pedestrian in time and would likely have prevented the accident if it was enabled). Why? Because it had so many false positives it was basically broken. Instead they relied on the safety driver who was watching tv on the phone. Other companies normally use two highly trained safety drivers in a car that has so little autonomy.

Btw, Uber is now working on autonomous flying cars instead:  :scared:
 
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Online 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2019, 10:43:14 pm »
Pah, Uber. These two geniuses will bring air taxis to Germany ;)

I guess only Germans will fully understand this, but let's say if if we are competitive in one field, than it's moron politicians.
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Offline Electro Detective

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2019, 11:24:17 pm »

All good on EEVblog host's "Robo-Cab Predictions"  :-+

BUT...  ???

The last part of PREDICTION #4: may be a bit of a fail unfortunately

Quote: "Although, Facebook could be dead by then..."


I'd bet most of the addicted hoards will cash out first, before FB goes up in digital smoke
(an event already 10 years overdue btw  ;D)

 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2019, 11:49:41 pm »
I would argue that real autonomous driving (in a real world traffic situation you could encounter today in a car) could only work reliably with real artificial intelligence (and not some brainless neuronal network giving somewhat nondeterministic results) so it could react to unexpected situations at least as good as a human driver.
So even ten years from now sounds pretty much optimistic unless there is some unexpected breakthrough in AI. While I would really look forward to have autonomous driving in twenty years or so when I'm retired and half-blind, I would not entrust a car with my life that will decapitate me when mixing up a traffic sign with a truck.
It's somewhat shocking to see how easily today's image recognition systems can be tricked into totally overlooking traffic signs, persons and what not.

I am not a robot, but I remember many years ago, at night, following a "ute" which had a warning pattern painted upon its tailgate, identical to that used to indicate that a road is terminated at a "T" junction.

It came to just such a junction, with just such a sign, & the ute virtually disappeared as it slowed & the two patterns merged together.
Any optical recognition system would have been confused by this-------hell! I knew he was there, but the only thing that really stood out was his tail lights.

And this was a nice clear night!
 

Online 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2019, 12:44:19 am »
Yeah, e.g. good luck with that, Uber:

There is a certain creative energy in some German cities like here:

Or why not use another color?

Or let's try metal:


Even the good old "German Autobahn" holds some surprises for autonomous cars:



Now imagine that at night with some snow and this yellow marking foil tends to detach creating funny new direction proposals.
Also these metal walls tend to be bent back and forth and are hard to see at night and sometimes the yellow markings are actually on the wall.
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Online BravoV

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2019, 12:57:13 am »
My "fundamentalist" view only, why bother with the "vehicle" ?

Don't see this going anywhere until the AI is matured as human, period.

Fact, a motorized vehicles that have been used for centuries, matured technology, running on a "fixed & isolated road" with no ordinary human ever use it normally, and with today's technology advancements like telemetry, wireless communication, sensor technologies, powerful computer and etc, still we have these ...

-> Latest in 2019  :palm:

And further references :
-> List of accidents for the past century

Now, are you sure you want this robo thingy runs in the road where humans still freely roam at it's vicinity after reading above facts ?  :palm:


PS : Word "road" above is deliberately substituted for "rail", and "vehicle" for "train".  >:D
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 01:13:43 am by BravoV »
 

Offline Homer J Simpson

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2019, 01:16:57 am »
 

Online splin

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2019, 03:09:28 am »
I reckon it will be a *lot* longer than 10 years before we see autonomous cars - if ever. Don't forget the engineering maxim "the first 90% of a project takes 10% of the time. The last 10% takes the other 90% of the time". IE. The easiest parts are tackled first and the remaining issues get increasingly harder - autonomous driving being a perfect example.

Hell, in the UK the 'smart' meter development programme has been running for over 10 years and the costs could rise to £20B - for a bloody meter that only has to count kW hours and send the numbers to a data centre periodically. And it's only just started rolling out meters that meet the current standard. That should be way simpler than autonomous driving - though like most developments benefitting from government direction (interference) it's way more complicated than it should have been.

Double hell - I'm still waiting for a house robot that will fetch me a beer and find the TV remote after 50+ years of promises from 'Tomorrows World' etc. How hard can that be?


The basics of driving, navigation and situational awareness are relatively straightforward (but not easy). The problem is the myriad of corner cases and unexpected situations that have to be dealt with - the traffic sign that has slipped and is now upside down; the washing machine that fell offf the back of a truck; the breakdown requiring a short reverse down a one-way street; etc. ad-infinitum. If a car stops everytime it encounters a situation it doesn't know how to deal with gridlock will quickly follow.

You either have to have a team of very clever people considering how to design the hardware and software to reliably deal with every conceivable possibility and then have some way to handle the unconceivable ones (or much more likely, the conceivable ones that didn't occur to the developers because being hip and eco only use electric scooters and public transport and don't drive). Alternatively you have to come up with something that can self determine the best course of action in every situation that arises. The first would require vast engineering resources, the latter extremely good AI. That may be the answer and I don't know how good the state of the art is but I'm not holding my breath.

Some of the more interesting problems will arise from the non-autonomous vehicles co-occupying the roads. Human drivers will have a great deal of fun exploiting the safety first characteristics of self driving cars by, for example, forcing their way into traffic from a side street knowing that the autonomous car will be programmed to give way to avoid a collision. Or pranksters competing to come up with the funniest/cleverest scheme to halt or misdirect autonomous cars by the subtle application of bits of tape to road signs etc. Changes to the law will probably be the answer along with automated reporting of dash-cam footage showing aggressive human driving behaviour etc. but these will take time to implement and both sides will adapt and evolve; but how long will it take?

For as long as I can remember there has been no shortage of headlines trumpeting major scientific breakthroughs every few months. But almost invariably, after the initial excitement, it turns out that they've only developed the first 90% and all it requires for the last 10% are a few minor wrinkles to be ironed out, somebody to decide the best shade of blue to paint it, a solution to the Goldbach conjecture and the discovery of some new materials which can withstand 5000C whilst being a bit stronger than graphene at half the weight.

Humans both drive when drunk and when copulating (and probably both), they also drive while using their smart phone or when they are too tired or distracted by other things. They also cause accidents when at their best. But in the end it just comes down to who killes fewest people. I don't care if I get run over by a human or a self driving car, what I care about is how likely it is to happen.

You might not care but almost everybody else will. People tend to get very excited about deaths caused by things out of people's control and very quickly start baying for blood/something to be done/heads to roll. Rational consideration of cost - benefit tradeoffs won't be at the fore-front of most observer's minds (unless they happen to be engineers). When a human f**ks up and kills someone it's an accident. When something manufactured f**ks up and kills someone because of a design defect it's a company/corporation head that has to roll. Laws will have to change radically to allow autonomous vehicles to operate without the threat of company destroying liability costs arising from every incident involving human injury or death.

Case in point: it's my suspicion that railways in the UK are much too safe. The death rate on the railways is extremely low compared to the roads - which is a result of public demands for change after every major accident. That almost invariably means more cost and as a result we have a fabulously safe, but hideously expensive railway network that hardly anyone uses because it's too expensive. Eg. a child gets killed at an uncontrolled crossing resulting in all such crossings to be closed and fences to be erected alongside every inch of track to prevent any inadvertent access. When I say hardly anyone, that's relative to road usage of course - our trains are regularly overcrowded but only account for less than 9% of passenger miles. (Yes I do understand that many of the most important safety improvements don't incur significant costs - but many do.)

There are plenty of youtube videos showing the difficulties and problems that self driving cars get into for those interested.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2019, 03:34:00 am »
Humans both drive when drunk and when copulating (and probably both), they also drive while using their smart phone or when they are too tired or distracted by other things. They also cause accidents when at their best. But in the end it just comes down to who killes fewest people. I don't care if I get run over by a human or a self driving car, what I care about is how likely it is to happen.

You might not care but almost everybody else will. People tend to get very excited about deaths caused by things out of people's control and very quickly start baying for blood/something to be done/heads to roll.

This.  Most definitely this.  Add the Media into the mix and you are guaranteed to have a reaction a thousand fold greater for one death from autonomous vehicles than a hundred from human driven ones.

It's sad to say, but this will only start waning when we get to the point that autonomous vehicles become more pervasive and we as a population can start getting into the statistical comparison mindset that apis has already expressed.  We are several decades away from that, IMHO.
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2019, 03:39:26 am »
Quote
Anyone talking next year is kidding themselves.
Weed smoking Musk has promised exactly that, putting them on the streets next year. Yeah, another visionary thing. With cannabis the term "visionary" takes a new meaning.
Don't expect anything from Tesla. They probably won't exist in a couple of years. Either bankcrupted or borged by a Chinese firm.

I hope they stick around.  Love or hate them, I think they are pretty much driving the EV market right now.  If they die, the EV market goes with it.  Teslas are basically the apple of EVs and everyone else is trying to have a similar offering.  Except unlike phones, there is not necessarily a huge demand for them so if they go away, that's that.   Of course I could be wrong, the other companies could still continue with their own EVs but I feel they are just doing it because they want to have something they can have to compare with Tesla.  They can tell a customer "It's electric just like a Tesla, and those are cool right?".
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2019, 03:44:19 am »
I don't think the EV market will go away like that.  Certainly, it will lose a high profile player, but there are other manufacturers who are in the game to some degree - and with some bold legislative targets in place in some areas and the general tendency away from the love affair with petroleum fuels, it will continue.  There will be an impact, but it won't be terminal.
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2019, 03:46:41 am »
Yeah hopefully.  I really want to see EVs become the future.  I don't think it will do much to solve climate change on it's own, but it will at least help.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2019, 04:50:53 am »
I also think fully autonomous vehicles are a long way off. Modern computers still have a difficult time of identifying an email as spam, something that a human of average intelligence can determine at a glance with nearly 100% certainty. They work on carefully mapped urban courses but the real world is full of edge cases. Every day I see debris in the road, spilled paint, sand, worn off markings and all manner of other things that will confuse the heck out of an autonomous system. That's before you even consider all the impatient/malicious people who will do things like not allow a vehicle to merge. You have to be pretty aggressive in a lot of areas to merge onto a highway, I can picture it now, this poor self driving car inching timidly forward waiting for a gap in traffic until it runs out of lane and helplessly stops.
 

Online magic

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2019, 07:15:13 am »
That's before you even consider all the impatient/malicious people who will do things like not allow a vehicle to merge. You have to be pretty aggressive in a lot of areas to merge onto a highway, I can picture it now, this poor self driving car inching timidly forward waiting for a gap in traffic until it runs out of lane and helplessly stops.
A simple solution is to kick humans off the roads and equip cars with some "fair" protocols to negotiate merging. Futuristic crazies in Silicon Valley are already talking about banning normal driving because robots will ultimately become safer, never get tired or drunk, can be made not to speed :blah:
I don't think it's coming anytime soon, but in states saturated with Tesla snobs, who knows ;)
 

Offline Algu607

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2019, 08:44:00 am »
The argument that autonomous cars don't get drunken, tired or drugged is a weak argument. I don't want a car that statistically crashes less often then humans but fails to handle rare situations a human would have handled. Imagine a tree just about to fall on the street during a storm. A human would see that tree leaning over and stop. But what about an autonoumous car? Autonomous cars need to be able to deal with all situations a human can and more before they can be accepted.
So it is not a numbers game. The benchmark must be an intelligent, not speeding, fully aware and sober human driver.
 

Offline Algu607

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2019, 09:08:00 am »
We also have to consider how incredibly good and fail save the human neural network actually is. Most (probably 99%) of drunken drivers don't crash. So we humans are still able to drive even if our system is severly impaired. Imagine a self driving car with ram chips falling of the board, lens of the camera defocussed and lidar giving wrong distance readings.
 

Offline wilfred

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2019, 09:46:48 am »
Uber is going out of business and they will finish doing so before they develop an auto. That's my prediction.

At least with Uber you know why an auto is a good idea. They have a business model that exploits the drivers and they know it.
 
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Offline Electro Detective

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2019, 10:01:37 am »

I'd like to see how Robo-Cab Inc. deals with car jackers stripping them for parts and or fun,
and how that will impact fare prices

and how a halfassed AI box on wheels deals with back seat rapists, muggers, pedo-nappers and heist getaways, just for starters  >:D   

Too much automation = unnecessary complications, drama, unemployment,
less human to human interaction, 
and or a lazyass population that can't be rooted to turn a steering wheel and watch where they are headed.  ::)

Bring back the horse and carriage and lose these wet dream tech headaches that are unlikely to ever get 'smart enough' to be SAFE safe

All that aside, I can't imagine anything more boring than riding in one of those POS   :--


 

Online Ice-Tea

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2019, 10:13:36 am »
Quote
Anyone talking next year is kidding themselves.
Weed smoking Musk has promised exactly that, putting them on the streets next year. Yeah, another visionary thing. With cannabis the term "visionary" takes a new meaning.

He promised 1 000 000 of them in 2020. Which is kinda funny because he's a long shot from producing even 1mio regular Teslas/year.

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2019, 12:28:41 pm »
I would argue that real autonomous driving (in a real world traffic situation you could encounter today in a car) could only work reliably with real artificial intelligence (and not some brainless neuronal network giving somewhat nondeterministic results) so it could react to unexpected situations at least as good as a human driver.
So even ten years from now sounds pretty much optimistic unless there is some unexpected breakthrough in AI.

Yep, in all the hype this gets forgotten, they aren't even close to what a human driver can do in terms of the unexpected. Won't even happen in 10 years, I'm calling that one too.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2019, 07:35:30 pm »
Unless there is some major mishap I predict Waymo are going to begin driving without safety drivers in Phoenix within the next 5 years. It will take much longer until we see them here in Sweden though.

This is where they drive today (with safety drivers):
Quote
Waymo One riders are currently able to take rides within parts of the Phoenix metropolitan area, including Chandler, Tempe, Mesa and Gilbert. Our service operates around the clock, seven days a week. Riders can travel anywhere in our territory day and night. Our goal is to give our riders everyday access to our cars, and we encourage them to take rides as frequently as possible.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 07:37:35 pm by apis »
 

Online splin

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #36 on: May 16, 2019, 07:39:30 pm »
'Driverless Cars: On a Road to Nowhere (Perspectives) Christian Wolmar'

Quote
Driverless cars are the future - just around the corner. That is what the tech giants, the auto industry and even the government want us to think. But closer inspection reveals that we are much further from that driverless utopia than we are led to believe by newspaper headlines and by press releases from firms with vested interests. Christian Wolmar argues that autonomous cars are the wrong solution to the wrong problem. Even if the many technical difficulties that stand in the way of achieving a driverless future can be surmounted, autonomous cars are not the best way to address the problems of congestion and pollution caused by our long obsession with the private car. This entertaining polemic sets out the many technical, legal and moral problems that obstruct the path to a driverless future, and debunks many of the myths around that future's purported benefits.

Preview: https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Driverless_Cars_On_a_Road_to_Nowhere.html?id=aZCCDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #37 on: May 16, 2019, 08:07:46 pm »
Double hell - I'm still waiting for a house robot that will fetch me a beer and find the TV remote after 50+ years of promises from 'Tomorrows World' etc. How hard can that be?
It's pretty straight forward actually, and we're getting there. The biggest problem until recently have been computing power, but that has changed now. The problem now is only the massive development cost and the cost of all the electromechanical parts, servos, and sensors. It just isn't worth it simply for a curiosity that can fetch you a beer. But there are other areas where an agile robot would be very useful (like military applications) so it is under development. Once the robotic platform has been developed and is being mass produced enough to get down costs we might begin seeing domestic robots doing simple tasks.

