First driverless fatality

Discussion in 'Automotive Electronics' started by cmartinez, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. cmartinez

    Thread Starter AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 17, 2007
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    Maybe I'm old fashioned, but if I'm going to die because of some mistake, I'd rather it be my own than someone else's:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/a...ess-car-fatality-means-for-self-driving-tech/

    On the other hand, it seems unavoidable that this emerging technology will eventually have to face delicate moral issues:

    There's also a moral dilemma at play, as a driverless vehicle may have to decide which lives to save in the event of a serious accident.
     
  2. jpanhalt

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    Jan 18, 2008
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    Bashing into the side of a semi that is turning left presents no moral to dilemma for me. ;)

    As a technical detail, that Tesla model S had a driver. He just wasn't paying attention.

    John
     
  3. nsaspook

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    http://www.teslarati.com/witnesses-details-deadly-tesla-accident/
    It looks like the car was still driving in autopilot after the driver was dead.

    A former Navy SEAL dies while watching Harry Potter on a video screen in a Tesla Model S on autopilot.
    Bravo Zulu dude. :rolleyes:

     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
  4. jpanhalt

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    My first impression is that an autopilot -- particularly one that controls the throttle -- should disconnect upon any impact. Even our model airplanes have kill switches to turn off the ignition in those that have ignitions.

    What was Tesla thinking? Tesla does have an acronym for it: RUD

    John

    RUD = rapid, unplanned disassembly
     
  5. MrAl

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    Jun 17, 2014
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    Hello there,

    Yes that's nuts. The excuse, as always, is to quote statistics and how 'good' they are over millions of miles driven, in this case.

    What is amazing is this is exactly the failure mode i thought would happen. That's because i have noticed myself from years of driving that some cars and objects 'blend' into the background scene and so are hard to notice. You have to make extra effort to be sure there are no objects that are blending or else you wont see them at all. This happens mostly with dark objects like cars. For example, a dark gray car will blend right in with the color of the dark gray road surface if your viewpoint is such that the road surface scene makes up all or most of the car's background scene. I have seen this happen, where you have to look twice to actually notice there is anything there at all. This is especially true when it is near dark, where the other car doesnt have it's lights turned on yet. It also happens with other color cars too, such as green against a green foliage background. I wanted to start a website at one time that talked about this kind of thing and other driving safety tips.
    In this case it was a white truck against a mostly white sky. If it had been a color truck, almost any color, the computer would have noticed it, but because it blended in so well with the background it was not seen.
    I think the same could happen in the early morning when the sun is at a sharp angle to the earth surface and you are driving east. The sun could saturate the camera sensors and therefore show no images at all for a number of minutes not just a second or two.

    So apparently it is all about imaging and how it is done, which is prone to failure. However, the driver is not supposed to be doing some other task while driving anyway they are supposed to be watching the road just like with any other car. The driver of this car went into "i can do anything i want to do while my car drives itself" mode and therefore did not follow the recommendations of the car manufacturer anyway so it's mostly their own fault.
    The driver probably didnt realize that it is not made to drive itself with no attention at all from the driver, but to assist the driver, where the driver is still expected to pay attention.

    Remember they claim that airplane travel is safer than riding in a car.
    So bottom line is that they will eventually claim that the car is actually *safer* than other cars because they drive more miles without a problem than humanly operated cars !!

    I dont know about you but i would rather get hit by a driverless car that never even stops after it's radiator is destroyed than a human operator that knows when to stop <insert gigantic sarcastic chuckle here> :)
     
  6. tracecom

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    Apr 16, 2010
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    To split hairs just for the fun of it, I would say that there was a human in the driver's seat, but he wasn't a driver since he wasn't driving.
     
  7. OBW0549

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    Something tells me that autonomous vehicles could be a huge boon to personal injury lawyers. Let a million lawsuits bloom!
     
  8. ISB123

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    If you are too lazy to drive use public transportation,its simple.
     
