The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Dauric » Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:26 am UTC

DaBigCheez wrote:
elasto wrote:
duckshirt wrote:The accidents-per-mile ratios do NOT look good for the autonomous vehicles so far

Citation? Everything I've read says the opposite, even including this accident - and it seems like this particular accident would have occurred with a human driver too.

Maybe I'm just misreading their role, but...I mean, there *was* a human driver behind the wheel in this case, and they were unable to prevent the accident, yes? Not actively piloting the car, but there, among other things, to potentially take over in the case of an impending accident?


In User Interface studies it takes an average of ten seconds for a user to completely change from one interface to another. (IE: why your user interface needs to have a consistent form across your application/website/etc.). Changing between tasks while multitasking has similar lag times. I'd imagine that the same holds true from passively watching a car drive, to actively taking control.

Back of the envelope math at 40 MpH that's almost 600 feet, two football fields before the human user's brain has fully switched over to active control of the vehicle.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby addams » Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:42 am UTC

Humans are horrible drivers.
I know, because I am one.

I very nearly pulled out into a Gray Car on a Gray Day.
I didn't see the dang thing! Because the road was Gray.

I spent most of the day bitching about it, inside my head.
"What the Hell!? Why did you choose to buy and drive a Gray car??"

I did avoid participating in one of the nearly Three Thousand U.S. traffic fatalities this Month.
Some months the number is Up. Some months the number is Down. AI drives better than we do.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 2016 data shows 37,461 people were killed in 34,436 motor vehicle crashes, an average of 102 per day.
When we get to 100 people killed each day by autonomous automobiles, call me.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby ucim » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:08 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Blending in with human driving straight up requires at least some minor rules fudging to not be disruptive.
That won't fly in traffic court - at least not with a human driver. Get Uber's lawyers involved though and all bets are off.

duckshirt wrote:In 2016 there were only 1.16 fatalities per 100 miles.
You do mean "per 100 million miles, don't you?

DaBigCheez wrote:Maybe I'm just misreading their role, but...I mean, there *was* a human driver behind the wheel in this case, and they were unable to prevent the accident, yes?
Yes. But what this shows is that "saving" a bad situation that's handed to you is harder than simply driving, where you could have avoided the bad situation to begin with.

addams wrote:When we get to 100 people killed each day by autonomous automobiles, call me.
At the rate present day autonomous automobiles are killing people, all we need to do is let the robots drive. The robots will kill that many people every hour.

They'll get better. But we're nowhere near that yet. It's still very dangerous to be near a robot car.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby elasto » Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:10 am UTC

duckshirt wrote:In 2016 there were only 1.16 fatalities per 100 [million] miles. Uber and Waymo claim 2 million and 4 million miles so far respectively, so that's 1 fatality in 6 million between the two.

Fair enough. However, if it's shown that this fatality would have occurred even with a human driver in control, all it demonstrates is that small sample sizes can throw up statistical anomalies. In addition, it's parochial to assume that everyone drives as safely as Americans. This is a technology with world-wide application.

Yes, there's no doubt that further improvements need to be made to handling during poor weather etc., but there's no reason to think that won't occur.

ucim wrote:They'll get better. But we're nowhere near that yet. It's still very dangerous to be near a robot car.

That may well be true, but this fatality doesn't seem to be proof of that. It seems to indicate that it's as dangerous to suddenly step out in front of a robot car as to do so in front of any high-speed vehicle.

The only way to reduce pedestrian deaths to zero would probably be to only drive at 20mph unless there is a clear line-of-sight for tens to hundreds of meters in all directions...

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Thesh » Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:51 am UTC

I knew someone who hit and killed a pedestrian driving under 20 while pulling out of an alley. Under 25 reduces risks massively, but the only way to get to zero is to get rid of cars.

https://nacto.org/docs/usdg/relationshi ... chards.pdf

As for driverless cars, while they have the potential to be safer, we don't have enough data to really know that at the moment. Too few self-driving cars driving too few miles in limited circumstances. I'd like to see serious study, auditng, and testing, and just a lot more transparency on the part of the car makers to facilitate this.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby elasto » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:11 am UTC

Thesh wrote:Under 25 reduces risks massively, but the only way to get to zero [pedestrian deaths] is to get rid of cars.