I'm sure you have seen these before:



"We have begun field testing the Spot robot for commercial usage around the world. After an initial mapping run, Spot autonomously navigated two dynamic construction sites in Tokyo and used a specialized payload for surveying work progress. An additional camera in its hand lets Spot do even more detailed inspection work on site. The Spot robot will be available in the second half of 2019 for a variety of applications."

For as long as I can remember there has been no shortage of headlines trumpeting major scientific breakthroughs every few months. But almost invariably, after the initial excitement, it turns out that they've only developed the first 90% and all it requires for the last 10% are a few minor wrinkles to be ironed out, somebody to decide the best shade of blue to paint it, a solution to the Goldbach conjecture and the discovery of some new materials which can withstand 5000C whilst being a bit stronger than graphene at half the weight.
The difference is that this technology have been demonstrated for many years now, there are several different companies developing such self driving systems and companies with very deep pockets are pouring a lot of money into it. I find it a bit weird so many are in denial about it.

You might not care but almost everybody else will. People tend to get very excited about deaths caused by things out of people's control and very quickly start baying for blood/something to be done/heads to roll. Rational consideration of cost - benefit tradeoffs won't be at the fore-front of most observer's minds (unless they happen to be engineers). When a human f**ks up and kills someone it's an accident. When something manufactured f**ks up and kills someone because of a design defect it's a company/corporation head that has to roll. Laws will have to change radically to allow autonomous vehicles to operate without the threat of company destroying liability costs arising from every incident involving human injury or death.
You might be right about that, people are irrational, and I won't pretend I can predict what the psychological reaction will be.

There are plenty of youtube videos showing the difficulties and problems that self driving cars get into for those interested.
Really, they are not showing up in my feed. I would love to see videos showing what Waymo are having the most problem with today.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 09:23:27 pm by apis »
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #38 on: May 16, 2019, 09:03:16 pm »
I also think fully autonomous vehicles are a long way off. Modern computers still have a difficult time of identifying an email as spam, something that a human of average intelligence can determine at a glance with nearly 100% certainty.
The border between spam and not spam is not black and white, what you might consider spam someone else might consider a treat. So identifying spam is a very different problem, reading and understanding text requires a semantic understanding of human life on whole different level, and neither natural language processing nor AI is good enough for that yet. Even so, using surprisingly simple methods, I find that Thunderbird is pretty effective at classifying spam, as are gmail.

They work on carefully mapped urban courses but the real world is full of edge cases.
Does Phoenix count as the real world?
"Waymo One riders are currently able to take rides within parts of the Phoenix metropolitan area, including Chandler, Tempe, Mesa and Gilbert. Our service operates around the clock, seven days a week. Riders can travel anywhere in our territory day and night."

Every day I see debris in the road, spilled paint, sand, worn off markings and all manner of other things that will confuse the heck out of an autonomous system.
Last year, Waymo's prototypes drove the equivalent of a year (for an average american) between disengagements in California. I'm convinced none of the things you mentioned would be a problem for their cars. Undoubtedly there are still some unpredictable things that will cause issues, but It's really hard to come up with an example since if we could they wouldn't be unpredictable. What matters is that the problems are rare enough that they are at an acceptable level. Perfection is impossible, also for human drivers.

That's before you even consider all the impatient/malicious people who will do things like not allow a vehicle to merge.
People are nuts, and maybe malicious people will be a problem, but there will be real people in self driving cars as well, and most people aren't sociopaths.

You have to be pretty aggressive in a lot of areas to merge onto a highway, I can picture it now, this poor self driving car inching timidly forward waiting for a gap in traffic until it runs out of lane and helplessly stops.
Actually that kind of thing has been mentioned before. Similar problems arise in many situations, e.g. when making a turn in an intersection you can't just timidly sit and wait since people will never let you drive, you have to start driving and signal that you are going before others let you pass. But they have solved such problems before (e.g. with intersections) so even if merging onto a highway is problematic (I don't know if it actually is, they wouldn't tell us if it was) I think we can expect it to be solved relatively soon.

There's another problem though, sometimes driving in the real world requires you to break the law. I.e. the law might dictate that you drive very timidly but in practice people routinely break it or they wouldn't get anywhere. What should the programmer do in that case? Program the cars to break the law routinely?

Something they have admitted is very difficult is figuring out the best place to stop to pick up/drop of passengers. They can't just stop and block all traffic on a crowded parking lot for example, or other drivers would become pretty annoyed.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #39 on: May 16, 2019, 09:08:58 pm »
I would argue that real autonomous driving (in a real world traffic situation you could encounter today in a car) could only work reliably with real artificial intelligence (and not some brainless neuronal network giving somewhat nondeterministic results) so it could react to unexpected situations at least as good as a human driver.
So even ten years from now sounds pretty much optimistic unless there is some unexpected breakthrough in AI.
Yep, in all the hype this gets forgotten, they aren't even close to what a human driver can do in terms of the unexpected. Won't even happen in 10 years, I'm calling that one too.
I think you are wrong here and it is time you back these kind of claims with some factual information. You should also look at how human drivers can't cope with unexpected situations as well so there has to be at least a single standard as a benchmark. Fortunately there is one... In another thread someone pointed out the SAE has defined 5 levels of autonomy and Waymo (and at least one other but certainly not Tesla) is already at level 4. And they are going to start doing tests without the safety driver which means getting at level 5 (which is full autonomy) is very close. Several years at most and certainly not a decade.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #40 on: May 16, 2019, 09:19:57 pm »
I don't think the EV market will go away like that.  Certainly, it will lose a high profile player, but there are other manufacturers who are in the game to some degree - and with some bold legislative targets in place in some areas and the general tendency away from the love affair with petroleum fuels, it will continue.  There will be an impact, but it won't be terminal.
Tesla isn't the biggest player in the EV market today. Not by a long shot. And I'm pretty sure EVs will go away in a few years. They only sell in artificially created markets. In the Netherlands the politicians are slowly waking up to recognise the fact that EVs simply aren't affordable to most of the people and the CO2 reductions are minimal at best. The latter means that EV subsidies (which already have been reduced) are a large waste of tax payer's money. In the Netherlands sales of the  relatively expensive Tesla Model S & X, Jaguar I-pace, etc have already dropped to near zero because the subsidies on these have been cancelled. What is left are cars with a very small range. On the topic of Tesla: Tesla has released a very short range (cheap battery) version for (AFAIK) the Canadian market in order to have their cars eligible for subsidies. Needless to say that a limited range doesn't help broad adoption of EVs due to lack of usefullness as a replacement for a regular car.

Edit: link to article about Tesla's short range model: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/tesla-model-3-93-miles-range-canada-ev-incentive/
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 10:22:53 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #41 on: May 16, 2019, 09:50:38 pm »
'Driverless Cars: On a Road to Nowhere (Perspectives) Christian Wolmar'

Quote
Driverless cars are the future - just around the corner. That is what the tech giants, the auto industry and even the government want us to think. But closer inspection reveals that we are much further from that driverless utopia than we are led to believe by newspaper headlines and by press releases from firms with vested interests. Christian Wolmar argues that autonomous cars are the wrong solution to the wrong problem. Even if the many technical difficulties that stand in the way of achieving a driverless future can be surmounted, autonomous cars are not the best way to address the problems of congestion and pollution caused by our long obsession with the private car. This entertaining polemic sets out the many technical, legal and moral problems that obstruct the path to a driverless future, and debunks many of the myths around that future's purported benefits.

Preview: https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Driverless_Cars_On_a_Road_to_Nowhere.html?id=aZCCDwAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
I'm not allowed to read that. I doubt self driving cars will be something you own privately any time soon, so it seems like he got the premise wrong. They will be operated as robo-cab services first, but the same computer system could drive normal busses if you think busses are the future. It certainly will be driving trucks as well as vehicles in dangerous locations like mines, etc. I really don't get why some people think automation is a bad thing.
 

Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #42 on: May 16, 2019, 09:57:54 pm »
People will use them for sex, drinking, and leave all sort of garbage behind.

There is actually a viral video of two people  doing exactly that on a Tesla on autopilot.

Won't post it here, it actually qualifies as porn.
 

Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #43 on: May 16, 2019, 10:01:02 pm »
Yeah hopefully.  I really want to see EVs become the future.  I don't think it will do much to solve climate change on it's own, but it will at least help.

There is an overlooked pollution type:  noise pollution.
EVs will definitively help.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #44 on: May 16, 2019, 10:02:43 pm »
Tesla isn't the biggest player in the EV market today. Not by a long shot. And I'm pretty sure EVs will go away in a few years. They only sell in artificially created markets. In the Netherlands the politicians are slowly waking up to recognise the fact that EVs simply aren't affordable to most of the people and the CO2 reductions are minimal at best.
All the well-to-wheels analyses I've seen shows that the CO2 reductions are substantial except if they are purely charged by coal power plants, but most countries have a lot of nuclear and renewables in their energy mix.

There are actually many benefits with EV's for a robo-cab service. If they mainly operate in a metropolitan area the shorter range isn't a problem, and it's also not a problem to take cars out of service for charging regularly. They will get lower fuel costs, and be environmentally friendly which is good pr (besides the obvious advantages for the environment and smog levels). You also utilise the cars better, they won't just collect dust in a garage but will be used until they wear out, so fewer cars can service more people.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 10:04:53 pm by apis »
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #45 on: May 16, 2019, 10:06:19 pm »
The Waymo routes in Phoenix are carefully curated routes that are mapped to incredible levels of detail and Phoenix is flat with a dry climate. It's nothing like being able to drive to arbitrary locations throughout the nation. The area where I live for example is mountanous with lots of twisty crowded roads and complex confusing intersections that don't meet at right angles. There is a lot of inclement weather, rain, hail, the occasional dusting of snow. The roads are very crowded and getting worse all the time, I think there's a good reason none of the self driving testing is going on here despite the tech industry being second only to Silicon Valley.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #46 on: May 16, 2019, 10:09:28 pm »
Tesla isn't the biggest player in the EV market today. Not by a long shot. And I'm pretty sure EVs will go away in a few years. They only sell in artificially created markets. In the Netherlands the politicians are slowly waking up to recognise the fact that EVs simply aren't affordable to most of the people and the CO2 reductions are minimal at best.
All the well-to-wheels analyses I've seen shows that the CO2 reductions are substantial except if they are purely charged by coal power plants, but most countries have a lot of nuclear and renewables in their energy mix.

There are actually many benefits with EV's for a robo-cab service. If they mainly operate in a metropolitan area the shorter range isn't a problem, and it's also not a problem to take cars out of service for charging regularly. They will get lower fuel costs, and be environmentally friendly which is good pr (besides the obvious advantages for the environment and smog levels). You also utilise the cars better, they won't just collect dust in a garage but will be used until they wear out, so fewer cars can service more people.


No sense in debating that with some folks. He has a pathological hatred for EVs and shows up in every single thread discussing anything to do with them and relentlessly poo-poos them with a never ending arsenal of strawmen, false equivalency and baseless arguments.
 

Offline Electro Detective

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #47 on: May 16, 2019, 10:37:06 pm »

Speaking solely as a realistic tech fanperson:
I reckon all the '..way of the future' dreaming and waste of R+D dollars isn't going to bring about the advanced products seen on sci-fi shows  :popcorn:

Yes, a few novelty clunkers may come about that will come and go (probably have already? :-//)  and be forgotten

Money better spent on endeavors to benefit humanity, shareholders, CEOs,   
and upgrades/updates/patches and psychiatry R+D for the current robo-zombies,
walking around with phones glued to their faces   :scared:

 :D
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #48 on: May 16, 2019, 10:45:29 pm »
The Waymo routes in Phoenix are carefully curated routes that are mapped to incredible levels of detail and Phoenix is flat with a dry climate.
They don't have special routes, they operate everywhere within "the Phoenix metropolitan area, including Chandler, Tempe, Mesa and Gilbert." (It's supposed to be about 100 square miles or 259 km2). They use detailed maps but they claim they are able to create those maps and Alphabet certainly knows a thing or two about creating maps, so why not?
Phoenix is apparently flat with a dry climate and sympathetic laws. It makes sense to launch your pilot project in an as ideal location as possible.

It's nothing like being able to drive to arbitrary locations throughout the nation.
I feel you are moving the goalposts now. They have to begin somewhere.

The area where I live for example is mountanous with lots of twisty crowded roads and complex confusing intersections that don't meet at right angles. There is a lot of inclement weather, rain, hail, the occasional dusting of snow. The roads are very crowded and getting worse all the time, I think there's a good reason none of the self driving testing is going on here despite the tech industry being second only to Silicon Valley.
It's not the twisty crowded roads, it's the rain, hail and snow. The lidar is famously blinded by heavy precipitation.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 11:05:18 pm by apis »
 

Offline wilfred

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #49 on: May 17, 2019, 12:42:22 am »
The difference is that this technology have been demonstrated for many years now, there are several different companies developing such self driving systems and companies with very deep pockets are pouring a lot of money into it. I find it a bit weird so many are in denial about it.

I'm as puzzled by those who seem to think autos are anywhere close to reality. Even if they can drive well and if they can park in a space, how will they go finding a space to park? Is this even part of the programming? I know I use lots of clues to find a spot including looking to see if someone is in the drivers seat and may be about to put their seat belt on. I also look at people with a shopping bag and stalk them in case they are leaving. The cars have to be able to recognise parking signs to ensure they don't park and get a ticket. Who gets the ticket?

On the issue of who gets the ticket, that extends to who is going to accept responsibility for loss in the event of an accident? That's the road you have to navigate successfully before autos gain mass acceptance.

Going back to the parking issue. Yesterday I was getting into a lift (not Lyft) and the doors were painfully slow to close, or so it seemed because no-one else was around. In reality it was about 5 seconds. A lift still can't even tell no-one is waiting. It still takes a timeout to elapse on the door entry beam not being broken. How long will someone tolerate driving around whilst the car seeks a spot and is outbid by human drivers better able to find a space? Take the steering wheel out of a car that drives well enough to not require a passenger with a drivers license and the car will have to park itself somewhere. This aspect of driving has to be dealt with. It just has to be, but I have never seen any auto do it. Or even attempt to do it.

Talk about denial that's a place to start.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 12:45:19 am by wilfred »
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #50 on: May 17, 2019, 01:09:14 am »
Why would a self driving car need to park? In many cities driving around on the slowest route will be cheaper compared to paying for the parking space.

Besides that many people are really dumb when it comes to finding a parking space. On a lower or upper floor you can usually park right next to the elevator and get out of the parking garage quicker. Instead many people like to wait until someone is leaving a space (causing a traffic jam and delay) because they are to neurotic to look further. A self driving car can take these metrics into account an find the most optimal parking space. In the future self driving cars are likely able to talk to the 'empty space' detection system and drive to the nearest available parking space.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 01:16:39 am by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #51 on: May 17, 2019, 01:11:08 am »
I would argue that real autonomous driving (in a real world traffic situation you could encounter today in a car) could only work reliably with real artificial intelligence (and not some brainless neuronal network giving somewhat nondeterministic results) so it could react to unexpected situations at least as good as a human driver.
So even ten years from now sounds pretty much optimistic unless there is some unexpected breakthrough in AI.
Yep, in all the hype this gets forgotten, they aren't even close to what a human driver can do in terms of the unexpected. Won't even happen in 10 years, I'm calling that one too.
I think you are wrong here
You are entitled to your opinion.  So is Dave.

