Breaking News
News & Analysis

Straight Talk on Self-Driving Cars

7/22/2013 07:55 PM EDT
45 comments
NO RATINGS
1 saves
Page 1 / 2 Next >
More Related Links
View Comments: Oldest First | Newest First | Threaded View
<<   <   Page 3 / 5   >   >>
junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: I have to doubt the premise
junko.yoshida   7/23/2013 5:55:02 PM
NO RATINGS
BarrySweezey, I agree. That's also my understanding, talking to vendors.

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: I have to doubt the premise
junko.yoshida   7/23/2013 6:01:36 PM
NO RATINGS
The first goal should be to make a car that you can drive as you always have.


Yes, I think that's the key. By extention, though, if you are letting your self-driving car drive (but bear in mind that you might need to jump in when the situation gets complex), you don't want the car to override your instinct, either.

With the self-driving car, whether you like it or not, I am guesing that eventually there will a time that your car interferes wtih your own driving. I think this "handover" iussue is a much bigger one than any of us realize today.

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Don't make self driven cars follow personal behavior
junko.yoshida   7/23/2013 6:06:41 PM
NO RATINGS
Bert, your points are well taken.

But I am not certain if there will be a separate road designated for self-driving cars. Where did you get that info? I would like to check it out. My understanding is that self-driving cars do not necessarily require so-calle infrastructure, although car-to-x infrastructure could presumably provide more intelligence to all drivers.

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Driver variability
junko.yoshida   7/23/2013 6:10:34 PM
NO RATINGS
LarryM99, I just laughed out loud about your wife constantly fiddling with the temperature and fan setting of air conditioner. I am with her!

But you do have a point when you said:

The car manufacturers like to think that drivers enjoy the act of driving so much that they would not want to give it up, but I would say that varies significantly from driver to driver and from time to time. 

BMW may be overthinking of their brand -- billed as "sheer pleasure of driving."

junko.yoshida
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Here, you drive!
junko.yoshida   7/23/2013 6:15:08 PM
NO RATINGS
Tom, I am with you. I got scared when I heard that during the interivew, too.

But I think what he is talking about is a much more complex scenario. Self-driving cars shouldn't freak out at the site of a greyhound bus or a mere cat. But in a much more complex urban setting, you can easily imagine four or five things going on at an intersection. (picture a major intersection in Manhattan)

Rather than waiting for your car to make a decision, you might want to take over the control of your car.

Tom Murphy
User Rank
Blogger
Re: I have to doubt the premise
Tom Murphy   7/23/2013 6:17:22 PM
NO RATINGS
I think the "handover" issue is something we already have -- one way -- with Cruise Control.  There, a tap of the brake or pressing a button on the steering wheel releases control to the driver.  But we don't have the reverse, where the car suddenly leaves cruise control on its own, assuming the driver is ready to take over -- that would be dangerous.

So I can't quite imagine a car that is not only controlling the speed, but steering as well.  If that released on its own without the driver initiating the handover, chaos would ensue. But, according to this article, cars can't handle all sorts of driving situations on their own yet. Until they can, I think this technology must remain in the testing phase.

Bert22306
User Rank
CEO
Re: Don't make self driven cars follow personal behavior
Bert22306   7/23/2013 7:20:29 PM
NO RATINGS
Here is a reference to the needed infrastructure (the first one I found):

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/28/science/on-the-road-in-mobileyes-self-driving-car.html?pagewanted=all

"Moreover, it was connected wirelessly to the Internet, giving it access to a vast cloud-based set of data that could be matched to what the local sensors were seeing."

It makes sense. It's very doubtful that local in-car sensors can be counted upon to know that there is road work at that intersection 5 miles down the orad, and therefore you should use a detour. Or that even that the lane next to you, which appears empty, is only empty because a mile or so down the road it is blocked off for some reason. things that people might find out from a radio report or the morning news, or other such source.

Self driving cars can't constantly be blind-sided by things that their on-board radar/lidar/what have you, would have a tough time knowing or predicting.

I suppose they can mingle with manually driven cars, although that takes away a whole lot of potential efficiency. Now you have to leave in big margins to accommodate erratic human behavior.

Bert22306
User Rank
CEO
Re: I have to doubt the premise
Bert22306   7/23/2013 7:32:11 PM
NO RATINGS
The handover mechanisms need to be carefully worked out. In the simpler cases, i.e. where the cars are driving alongside manually driven cars, it seems easy enough. Just like cruise control. The driver can take over just by grabbing the wheel. Since humans are driving out there, the margins have to be very wide. No problem.

Seems to me that in the more interesting applications, like on roadways dedicated to self driving cars, you wouldn't want to allow a human to take over. These automatic control systems invariably bring the technoloy to where humans are incapable of safely operating the machinery. So in this case, if the human needs to get out urgently, you need to command this to the car. And the car would then need to coordinate that operation with the other traffic.

Not sure why so many seem to assume that human control is the ultimate safety feature. There are countless control systems out there where any type of human in the loop would be devastating. Maybe, at best, humans might intervene through special software control. It's not so inconceivable that driving will eventually reach that same place.

Bert22306
User Rank
CEO
Submarine control example
Bert22306   7/23/2013 9:13:35 PM
NO RATINGS
Years ago now, I had the interesting experience of driving a submarine control system emulator (designed for training crews). This was a new device at the time. A real eye opener.

Unless you've driven a sub manually, you may not realize just how tight the allowable depth tolerance is. If you're moving fast, just a little too close to the surface, and the sub is likely to broach (break the surface) unexpectedly. Conversely, just a little too much down plane, and at high speed you'd surpised how fast you get to crush depth. It's not like these things can be turned around on a dime. It takes lots of training and skill to do this safely, and one would only change depth at low speeds.

Now turn on the automatic controls. No problem at all. You can go at flank speed, command max depth, and it'll go there with no apparent strain. Go fast at periscope depth, also no problem with broaching. It all seems so easy, yet it's close to impossible to do with humans at the controls.

Ditto with controls for those experimental high performance foward-swept wing jets. A human can't control these airplanes, except with control system software assistance.

Olaf Barheine
User Rank
Rookie
Re: I have to doubt the premise
Olaf Barheine   7/24/2013 2:53:38 AM
NO RATINGS
But what about red traffic lights? Crossing ambulances or fire trucks? I think, it would be hard for self-driving cars to recognize this without any car-to-x infrastructure.

<<   <   Page 3 / 5   >   >>
August Cartoon Caption Winner!
August Cartoon Caption Winner!
"All the King's horses and all the KIng's men gave up on Humpty, so they handed the problem off to Engineering."
5 comments
Top Comments of the Week
Like Us on Facebook

Datasheets.com Parts Search

185 million searchable parts
(please enter a part number or hit search to begin)
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed
Flash Poll
Radio
LATEST ARCHIVED BROADCAST
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.