Maybe external airbags would help.

Depends how far you want to go down the road of spending taxpayer/private money to protect people from their own stupidity.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Thesh » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:16 am UTC

I have an image in my head of a airbags deploying immediately before impact with the pedestrian, sending them flying away from the car where they cannot scratch the paint.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby sardia » Wed Mar 21, 2018 1:55 pm UTC

elasto wrote:
Thesh wrote:Under 25 reduces risks massively, but the only way to get to zero [pedestrian deaths] is to get rid of cars.

Maybe external airbags would help.

Depends how far you want to go down the road of spending taxpayer/private money to protect people from their own stupidity.

You don't limit yourself to engineering cars to prevent accidents. There's a reason why highways are among safest roads. You separate meat bags away from high speed metal.
For example, put up fencing so that people don't Jay walk, or have traffic lights that give all red lights so pedestrians can cross without cars trying to turn right.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:04 pm UTC

Or you build walkways over the roads, and skimp on the concrete so that it crumbles 2 days after you build it.

Or you build bigger fatter humans that have more cushion to absorb the impact, thanks McDonald's and PepsiCo for saving so many lives!

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby jewish_scientist » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:25 pm UTC

sardia wrote:For example, put up fencing so that people don't Jay walk, or have traffic lights that give all red lights so pedestrians can cross without cars trying to turn right.

Maybe we should try to build more sidewalks before funding such a huge project.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby HES » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:30 pm UTC

sardia wrote:or have traffic lights that give all red lights so pedestrians can cross without cars trying to turn right.

Given low turning speeds, I'd be curious to see how many pedestrian collisions, particularly KSI's, actually happen in this scenario. In the UK we have strictly separated phasings - if a pedestrian light is green, traffic is halted through there - but this can get messy when designing signal timings for good traffic flow.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:51 pm UTC

Or place more speed bumps, nevermind that they tend to wear out cars much faster and thus make everyone poorer at the expense of mechanics and car manufacturers.

I'm imagining a situation where pillars pop up when a light turns red, and the guy speeding through the light after it turns slams into one, but then I imagine all the ambulances that go through red lights slamming into them too.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Mutex » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:54 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Or place more speed bumps, nevermind that they tend to wear out cars much faster and thus make everyone poorer at the expense of mechanics and car manufacturers.

Or to put it another way, it'll create jobs in auto-manufacturing and repair!

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:07 pm UTC

Was this an electric vehicle? Could it have been too quiet for the pedestrian to have noted its travel? I know that I've been looking into fake engine-noises for a (future) electric/hybrid car. Nothing fancy (V8 muscle car grumble/roar, eh?), just synthetically matching the expected missing noise when in full-electric mode.

Also, yesterday I was driving the limit (as much as I could judge, which was not far off what other drivers would judge) and piling up a queue behind me on several stretches of road by drivers who demonstrated that they'd much prefer 10mph faster. I do not apologise for that, and I am confident I can definitely justify myself a helluva lot more than those others could, in any legal dispute that arose.

(I also drove, away from these main routes, over roads still with snow-drifts partly on them, with an edge of snow half-over the "L" of the "SLOW" painted on my carriageway at one point near a bend, which would give ploughed/thawed clear tarmac remaining over perhaps just 75% the normal width. And narrower but uncomparable at other spots. I do not apologise for going perhaps no more than 40mph on those roads, where 60mph is 'allowed', and not even going more than 30mph on the 40mph-limited bits. Drive to the conditions, then further to the limit if it's yet lower still. Don't second-guess ein either case, or take the consequences.)

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Leovan » Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:16 pm UTC

It's always disappointing to hear that someone stole your idea. How COULD you soupspoon? I wonder why it's not implemented yet.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby HES » Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:24 pm UTC

I had in my head that "EU noise regulations prevent artificial noise being added to electric vehicles", but upon finally getting round to check if that's just Brexit propaganda, it turns out that the opposite is true - they have to make enough noise for pedestrian safety. (Not that the incident in question falls under EU jurisdiction)
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:27 pm UTC

Nothing says the noise has to be fake engine noises. Now I'm imagining all electric cars playing classical music at low volumes.