Quote
and it is time you back these kind of claims with some factual information.
Why?  Dave has expressed his opinion based on his own criteria.  He may be right or he may be wildly off the mark.  There's no need for him to offer any "factual information" to support his opinion, especially since it has been offered as his own personal speculation.

At least I don't think so.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #52 on: May 17, 2019, 01:14:44 am »
Well this is an engineering forum so it would be nice to have a discussion which is based on some factual information and not wild guesses.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #53 on: May 17, 2019, 01:16:41 am »
I don't think the EV market will go away like that.  Certainly, it will lose a high profile player, but there are other manufacturers who are in the game to some degree - and with some bold legislative targets in place in some areas and the general tendency away from the love affair with petroleum fuels, it will continue.  There will be an impact, but it won't be terminal.
Tesla isn't the biggest player in the EV market today. Not by a long shot.

I never said nor intimated that Tesla was anything more than high profile.  Being high profile means that your brand is known to a great many people.  It has nothing directly to do with production volume, capitalisation or share price.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #54 on: May 17, 2019, 01:20:44 am »
Well this is an engineering forum so it would be nice to have a discussion which is based on some factual information and not wild guesses.

So - you would put a straight jacket on free thinking?

Look back and see how good engineers have been in applying their formal thinking to futurist pursuits.  The writers of Star Trek have done a better job in some respects.  (But that's just my opinion.)
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #55 on: May 17, 2019, 01:24:10 am »
Why would a self driving car need to park? In many cities driving around on the slowest route will be cheaper compared to paying for the parking space.

Let's see...
 * Wasted energy
 * Extra wear and tear on the vehicles
 * Increased maintenance costs
 * Unnecessary traffic increasing congestion and slowing down other vehicles actually going somewhere
 * Increased presence on the roads means an increased risk of collision

... that's just from off the top of my head.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #56 on: May 17, 2019, 01:32:59 am »
I would argue that real autonomous driving (in a real world traffic situation you could encounter today in a car) could only work reliably with real artificial intelligence (and not some brainless neuronal network giving somewhat nondeterministic results) so it could react to unexpected situations at least as good as a human driver.
So even ten years from now sounds pretty much optimistic unless there is some unexpected breakthrough in AI.
Yep, in all the hype this gets forgotten, they aren't even close to what a human driver can do in terms of the unexpected. Won't even happen in 10 years, I'm calling that one too.
I think you are wrong here and it is time you back these kind of claims with some factual information.

Just my engineering opinion based on what I see, experience, and can easily imagine in terms of possible complex scenarios.
I've seen the tracking data on the best autonomous cars and they miss plenty of basic stuff. Even the best systems in pretty simple driving scenarios average something like only a few hours before they require human intervention. It's not hard to imagine countless scenarios that would confuse even the best systems and how these systems aren't even close to learning how to deal with them.
And people are predicting the roads will be filled with fully autonomous cars within 1-2 years. Bullshit.
 

Offline wilfred

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #57 on: May 17, 2019, 03:15:36 am »
Why would a self driving car need to park? In many cities driving around on the slowest route will be cheaper compared to paying for the parking space.

Besides that many people are really dumb when it comes to finding a parking space. On a lower or upper floor you can usually park right next to the elevator and get out of the parking garage quicker. Instead many people like to wait until someone is leaving a space (causing a traffic jam and delay) because they are to neurotic to look further. A self driving car can take these metrics into account an find the most optimal parking space. In the future self driving cars are likely able to talk to the 'empty space' detection system and drive to the nearest available parking space.

I've observed that parking lot behavior too. But my point was not just in a regulated parking garage but also in the street and wherever a less clearly delineated cluster of parking spaces exist.
As for an auto knowing where a free empty space is, well I'd like to see it argue with a human driver who thinks they saw it first. It will possibly literally demonstrate "punching their lights out".

My basic argument is that where humans and autos interact there are situations that are not part of the programmed intelligence of the machine. As long as that remains so then autos are simply robots that need an artificially constrained environment to operate in. They will not be ready for the real world soon. And I am betting the cost will be too high and the world will move past them being a viable option. Other requirements of burgeoning urban development will drive us away from the current car lifestyle. I already see younger people for whatever reason opting to remain without a car for longer than was done when I was their age. Continually spending billions to build expensive and controversial tunnels and other road infrastructure to relieve local congestion bottlenecks can only go on so long. You cannot spend your way out of road congestion and although autos were meant to make roads flow more smoothly that also is a temporary solution. Cities would sprawl a lot less if they didn't need to accommodate so much roads. Cities like villages  before cars can only grow to a size that requires a tolerable time spent commuting. It's not distance it's time spent commuting.  That time defines the size of the city because it defines how much roads and cars are needed and can fit into the available space. I reckon we'll hit the limits before we develop autos and when we hit the limits no amount of automation will help.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #58 on: May 17, 2019, 12:59:25 pm »
Even the best systems in pretty simple driving scenarios average something like only a few hours before they require human intervention.
Then you are misinformed. Anyone testing self driving cars in California are required to publish their disengagement rate by law. Waymo currently has the best disengagement rate (for 2018):
"Across the millions of urban miles we’ve driven on California roads, our disengagement rate dropped to 0.09 per 1,000 self-driven miles in 2018 (or 1 disengage per 11,017 miles self-driven)."
GM was second with about double that. You can see a complete table here:
https://www.therobotreport.com/waymo-autonomous-vehicles-apple/
(Note that Tesla isn't even listed because apparently they aren't even testing self driving cars in California.)

And people are predicting the roads will be filled with fully autonomous cars within 1-2 years. Bullshit.
Only Elon Musk says that, and yes that is bullshit. But Waymo will probably begin testing without safety drivers in Phoenix within the next 5 years. Naturally it will be many more years before the roads are filled with autonomous cars.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #59 on: May 17, 2019, 01:14:50 pm »
Even if they can drive well and if they can park in a space, how will they go finding a space to park?
What the technology leaders are planing are taxi services, a robo-cab won't need to find a parking space in a crowded parking lot, they just have to pick up or let of their passengers before they drive off again. They will have to park at times, but they can then find a spot in a less crowded area. The same is actually true for a privately owned autonomous car, it could drop you off at your destination and then drive somewhere where there are free parking spots. (But I don't think we will see privately owned and operated autonomous cars for a long time.)

Is this even part of the programming? I know I use lots of clues to find a spot including looking to see if someone is in the drivers seat and may be about to put their seat belt on. I also look at people with a shopping bag and stalk them in case they are leaving.
While the cars don't rely on neural networks to determine if there is an obstacle on the road in front of the car (that is what they use the lidar for), they do use neural network for a lot of other tasks. Determining if someone is in the drivers seat and are about to leave is a perfect task for a neural network, and Waymo have claimed they can do exactly that. They are very likely not 99% accurate, but neither would a human be, and they don't have to. Neural networks really excel at such tasks, often demonstrating better than human performance.

The cars have to be able to recognise parking signs to ensure they don't park and get a ticket. Who gets the ticket?
Not sure why recognising parking signs would be an issue? They also have detailed maps that could list parking spots. The ticket goes to the owner/operator of the vehicle.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 01:17:56 pm by apis »
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #60 on: May 17, 2019, 01:23:03 pm »
Weed smoking Musk has promised exactly that, putting them on the streets next year. Yeah, another visionary thing. With cannabis the term "visionary" takes a new meaning.
That guy is full of it. Practical self landing rockets and attractive electric cars? Get real.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #61 on: May 17, 2019, 01:29:37 pm »
I've observed that parking lot behavior too. But my point was not just in a regulated parking garage but also in the street and wherever a less clearly delineated cluster of parking spaces exist.
As for an auto knowing where a free empty space is, well I'd like to see it argue with a human driver who thinks they saw it first. It will possibly literally demonstrate "punching their lights out".
My basic argument is that where humans and autos interact there are situations that are not part of the programmed intelligence of the machine. As long as that remains so then autos are simply robots that need an artificially constrained environment to operate in. They will not be ready for the real world soon.

THIS.

All we ever see is these autonomous cars doing (relatively) basic stuff, as advanced and impressive as that is of course, again it's not anything close to what a human is capable of.
Can't say I've seen one get out of the way of an ambulance. Pull over when the cops point their finger. Notice that someone is walking toward their car and is about to hop in and so wait for a minute.
And I could go on and on and on for countless scenarios.

Quote
And I am betting the cost will be too high and the world will move past them being a viable option.

It will be interesting to see in what markets it's a fad, and what markets is finds success in.

 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #62 on: May 17, 2019, 01:33:06 pm »
While the cars don't rely on neural networks to determine if there is an obstacle on the road in front of the car (that is what they use the lidar for)

The Tesla doesn't have a LIDAR, and Musk recently said any company who uses one is doomed.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #63 on: May 17, 2019, 01:35:56 pm »
Just my engineering opinion based on what I see, experience, and can easily imagine in terms of possible complex scenarios.
I've seen the tracking data on the best autonomous cars and they miss plenty of basic stuff. Even the best systems in pretty simple driving scenarios average something like only a few hours before they require human intervention. It's not hard to imagine countless scenarios that would confuse even the best systems and how these systems aren't even close to learning how to deal with them.
And people are predicting the roads will be filled with fully autonomous cars within 1-2 years. Bullshit.
Can you share your sources? What I'm able to find paints quite a different picture of about 0,09 interventions per 1000 miles, which translates to about one intervention every 18000 kilometres. I do agree with your initial assessments, if only because the law will prevent a rapid adoption. Regulations are sluggish. Hybrid and partial solutions are likely to be seen first, with things like trucks on highways making the transistion first.

https://www.engadget.com/2019/02/13/waymo-self-driving-cars-disengagement-rate/?guccounter=1
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #64 on: May 17, 2019, 01:38:24 pm »
It's not the twisty crowded roads, it's the rain, hail and snow. The lidar is famously blinded by heavy precipitation.

I remember driving home one night from the city. It was raining hard and Sydney's streets were more than their usual nightmare with nighttime road works, huge flood lighting blinding everything, and contraflows galore that even I had a hard time figuring out. And I remember thinking that an autonomous car wasn't going to be able to handle this within my lifetime.
Maybe if it tailgated the car in front that would be a sensible AI tactic, but on it's own no freaking way.
 

Offline radar_macgyver

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #65 on: May 17, 2019, 02:02:18 pm »
If I were to guess, once a significant fraction of vehicles on the road are autonomous, there will be a push for integrating features into roads to help them navigate in a robust manner. Retro-reflectors for lidar or radar, inductive loop sensors or similar. This would make them safer to use during poor visibility conditions than unaided human drivers.
 
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #66 on: May 17, 2019, 02:05:15 pm »
I remember driving home one night from the city. It was raining hard and Sydney's streets were more than their usual nightmare with nighttime road works, huge flood lighting blinding everything, and contraflows galore that even I had a hard time figuring out. And I remember thinking that an autonomous car wasn't going to be able to handle this within my lifetime.
Maybe if it tailgated the car in front that would be a sensible AI tactic, but on it's own no freaking way.
I have a hard time believing the human sensor array can't be topped by a carefully designed technological one for this kind of data acquisition.
 

Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #67 on: May 17, 2019, 02:06:12 pm »
I would like to see a self driving car in the streets of Rome. With kamikaze scooters cutting routinely in front of you in twisting roads.

For a Roman driver, he would simply honk the horn and hurl a pair of delicious Italian expletives, and he would continue driving.
For AI, it would trigger a scram reaction on the brakes.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 02:22:04 pm by schmitt trigger »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #68 on: May 17, 2019, 02:06:49 pm »
I remember driving home one night from the city. It was raining hard and Sydney's streets were more than their usual nightmare with nighttime road works, huge flood lighting blinding everything, and contraflows galore that even I had a hard time figuring out. And I remember thinking that an autonomous car wasn't going to be able to handle this within my lifetime.
Maybe if it tailgated the car in front that would be a sensible AI tactic, but on it's own no freaking way.
I have a hard time believing the human sensor array can't be topped by a carefully designed technological one for this kind of data acquisition.

You can train it to do anything, but that's not the point.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #69 on: May 17, 2019, 02:10:02 pm »
It's not the twisty crowded roads, it's the rain, hail and snow. The lidar is famously blinded by heavy precipitation.

I remember driving home one night from the city. It was raining hard and Sydney's streets were more than their usual nightmare with nighttime road works, huge flood lighting blinding everything, and contraflows galore that even I had a hard time figuring out. And I remember thinking that an autonomous car wasn't going to be able to handle this within my lifetime.
Maybe if it tailgated the car in front that would be a sensible AI tactic, but on it's own no freaking way.
IMHO you are falling in the same trap as many others: a self driving car can use different sensors so it can get more information than just the visual spectrum humans can detect. The whole discussion reminds me of an example of a machine which packs eggs in boxes. It doesn't use robotic fingers but vacuum and a suction cup. As a consequence it can pack eggs faster than any human can do.

Look at this example image from Flir which shows how a situation you describe looks using a thermal imaging camera:
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online magic

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #70 on: May 17, 2019, 02:14:02 pm »
My guess is it will work in some rich American / West European areas where roads are reasonably maintained, poor and dumb people and their junk cars are kept out by economics, everybody is obsessed with obeying the law (which is not the case in most of the world) and there will be enough technology fanatics to pressure regulators into making accommodations for their toys if something doesn't work out.
There are such people, there are such politicians, there are such places. I can imagine SV being one - the terrain is flat, weather is mostly good, bio-drivers are rather timid, and the place is full of rich nerds. But now, my home city in Poland with constant roadworks and some bizarrely creative solution, or Warsaw with its notoriously asshole drivers - different story.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #71 on: May 17, 2019, 02:15:52 pm »
You can train it to do anything, but that's not the point.
I'm not taking about training, I'm talking about sensors. Humans have a fixed and limited array of them and cars can be fitted with anything we come up with. If that doesn't already provide an advantage, it most definitely will in the future. Human eyeballs and ears aren't that remarkable as means to drive a vehicle.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #72 on: May 17, 2019, 02:21:34 pm »
All we ever see is these autonomous cars doing (relatively) basic stuff, as advanced and impressive as that is of course, again it's not anything close to what a human is capable of.
Well, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. We'll see.

Can't say I've seen one get out of the way of an ambulance. Pull over when the cops point their finger. Notice that someone is walking toward their car and is about to hop in and so wait for a minute.
I've heard them mention all of those scenarios saying they can handle that. The Waymo cars have microphones that actively listen for sirens, they can recognise emergency vehicles and they will take appropriate actions to let them pass. They use neural networks to predict if someone is about to get into (or out of) a car, and I've seen a video of the cars following the commands from a traffic police using hand gestures in an intersection.

Car being directed by traffic cop at an intersection with broken lights:


Car predicting intention of bicyclists, slowing down to let them pass:


While the cars don't rely on neural networks to determine if there is an obstacle on the road in front of the car (that is what they use the lidar for)
The Tesla doesn't have a LIDAR, and Musk recently said any company who uses one is doomed.
But the Tesla isn't a self driving car, it has some fancy cruise control (classified as level 2) and they kill people regularly. Tesla doesn't use lidar because it would be too expensive to put into all their cars. Everyone else does though, since they are not making cars but drivers (full level 4 autonomy). Waymo and GM develop their own in-house lidar systems.

