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Old 2014-08-27, 14:43   #56
CRGreathouse
 
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Originally Posted by Brian-E View Post
I take the point about the algorithm being kept simple to improve the reaction times, but I'm offering a scenario where this simplicity causes a collision with a child when a collision with another object instead of the child could have occurred if the algorithm was more sophisticated after all.
Of course right now car-driving algorithms and humans are both inadequate; the self-driving car would likely hit the child (but possibly avoid both) and the human would almost surely hit the child (but possibly hit the object instead).

More advanced algorithms in the future might work like this: as soon as a likely collision is detected, a hair-trigger goes off that hits the brakes and alerts nearby cars to stop. As the car is stopping a second, more contemplative algorithm looks at all objects that might be hit and determines if a steering solution can avoid them all. A third, slower yet algorithm determines what sorts of objects they are and informs the second algorithm the relative importance of avoiding various objects, based on its best guess as to their identities. A child and a brick wall are bad to hit, while a trash can or cone can be hit with relatively little effect.

In practice the second and third algorithms would be running continually to reduce the time they take but they would still be slower than the first. Of course the faster the first one acts the more time the others have to catch up...
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Old 2014-08-27, 14:46   #57
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I'm offering a scenario where this simplicity causes a collision with a child when a collision with another object instead of the child could have occurred if the algorithm was more sophisticated after all.
Happens all the time with humans. My car sustained several thousand dollars' worth of damage when an inexperienced driver pulled out in front of me. If the circumstances were different one of the occupants might have died.
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Old 2014-08-27, 15:53   #58
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Right, the algorithm during an emergency needs to be more sophisticated: indeed, immediate braking and warning to other vehicles to do the same before even computing anything else, but then more complex observations and calculations while the braking is in progress, as Mini-Geek and CRGreathouse describe. But now go back to retina's point: who gets the blame when injury or death still occur after all?
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Old 2014-08-27, 16:17   #59
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But now go back to retina's point: who gets the blame when injury or death still occur after all?
The car should take the blame. Give the owner a few moments in private, and then put it down.
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Old 2014-08-27, 16:27   #60
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Funny stuff aside, the blame would be placed on the manufacturer of the vehicle. They're the ones who okay'ed the driving software. (One hopes there won't be a different piece of software for each manufacturer but I would never hold my breath on BMW not making their own software because they're like that)

Financially, the burden will be on the manufacturer who of course will have ample insurance for this kind of thing. The insurance companies will be diligently making sure the driving software is up to the standards, and every accident will be thoroughly investigated to see what went wrong.
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Old 2014-08-27, 16:59   #61
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The blame could be put on the owner for failing to update his software or for not having rebooted in a timely fashion that morning or for failing to protect his home network against intruders.

Already know I have seen some ABS systems rendering braking impossible because of the (peculiar) behaviour of the driver. (It was while starting at a traffic light and at low speeds luckily.)

I suppose the cars would be connected to the Internet... The Internet of things scares me : just looking at all the devices with hard-coded passwords, at the vulnerabilities to attacks....

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Old 2014-08-27, 17:04   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian-E View Post
But now go back to retina's point: who gets the blame when injury or death still occur after all?
The blame goes to whoever was at fault (and in none of the proposed scenarios, the car was at fault). But that is not retina's point, I think. His point is about when the car makes a choice (between occupant safety and outside agent's safety). My point is that the car doesn't necessarily have to choose.

Last fiddled with by axn on 2014-08-27 at 17:04
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Old 2014-08-27, 18:14   #63
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Ultimately it doesn't matter who is financially responsible. Perhaps the driver is responsible, with the automatic driving being considered just another assistive technology. In that case things happen much like they do now. Perhaps the company takes responsibility and you pay them a premium twice a year instead of your normal insurance. Perhaps instead they bill you by the mile. In any case some party is covering the liability and you ultimately pay them for the service.
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Old 2014-08-27, 22:38   #64
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http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/201...ns-kept-quiet/
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Old 2014-08-27, 22:42   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axn View Post
The blame goes to whoever was at fault (and in none of the proposed scenarios, the car was at fault). But that is not retina's point, I think. His point is about when the car makes a choice (between occupant safety and outside agent's safety). My point is that the car doesn't necessarily have to choose.
At some point a choice must be made about what to steer towards. I don't see how it can be avoided. The car needs to decide which course of action between two or more choices where all choices will likely result in serious injury or death. And depending upon the choice one or another party will suffer bodily harm.

When the occupants have no control mechanisms inside to direct the car then the occupants can't be to blame. When a child runs out onto the street we can't go blaming the child who didn't know any better. We can't blame the brick wall. Who is left to blame? Try explaining to the child's mother that it is her fault for not properly monitoring and controlling her child and she will get fined/sued/jailed for manslaughter/damages/whatever.
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Originally Posted by CRGreathouse View Post
Ultimately it doesn't matter who is financially responsible. Perhaps the driver is responsible, with the automatic driving being considered just another assistive technology. In that case things happen much like they do now. Perhaps the company takes responsibility and you pay them a premium twice a year instead of your normal insurance. Perhaps instead they bill you by the mile. In any case some party is covering the liability and you ultimately pay them for the service.
I think you missed the point about the "driver" because there there are no controls for the passengers to use. The sole decision agent is the car's software. If it comes down to a simple financial "premium" then the course is clear for the manufacturers: program in the option that will cost the company the least.
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Old 2014-08-28, 08:14   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
At some point a choice must be made about what to steer towards. I don't see how it can be avoided. The car needs to decide which course of action between two or more choices where all choices will likely result in serious injury or death. And depending upon the choice one or another party will suffer bodily harm.
It's very easy to see how it can be avoided, IMO at least, and the car does not need to make a choice.

For instance, the car could be programmed always to brake if a collision appears likely. The only element of choice is the degree of likelihood required for breaking to be initiated and the car has no choice of action of which of several targets is the highest/lowest value according to human observers.
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