Specifically the Jaws theme, that automatically adjusts the tempo depending on how fast you go. Dun dun... Dun dun...

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Dauric » Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:49 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Nothing says the noise has to be fake engine noises. Now I'm imagining all electric cars playing classical music at low volumes.

Specifically the Jaws theme, that automatically adjusts the tempo depending on how fast you go. Dun dun... Dun dun...


Better still, proximity to a pedestrian.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Mar 21, 2018 3:50 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Nothing says the noise has to be fake engine noises. Now I'm imagining all electric cars playing classical music at low volumes.
That's been one of the ideas. Or something betwixt that and Musique Concrete, but not quite so far as the latter.

I do remember that it used to be a rule that vehicle horns were not allowed to be mutli-tone, so the famous General Lee 'theme' was illegal, though official emergency vehicle sirens were allowed. And and ice-cream van tunes/"Vehicle Reversing!" alerts and political campaigns through a roof-mounted speaker system may have been exempted as alternate off-borderline uses). It's a problem. If there were anything preventing an arbitrary noise, it'd be the current version of this law. But so far I've only been thinking about plain old engine noise (keyed to motor-speed/strain, as it should be), perhaps with a marginal mutability as per dipped headlights, but otherwise not driver-controlled beyond how the driver is controlling the speed/torque of the car.

Specifically the Jaws theme, that automatically adjusts the tempo depending on how fast you go. Dun dun... Dun dun...
I think, if it was this kind of thing, I'd go for Yakkity Sax. ;) Tempoed down (and lowering in key) according to how much below the speed limit I'm going.


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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:02 pm UTC

Get a white car with black trim and play The Imperial March from Star Wars.

Really, any John Williams music will work!

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby addams » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:03 pm UTC

You posters are so very funny.
I'd Love to see you in Congress.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:23 pm UTC

Imperial March vehicle?
Spoiler:
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addams wrote:You posters are so very funny.
I'd Love to see you in Congress.

Sounds kinky. Any particular couplings? ;)

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby CorruptUser » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:29 pm UTC

I'm not sure you want to see me in Congress. I mostly do missionary work.

On the other hand, I can filibuster for much longer than others...

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Soupspoon » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:39 pm UTC

I certainly had to avert my eyes from the Majority Leader.

(Hmm, John Cage's 4'33" as a surrogate car noise?)

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby jewish_scientist » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:47 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Nothing says the noise has to be fake engine noises. Now I'm imagining all electric cars playing classical music at low volumes.

Specifically the Jaws theme, that automatically adjusts the tempo depending on how fast you go. Dun dun... Dun dun...

[Insert witty comment about the Doppler Effect]

One cool implication of this idea is that a driver can estimate another car's speed by sound alone. On the other hand, anytime >3 cars are near each other it would get way too noisy, especially on the highway. I suppose you could fix that problem by having cars automatically sync their musics' tempo.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby speising » Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:17 pm UTC

so they posted the video of the uber car:
https://www.facebook.com/TempePolice/vi ... 116311806/
which seems to contradict what was said earlier. far from "stepping out of a shadow", the woman was in the middle of the road, already having crossed the left lane. the "shadow" is just the darkness outside the cars headlights, which fall oddly short (at least in the video).
Regardless, i see no reason for lidar etc. not to have seen her earlier, and moreover, why the car hasn't slammed on the brakes in the last ~1.5 seconds of full illumination at least.
OTOH, i know why the driver didn't react, she was probably looking at her phone at the time.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:20 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:One cool implication of this idea is that a driver can estimate another car's speed by sound alone. On the other hand, anytime >3 cars are near each other it would get way too noisy, especially on the highway. I suppose you could fix that problem by having cars automatically sync their musics' tempo.

https://www.xkcd.com/165/

I suppose you could use localised Wifi to coordinate (like they're trying to get Convoy AIs to coordinate intentions to enter/leave a stream of self-driving traffic and avoid trouble whilst deep in the middle of one).

And then you have the facility to separate musical contributions across a group of vehicles, the woodwind section, the strings, the percussion… A whole mobile orchestra!

Although, it just occurred to me, that orchestral works are wrong for the highways. You want something more middle-of-the-road, surely?