It's not the twisty crowded roads, it's the rain, hail and snow. The lidar is famously blinded by heavy precipitation.
I remember driving home one night from the city. It was raining hard and Sydney's streets were more than their usual nightmare with nighttime road works, huge flood lighting blinding everything, and contraflows galore that even I had a hard time figuring out. And I remember thinking that an autonomous car wasn't going to be able to handle this within my lifetime.
Maybe if it tailgated the car in front that would be a sensible AI tactic, but on it's own no freaking way.
They can handle light rain, but in heavy rain they pull over and stop. That is clearly not a long time solution and it will probably be a while before they solve that problem. Since the lidar is blinded in that situation (and I don't see how they could fix that) they would have to rely only on cameras and radar, and as we have seen from Tesla, they can't drive safely with only cameras and radar. A lot of progress has been made on computer vision in the last couple of years though and vehicle radar is getting better as well. They will probably get there eventually, but it's hard to predict when, it could take 10 years or 30.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #73 on: May 17, 2019, 02:25:24 pm »
But the Tesla isn't a self driving car

Perhaps you haven't been reading the news. Telsa say they will have 1 million fully autonomous cars on the road next year.
That's the whole point of this thread.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #74 on: May 17, 2019, 02:32:26 pm »
I've heard them mention all of those scenarios saying they can handle that. The Waymo cars have microphones that actively listen for sirens, they can recognise emergency vehicles and they will take appropriate actions to let them pass. They use neural networks to predict if someone is about to get into (or out of) a car, and I've seen a video of the cars following the commands from a traffic police using hand gestures in an intersection.

Cute, but the world is one of infinite variability.
Last holidays I approached an intersection that had a guy off his face on drugs playing a raged traffic cop in the middle of an 8 lane highway. Laying down, banging on cars, chasing them, head butting the traffic lights, then the next minute directing traffic. Good luck AI.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #75 on: May 17, 2019, 02:33:54 pm »
I would like to see a self driving car in the streets of Rome. With kamikaze scooters cutting routinely in front of you in twisting roads.

For a Roman driver, he would simply honk the horn and hurl a pair of delicious Italian expletives, and he would continue driving.
For AI, it would trigger a scram reaction on the brakes.
I don't think what you describe is a big problem. The computer has much better control of the car than an average human driver, so narrow twisty roads are less of a challenge than for humans. They also have much better situational awareness than humans, a self driving car would spot the kamikaze scooters long before a human, predict their intended route and plan accordingly.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #76 on: May 17, 2019, 02:35:13 pm »
It's not the twisty crowded roads, it's the rain, hail and snow. The lidar is famously blinded by heavy precipitation.

I remember driving home one night from the city. It was raining hard and Sydney's streets were more than their usual nightmare with nighttime road works, huge flood lighting blinding everything, and contraflows galore that even I had a hard time figuring out. And I remember thinking that an autonomous car wasn't going to be able to handle this within my lifetime.
Maybe if it tailgated the car in front that would be a sensible AI tactic, but on it's own no freaking way.
IMHO you are falling in the same trap as many others: a self driving car can use different sensors so it can get more information than just the visual spectrum humans can detect.

Nope, I was thinking of that as well, a lot actually, and I stand by my statement.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #77 on: May 17, 2019, 02:37:42 pm »
I would like to see a self driving car in the streets of Rome. With kamikaze scooters cutting routinely in front of you in twisting roads.

For a Roman driver, he would simply honk the horn and hurl a pair of delicious Italian expletives, and he would continue driving.
For AI, it would trigger a scram reaction on the brakes.
I don't think what you describe is a big problem. The computer has much better control of the car than an average human driver, so narrow twisty roads are less of a challenge than for humans. They also have much better situational awareness than humans, a self driving car would spot the kamikaze scooters long before a human, predict their intended route and plan accordingly.

Now you are falling into the trap of assuming that just because some self driving system can do that kind of stuff in one (or many) situations, that it can do it in all. That's a huge mistake.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #78 on: May 17, 2019, 02:56:55 pm »
But the Tesla isn't a self driving car
Perhaps you haven't been reading the news. Telsa say they will have 1 million fully autonomous cars on the road next year.
That's the whole point of this thread.
Yes, and I agree that is complete and utter bullshit. Tesla are giving self driving cars a bad reputation. So far Tesla haven't demonstrated anything near the same level of self driving the others are working on. Elon says every one else is stupid for using lidar and detailed maps, but unlike Tesla the others have actual self driving prototypes on the roads, averaging more than 17 thousand km between each human intervention. If Tesla have a fully autonomous car ready for release they have managed to keep it secret from everyone else.

That is why I keep talking about Waymo, they are the technology leaders and what people should be looking at when talking about self driving cars.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #79 on: May 17, 2019, 02:59:58 pm »
But the Tesla isn't a self driving car

Perhaps you haven't been reading the news. Telsa say they will have 1 million fully autonomous cars on the road next year.
That's the whole point of this thread.
If the latter is the case then I like to point out Tesla is nearly broke and Musk tries to sell something which isn't there because they want to water down the shares (again) to raise money. In reality Tesla is nowhere near having a self driving car despite what Musk likes to think. If you want to have a discussion about self driving cars then Tesla shouldn't be part of it.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #80 on: May 17, 2019, 03:14:47 pm »
If I were to guess, once a significant fraction of vehicles on the road are autonomous, there will be a push for integrating features into roads to help them navigate in a robust manner. Retro-reflectors for lidar or radar, inductive loop sensors or similar. This would make them safer to use during poor visibility conditions than unaided human drivers.
I think so too, if they start providing infrastructure to make it easier for autonomous cars many of the biggest challenges go away. For example, the cars use cameras and computer vision to look for traffic signs just like a human would, but it would be fairly trivial to have a radio beacon to signal the same information. Or you could have whoever is responsible for the traffic signs be required to update publicly available maps whenever they make a change (they probably do that already anyway). You could put iron spikes at regular intervals in the road to mark the lanes so the car can sense where the lane is even if the road is covered in snow. You could have special drop off and pick up points for autonomous vehicles in crowded places, there already exist such special taxi areas outside many airports and train stations.

But so far they have said they want to everything without the need for extra infrastructure.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #81 on: May 17, 2019, 03:26:22 pm »
If the latter is the case then I like to point out Tesla is nearly broke and Musk tries to sell something which isn't there because they want to water down the shares (again) to raise money. In reality Tesla is nowhere near having a self driving car despite what Musk likes to think. If you want to have a discussion about self driving cars then Tesla shouldn't be part of it.

But Tesla have cars on the road, lots of them.
No point talking about commercialization of others that don't have commercial cars on the market that people can buy. Sure Waymo are starting to offer a trial commercial service, and they claim it'll be for-profit, but I suspect it will be nowhere near profitable.
Call me when I can buy one at even a remotely affordable price.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #82 on: May 17, 2019, 03:27:40 pm »
Perhaps you haven't been reading the news. Telsa say they will have 1 million fully autonomous cars on the road next year.
That's the whole point of this thread.
The mistake probably lies in looking at it from an engineering point of view, rather than a marketing one. Musk isn't just responsible for making it happen, but also getting people on board.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #83 on: May 17, 2019, 03:28:44 pm »
If the latter is the case then I like to point out Tesla is nearly broke and Musk tries to sell something which isn't there because they want to water down the shares (again) to raise money. In reality Tesla is nowhere near having a self driving car despite what Musk likes to think. If you want to have a discussion about self driving cars then Tesla shouldn't be part of it.
How do you know what Musk thinks?
 

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #84 on: May 17, 2019, 03:30:18 pm »
I think so too, if they start providing infrastructure to make it easier for autonomous cars many of the biggest challenges go away. For example, the cars use cameras and computer vision to look for traffic signs just like a human would, but it would be fairly trivial to have a radio beacon to signal the same information. Or you could have whoever is responsible for the traffic signs be required to update publicly available maps whenever they make a change (they probably do that already anyway).

LOL
Roads change every day due to maintenance, upgrades, and accidents. It's done by grunts in a reflector vest at a moments notice. No way it's even remotely possible to apply any sort of tech to that reliably.

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You could have special drop off and pick up points for autonomous vehicles in crowded places, there already exist such special taxi areas outside many airports and train stations.

Now your talking, because autonomous cars are going to suck at special circumstances for a very long time to come.

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But so far they have said they want to everything without the need for extra infrastructure.

Because they know that's the only way it's going to work in practice.
 

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #85 on: May 17, 2019, 03:31:16 pm »
If the latter is the case then I like to point out Tesla is nearly broke and Musk tries to sell something which isn't there because they want to water down the shares (again) to raise money. In reality Tesla is nowhere near having a self driving car despite what Musk likes to think. If you want to have a discussion about self driving cars then Tesla shouldn't be part of it.
How do you know what Musk thinks?

Because he tweets a lot.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #86 on: May 17, 2019, 03:36:38 pm »
Because he tweets a lot.
That's just what he says. See my previous post about engineering versus marketing.
 

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #87 on: May 17, 2019, 03:40:38 pm »
Now you are falling into the trap of assuming that just because some self driving system can do that kind of stuff in one (or many) situations, that it can do it in all. That's a huge mistake.
It's my engineering opinion based on what I know and I've seen so far. It's hard to tell how far they have come, they are not exactly sharing data voluntarily. Any video they show where the car does something impressive is marketing and might be just a fluke, or it might be complete theatre. We won't really know until they launch. Waymo doesn't seem to be in a rush (which one can't fault them for, they are prioritising safety over money in this case.)

From a twisty road ten years ago:
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 03:52:32 pm by apis »
 

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #88 on: May 17, 2019, 03:43:43 pm »
Because he tweets a lot.
That's just what he says. See my previous post about engineering versus marketing.
Musk talk (tweet) a lot. He also says he is going to terraform Mars and transport people across continents using self landing rockets. Otoh, he now has self landing rockets, something many believed was impossible.

https://youtu.be/xDEKjfnRhqQ?t=44
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 04:17:10 pm by apis »
 

Offline Bud

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #89 on: May 17, 2019, 04:03:30 pm »
I have no reason not to believe him. He's been sending tourists to Mars since "by 2018". Right?
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Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #90 on: May 17, 2019, 04:12:58 pm »
I have no reason not to believe him. He's been sending tourists to Mars since "by 2018". Right?
Correct. We haven't seen any of those self landing rockets or a Tesla in interplanetary space either.
 

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #91 on: May 18, 2019, 04:12:07 am »
Waymo doesn't seem to be in a rush (which one can't fault them for, they are prioritising safety over money in this case.)

Now that's marketing.  ;)

In actual fact the driving (yes, shameless pun) motivation for this robot cab is money. They don't want to pay drivers.

But robot or not no-one will like paying to sit in traffic.

People, feel free to list out the reasons autos are the future and where the benefits will come from. I don't follow the development of autos all that closely unless the mass media pick up a story but it's not self evident to me where the longer term benefits are coming from for ordinary people.

Every day I drive in traffic I see some situation and I think how will an auto deal with it. Simple things like today I had the choice to merge into the front of a tram or fall back and merge in behind it. I could have a driver who doesn't want to be behind a tram in the first place (like me) who doesn't want to make it easy and wave me in. It could be an aggressive driver who has already been stuck and definitely won't make it easy.

For those not familiar with trams you can't pass them on the other side of the road and you can't pass them when they are stopped to set down or pick up passengers, And you definitely can't pass them ona busy inner city road where cars are parked and there is no gap big enough in the parked cars for a kilometer. Autos in Melbourne will have to manage it or the fare paying passengers will be unhappy in both time and money. Any driver in Melbourne with any experience with traffic manages to work out the maneuver but I would say it is an advanced skill.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 04:14:06 am by wilfred »
 

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #92 on: May 18, 2019, 07:06:36 am »
In actual fact the driving (yes, shameless pun) motivation for this robot cab is money. They don't want to pay drivers.

Too bad if the LIDAR systems cost more than driver does though  ;D
 

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #93 on: May 18, 2019, 07:10:56 am »
Musk talk (tweet) a lot. He also says he is going to terraform Mars and transport people across continents using self landing rockets. Otoh, he now has self landing rockets, something many believed was impossible.

Err, only the grossly ill-informed believed it wasn't possible, because Space-X wasn't the first to do it. It was done decades before they did it.

BTW, the continent hopping rocket is as big of an impractical joke as Hyperloop is. Not everything Musk says is practical, some of it is demonstrably stupid.
 

Offline maginnovision

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #94 on: May 18, 2019, 07:14:44 am »
I'm still waiting for Musk to announce his own solar roadway.
 
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Online magic

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #95 on: May 18, 2019, 07:35:56 am »
Musk says Tesla will be out of money in 10 months without ‘hardcore’ changes

https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/17/18629166/elon-musk-tesla-money-changes-cfo-employee-expenses
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #96 on: May 19, 2019, 01:38:00 pm »
In actual fact the driving (yes, shameless pun) motivation for this robot cab is money. They don't want to pay drivers.
The driving motivation behind any company is to make money, that's just how the world is, that is a political issue not a technological. There are lots of people involved in developing autonomous vehicles though, and everyone's motivation might not be as cynical. The reality is that getting people out of the driving equation will save lives. The need for transportation won't go away, and as long as it doesn't there will be a need for drivers. Besides reducing the traffic accident rate you get all the normal benefits you get from automation, lower transportation cost and lots of people get more time over to do other things. If that leads to improvement for "ordinary people" or not (whoever that is) is once again a political issue.

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Every day I drive in traffic I see some situation and I think how will an auto deal with it.
People used to say a chess program would never beat a grand champion, turns out you could do it in 1996 with a disappointingly trivial algoritm as long as you had enough computing power. Since then the algorithms got better and we got even more computing power and a chess program that beats the world champion runs on an ordinary desktop computer today. To beat Go you needed neural nets, and today it's trivial (if you know how) to beat any human in perfect information games. Neural nets were developed in the 70's but it's not until now it's practically usable, there just wasn't enough computing power before. There have been an exponential growth in computing power that has made things that where impossible a couple of decades ago feasible. I think even software developers have trouble keeping up, exponential change is just too overwhelming and unintuitive.

Musk talk (tweet) a lot. He also says he is going to terraform Mars and transport people across continents using self landing rockets. Otoh, he now has self landing rockets, something many believed was impossible.

Err, only the grossly ill-informed believed it wasn't possible, because Space-X wasn't the first to do it. It was done decades before they did it.

BTW, the continent hopping rocket is as big of an impractical joke as Hyperloop is. Not everything Musk says is practical, some of it is demonstrably stupid.
Yup, but a lot of people were grossly ill-informed. And yes, completely agree about the continent hopping rockets. :-DD

But it's probably Musk's bold optimism that makes people like him, and that is an important part of what makes him successful.

