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Discussion: should L2 (and above) cars have a visual indicator for others to see?

Discussion in 'Autopilot & Autonomous/FSD' started by linux-works, Jan 7, 2020.

  1. linux-works

    linux-works Active Member

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    I'd like to have a discussion about the pros and cons of having some kind of visual indicator on the car that tells other drivers around you that you are in 'more than human' mode (L2 level or higher).

    while we are in the transition period where we have a mix of human-controlled vehicles and semi-machine controlled ones, concurrently sharing the road, this is the riskiest time. when it was all humans, we all 'knew' what to expect of each other (generally). but when we have partially self-driving cars on the road, and they sometimes can do sudden unpredictable things (phantom braking, for one obvious example), isn't it reasonable to let others know so that they can give us more space; or at least be informed that our car *may* do something that a normal, experienced human driven car would not.

    what are your thoughts on this subject?
     
  2. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

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    The reason the car does a phantom brake is because it thinks there's a dangerous obstacle such as a stationary car right inside the lane that the car is driving in at 70MPH.

    But that is not true in reality because that might just be an overpass bridge and not a stationary car in front right inside your lane.

    So, how helpful is it if it starts displaying why it is doing a phantom brake with an icon of the car right inside your lane when there's in fact none?

    There's no chance that it would display an icon of an overpass bridge because if it could do that then it would not perform a phantom brake!
     
  3. linux-works

    linux-works Active Member

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    lets not discuss the phantom braking, per se. that's just one thing that can catch nearby drivers off-guard. other examples could be fast lane-changes or even sudden speed-ups.

    the point I'm trying to make is: would putting an external indicator, such as that 3rd tail light that we all have, now, help or hurt, overall. the 3rd brake light is there to show that we are braking. the brightness of the two rear tail lights was deemed not to be enough; so the 3rd brake light was added (1986?) and it did add value as an external indicator to other drivers.

    I'm suggesting we, as the driving public, consider an addition to the standard, where something is added to show that the car is 'more than just a person driving it'.
     
  4. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

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    It might be helpful for the public to know Autopilot is in operation so they can take precautions.

    Right now, the only obvious sign is a youtube video recording a sleeping driver!

    Uber, Waymo and other self-driving car companies have a better indicator for the public: the iconic LIDAR!

    The public would know right away that the driver might not do the driving at all if they see a gigantic LIDAR sitting on the car's roof!
     
  5. linux-works

    linux-works Active Member

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    perhaps its even more useful to know the *current* state. just because a car is capable of L2-L5 does not mean its in one of those modes. so, even if an L5 car is able to be driven on its own, if the driver has control, maybe the outside indicator is somehow different from what it would show if the car was in a self-driving or assisted-driving mode.

    as for cons, the system might be able to be 'gamed' or faked. bad info renders the whole thing untrustable. it might be a challenge to keep the info accurate, somehow.

    suppose other drivers react negatively toward a car that advertises itself as being in a self driving mode. there is already rage against many electric cars. maybe its a bad idea to have indicators that tell cars apart, like this.

    I do think that the current situation is somewhat dangerous. cars are on the road with beta-test code and beta-test algorithms and that's not going away. what is the best way to keep as many people safe, while the bugs get worked out, over time?
     
    • Like x 1
  6. Tam

    Tam Well-Known Member

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    That already happened when Uber first brought its cars to California and the DMV was notified by angry drivers and bicyclists that Uber's Autonomous Vehicles violated traffic laws such as running through red lights. DMV then told Uber to get an Autonomous Vehicle Permit but Uber at first refused and said that those witnesses were wrong because having a LIDAR doesn't mean it's an Autonomous Vehicle and that it was its human driver who ran the red light, not its Autonomous Vehicles.

    Uber then pulled out its Autonomous Vehicle trials in California to avoid obtaining the permit!
     
  7. mrbulk

    mrbulk Member

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    <--- I just hope they read my plate and think I'm Always on AP.

    So that way I can say they were forewarned... 8^)
     
    • Love x 1
  8. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Active Member

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    Just affix some of those "STUDENT DRIVER" signs on cars operating (semi-) autonomously. That should instill enough fear in other drivers and pedestrians to be extra vigilant. :)
     
  9. WarpedOne

    WarpedOne Supreme Premier

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    This is a classic case of confirmation bias. Yes, AP drives differently from you and does things you did not expect.

    Exactly the same holds true for every other human driver out there.
    They also suddenly brake for no obvious reasons to you and do other 'stupid' things you did not expect.

    Driving a car demands you always monitor all others what they are doing and always hold a safety distance that will enable you to react to their stupid and unexpected actions.
    Any additional warning an AP car might display should also be displayed when a human is driving. Even more so - humans do much more stupid things.
     
    • Like x 4
  10. VanillaAir_UK

    VanillaAir_UK Moderator UK and Ireland

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    I agree. Thought that this would be useful on several occasions when driving on AP. But it would have its down sides too.
     
  11. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    No. That just creates _another_ dependency.

    The work should be done to make the driver assistance better.
     
  12. linux-works

    linux-works Active Member

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    suppose it takes 5 or more years before enough of the bugs are worked out?

    right now, drivers don't know what the state of the car in front of them, is; and its a FACT that people tailgate. saying its wrong and its bad driving (both true) won't change the fact that people DO drive too close. phantom braking can cause a serious accident.

    here's another case: in california, we have this thing called 'lane splitting' (I hate it and think its also a terrible idea for road safety) and motorcycles will swerve between your car as a way for them to pass you. its supposed to be done ONLY at very slow difference speeds or moving speeds but they don't care and they endanger us all. if I had to avoid an object in the road and I had to use that buffer space, what right does the lane splitter have taking that buffer away just because HE wants to ride like a maniac.

    by having that light (or something) on the car, it might give people like that some pause before they just assume the road is 'all theirs'.
     
  13. kkillebrew

    kkillebrew Banned

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