Former CMU student builds autonomous robot tricycle for food delivery. It travels at about 10 mph in the bike lane.
Despite High Hopes, Self-Driving Cars Are ‘Way in the Future’
Ford and other companies say the industry overestimated the arrival of autonomous vehicles, which still struggle to anticipate what other drivers and pedestrians will do.
That article mentions a Pittsburgh cyclist who cycled the wrong way through traffic and between cars.
Elon Musk is always promising full self driving cars 18 months in the future. He’s been doing this for years. Eventually he’ll be right.
*autonomous cars are just the test cases for the real goal here – autonomous trucks. The thinking is that if they can perfect the technology on more heavily congested and challenging roads and streets in urban areas, then adapting that tech to over-the-road trucks for long-haul will be a snap.
IMHO, I doubt autonomous cars will ever be widely used, if at all. But trucks on interstates, yeah, I can totally see that, and probably sooner than later.
Autonomous trucks are a simpler problem since they can be limited to highways outside of urban areas, where the problems get really hard. And there are simpler use cases like letting the driver sleep for a while on the long drives between dropoffs and pickups.
Autonomous cars are much harder, even beyond all the complicated cases that the article hints at. There’s a social element, and the problem that autonomous cars simply can’t move as quickly through an urban environment as a human driver who pushes the boundaries. As I understand it, car companies (other than Tesla) have given up on the idea of fully autonomous driving for now, and are looking at augmenting humans — alerting when the driver seems to be doing something dangerous, like drifting out of lane etc.
Self-driving cars projected to be WAY IN THE FUTURE…
As discussed in an earlier thread (https://bikepgh.org/message-board/topic/car-less-drivers/page/5/#post-358665) it would be technically feasible for new car hardware & software to enforce the speed limit. The US & UK car industry has blocked this, but Europe is moving forward with the idea. It’s not autonomous cars, but at least it’s smarter cars.
Europe has mandated speed limiters on cars, a major study cited during the debate says dynamic speed limiters could result in cutting deaths by as much as 59% (Here: https://t.co/NEZ71cMSkA)
We don't need to wait for AV tech to save lives. We can just start doing it now.
— Kevin Thurman (@kmthurman) August 15, 2019
A very good article on why pedestrian death rates are twice as high in the US as in other advanced countries (car culture, designing roads for fast driving, tall SUVs that crush, focus on individual responsibility), on pedestrian detection systems in new cars (they’re not very good) and the motivation for autonomous vehicles development (it’s profit from eliminating drivers, not safety). Quotes:
“I don’t think there’s any chance that autonomous vehicles will deliver us a safe future, and I don’t necessarily think the companies think so either. I think they think we’ll buy a lot of stuff. The safe future will recede before our eyes like a desert mirage.”
“All this [autonomous vehicle] activity – and the rollout of shiny pedestrian avoidance systems – feeds more credulous media coverage, stoking our cultural sense, unsupported by any evidence, that of course our hardworking nerds are on the brink of unveiling safe self-driving cars. Why not? A car that is basically a smartphone will, of course, have no temptation to look at its smartphone.”
Fun video: pedestrian detection testing AAA:
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