My point was that Musk isn't exactly careful with the truth though, even if he does some cool stuff, so maybe take what he says with a pinch (bucket) of salt.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #97 on: May 19, 2019, 01:52:38 pm »
Musk says Tesla will be out of money in 10 months without ‘hardcore’ changes

https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/17/18629166/elon-musk-tesla-money-changes-cfo-employee-expenses
What isn't helping is that the tax incentives/credits are capped or being phased out in many important markets in which Tesla operates. This especially hurts sales of the more expensive models. In other words: Tesla needs to be able to make their cars profitable with a price below the $50k mark in order to survive.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #98 on: May 19, 2019, 05:24:22 pm »
Musk says Tesla will be out of money in 10 months without ‘hardcore’ changes

https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/17/18629166/elon-musk-tesla-money-changes-cfo-employee-expenses
What isn't helping is that the tax incentives/credits are capped or being phased out in many important markets in which Tesla operates. This especially hurts sales of the more expensive models. In other words: Tesla needs to be able to make their cars profitable with a price below the $50k mark in order to survive.
Or maybe it's because they haven't paid enough attention to the body:
"The wheel well has nine parts"

 

Offline soldar

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #99 on: May 19, 2019, 06:22:48 pm »
There is actually a viral video of two people  doing exactly that on a Tesla on autopilot.
Thanks for the heads up! Found it at my favorite porn hub. :)
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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #100 on: May 21, 2019, 02:16:56 am »
Robots on the road - how close is our driverless future? Rory Cellan-Jones Technology correspondent

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-48334449

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It was on the motorway near Phoenix, Arizona, that I realised fully driverless cars might be quite a distant dream. And that was because our Google Waymo robo-taxi seemed incapable of leaving that motorway.

...

Quote
Myra Blanco, a researcher at the Virginia Tech Transport Institute, in the US, said we would probably see driverless cars in geo-fenced areas in two to five years but she was far more sceptical about full automation.

"That means going from the mountains, rural roadways, all the way to the city - that is going to take a little bit longer, probably potentially a couple of decades away," she said.

Perhaps one of the most intractable problems, as pointed out here several times:

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Far from the orderly roads of Arizona, I stood with the transport writer Christian Wolmar at the hectic crossroads outside Holborn Tube station, in central London.

He pointed out that pedestrians would have no hesitation in stepping out in front of driverless cars, knowing they were programmed to stop, and the result would be gridlock.

"Once you set the rule that driverless cars have to effectively kowtow to any pedestrian in the street, and pedestrians begin to learn that, then the whole balance of power in our streets will change," he said.

"The concept just doesn't survive the idea of mixed use streets."

But not to worry - one of the worlds foremost experts in the technology has declared it's imminent:

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In the UK, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has also promised that "genuine driverless cars" will be on the roads by 2021
  :-DD :-DD :-DD
 
Note he only said "on the road" not "driving on public roads". Although I think what he actually said was "genuine driverless government ..... by 2021"  :-DD  :-DD  :-DD

 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #101 on: May 21, 2019, 03:05:29 am »
Quote
Every day I drive in traffic I see some situation and I think how will an auto deal with it.
People used to say a chess program would never beat a grand champion, turns out you could do it in 1996 with a disappointingly trivial algoritm as long as you had enough computing power.

Terribly flawed analogy. Chess has small finite set of rules on a fixed playing field. Increased computation and a smart algorithm was always destined to win.

Autonomous cars are playing on an infinitely sized board under an almost infinite set of rules (finite set of fixed road rules, but plus infinite variability when thing change/go wrong)
 
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Online magic

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #102 on: May 21, 2019, 07:58:21 am »
Quote
He pointed out that pedestrians would have no hesitation in stepping out in front of driverless cars, knowing they were programmed to stop, and the result would be gridlock.

"Once you set the rule that driverless cars have to effectively kowtow to any pedestrian in the street, and pedestrians begin to learn that, then the whole balance of power in our streets will change," he said.

"The concept just doesn't survive the idea of mixed use streets."
This will be a serious problem and not only with pedestrians. Drivers too violate rules or take risks in order to get somewhere faster and I have heard from Poles living in the EU that we aren't even the worst offenders in this regard :o
Meanwhile bots will pedantically obey every damn rule about yielding, speed limits etc and generally play it safe to avoid liability and bad PR. That is, until they become completely mainstream and VW starts making them ;) But before, they will be at a constant disadvantage to human drivers exploiting their naivety.
That's why I say it's only going to work in areas where human drivers are already equally docile and there is enough political will to pass and enforce bot-friendly traffic regulations.
Perhaps a mandatory "can't do that Dave" implant in every normal car :-DD
 

Online 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #103 on: May 21, 2019, 09:33:11 am »
People used to say a chess program would never beat a grand champion, turns out you could do it in 1996 with a disappointingly trivial algoritm as long as you had enough computing power.
Terribly flawed analogy. Chess has small finite set of rules on a fixed playing field. Increased computation and a smart algorithm was always destined to win.
It's maybe interesting to note that it was once assumed that the problem of a computer playing chess better than a human would be a milestone in creating an artificial intelligence. As chess programs got better and better because of sophisticated algorithms and databases, it became clear that this was a misconception. So it was decided that playing soccer would be a better goal towards AI as it mimics the cooperation of living beings. I'm not sure if everybody has given up on this idea yet, but I think it's pretty clear that you can build a pretty good soccer robot as well without getting one step closer to AI. Actually, in the last decade or so, hardware for neural networks became cheaper and cheaper so it was used commercially even though the roots of neural networks date back to the mid of the 20th century. Now some marketing genius simply declared neural networks to be AI, but it's quite obvious that the extremely simplified simulation of the model (!) of a few brain cells doesn't make it intelligent.
The problem is that many "normal" people fell for this trickery and actually believe that AI has made great progress lately. Indeed most people perceive mathematics, physics, electronics and informatics as some kind of magic anyway and thus can't really evaluate what is possible with the current state of science and what isn't.
Still, not everything human beings do can be easily simulated. And the more complex a scenario is and the less well defined rules exist, the more the simulation actually has to become an artificial intelligence. Nobody would deny that some aspects of driving can be handled by algorithms. Even human drivers are not fully "aware" most of the time. It's the short moments of awareness that are so hard to simulate.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 09:35:55 am by 0xdeadbeef »
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Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #104 on: May 21, 2019, 10:39:40 am »
Quote
Every day I drive in traffic I see some situation and I think how will an auto deal with it.
People used to say a chess program would never beat a grand champion, turns out you could do it in 1996 with a disappointingly trivial algoritm as long as you had enough computing power.

Terribly flawed analogy. Chess has small finite set of rules on a fixed playing field. Increased computation and a smart algorithm was always destined to win.

Autonomous cars are playing on an infinitely sized board under an almost infinite set of rules (finite set of fixed road rules, but plus infinite variability when thing change/go wrong)
Quite right, chess is a so called perfect information game, but it wasn't meant as an analogy but as an example of other things that were deemed impossible for a computer to do by many 20-30 years ago. Since Deep Blue won over Kasparov in 1996 it's been more than 20 years, and computer power have continued to increase exponentially. Things that weren't possible then have become possible now, and that is quite unintuitive to many, and maybe why so many believe self driving cars are impossible.

It's maybe interesting to note that it was once assumed that the problem of a computer playing chess better than a human would be a milestone in creating an artificial intelligence.
Yes, exactly, it was said that you would need full AI to defeat humans in a game like chess (sounds familiar?). Turn's out chess wasn't that hard. Driving is a tougher problem perhaps, but there's nothing magical about that either.

As chess programs got better and better because of sophisticated algorithms and databases, it became clear that this was a misconception. So it was decided that playing soccer would be a better goal towards AI as it mimics the cooperation of living beings.
Hardly. Deep Blue winning over Kasparov was a surprise to most people. IBM's approach was brute force using the traditional algorithms, which came as a disappointment because chess had been so over hyped that people believed that surely you would need some major breakthrough in AI to be able to solve it. Turns out the old algoritms were good enough, they just needed a little bit extra computing power. To solve Go you needed neural nets, so that was a bigger step forward (but it was still old technology that suddenly had enough computing power to make it practically useful).

Robot Soccer is not believed to require full AI. Sure, it's challenging, but it's not the game itself that requires a lot of "thinking", it requires a very agile robot which is a challenging task mechanically. Building a soccer playing robot team requires a wide mix of skills which makes it a nice fun challenge for a team of students.

Nobody would deny that some aspects of driving can be handled by algorithms. Even human drivers are not fully "aware" most of the time. It's the short moments of awareness that are so hard to simulate.
No one is trying to make a full AI to drive cars (unless you listen to Musk). Having a self-aware AI in every car would be crazy and unethical, no one is anywhere near creating full AI. Self driving cars will not be AI, it will be dumb machines that can solve most driving problems autonomously. There will be some driving tasks humans can handle better, but there will be other driving tasks that self driving cars handle better. And it's not about who's best, it's about getting the self driving car "good enough" so that it can be trusted on public roads. (Well, one explicitly stated goal is to reduce traffic accident rates, so they will have to be a lot better in that regard.)
« Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 11:42:02 am by apis »
 

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #105 on: May 21, 2019, 11:31:35 am »
Quote
Myra Blanco, a researcher at the Virginia Tech Transport Institute, in the US, said we would probably see driverless cars in geo-fenced areas in two to five years but she was far more sceptical about full automation.

"That means going from the mountains, rural roadways, all the way to the city - that is going to take a little bit longer, probably potentially a couple of decades away," she said.
I.e. same as I've been saying and most experts are saying.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #106 on: May 21, 2019, 12:12:30 pm »
Quote
Myra Blanco, a researcher at the Virginia Tech Transport Institute, in the US, said we would probably see driverless cars in geo-fenced areas in two to five years but she was far more sceptical about full automation.

"That means going from the mountains, rural roadways, all the way to the city - that is going to take a little bit longer, probably potentially a couple of decades away," she said.
I.e. same as I've been saying and most experts are saying.
In Sweden they already have a self driving truck on a public road without a driver (there isn't even room for a driver).
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/15/tech/einride-self-driving-trucks/index.html
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #107 on: May 21, 2019, 12:35:04 pm »
In Sweden they already have a self driving truck on a public road without a driver (there isn't even room for a driver).
https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/15/tech/einride-self-driving-trucks/index.html
Yeah, I've seen that, but it's a very limited trial I believe. It only follows a single pre-programmed route and it's been speed limited (by authorities) to 5 km/h. Still, there might be many truck transport applications where limiting the driving to a few pre-programmed routes would be acceptable.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #108 on: May 21, 2019, 12:43:43 pm »
With these threads it always seems some people perceive a fundamental difference between artificial and biological neural nets as if biological intelligence isn't the result of using the proper hardware and optimising it to the hilt. There often also seems to be the assumption that something has to be roughly equivalent to human intelligence to be called intelligent.
 

Online 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #109 on: May 21, 2019, 02:43:33 pm »
Yes, exactly, it was said that you would need full AI to defeat humans in a game like chess (sounds familiar?). Turn's out chess wasn't that hard. Driving is a tougher problem perhaps, but there's nothing magical about that either.
Driving in a complex real world environment (i.e. one that a human driver could handle) is a totally different task than mastering a game with fixed rules.

Hardly.
Actually, since the mid 90s, quite a lot of people uttered something like "Robocup is the next AI challenge" .
http://theconversation.com/why-football-not-chess-is-the-true-final-frontier-for-robotic-artificial-intelligence-62296
https://medium.com/syncedreview/having-notched-impressive-victories-over-human-professionals-in-go-atari-games-and-most-recently-30b88ee363e9

To solve Go you needed neural nets, so that was a bigger step forward (but it was still old technology that suddenly had enough computing power to make it practically useful).
Hard to say if Go couldn't have been beaten with traditional algorithms just because nobody managed (up to now). Anyway, it's still a very well defined environment with very strict rules and without realtime requirements (turn based like chess), so something like playing soccer on the level of humans is actually much more challenging.

Hardly.
Robot Soccer is not believed to require full AI. Sure, it's challenging, but it's not the game itself that requires a lot of "thinking", it requires a very agile robot which is a challenging task mechanically. Building a soccer playing robot team requires a wide mix of skills which makes it a nice fun challenge for a team of students.
Of course the first step is using tiny little robots with small fields and simplified rules. However, the realtime requirements and the nearly endless possibilities in every single moment make this a challenge much closer to autonomous driving than chess or Go. Playing soccer on the level of human players is of course a mechanical/robotic problem as well and by simplifying the robots, playing environment and rules, the problem might be diminished to something than can be solved by an algorithm. However, the final goal of Robocup is to develop a team of independent robots than can beat the human world champion team.
Actually, probably nobody can tell if this can still be done by algorithms but I kinda doubt it. Still, a soccer game is of course a very well defined challenge in a confined space with clear rules and therefore much less complex than autonomous driving in a real world traffic scenario (rush hour in major city during a hailstorm with roadworks and what not).

No one is trying to make a full AI to drive cars (unless you listen to Musk).
Well, an artificial intelligence on the level of a human driver is needed to cope with every possible situation in a realworld environment as good as a human driver. IMHO, whoever denies this, underestimates the complexity.

Having a self-aware AI in every car would be crazy and unethical, no one is anywhere near creating full AI.
Self-awareness is a totally different issue. Of course, at this point, I guess nobody on this planet could answer if achieving true AI is even possible without self awareness or not. Besides, there is no black and white about self-awareness. Also animals have different levels of self-awareness. Then again, it's actually pretty hard to prove self-awareness. You could easily program a robot or program to pretend self-awareness but it would be incredibly hard to prove if a black box AI is fully self aware or just pretends to be.

Self driving cars will not be AI, it will be dumb machines that can solve most driving problems autonomously.
Nah, this will never work reliably in the real world. It will work though in a restricted environment but that just doesn't really help for true autonomous driving.

There will be some driving tasks humans can handle better, but there will be other driving tasks that self driving cars handle better. And it's not about who's best, it's about getting the self driving car "good enough" so that it can be trusted on public roads. (Well, one explicitly stated goal is to reduce traffic accident rates, so they will have to be a lot better in that regard.)
A dumb machine will never be good enough to be entrusted with people'e lives on public roads.
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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #110 on: May 21, 2019, 02:44:08 pm »
Quote
Every day I drive in traffic I see some situation and I think how will an auto deal with it.
People used to say a chess program would never beat a grand champion, turns out you could do it in 1996 with a disappointingly trivial algoritm as long as you had enough computing power.

Terribly flawed analogy. Chess has small finite set of rules on a fixed playing field. Increased computation and a smart algorithm was always destined to win.
Autonomous cars are playing on an infinitely sized board under an almost infinite set of rules (finite set of fixed road rules, but plus infinite variability when thing change/go wrong)
Quite right, chess is a so called perfect information game, but it wasn't meant as an analogy but as an example of other things that were deemed impossible for a computer to do by many 20-30 years ago. Since Deep Blue won over Kasparov in 1996 it's been more than 20 years, and computer power have continued to increase exponentially. Things that weren't possible then have become possible now, and that is quite unintuitive to many, and maybe why so many believe self driving cars are impossible.

No one is saying they are "impossible".
But they are currently flawed and will be for a very long time, the infinite variability in conditions practically guarantee this.
Your statement about chess most certainly is an analogy, otherwise it's pointless to mention.
Many (most?) people make the huge mistake that because self driving cars can do albeit impressive things now, that perfection is only a few years away. But it doesn't work like that with open ended complex problems in an infinitely variable playing field like self driving cars will have endure. Smarter people do understand this which is why there is much talk about them only truly being practical when they have their own dedicated lanes, or once they are the majority on the road etc.