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Chen » Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:51 pm UTC

speising wrote:so they posted the video of the uber car:
https://www.facebook.com/TempePolice/vi ... 116311806/
which seems to contradict what was said earlier. far from "stepping out of a shadow", the woman was in the middle of the road, already having crossed the left lane. the "shadow" is just the darkness outside the cars headlights, which fall oddly short (at least in the video).
Regardless, i see no reason for lidar etc. not to have seen her earlier, and moreover, why the car hasn't slammed on the brakes in the last ~1.5 seconds of full illumination at least.
OTOH, i know why the driver didn't react, she was probably looking at her phone at the time.


The driver clearly wasn't paying attention to the road. Uber is likely going to throw her under the bus (as well they should). That doesn't excuse the company though. I have no idea why the car wouldn't have slammed on the brakes there. Or why its sensors didn't somehow detect the person. Darkness may hinder the camera but there are other sensors that shouldn't be affected by darkness. Im interested in seeing what the NTSB has to say about this.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby stilettoblade » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:15 pm UTC

The "driver" wasn't there to prevent this situation. As I understand it, the person in these self-driving cars is there to monitor the car's systems, and to be able to take over if, for example, the car's computer crashes, or it goes downtown, sees 100 taxicabs cutting each other off in front of it, and freezes up, or it starts raining.
The cyclist was crossing at night, in the darkest possible point halfway between streetlights, without lights or reflective clothing, from a non-pedestrian median, far from any crosswalk, and appeared oblivious to traffic - she doesn't even seem to register that a car (with headlights) is oncoming, right up to the final frame of the video.

I think that the video changes the actual question we should be asking from "why did the car perform worse than a human driver?" to "Even though a human driver might well have still hit this person, why didn't the car, with its improved sensors including lidar, perform better than a human?"
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby ucim » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:57 pm UTC

speising wrote:so they posted the video of the uber car:
https://www.facebook.com/TempePolice/vi ... 116311806/
which seems to contradict what was said earlier
Could you post a non-facebook version? Please?

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby HES » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:34 pm UTC

The BBC, and I presume most other news sites, have the video.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby jewish_scientist » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:44 pm UTC

stilettoblade wrote:The cyclist was crossing in the dark, without lights or reflective clothing, from a non-pedestrian median, far from any crosswalk, and appeared oblivious to traffic - she doesn't even seem to register that a car (with headlights) is oncoming, right up to the final frame of the video.

Have you ever heard the phrase 'blaming the victim'. It refers to a psychological phenomena where people accuse a victim of somehow causing the crime. The reason behind the fallacy goes something along the lines of "If a crime happened because the victim did A, B, and C, then I can avoid the crime by not doing A, B, and C." If instead someone blames the perpetrator, then they are admitting it is the actions of someone that they have no control over that caused the crime.

A really good example my sociology professor used is of a girl who goes to a fraternity party alone, gets drunk, follows several boys into the basement, and is then raped. You can make a very persuasive argument that this girl could have prevented the crime from happening by taking reasonable measures; not going to a fraternity, not going alone, not drinking, not following strangers into a basement. However, that argument would be very different from one saying that she is responsible for being raped.

I think that the video changes the actual question we should be asking from "why did the car perform worse than a human driver?" to "Even though a human driver might well have still hit this person, why didn't the car, with its improved sensors including lidar, perform better than a human?"

Explain to me the difference between a dusty wind and a brick wall in terms a computer can understand using only visual information.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby HES » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:12 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:Have you ever heard the phrase 'blaming the victim'.

In traffic collisions it is often the case that both parties have some culpability. Your comparison doesn't apply here.

Wearing dark clothing on a road at night =/= wearing a miniskirt to a party

Explain to me the difference between a dusty wind and a brick wall in terms a computer can understand using only visual information.

Why is a computer relying on only visual information?
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby stilettoblade » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:32 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:Have you ever heard the phrase 'blaming the victim'.

I am aware of this phenomenon and how it is routinely used in situations like rapes.

