Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 8th Nov 2017 23:05 UTC

Waymo recently hosted a number of journalists at its private Castle testing compound, and treated us to rides with no safety driver behind the wheel - now, the former Google self-driving car company is going farther still, however, launching public road tests of its autonomous Chrysler Pacifica minivans with no safety driver on board.

The tests aren't limited to one or two routes, either; the test area where the truly driverless trials are being conducted is in Chandler, Arizona (part of the greater Phoenix metro area), and the cars are able to go anywhere within this defined space. It’s hard to understate the importance of this milestone: Waymo is operating at full Level 4 autonomy, sharing public roads with human-driven cars and pedestrians, with no one at the wheel able to take over in case things don't go as planned.

All my friends live at least an hour's drive away from where I live (assuming no traffic, which is a big assumption in The Netherlands). That's not a long drive by standards of large countries, but for us, it is, and since it basically comes down to a boring drive over a few boring highways in a boring part of the country, it's mind-numbingly tedious.

I can't wait until I can just sit down on the backseat of my car, tell it to drive to Amsterdam or wherever else my friends live, and just chill for an hour with some YouTube or webbrowsing. I know we're not there yet, but I hope I can at least experience that at one point in my life.

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Trust is a 2 way street
by mathhammer on Fri 10th Nov 2017 15:59 UTC
Member since:

There is already a proven autonomous system where humans let a computer "take them for a ride"..

The Space Shuttle.

Now compare the computer infrastructure the shuttle used verses what people are putting in cars.

The Space Shuttle used five AP-101 computers as general-purpose computers (GPCs). Four operated in sync, for redundancy, while the fifth was a backup running software written independently.

So when cars that are drive me down an interstate at 75 MPH and i have no way to override at a minimum need to have that type of framework.

And they DO NOT have it.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Trust is a 2 way street
by zima on Sat 11th Nov 2017 14:39 in reply to "Trust is a 2 way street"
zima Member since:

Ehh, modern airliners (mass-deployed, non-experimental, safe), with their autopilots and Cat IIIc autoland systems, are probably a better example... and they're not as extreme WRT computers as the Shuttle was / still no accidents linked to computers.

(besides, the Shuttle gained full autoland capabilities only after Columbia disaster ...the idea was that in the event of similar damage to the heatshield, it would at least try to reenter/land without the crew, which would wait on ISS for another Shuttle; plus, the Shuttle docked to space stations manually, while Soyuz, Progress, or ATV dock autonomously; a better example of autonomous system is probably the Buran shuttle, which performed its only flight without a crew ...and, in doing it, it sort of demonstrated more fully the whole point behind such winged orbiter (wings giving it crossrange, to land after 1 or 2 orbits at the launch site, while the Earth rotated away) than US Shuttle ever did ;) )

An even better example would be probably ...elevators! ;) They were once human-operated, too... and now we don't even stop to think when using an automated one. Cars will be most likely similar.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Trust is a 2 way street
by mathhammer on Mon 13th Nov 2017 13:51 in reply to "RE: Trust is a 2 way street"
mathhammer Member since:

My disagreement with your points are also in the safety realm.

-) Elevators have fail safe braking, so if the cables snap. It stops moving. Also At no point does the operator of the the elevator have the ability to kill you.

-) planes are a better point, Yet the pilots still retain control and I think most commercial flights require a pilot to monitor the autopilot. And this is really just advanced cruise control. The analogy to fully automated case would be allow the autopilot to land the airplane.

In general the designs of the car "level 5" systems are missing redundancy (sensor, computers,controllers), well documented failure conditions (does it just brake, does it coast??) and 2 independent software stacks to make the decisions.

Maintenance??? What happens when the vehicle is 10 years old limping by on one misaligned sensor, and the idea of fixing it is some JB weld....

As a point, in Louisiana (and other places) traffic lights are mounted on poles and used a pedestrian walk lights. Based off a "How we find traffic light" presentation last year it would render the pedestrian light as a traffic light.... simple things...

Reply Parent Score: 1