It's the same thing with humanoid robots. People see the Boston Dynamics robots etc and think that perfection is only a few years away. Not even close.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #111 on: May 21, 2019, 02:53:21 pm »
There will be some driving tasks humans can handle better, but there will be other driving tasks that self driving cars handle better. And it's not about who's best, it's about getting the self driving car "good enough" so that it can be trusted on public roads. (Well, one explicitly stated goal is to reduce traffic accident rates, so they will have to be a lot better in that regard.)
A dumb machine will never be good enough to be entrusted with people'e lives on public roads.

Perception will be very important in the adoption of autonomous cars.
People expect a much higher degree of perfection from computers, and when people start dying in autonomous cars (as they have been already) public opinion will not be kind.
And the argument that "but self driving cars are statistically safer" will not hold water, people won't care, they'll still trust humans more for a very long time.
 

Online 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #112 on: May 21, 2019, 03:05:58 pm »
People expect a much higher degree of perfection from computers, and when people start dying in autonomous cars (as they have been already) public opinion will not be kind.
And the argument that "but self driving cars are statistically safer" will not hold water, people won't care, they'll still trust humans more for a very long time.
And after the first few deaths, hell will rain down.
Trying is the first step towards failure - Homer J. Simpson
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #113 on: May 21, 2019, 03:37:55 pm »
And after the first few deaths, hell will rain down.
Although I suspect you're right that's actually quite ridiculous. Human drivers are fairly terrible at driving. Our sensor array is average at best and easily swamped by environmental factors. Our reaction time is atrocious and the worst part is probably that we aren't properly aware of our own capabilities and limitations. Worldwide millions of people die in traffic each year and in the US alone 40000 people meet their untimely end each year. We seem to accept that so why would automated systems be held to unrealistic standards? Likely because of the same reasons we suck at driving in the first place. The public at large isn't very good at understanding statistics and our own limitations. We'll believe we could do better even if it kills us.
 

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #114 on: May 21, 2019, 03:54:13 pm »
No one is saying they are "impossible".
But they are currently flawed and will be for a very long time, the infinite variability in conditions practically guarantee this.
They will never be perfect, that is the nature of the unpredictable and infinitely variable conditions in real life (and neither are humans). Even the Waymo CEO has said that "autonomy always will have some constraints". And you will always be able to point out situations that autonomous cars doesn't handle as well as humans (because we work very differently). But they don't have to be as good as humans at all tasks in order to be safe and useful.

Your statement about chess most certainly is an analogy, otherwise it's pointless to mention.
I wasn't saying chess and driving was analogous, but that the notion that it was impossible for a machine to beat humans in chess is analogous to the notion that it is impossible for a machine to drive safely on public roads.

Many (most?) people make the huge mistake that because self driving cars can do albeit impressive things now, that perfection is only a few years away. But it doesn't work like that with open ended complex problems in an infinitely variable playing field like self driving cars will have endure.
I think the huge mistake is assuming it has to be perfect. It only has to be cost-effective and "good enough". Human drivers are far from perfect either.

Smarter people do understand this which is why there is much talk about them only truly being practical when they have their own dedicated lanes, or once they are the majority on the road etc.
Having dedicated lanes would make things a lot easier for sure. The people who have been involved in developing self driving cars are pretty smart, I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss what they are doing.

It's the same thing with humanoid robots. People see the Boston Dynamics robots etc and think that perfection is only a few years away. Not even close.
The Boston Dynamics robots are impressive from a mechanical point of view, but they still have a long way to go before you can compare such a robot to a human body. We have more than 200 bones, 360 joints, 650 linear actuators, massive sensor arrays, and a lot of parallel computing power that's been optimised over millions of years. It's going to take a lot of time and money to beat that. (Which is why robot soccer is hard, not because the game strategy is difficult.)
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #115 on: May 21, 2019, 04:49:40 pm »
Actually, since the mid 90s, quite a lot of people uttered something like "Robocup is the next AI challenge" .
http://theconversation.com/why-football-not-chess-is-the-true-final-frontier-for-robotic-artificial-intelligence-62296
https://medium.com/syncedreview/having-notched-impressive-victories-over-human-professionals-in-go-atari-games-and-most-recently-30b88ee363e9
The strategy part of soccer isn't hard, it's creating a mechanical robot that can match a human that is hard. As I wrote in the previous post we have more than 200 bones, 360 joints, 650 linear actuators, massive sensor arrays, and a lot of parallel computing power that's been optimised over millions of years. It's going to take a lot of time and money to beat that.

Or in the words of the first article you linked to:
"The tasks involved in playing football, although much more intuitive to humans than chess or Go, are a major challenge for robots. Technical problems of hitherto unimaginable complexity have to be solved: timing a kick while running, identifying the ball against a glaring sun, running on wet grass, providing the robot with sufficient energy for 45 minutes’ play, even the materials that go into constructing a robot can’t disintegrate during a forceful game. Other problems to be solved will define important aspects of our life with robots in the future: when a robot collides with a human player, who can take how much damage? If humans commit fouls, may a robot foul back?"

With autonomous driving the mechanical part isn't a problem, because both humans and computers drive the same kind of machine (i.e. cars) which we already know how to make.

To solve Go you needed neural nets, so that was a bigger step forward (but it was still old technology that suddenly had enough computing power to make it practically useful).
Hard to say if Go couldn't have been beaten with traditional algorithms just because nobody managed (up to now). Anyway, it's still a very well defined environment with very strict rules and without realtime requirements (turn based like chess), so something like playing soccer on the level of humans is actually much more challenging.
Soccer strategy really isn't hard. One reason go is harder than chess is because the search space is much much larger than chess, so just adding a little bit more computing power wouldn't have been effective any time soon. Of course, they still used some traditional techniques in Alpha Go, but it was really the neural nets that was the key.

Actually, probably nobody can tell if this can still be done by algorithms but I kinda doubt it.
Let's take a look at how computers perform at imperfect information games that is much more difficult than soccer from a strategy point of view:
EDIT: Sorry, I was intending to post this newer follow up video (I'll leave the old one below for those interested)

Tihis is an earlier video from 2018:


No one is trying to make a full AI to drive cars (unless you listen to Musk).
Well, an artificial intelligence on the level of a human driver is needed to cope with every possible situation in a realworld environment as good as a human driver. IMHO, whoever denies this, underestimates the complexity.
A self driving car doesn't need "to cope with every possible situation in a realworld environment as good as a human driver".

Self driving cars will not be AI, it will be dumb machines that can solve most driving problems autonomously.
Nah, this will never work reliably in the real world. It will work though in a restricted environment but that just doesn't really help for true autonomous driving.
"True" autonomous driving is a red herring, what does it even mean? Humans also drive in a restricted environment; we only drive along certain roads, we try to follow well defined rules and we sometimes (quite often) fail miserably and need help from others to get out of a tricky situation.

There will be some driving tasks humans can handle better, but there will be other driving tasks that self driving cars handle better. And it's not about who's best, it's about getting the self driving car "good enough" so that it can be trusted on public roads. (Well, one explicitly stated goal is to reduce traffic accident rates, so they will have to be a lot better in that regard.)
A dumb machine will never be good enough to be entrusted with people'e lives on public roads.
Except, they already are. People are already testing without human drivers on public roads.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2019, 05:21:50 pm by apis »
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #116 on: May 21, 2019, 04:51:32 pm »
Could we perhaps limit the point for point quotes and replies? This doesn't really make the thread legible or enjoyable.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #117 on: May 21, 2019, 05:36:54 pm »
Our sensor array is average at best and easily swamped by environmental factors. Our reaction time is atrocious and the worst part is probably that we aren't properly aware of our own capabilities and limitations. Worldwide millions of people die in traffic each year and in the US alone 40000 people meet their untimely end each year.
That is definitely true compared to a self driving car, we are limited to using our eyes and ears (and maybe a little bit of feedback from the steering wheel and acceleration/vibration). A computer can use lidar, radar and can use cameras that see in the thermal regions of the spectrum, and have no dead angles. That (and the fact that computers doesn't get distracted/drunk/sleepy/etc) is why I think it is a safe to assume that self driving cars will be able to reduce traffic accidents significantly.
 

Online 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #118 on: May 21, 2019, 06:04:53 pm »
The strategy part of soccer isn't hard, ...
Who talked about strategy? It's about the player judging the situation and making decisions in realtime.

Or in the words of the first article you linked to:
"Technical problems of hitherto unimaginable complexity have to be solved: timing a kick while running, identifying the ball against a glaring sun, r [...]"
With autonomous driving the mechanical part isn't a problem, because both humans and computers drive the same kind of machine (i.e. cars) which we already know how to make.
Even in the cherry picked quote, you left have these statements about timing and object recognition. Additionally, a humanoid soccer robot playing against a human (since this is the goal!) would have to predict human behavior - exactly as an autonomous car. It's just that the complexity is much higher for the car as there are so many possibilities for humans and animals and what not to interact with the car.


Soccer strategy really isn't hard. One reason go is harder than chess is because the search space is much much larger than chess, so just adding a little bit more computing power wouldn't have been effective any time soon.
You continue to ignore that even a large number of turns with fixed movement rules is a total piece of cake compared to any real world movement scenario.

Let's take a look at how computers perform at imperfect information games that is much more difficult than soccer from a strategy point of view:
Again, that's a virtual environment where nothing unexpected can happen. Letting aside if the computer performs image analysis at all and that the movement control is very basic: also the actions of each unit are clearly defined etc. Agreed, it's real time, but very, very far away from the complexity of the real world.

A self driving car doesn't need "to cope with every possible situation in a realworld environment as good as a human driver".
Sure it has to. Else the whole thing is totally pointless and must be restricted to confined areas where the possible interactions with the real world are limited to a degree the dumb car can handle.

"True" autonomous driving is a red herring, what does it even mean? Humans also drive in a restricted environment; we only drive along certain roads, we try to follow well defined rules and we sometimes (quite often) fail miserably and need help from others to get out of a tricky situation.
Humans can follow rules but also decide when they better shouldn't. If something blocks the lane, a human driver will be able to react in a sensible way. A dumb car will just stop and block the traffic. Now even this can cause deaths if the car is not able to let an ambulance pass.

There will be some driving tasks humans can handle better, but there will be other driving tasks that self driving cars handle better. And it's not about who's best, it's about getting the self driving car "good enough" so that it can be trusted on public roads. (Well, one explicitly stated goal is to reduce traffic accident rates, so they will have to be a lot better in that regard.)
The few things that a computer can handle better like brake assist can be added without replacing the human driver. An autonomous car that replaced the human driver has to be at least as good as a human driver in every aspect.

Except, they already are. People are already testing without human drivers on public roads.
AFAIK that's not even true. I'm not aware of any tests on public roads without a human driver who can take over at any time. And if this driver is not 100% focused, this can result in a dead pedestrian as we've learned.
Trying is the first step towards failure - Homer J. Simpson
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #119 on: May 21, 2019, 07:38:35 pm »
The strategy part of soccer isn't hard, ...
Who talked about strategy? It's about the player judging the situation and making decisions in realtime.
Sounds like a definition of real time strategy to me.

Or in the words of the first article you linked to:
"Technical problems of hitherto unimaginable complexity have to be solved: timing a kick while running, identifying the ball against a glaring sun, r [...]"
With autonomous driving the mechanical part isn't a problem, because both humans and computers drive the same kind of machine (i.e. cars) which we already know how to make.
Even in the cherry picked quote, you left have these statements about timing and object recognition. Additionally, a humanoid soccer robot playing against a human (since this is the goal!) would have to predict human behavior - exactly as an autonomous car. It's just that the complexity is much higher for the car as there are so many possibilities for humans and animals and what not to interact with the car.
It wasn't cherry picked, it was the relevant bit showing that the difficult part isn't in analysing the game and planning the strategy, it's in building the robot. Chess and Go is much more difficult games than soccer in terms of strategy.

Since when was timing harder for a computer than a human?  ???

Computer vision is hard which is why self driving cars have lidar so that they don't have to rely on computer vision algorithms for the safety-critical parts. For less critical tasks like predicting human (and other animal) behaviour they use neural nets. They don't have to be 100% accurate in that case and neither are humans so it works well.

You continue to ignore that even a large number of turns with fixed movement rules is a total piece of cake compared to any real world movement scenario.
Because going from discreet to continuous isn't what's challenging.

Let's take a look at how computers perform at imperfect information games that is much more difficult than soccer from a strategy point of view:
Again, that's a virtual environment where nothing unexpected can happen. Letting aside if the computer performs image analysis at all and that the movement control is very basic: also the actions of each unit are clearly defined etc. Agreed, it's real time, but very, very far away from the complexity of the real world.
Now you're moving the goal posts (pun intended). The difficult part of robot soccer isn't the strategy part, it's creating a robot with similar speed, agility and endurance as a human pro football player (i.e. incredibly difficult). Identifying the ball and other players (computer vision) wouldn't be hard for a robot today either, running and kicking around a ball accurately is. But the mechanics is not a problem for a self driving cars, since we already have the mechanical parts (the cars).

A self driving car doesn't need "to cope with every possible situation in a realworld environment as good as a human driver".
Sure it has to. Else the whole thing is totally pointless and must be restricted to confined areas where the possible interactions with the real world are limited to a degree the dumb car can handle.
No it really doesn't, that is your mistake. It only have to be convenient and cost efficient enough. We human drivers are also restricted to confined areas where the interactions with the real world are limited to a degree the dumb humans can handle.

"True" autonomous driving is a red herring, what does it even mean? Humans also drive in a restricted environment; we only drive along certain roads, we try to follow well defined rules and we sometimes (quite often) fail miserably and need help from others to get out of a tricky situation.
Humans can follow rules but also decide when they better shouldn't. If something blocks the lane, a human driver will be able to react in a sensible way. A dumb car will just stop and block the traffic. Now even this can cause deaths if the car is not able to let an ambulance pass.
Humans can't handle all situations either (not even sensibly). It's not black and white. It's acceptable if self driving cars need human assistance in a small number of situations.

Except, they already are. People are already testing without human drivers on public roads.
AFAIK that's not even true. I'm not aware of any tests on public roads without a human driver who can take over at any time. And if this driver is not 100% focused, this can result in a dead pedestrian as we've learned.
It's actually old news by now.

Oct 30, 2018:
"We’re excited to announce that the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has just granted Waymo the first permit in the state to begin driverless testing on public roads.

This permit is the result of new DMV regulations that took effect in April, which allow companies to apply for fully driverless testing within carefully defined limits, and is the product of nearly ten years of testing in California by Waymo’s team. It’s the first time that California has allowed tests on public roads of fully driverless cars ― that is, without a test driver sitting in the driver’s seat.