I'm not speculating at all about any party's motivations or intent here, I'm pointing out that a person who places themself in the path of cars, in the dark so they cannot be seen, is going to bear at least some, if not all, of the responsibility if they are hit by said cars. The fact that the pedestrian was unfortunately killed doesn't automatically move the fault to the car/driver.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Trebla » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:38 pm UTC

HES wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:Have you ever heard the phrase 'blaming the victim'.

In traffic collisions it is often the case that both parties have some culpability. Your comparison doesn't apply here.

Wearing dark clothing on a road at night =/= wearing a miniskirt to a party


Completely correct. A traffic "accident" is not comparable to a "crime" in this sense. In the crime example, some people intentionally did wrong... there is a 'victim.' In a traffic accident, there's no 'victim'... there are (in this case) three actors (pedestrian, driver, car) all of whom made a mistake. We call the pedestrian the 'victim' because she got the worst of the deal, but that's using the term in a different context than that of a crime. If the pedestrian had been in a bulldozer instead of afoot, the uber car/driver would have been the 'victim' of a bulldozer being in the middle of a highway. Assigning a share of responsibility to the pedestrian is not "blaming the victim."

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:54 pm UTC

HES wrote:Why is a computer relying on only visual information?
My thoughts (after reviewing that clip* - which BTW, did not require my non-existent Facebook login to view) is that the car was driving with (excessively) dipped lights, perhaps because of non-human eyeballs theoretically doing a better job.

I wonder if this also led to the vehicle not being as obvious (or perceived to be further away), because having foregone the usual necessity of illuminating the road they had also deprived the vehicle of the residual necessity of illuminating the car.

I'd have to put forward camera (plus telemetry from the actual/other navigation systems) alongside the otherwise unused interior view of the driver, timestamp synchronised, but I say that (despite eyes being apparently off the road) the time the unfortunate figure took to hove into view seems to fit well with the time it takes to register an anomoly in her upper peripheral vision and react with shock. Also, if that was 40mph (as per reports - and it certainly does have the look of it, though camera zoom/wide-angleness might be a factor there) I'm certain that even if I were primed to expect to stop upon a cue that I probably would not have brought that vehicle safely to a stop in time myself, including thinking time, and I don't think regular ABS could have helped.

If the vehicle itself could not see any further ahead, then it was driving dangerously close to its own stopping-distance limit (including "Is that a fog bank or a snowdrift?" second-guessing against false positives), if not still beyond. But that's a non-expert opinion (like I said, not sure about the camera viewport), and I'm not watching that clip again if I don't have to.

(Note to others who haven't yet viewed it: the 'money shot' is cut before contact is made, and you don't see 'aftermath' at all, but it's probably only a few frames short with no doubt. Viewer beware, based on your own sensibilities.)



* I also thought I wouldn't watch it, when I first heard that it was published. I am disappointed in myself for doing so and going through it three times to make sure I'd seen it right.

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Zamfir
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Zamfir » Thu Mar 22, 2018 5:58 pm UTC

Isn't it a tad early to decide that visibility was bad? The camera images show that visibility was bad for this camera, but that's hardly the relevant standard. it could just as well mean that the camera was not suitable for the circumstances. We all know how disappointing cameras can perform under such conditions.

If human witnesses are in the same position at night, do they also see this massive shadow? I guess we will hear about that soon, but I don't think that can concluded from this video alone.

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:32 pm UTC

I'm allowing that this wasn't the main ranging camera (or, indeed, a ranging camera at all, much apart from being monocular as presented). If I were driving through that, though, I would have been reckless to do so. Definitely more data needed.

(

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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby addams » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:09 am UTC

ucim wrote:Could you post a non-facebook version? Please?

Jose
Thank you for asking.
HES wrote:The BBC, and I presume most other news sites, have the video.
Thank You for the BBC Link, HES.
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Re: The Thread To Remind Me We're Living In The Future

Postby jewish_scientist » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:55 pm UTC

HES wrote:
Explain to me the difference between a dusty wind and a brick wall in terms a computer can understand using only visual information.

Why is a computer relying on only visual information?

The only non-visual method of gaining information of one's surroundings at a distance that I can think of is sound and this really cool electromagnetic thing sharks and electric eels do.

Unrelated but really cool thing I found: Electric Eels Concentrate Their Electric Field to Induce Involuntary Fatigue in Struggling Prey


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