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Thread: Self driving cars

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendan von Buckingham View Post
    This article was all over Twitter yesterday. I read this more as research in a way to help provide self driving cars with an additional data point to help further reduce risk and not as an article that says, "If you don't have some device on your bike, then these cars will be programmed to destroy and it is all your fault." The articles I've read about self driving cars seem very promising to reduce injuries and fatalities. After being intentionally buzzed on the way home yesterday, I'm looking forward to these advances and would be find with putting some sort of transponder on my bike if it means that it reduces the risk of harm, just like I put reflectors on bike and my backpack and wear bright clothes and uses lights.

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    dasgeh is offline Queen of Family Biking & All Things Kidical
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    I read that quote and thought it equated to "all the people with smartphones will be safe, and the fast cars will only kill the poor people."

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    Here's a response from Streetsblog to the NPR article: http://usa.streetsblog.org/2017/07/2...er-way-around/

    What worries me is the original article's insinuation that peds and cyclists might be required to carry technology capable of communicating with these vehicles. IMO, these cars shouldn't be street legal until they don't need special assistance. Compatibility with today's transportation environment should be a requirement, and people walking or biking should not be victim-blamed for a failure to emit RF signals.

    I think the analogy to reflective clothing is apropos. While it enhances one's personal safety to go above and beyond with bright clothing, lights, and reflectors, the law requires none of these during the daytime (and only a small amount of reflection/illumination capability at night for cyclists). Vehicle operators are responsible for seeing all road users who are operating legally. Failure to greatly exceed minimum visibility requirements is not negligence.

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    mstone is offline I really need to log off the internet and go for a ride.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoot View Post
    Here's a response from Streetsblog to the NPR article: http://usa.streetsblog.org/2017/07/2...er-way-around/

    What worries me is the original article's insinuation that peds and cyclists might be required to carry technology capable of communicating with these vehicles. IMO, these cars shouldn't be street legal until they don't need special assistance.
    IMO, if I could get a gadget that would keep me from getting hit I would buy it today. As it stands I can wear a strobe light and dress like a clown and some jackass who isn't paying attention will still run over me. I'm flabbergasted every time I see some suggestion that self driving cars should be banned until they're perfect, at the same time any fucking idiot can get in a car today, kill someone, and maybe get a minor fine (unless they convince the cop it was the pedestrian/cyclist's fault--works most of the time). IMO human driven cars shouldn't be street legal until they aren't involved in 30k deaths per year. (It's amazing: 30k people die from opioids and its a major crisis; 30k people die from bad driving and it's not even worth trying to fix.)

    That said, self driving cars are still safer than humans even if you're not wearing a beacon; the beacon just gives you an extra margin that's so far beyond the average driver it might as well be divinely inspired.

    (In a grumpy mood, saw another car smashed into a highly visible immobile object today. The immobile object presumably came out of nowhere and swerved into the lane.)

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    If there is some beacon that means a self-driving car will recognize you as something it shouldn't run over, it seems to me that finding a cheap way to procure these beacons and spread them throughout the city shouldn't be a terribly difficult task.

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    Self driving cars is a nice dream !!!

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    The non user of the self driving car cannot be required to identify or rely on something to be seen and avoided Any form of electronic or passive tagging device would have to be remembered or charged or placed in the right place and not be stolen or lost or on the other bike. It is 100% up to the car and driver / driving system to identify any and all hazards in the areas where it is permitted to go.

    As it is now reflectors and lights may be required but they are adjuncts to help the driver. It is still up to the driver to avoid hitting things.

    All systems have to take human nature into consideration and be designed to compensate for the imperfect nature of humans.

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    I for one welcome our new robot overlords.

    Just kidding. Seriously though, I'm looking forward to them for the same reason as mstone -- there are so many bad, careless drivers out there who face almost zero consequences for their actions. On the other hand, "blameless" technology is it's own problem, and I'm skeptical that automated cars won't require new concessions from non-users.

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    I view this technology not just useful for self-driving cars but for cars in general.

    Just as more and more non-self-driving cars on the road have safety tech including (looking at a list on ConsumerReports http://www.consumerreports.org/car-s...afety-systems/) lane-departure warning, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot warning, lane-keeping assist, lane-centering assist, adaptive cruise control, they could easily incorporate this type of technology into new cars.

    Picture these scenarios that this sensor tech could prevent (if properly implemented):
    • Punishment pass - angry driver decides to buzz a cyclist, but the car doesn't allow them to get within 3 feet of the cyclist
    • Hit-and-run - driver and cyclist have crashed, but the driver tries to drive off; the car detects a collision and alerts the police with GPS information
    • Ninja cyclist - driver at night does not see a cyclist (dressed in black, no lights/reflectors) in front of them, but the car senses the presence of the cyclist and warns the driver beforehand
    • Double cyclist crash - cyclist crashes and is lying on the ground on a blind curve; approaching car detects their presence before the driver even gets close
    • Rolling coal - jerk driver decides to "roll coal" on a cyclist behind them, but the vehicle detects a person behind the truck, measures the amount of smoke being sent through the exhaust, and adjusts the fuel intake to prevent the dangerously toxic smoke from being emitted
    • (For laughs) Tour de France upgrade - mechanical dopers can now ride closer to each other as the technology allows their bikes to be ridden as close as possible for safe drafting, increasing the efficiency and speed of the peloton


    While I see the potential for another talking point to victim blame, I'm all for adding passive (i.e., the cyclist does not need to do anything in addition) technology that helps to keep people safe.
    Last edited by bobco85; 07-26-2017 at 09:39 AM.

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