Familiar ground
Fully driverless testing is the latest step in the path Waymo has been on since 2009, when we first began working on self-driving technology at Google. Since then we’ve driven over ten million autonomous miles on public roads across 25 cities. California will join our driverless testing program that’s already been happening in Phoenix, Arizona since last year.
"

https://medium.com/waymo/a-green-light-for-waymos-driverless-testing-in-california-a87ec336d657

Video from 2017 (Arizona testing begins)


Video from 2018 (California testing begins)
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #120 on: May 21, 2019, 09:16:41 pm »
Humans can follow rules but also decide when they better shouldn't. If something blocks the lane, a human driver will be able to react in a sensible way. A dumb car will just stop and block the traffic. Now even this can cause deaths if the car is not able to let an ambulance pass.
:palm: I don't think you have a driver's license or (while being in a car) pay any attention to the stupid stuff other people do while driving a car (or attempting to do so). Especially the Saturdays and Sundays are bad.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Online 0xdeadbeef

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #121 on: May 21, 2019, 11:50:10 pm »
:palm: I don't think you have a driver's license or (while being in a car) pay any attention to the stupid stuff other people do while driving a car (or attempting to do so). Especially the Saturdays and Sundays are bad.
Well, maybe you should train that thinking thing a bit then. Anyway, of course there a dumb drivers as there are lots of dumb people. Still, even a stupid driver has a strong interest in getting forward instead of just waiting forever. Just watch what happens if a traffic light gets stuck in the red phase. Human drivers will tolerate this for a few minutes and then the first ones will either ignore the red light or turn around or maybe even call the police. Nobody will just stand there and wait forever.
Trying is the first step towards failure - Homer J. Simpson
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #122 on: May 22, 2019, 12:26:37 am »
Well, maybe you should train that thinking thing a bit then. Anyway, of course there a dumb drivers as there are lots of dumb people. Still, even a stupid driver has a strong interest in getting forward instead of just waiting forever. Just watch what happens if a traffic light gets stuck in the red phase. Human drivers will tolerate this for a few minutes and then the first ones will either ignore the red light or turn around or maybe even call the police. Nobody will just stand there and wait forever.
We're all fairly familiar with watchdog timers. You could even imagine a situation where a car calls for help when stuck in a situation it can't see a solution for. You don't need to go fully flawlessly automated in one go.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #123 on: May 22, 2019, 10:11:11 am »
That's why everyone is planning on ride-share or taxi services I believe. There will always be an operations center that is in contact with all the cars. If there is a problem the computer or the passengers can call for help. Operators can then remote control or guide the car until it can manage by itself again, or in worst case send a replacement car and a technician.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #124 on: May 22, 2019, 10:16:40 am »
That's why everyone is planning on ride-share or taxi services I believe. There will always be an operations center that is in contact with all the cars. If there is a problem the computer or the passengers can call for help. Operators can then remote control or guide the car until it can manage by itself again, or in worst case send a replacement car and a technician.
It's not unlikely the car can call for help itself and instructions can be given to it indirectly, with the car figuring out the exact execution. If it's commanded to run a red light the car should be able to figure out what a good moment to do so is. This is pretty much how the more recent Mars rovers are driven, minus the traffic lights of course. ;D
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #125 on: May 22, 2019, 10:28:23 am »
Yep, so you don't need perfect low latency connection in most cases, just tell the car that the traffic lights are broken and it will treat it as an intersection without traffic lights. What's nice is that all the other cars can also be given the same information, so when they reach the same broken traffic lights they already know what to do.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #126 on: May 22, 2019, 12:02:58 pm »
:palm: I don't think you have a driver's license or (while being in a car) pay any attention to the stupid stuff other people do while driving a car (or attempting to do so). Especially the Saturdays and Sundays are bad.
Well, maybe you should train that thinking thing a bit then. Anyway, of course there a dumb drivers as there are lots of dumb people. Still, even a stupid driver has a strong interest in getting forward instead of just waiting forever. Just watch what happens if a traffic light gets stuck in the red phase. Human drivers will tolerate this for a few minutes and then the first ones will either ignore the red light or turn around or maybe even call the police. Nobody will just stand there and wait forever.
This is not a very strong argument. Who claimed self driving cars will wait forever in such a situation? One of the first things Waymo found out is that adhering strictly to the speed limit is unsafe so passing a red light in certain conditions is probably also part of the algorithm already.

And to paint a little bit of the future: With vehicle to vehicle communication chances are the self driving car is already aware of the broken traffic light and may even negotiate with other self driving cars on how to pass the crossing. It will be the human drivers causing the congestion.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 12:09:47 pm by nctnico »
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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #127 on: May 22, 2019, 01:10:25 pm »
That's why everyone is planning on ride-share or taxi services I believe. There will always be an operations center that is in contact with all the cars. If there is a problem the computer or the passengers can call for help. Operators can then remote control or guide the car until it can manage by itself again, or in worst case send a replacement car and a technician.

Won't happen, for obvious technical reasons, not to mention liability reasons.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #128 on: May 22, 2019, 01:22:59 pm »
Won't happen, for obvious technical reasons, not to mention liability reasons.
What obvious technical or liability reasons are there? There's no need for direct remote control and liability doesn't seem exceptionally complicated.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #129 on: May 22, 2019, 01:33:58 pm »
Won't happen, for obvious technical reasons, not to mention liability reasons.
What obvious technical or liability reasons are there? There's no need for direct remote control and liability doesn't seem exceptionally complicated.

I'm responding to the assertion that remote control by a human operator would be practical. It won't be, and if you can't think of reasons why that could be the case then you need to think about the problem a bit longer. This isn't a done flying over Afghanistan.

Liability is obvious. The first deadly accident caused by remote human operator will bring the whole idea crashing down and you won't be able to get liability cover for it.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #130 on: May 22, 2019, 01:46:19 pm »
Remember, it won't be like remote control of a toy car. It will be telling the car they can safely ignore the malfunctioning traffic light, or telling the car it needs to make an u-turn and take another route. The car will still be driving autonomously, but it will get help with deciding how to deal with those rare unknowns. Latency or even loss of connection won't be much of an issue as long as it receive the new instructions.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #131 on: May 22, 2019, 02:13:26 pm »
I'm responding to the assertion that remote control by a human operator would be practical. It won't be, and if you can't think of reasons why that could be the case then you need to think about the problem a bit longer. This isn't a done flying over Afghanistan.

Liability is obvious. The first deadly accident caused by remote human operator will bring the whole idea crashing down and you won't be able to get liability cover for it.
We and others did think about it. That's where the Mars rover story comes in. You don't need to drive vehicles like a remote controlled car. You instruct them to take a certain action and the hardware figures out locally how to do that safely. An example would be to ignore the traffic lights so the intersection is treated as one without lights. Multiple automated vehicles could even negotiate who goes first amongst themselves. The idea is to leave the bulk of the work to automation and have humans take a look if and when the rare exception occurs. Liability doesn't seem complicated. All sorts of life and death decisions are made remotely. Bridges are raised remotely and fatal accidents do occasionally happen. People tend to prefer humans at the proverbal wheel, even if they're not physically present. Automated processes get a lot less leeway.
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #132 on: May 22, 2019, 04:38:21 pm »
Won't happen, for obvious technical reasons, not to mention liability reasons.
What obvious technical or liability reasons are there? There's no need for direct remote control and liability doesn't seem exceptionally complicated.

I'm responding to the assertion that remote control by a human operator would be practical. It won't be, and if you can't think of reasons why that could be the case then you need to think about the problem a bit longer. This isn't a done flying over Afghanistan.

Liability is obvious. The first deadly accident caused by remote human operator will bring the whole idea crashing down and you won't be able to get liability cover for it.
Why not? Usually car insurance is tied to the owner of the car and not the operator. It is not like deadly accidents aren't happening with people behind the wheel. Legally there is nothing new when it comes to self driving cars. It is up to the insurance companies to do the math on what premium they have to charge.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 04:41:07 pm by nctnico »
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 

Offline maginnovision

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #133 on: May 22, 2019, 06:03:12 pm »
I'm responding to the assertion that remote control by a human operator would be practical. It won't be, and if you can't think of reasons why that could be the case then you need to think about the problem a bit longer. This isn't a done flying over Afghanistan.

Liability is obvious. The first deadly accident caused by remote human operator will bring the whole idea crashing down and you won't be able to get liability cover for it.
We and others did think about it. That's where the Mars rover story comes in. You don't need to drive vehicles like a remote controlled car. You instruct them to take a certain action and the hardware figures out locally how to do that safely. An example would be to ignore the traffic lights so the intersection is treated as one without lights. Multiple automated vehicles could even negotiate who goes first amongst themselves. The idea is to leave the bulk of the work to automation and have humans take a look if and when the rare exception occurs. Liability doesn't seem complicated. All sorts of life and death decisions are made remotely. Bridges are raised remotely and fatal accidents do occasionally happen. People tend to prefer humans at the proverbal wheel, even if they're not physically present. Automated processes get a lot less leeway.

The Mars Rover is an entirely different thing. there are no rules, and it's not terribly smart resulting in manual control in many situations. From what the Rover driver told me it's not even close to what is required here. It also takes a long time to make a move, find out it barely moved at all and then try again. For remote command of an earth car it actually needs to be aware of every safety rule and be able to manually disable any safety related check. Now let's consider the number of issues an hour and think about how that's handled. We've established these are cases the car failed and NEEDS manual control so how many external operators do we have? Is it really more efficient than people driving themselves? We could require more training for a license for drastically less than all the additional infrastructure for "self driving" cars. Another issue would be that now you have the ability to disable safety requirements from being met who is going to hack it first?
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #134 on: May 22, 2019, 07:22:55 pm »
Why not? Usually car insurance is tied to the owner of the car and not the operator. It is not like deadly accidents aren't happening with people behind the wheel. Legally there is nothing new when it comes to self driving cars. It is up to the insurance companies to do the math on what premium they have to charge.
Would Waymo even need insurance? They can count on Alphabet to cover any unexpected expenses for them.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #135 on: May 22, 2019, 10:50:58 pm »
The Mars Rover is an entirely different thing. there are no rules, and it's not terribly smart resulting in manual control in many situations. From what the Rover driver told me it's not even close to what is required here. It also takes a long time to make a move, find out it barely moved at all and then try again. For remote command of an earth car it actually needs to be aware of every safety rule and be able to manually disable any safety related check. Now let's consider the number of issues an hour and think about how that's handled. We've established these are cases the car failed and NEEDS manual control so how many external operators do we have? Is it really more efficient than people driving themselves? We could require more training for a license for drastically less than all the additional infrastructure for "self driving" cars. Another issue would be that now you have the ability to disable safety requirements from being met who is going to hack it first?
I'm not sure you're getting the point. Nobody is claiming the Mars rover could participate autonomously in Earth traffic. The point was how it deals with decision making, not having a real time operator and unusual situations. You don't need an Earth bound car to be able to deal with all exceptions. Hybrid solutions are viable and much more realistic than expecting a fully autonomous car right away. That's pretty much how much of our automation works. You wouldn't need that many human operators. Apparently the Waymo cars are currently at one intervention every 18000 kilometres.
 

Offline maginnovision

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #136 on: May 22, 2019, 11:03:24 pm »
The Mars Rover is an entirely different thing. there are no rules, and it's not terribly smart resulting in manual control in many situations. From what the Rover driver told me it's not even close to what is required here. It also takes a long time to make a move, find out it barely moved at all and then try again. For remote command of an earth car it actually needs to be aware of every safety rule and be able to manually disable any safety related check. Now let's consider the number of issues an hour and think about how that's handled. We've established these are cases the car failed and NEEDS manual control so how many external operators do we have? Is it really more efficient than people driving themselves? We could require more training for a license for drastically less than all the additional infrastructure for "self driving" cars. Another issue would be that now you have the ability to disable safety requirements from being met who is going to hack it first?
I'm not sure you're getting the point. Nobody is claiming the Mars rover could participate autonomously in Earth traffic. The point was how it deals with decision making, not having a real time operator and unusual situations. You don't need an Earth bound car to be able to deal with all exceptions. Hybrid solutions are viable and much more realistic than expecting a fully autonomous car right away. That's pretty much how much of our automation works. You wouldn't need that many human operators. Apparently the Waymo cars are currently at one intervention every 18000 kilometres.

I think you're underestimating how often manual operation is required for the rover. It's not an autonomous vehicle, it's movements are entirely dictated by humans. It doesn't make large journeys WITHOUT intervention because it's so simple and prone to getting off. Maybe the rover driver knows things you haven't read, I don't know. He could also be wrong, I don't know. How many vehicles do you expect to be on the road? Waymo is working in a small known area. Let's expand that to an unlimited area, and what... Millions of cars? Hundreds? Once the area is expanded to the whole planet you're going to have a lot more instances of "interventions" regardless of the number of vehicles. You also can't plan for average, especially when you start out, you plan for the worst case because otherwise there are going to be times where nobody goes anywhere because way too many require manual intervention than was planned. That happens a couple times and demand will pretty quickly go to 0.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #137 on: May 22, 2019, 11:32:55 pm »
Usually car insurance is tied to the owner of the car and not the operator.
That sounds bizarre. Insurance in most countries is tied to a combination of car and driver, and the rates vary massively between a teenager who just got their licence and a mature driver with a clean accident record. Its the driver who is in trouble if they operate a car they are not insured to drive.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #138 on: May 22, 2019, 11:39:14 pm »
Waymo is working in a small known area. Let's expand that to an unlimited area, and what... Millions of cars? Hundreds? Once the area is expanded to the whole planet you're going to have a lot more instances of "interventions" regardless of the number of vehicles.
Actually this appears to be a common misunderstanding. That number of km/intervention is for their prototype testing in all of California. Waymo have been test driving all over USA (more than 16 million km / 10 million mi) it's not only in a small known area.

They have launched a pilot service in Phoenix that's open to the public, and that taxi service only operates in a limited area ("Waymo One is currently available in the East Valley of Phoenix Arizona, including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe."). The number of km/intervention in the Phoenix area is unknown but likely much better than their average in California. We only know that number for CA because everyone who's testing in CA is required by law to publish their disengagement rate.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 11:43:08 pm by apis »
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #139 on: May 22, 2019, 11:40:13 pm »
Look at the talks by leading people working on autonomous cars on Lex Fridman's channel on YouTube. There are talk by people from most of the key players in autonomous cars there. None of them expect a true autonomous car to appear for a number of years. Their disagreements are more about whether its 10 years, 20 years or even further away. All they expect to see in the near future are cars operating in very constrained domains, in good weather, and with strict geo-fencing so they stay in well characterised places.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #140 on: May 22, 2019, 11:48:29 pm »
Waymo is working in a small known area. Let's expand that to an unlimited area, and what... Millions of cars? Hundreds? Once the area is expanded to the whole planet you're going to have a lot more instances of "interventions" regardless of the number of vehicles.
Actually this appears to be a common misunderstanding. That number of km/intervention is for their prototype testing in all of California. Waymo have been test driving all over USA, not only in a small known area.
That's not what Waymo's own people say in talks. They are using a lot more than one area for testing, but they are still very much geo-fenced. Even where they do operate, they stick to geo-fenced places they have characterised well, They can only function autonomously where in places where they have produced a high resolution map for lidar navigation, and they currently only have those for selected areas.
Quote
They have launched a pilot service in Phoenix that's open to the public, and that taxi service only operates in a limited area ("Waymo One is currently available in the East Valley of Phoenix Arizona, including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe.").
Its not open to the public. Its only available to a pool of registered people, to travel between selected points. Its being used for regular daily journeys, but its far from being a flexible public system right now
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #141 on: May 22, 2019, 11:58:11 pm »
Look at the talks by leading people working on autonomous cars on Lex Fridman's channel on YouTube. There are talk by people from most of the key players in autonomous cars there. None of them expect a true autonomous car to appear for a number of years. Their disagreements are more about whether its 10 years, 20 years or even further away. All they expect to see in the near future are cars operating in very constrained domains, in good weather, and with strict geo-fencing so they stay in well characterised places.
That mostly agrees with everything we've said. But did they really say "very constrained" though? Constrained for sure, but that's a big difference. And they don't need "good weather", they can't handle certain types of very bad weather at the moment, like heavy rain/snow.