  9. jpanhalt

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    Let his insurance company try to claim that. It will lose.

    John
     
  10. nsaspook

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  11. Lestraveled

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    May 19, 2014
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    This has all the makings of a B rated Sci-Fi horror flick. The car continued to drive 200 to 300 yards until impacting a telephone pole. Would it have driven to it's programmed destination, carrying the dead driver, if it had not hit the pole?

    "CARMAGEDDON" the movie.
     
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  12. nsaspook

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    It was just dumb luck there was an empty field.

    [​IMG]

    http://electrek.co/2016/07/01/understanding-fatal-tesla-accident-autopilot-nhtsa-probe/
     
  13. WBahn

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    Mar 31, 2012
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    But why wasn't he paying attention? Because he at the autopilot turned on and therefore didn't think he needed to pay attention.

    That's something that people have been pointing out for years -- no matter what you say or do, as soon as you make it possible for people to shift their focus to something other than driving, many, if not most, people are going to shift their focus to something other than driving. You install back-up radar to tell people that something is behind them, and people are much less diligent about checking if something is behind them. It's human nature. It's like there's some conservation of thinking law at play -- make it possible for a machine to do someone's thinking, and the someone stops doing their own.
     
  14. WBahn

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    Oh, you can bet on a whole new industry of lawyers blooming. Of course, there's already a bunch of laws being put in place to protect the makers of these cars -- without anyone asking why the makers of "normal" cars (and lots and lots of other things) don't deserve equal protection.
     
  15. WBahn

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    The statistics are increasingly not on their side. The U.S. traffic fatality death rate is right about at 1 per 100 million miles drive -- and that's in all kinds of conditions and all kinds of weather. Tesla touts that this is the first fatality in 130 million miles with the autopilot engaged -- but how cherry-picked are the vast majority of those miles. How often have people driven their Teslas with the autopilot on while driving in a blizzard or on a winding mountain road? Has anyone even tried to let one of these cars drive down Pikes Peak, even on a good day?

    And so what? That's just human nature. It really doesn't matter what the instruction manual says or even what the law says. If you make it POSSIBLE for a driver to pay less attention, then most drivers WILL pay less attention.
     
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  16. nsaspook

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    Yes, they will.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencet...ated-crashes-van-damaging-entire-end-car.html
     
  17. jpanhalt

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    Both the car and the driver deserved what happened to it/him.

    How did you get this posthumous quote? “Yes, I could have reacted sooner, but when the car slows down correctly 1’000 times, you trust it to do it the next time to. My bad..” My powers in that area are much more limited.

    The driver is at fault, no one or nothing else is. The only thing that I can fault Tesla for is not having a kill switch -- as in kill the engine. It did not cause the accident.

    John
     
  18. MrAl

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    Jun 17, 2014
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    Ok, so they are doing what i said they would do already.


    Yes, it's human nature, no doubt there. But legally that may get them out of it, that's why i mentioned it. That's the answer to the 'so what' here.
     
  19. WBahn

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    Who's the "them" that "legally that may get them out of it"? Tesla and such? Only the laws that specifically shield them will get them out of it. History has shown time and time again that juries will look right past abject stupidity on the part of the person and assign blame to the manufacturer (and whomever else they can find with deep pockets). My dad's company, who manufactured industrial air compressors, was sued by the families of two guys that died while diving because the air being pumped down to them had oil in it. The guy that was the divemaster has built the compressor using junk yard compressors that my dad's company had built some thirty years earlier for a tire shop. The compressors were not oil-free to begin with (as is the case with nearly all compressors), but the suit claimed that since the pumps (which had been sitting in a junk yard for over a decade, mind you) hadn't been labeled as not being suitable for human breathing air, that they were none-the-less liable. The jury agreed.
     
  20. nsaspook

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    From his Youtube video description.
    Yes, it was HIS bad.
     
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