Linked by David Adams on Thu 3rd Mar 2016 16:15 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces

Volvo recently conducted a survey and asked consumers about their perceptions of self-driving cars. The question that stood out to me was whether a car company like Volvo or a technology company (Google, unnamed) was best positioned to bring safe self-driving cars to the market. Volvo was obviously fishing for a particular answer, and while they certainly have a vaunted reputation for technical innovation in the service of safety, I'm afraid I can't go along with the answer they're hoping for, partially because safety is only part of the story. In my opinion, no car company working alone is going to be able to produce a self-driving car with the kind of usability that consumers will expect. And for self-driving cars, usability is just as important as safety. In fact, they're inseparable.

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I'm ambitious
by WorknMan on Thu 3rd Mar 2016 18:53 UTC
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As someone who's visually impaired and can't drive, when the self-driving cars come out, I don't give a damn if the user interface is in binary... I'll learn it ;) Whatever I have to do.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I'm ambitious
by darknexus on Thu 3rd Mar 2016 19:24 UTC in reply to "I'm ambitious"
darknexus Member since:

You got that right, and I'm in the same boat as you. We have to hope the pols don't try to take our ability to have one away though and require manual driving licenses anyway. They're making noises about that in the states.

Reply Score: 3

RE: I'm ambitious
by David on Thu 3rd Mar 2016 19:32 UTC in reply to "I'm ambitious"
David Member since:

You've got a great point. However, for the visually impaired, children, and people traveling in unfamiliar cities, it's going to be very important that you can trust the car to take you to the right place.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I'm ambitious
by darknexus on Thu 3rd Mar 2016 20:07 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm ambitious"
darknexus Member since:

Of course. But that'd be important for everybody. If the car can't be counted on to take people to the right place, no one will use them. I would say that'd be point one in designing these things, wouldn't it?

Reply Score: 3

Google suggestions
by kristoph on Thu 3rd Mar 2016 20:44 UTC
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The sad reality is that it's more then likely that Google will suggest gas stations from paying sponsors rather then what's cheapest and it will suggest Starbucks any time your near it 'just in case'.

Siri on the other hand will suggest gas stations which were closed years ago and coffee shops where bikers hang out.

Cortona will be performing an update and won't suggest anything.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Google suggestions
by darknexus on Thu 3rd Mar 2016 20:51 UTC in reply to "Google suggestions"
darknexus Member since:

Nice. I'd mod you up for that if I could. As for mine... suggestions off. I'll tell the damned thing where it should go, and if it starts to advertise to me... well, then I have another place I'll tell it to go! ;)

Reply Score: 3

Comment by ddc_
by ddc_ on Thu 3rd Mar 2016 23:38 UTC
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I would be perfectly fine with a self-driving car that would allow me to enter address and then point exact spot on the map. I would not even mind if it would ask me again when it finds that it can't get precisely to the point I have identified. I would love to have an interface with keyboard, trackball-like manipulator and touch (in that order of preference) input and graphical output with optional audible feedback. If I want to add a point to my route, I'd rather pick a flag on the map then have GPS suggest me something according to its understanding. Good query language is far better then good AI that pretends to understand me better then I do.

P.S.: I don't think I'll ever enter voice-operated vehicle. It is really a terrible idea: if you are not driving, it is by far easier and faster to operate the vehicle using eyes and hands. Voice interaction is too slow and too inaccurate to be worth in such case.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by ddc_
by _QJ_ on Fri 4th Mar 2016 20:27 UTC in reply to "Comment by ddc_"
_QJ_ Member since:


Good interface may be better than an AI.
And no, vocal command is not better.

Especially in Europe :
-Avenue de la libération, Paris
-Avenida de la liberación, Madrid
-Bevrijdingweg; Amsterdam
Namesake locations, pronunciations, noisy environment are a nighmare for GPS vocal input.

Reply Score: 1

not until 2035
by unclefester on Fri 4th Mar 2016 08:00 UTC
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A friend of mine who has a PhD in AI and an aerospace engineering degree recently told me that genuine autonomous cars are at least 20 years away. She said there needs to be a total separation of human drivers and autonomous vehicles. In practical terms this means normal cars must be totally banned from public roads to allow autonomous vehicles to operate.

IMO opinion none of the existing or potential players has the experience or safety culture necessary to develop safe autonomous vehicles. The old carmakers are run by middle aged petrol heads and the new makers (Tesla, Google etc) are run by hackers who have no idea about making failsafe software and hardware.

Autonomous vehicles systems need to be designed by aviation experts who have many decades of experience and proven design and testing processes.

Edited 2016-03-04 08:03 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: not until 2035
by darknexus on Fri 4th Mar 2016 13:54 UTC in reply to "not until 2035"
darknexus Member since:

I'd not go so far as to say we need to separate them completely, but I would think it'd be necessary to have special lanes for them alongside the roads used by non-autonomous vehicles. Even human drivers can't predict what other human drivers do a lot of the time, and I'd not expect a computer to be able to keep up. I do agree with her time frame prediction however, and I suspect she's being optimistic. My stance still remains though: if I'm alive when we have them, I'm going for it!

Reply Score: 2

v 1
by Anonymous on Tue 8th Mar 2016 14:13 UTC
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by Anonymous on Wed 9th Mar 2016 17:28 UTC