My guess is that Waymo will launch their service in Phoenix (and possibly other cities) without safety drivers within the next five years. Then they will gradually expand the areas where they operate. It will probably take decades (the years quickly add up) before they can drive all over the US, not to mention the rest of the world. You have to crawl before you can walk, walk before you can run.

What they are referring to is full level 5 autonomy, which is indeed at least 10 years off, but you don't need level 5 autonomy to start a robo-cab service in some major cities.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #142 on: May 23, 2019, 12:42:45 am »
That's not what Waymo's own people say in talks. They are using a lot more than one area for testing, but they are still very much geo-fenced. Even where they do operate, they stick to geo-fenced places they have characterised well, They can only function autonomously where in places where they have produced a high resolution map for lidar navigation, and they currently only have those for selected areas.
"With Atlanta, Waymo has now officially tested in 25 cities across the U.S. That includes complex places such as the foggy hills of SF, the snowy streets of Michigan and the rainy roads of Kirkland, WA."

https://twitter.com/Waymo/status/955563835422687232

I've seen a much more detailed map, but can't find it now. They test outside those cities as well, all over the states they are allowed to test in (i.e. in the green areas). It's probably fair to say most of their efforts are concentrated to certain areas, but that's to be expected. If you give it some thought, it's obvious they would want to test in as many different situations as possible.

If by "small known area" you mean places where they have detailed maps, then sure, they use detailed maps as everyone knows, but it's not a "small area" by any definition.

Quote
They have launched a pilot service in Phoenix that's open to the public, and that taxi service only operates in a limited area ("Waymo One is currently available in the East Valley of Phoenix Arizona, including Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe.").
Its not open to the public. Its only available to a pool of registered people, to travel between selected points. Its being used for regular daily journeys, but its far from being a flexible public system right now
Well, I don't live in Phoenix, but they write on their homepage:
"Waymo One is our commercial self-driving service that allows members of the public to travel from place to place in one of Waymo's self-driving cars.

Riders can use our app to call our self-driving vehicles 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can use it to get around several cities in the Metro Phoenix area. Whether it's for a fun night out or just to get a break from driving, our riders get the same clean vehicle every time and a driver with over 10 million miles of experience on public roads.

Over time, we plan to make Waymo One available to more members of the public as we add more vehicles and drive in more places."


They've recently partnered with Lyft as well:
"Six months ago, we launched Waymo One, our commercial self-driving ride-hailing service in the Metro Phoenix area. Over that time we’ve grown to serve over 1,000 riders who hail Waymo cars each day to commute to and from work, bring their kids to school, get to the grocery store, and even to avoid parking at trailheads before a big run.

Today, we’re pleased to share some details of our partnership with Lyft, which will help us welcome even more riders in Metro Phoenix to experience self-driving technology. As a first step, we’ll deploy 10 Waymo vehicles on Lyft over the next few months. Once Waymo vehicles are on the platform, Lyft users in the area will have the option to select a Waymo directly from the Lyft app for eligible rides."

https://medium.com/waymo/partnering-with-lyft-to-serve-more-riders-in-metro-phoenix-a9ce8709843e
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #143 on: May 25, 2019, 01:36:27 pm »
I think you're underestimating how often manual operation is required for the rover. It's not an autonomous vehicle, it's movements are entirely dictated by humans. It doesn't make large journeys WITHOUT intervention because it's so simple and prone to getting off. Maybe the rover driver knows things you haven't read, I don't know. He could also be wrong, I don't know. How many vehicles do you expect to be on the road? Waymo is working in a small known area. Let's expand that to an unlimited area, and what... Millions of cars? Hundreds? Once the area is expanded to the whole planet you're going to have a lot more instances of "interventions" regardless of the number of vehicles. You also can't plan for average, especially when you start out, you plan for the worst case because otherwise there are going to be times where nobody goes anywhere because way too many require manual intervention than was planned. That happens a couple times and demand will pretty quickly go to 0.
We already established on two separate occasions that Waymo is reporting one intervention every 18000 kilometres. It'd also be obtuse to carbon copy the Mars rover setup to street cars rather than seeing it as the concept to base development on. At this point I'm starting to wonder whether people are wilfully ignoring or misinterpreting the conversation so far.
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #144 on: May 25, 2019, 05:11:10 pm »
We already established on two separate occasions that Waymo is reporting one intervention every 18000 kilometres. It'd also be obtuse to carbon copy the Mars rover setup to street cars rather than seeing it as the concept to base development on. At this point I'm starting to wonder whether people are wilfully ignoring or misinterpreting the conversation so far.
And to be clear, 18000 km per intervention is for their testing in the state of California. Everyone says it's so much easier to drive in Phoenix AZ (where it seldom rains), so one has to assume the number of km/intervention in the geo-fenced area there is significantly higher.
 

Offline maginnovision

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #145 on: May 25, 2019, 05:26:46 pm »
I think you're underestimating how often manual operation is required for the rover. It's not an autonomous vehicle, it's movements are entirely dictated by humans. It doesn't make large journeys WITHOUT intervention because it's so simple and prone to getting off. Maybe the rover driver knows things you haven't read, I don't know. He could also be wrong, I don't know. How many vehicles do you expect to be on the road? Waymo is working in a small known area. Let's expand that to an unlimited area, and what... Millions of cars? Hundreds? Once the area is expanded to the whole planet you're going to have a lot more instances of "interventions" regardless of the number of vehicles. You also can't plan for average, especially when you start out, you plan for the worst case because otherwise there are going to be times where nobody goes anywhere because way too many require manual intervention than was planned. That happens a couple times and demand will pretty quickly go to 0.
We already established on two separate occasions that Waymo is reporting one intervention every 18000 kilometres. It'd also be obtuse to carbon copy the Mars rover setup to street cars rather than seeing it as the concept to base development on. At this point I'm starting to wonder whether people are wilfully ignoring or misinterpreting the conversation so far.

I think you're missing my point. The rover isn't a metric that should be used in any way for self driving cars. That's the whole point of that. Don't even worry about it in the context of self driving cars. Waymo reports that for ONE area they drive. California isn't particularly known for extreme weather and hard to navigate roads, neither are those areas of arizona. Where is the kansas testing? New york city? Las vegas? We have poor comparisons for the rest of the US nevermind the world. That's my point, I'm not ignoring or misinterpreting anything. You also never answered how many cars you expect on the road and how many remote operators you see being necessary. It's a huge SCALE issue even if the rate of disengagements stays the same as the number of cars goes up. How do you expect they'd deal with hacking once you're required to add a way to disable safety features? What about bad actors as remote operators? Public perception is huge and there are many things that can outright end any chance of self driving vehicles gaining a foot hold in any market.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #146 on: May 25, 2019, 05:59:21 pm »
I think you're missing my point. The rover isn't a metric that should be used in any way for self driving cars. That's the whole point of that. Don't even worry about it in the context of self driving cars. Waymo reports that for ONE area they drive. California isn't particularly known for extreme weather and hard to navigate roads, neither are those areas of arizona. Where is the kansas testing? New york city? Las vegas? We have poor comparisons for the rest of the US nevermind the world. That's my point, I'm not ignoring or misinterpreting anything. You also never answered how many cars you expect on the road and how many remote operators you see being necessary. It's a huge SCALE issue even if the rate of disengagements stays the same as the number of cars goes up. How do you expect they'd deal with hacking once you're required to add a way to disable safety features? What about bad actors as remote operators? Public perception is huge and there are many things that can outright end any chance of self driving vehicles gaining a foot hold in any market.
The problem is that you seem so busy pointing out differences that you refuse to acknowledge the one part where to conceptual similarities line up. It's like refusing the acknowledge cows and geese can both feed on grass by pointing out one has wings and the other four feet and one is a mammal and the other isn't. Sure, but it's also missing the point.

The number of operators seems to be made into an issue where I'm not sure there actually is one. If you have one intervention every 16000 kilometres and the internet tells us cabs average 70000 miles or about 112000 kilometres a year that's 7 interventions per year per cab. That's supposing the technology doesn't advance. Let's be generous and say we assume one intervention takes an operator 30 minutes to resolve. Assuming about 250 working days in a year an operator can process over 4000 interventions in a year and therefore service close to 600 cabs. Note that there are no drivers in these cabs that need to be paid. Even if you pay operators double what taxi drivers earn and the numbers are off by a crazy margin you're still good. The scale doesn't appear to be an issue either as it's not as if hundreds of thousands of cabs appear on the roads overnight. We have various cars on the road already which are very vulnerable to hacking. The hacking ship has sailed.

https://www.wired.com/2015/07/hackers-remotely-kill-jeep-highway/
 
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Online David Hess

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #147 on: May 26, 2019, 12:28:15 am »
PREDICTION #1:
Robocabs that can match a human driver in practicality are *many* years away. Perhaps even a decade or more.
Anyone talking next year is kidding themselves.
And they could still suck in many situations.

But they will become viable over limited, dense, and controlled urban routes much sooner.

Quote
PREDICTION #2:
People taking Robo-cabs won't like or trust traditional looking cars with an empty front seat and steering wheel whizzing around.
Expect something different to win out.

Johnny Cab!

Quote
PREDICTION #3:
Johnny Cab won't happen. People will detest humanoid robots trying to interact with them.

Put HAL on the dashboard.  What could possibly go wrong?

What about package delivery though where there are no passengers?

Quote
PREDICTION #4:
The "one bad experience" problem may seriously hamper initial Robo-Cab adoption.
And with social media how it is, all you'll hear about are the bad experiences.
The media & your Facebook friends will lap it up.
Although, Facebook could be dead by then...

I agree.  Image is everything.  Actual safety versus miles driven is irrelevant.
 

Offline vk6zgo

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #148 on: May 26, 2019, 02:34:30 am »
Even though the continuing "accident toll" is an ongoing concern, the numbers of cars driven by humans are vast, as are the km/miles travelled, over many years, & in all sorts of road conditions.

The vast majority of the trips taken are safely completed.

On the other hand, there are a handful of self driving vehicles, some of which have already had accidents leading to death.

The argument is "We have operated this vehicle for X number of miles, which is more than the average driver does in Y time, hence, it is safer, statistically."

This reminds me of when germanium transistors first started to be widely used.

We were told "Accelerated life tests & statistics prove that these devices will have lifetimes far in excess of vacuum tubes----- of the order of twenty years!"

When they started to die after a few months to a year, we had to re-evaluate that information!
 

Offline apis

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #149 on: May 26, 2019, 09:36:43 am »
On the other hand, there are a handful of self driving vehicles, some of which have already had accidents leading to death.
There has only been one fatality as far as I know, the Uber accident. The others are people not paying attention when using the Tesla autopilot which isn't a fully self driving car. You have to look at each self driving car project separately though, one can be perfectly safe and another can be a worse than a drunk driver. Only the safe ones should be allowed to drive on public roads.
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #150 on: May 26, 2019, 09:39:37 am »
Even though the continuing "accident toll" is an ongoing concern, the numbers of cars driven by humans are vast, as are the km/miles travelled, over many years, & in all sorts of road conditions.

The vast majority of the trips taken are safely completed.

On the other hand, there are a handful of self driving vehicles, some of which have already had accidents leading to death.

The argument is "We have operated this vehicle for X number of miles, which is more than the average driver does in Y time, hence, it is safer, statistically."

This reminds me of when germanium transistors first started to be widely used.

We were told "Accelerated life tests & statistics prove that these devices will have lifetimes far in excess of vacuum tubes----- of the order of twenty years!"

When they started to die after a few months to a year, we had to re-evaluate that information!
Humans are fairly terrible drivers. The vast majority of trips are safely completed, but literally millions die each year for very similar reasons. Fatigue, substance abuse, distraction. Getting it mostly right doesn't seem that comforting, especially if it's your loved one.
 

Offline FrankT

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #151 on: July 10, 2019, 06:24:17 am »

PREDICTION #3:
Johnny Cab won't happen. People will detest humanoid robots trying to interact with them.


2020 - Japan is promising a fleet of self driving taxis for the 2020 olympics.
 

Offline FrankT

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #152 on: July 10, 2019, 06:30:31 am »
Would vision only systems be confused by sidewalk-style art?

« Last Edit: July 10, 2019, 06:32:18 am by FrankT »
 

Offline wilfred

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #153 on: July 10, 2019, 06:41:58 am »
2020 - Japan is promising a fleet of self driving taxis for the 2020 olympics.

Will they be operating on public roads or just ferrying people around a closed circuit in the Olympic precinct?

Japan premiered the Shinkansen for the 1964 Olympics so they have some cred. Still skeptical though. The whole autonomous vehicle thing seems to have gone off the boil.

 

Offline wilfred

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #154 on: July 10, 2019, 06:54:34 am »
Would vision only systems be confused by sidewalk-style art?

(Attachment Link)

That's a good picture. It illustrates what you and I and a child can see immediately as a picture by the shadow of the cyclist inside the hole.

Just today the city was cleaning the fallen Autumn leaves from my street. It is a windy day and the leaves are all over the road and filling the gutters. How does that camouflage the road? I don't necessarily think leaves or a picture are serious issues. They certainly shouldn't be or snow and ice will never be overcome. But how does an auto deal with a pothole or any item of debris like a branch that a human driver would avoid. Do autos slow down out of caution?
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #155 on: July 10, 2019, 11:07:37 am »
That's a good picture. It illustrates what you and I and a child can see immediately as a picture by the shadow of the cyclist inside the hole.

Just today the city was cleaning the fallen Autumn leaves from my street. It is a windy day and the leaves are all over the road and filling the gutters. How does that camouflage the road? I don't necessarily think leaves or a picture are serious issues. They certainly shouldn't be or snow and ice will never be overcome. But how does an auto deal with a pothole or any item of debris like a branch that a human driver would avoid. Do autos slow down out of caution?
Do humans understand these things?

 

Offline Domagoj T

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #156 on: July 11, 2019, 08:15:00 pm »
Do humans understand these things?
I can certainly understand how somebody might fail to understand it's a painting and not a tunnel, especially in poor light conditions, late at night past the bedtime.
On one occasion, while I was staying in a hotel, I woke up thirsty in the middle of the night. The curtains were drawn over the windows so it was pretty dark in the room. I decided not to turn on the lights since I judged there was enough light to navigate to the bathroom, have a drink and get back to bed, after all I could see the corridor leading to the bathroom.
Three confident steps later I was violently stopped in my tracks when my nose, forehead, and pretty much everything else collided with a floor to ceiling closet. It had mirror front, and what I parsed as the corridor to the bathroom turned out to be a dim reflection of the window behind me.
Sure, I was half asleep and wasn't wearing my contact lenses, but still, Up until the collision I was entirely confident that I was seeing a corridor and nothing else.
 

Offline windsmurf

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Re: Robo-Cab Predictions
« Reply #157 on: July 12, 2019, 10:59:03 pm »
2020 - Japan is promising a fleet of self driving taxis for the 2020 olympics.

Will they be operating on public roads or just ferrying people around a closed circuit in the Olympic precinct?

Japan premiered the Shinkansen for the 1964 Olympics so they have some cred. Still skeptical though. The whole autonomous vehicle thing seems to have gone off the boil.

From what I understand, there will be 2 types of vehicles.  One driving within the Olympic Village and venues ferrying athletes and  officials around, while robocabs will be running along several routes ferrying paying passengers.
 
 


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