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If 90% crash reduction goal achieved - will laws require self driving?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by calisnow, Feb 15, 2017.

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  1. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    If Musk's goal is achieved - how fast do you think regulators and or legislators will respond in actually *mandating* all new cars be equipped with capabilities on par with autopilot 2?

    The ability to eliminate fatalities will come much faster than anyone anticipated.

    I mean, I'm a libertarian by nature but even I would consider a law that says "any new car sold must have FSD equipment" to be one worth considering.

    From there it's only a short leap to outlawing human operation of any newly sold vehicle. I hate big brother. But the idea of never being rear ended or side swiped is quite appealing in traffic choked California.

    This speculation is not new, but outlawing human drivers used to be a far off possibility. The time table has been accelerated.

    If Musk succeeds he will have shown that we do not need elaborate and expensive infrastructure schemes, or even vehicle to vehicle communication standards. After the software is finished we need only a few sensors and a cheap graphics card to cut the risk of death and the expense of accidents to nearly zero. That's bigger than the seatbelt.

    That's a pretty compelling argument for regulations that mandate the use of autonomous systems sooner rather than later.

    You could even mandate the use (not just the inclusion by the manufacturer) of the systems with exceptions allowed only for emergency corner case intervention and driving on private property. Or, I suppose, mandate that cars don't let people crash. You can drive manually until the computer decides you're doing something stupid and then it takes over.

    Say what, little automaker? You don't have the tech? Gosh I guess you'll have to license it from - say - Tesla.
     
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  2. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    The speculation here is always on "will they ever allow XYZ" - few consider the question "Will the data be so good the regulators cram it down our throats sooner than we thought possible?"
     
  3. daniel

    daniel Active Member

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    In the U.S., this is within the purview of the individual states. Note the way California introduced its own emissions standards, later adopted by a few other states, but not by all. So this will vary by state. Once it has been clearly demonstrated that self-driving cars reduce accidents to 10% of their present level, California will fairly quickly outlaw the sale of new cars without the technology. Some states will follow suit.

    Accident-prevention mode, where the car takes control away from the driver to prevent an accident, will become available before fully-autonomous cars without driver controls. This is because handling every possible scenario is a more difficult task than merely watching for dangers and reacting to those it can. A car with accident-prevention mode will still have accidents, but the computer will greatly reduce their number.

    Thus before we have fully-autonomous cars (no driver controls) we will have cars driven by humans but in which the computer sometimes takes preventative measures on its own. These cars will be much safer than present-day cars, possibly achieving that goal of reducing accidents to 10% of the present numbers, and as above, some states, probably led by California, will mandate that all new cars sold have the technology.
     
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  4. henderrj

    henderrj Member

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    Might it be that insurance companies have a lot more say about it than the government? And, besides, I remember the debacle concerning the flame retardant for children's clothing, (sorry, the names just not coming to me). It mandated that a particular flame retardant be used in all children's clothing. Until it was discovered that it was an extremely high carcinogen. Then the Mandate was, no surprise, no clothes can have that! The problem with government involvement is it tends to be based on reelection possibilities.
     
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  5. kirkbauer

    kirkbauer Member

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    As a Libertarian myself I would never support banning self-driving nor mandating autopilot hardware. However I think that eventually all cars will have it. I mean do you search out a cell phone without a camera? They just all have one. No regulation required. This is because they are so inexpensive.

    What I would support, and I think will happen, is the left lane or two (where often times there is an HOV lane now) will be auto-drive only. In this lane, auto-driving cars can make progress almost regardless of traffic (assuming the lane itself isn't blocked). All of the cars in that lane go at a fixed speed with each other and all drive automatically. Ideally it would end up being two lanes everywhere so you can have a faster and slower lane (depending on your situation as to whether you want to get there faster or burn less energy).

    The good news is that autopilot will eventually be so good that it will be able to safely drive among other non-autopilot cars.
     
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  6. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Well-Known Member

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    Show me the money.

    It all depends on cost. We know that using gasoline-and diesel-powered ICEVs have negative consequences but they are allowed because mobility has a _very_ large value.

    Mandates are based on affordability of the technology. So we have seatbelts, airbags, VSC and we're going to get rear cameras and AEB. As the tech for LKA+ACC becomes more affordable it'll be mandated as well.
     
  7. apacheguy

    apacheguy S Sig #255

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    I will never set foot in a vehicle that does not allow emergency intervention 100% of the time.
     
  8. thimel

    thimel Member

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    Guess you've never taken airport trains from one terminal to another. They are typically completely automatic with no driver.
     
  9. apacheguy

    apacheguy S Sig #255

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    Big difference between something that runs on dedicated track and vehicles on a freeway in lanes and any number of possible scenarios.
     
  10. Max*

    Max* Banned

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    It probably wont happen in my/your lifetimes, but drivers will be extinct.

    There was a podcast about people who had similar opinions of elevators and elevator operators. Elevator operators are now extinct. Just like drivers will be extinct.

    I think it was called "The Big Red Button" on NPR. They also talk about autonomous cars and autopilot aircrafts.
     
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  11. Max*

    Max* Banned

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    Also, back on topic, yes it will happen. The government is going to slowly mandate features from Level 2, then Level 3, then Level 4, and finally Level 5. It will be a slow roll out, due to price, safety and a number of other factors.

    Just like today, you can't buy a car without airbags, seatbelts, rear seatbelts (which I don't think are mandated in every state) or ABS. In 2018, you won't be able to buy a car without a backup camera. And by 2060 (? who knows) you wont be able to buy a car to drive yourself, unless it's on a track or other controlled environment.
     
  12. andrewket

    andrewket Well-Known Member

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    I think we'll see regulation that requires all cars to have full autonomy. The question is, how long will it take before we regulate that it must be used? Telling people they can no longer drive is likely to have a similar reaction to telling people which guns they can buy.
     
  13. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Well-Known Member

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    In today's ridiculous "anti-regulation" climate, I doubt anything like that would happen. Since we seem to think that corporations excel with fewer rules, I don't think you will see any political will to require auto manufacturers to do anything. Our self-destructive federal government can't even get on board with basic fuel efficiency standards, instead trying to challenge states' rights to regulate such things. States seem to have rights only when it's convenient to one particular political party, you know who you are.

    If you want to see required autonomy, you need to vote for progressive candidates who agree with your vision - not for those who believe in unrestrained capitalism.
     
  14. Pezpunk

    Pezpunk Member

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    #14 Pezpunk, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
    i don't think driving will be outlawed in our lifetimes. at most, we may see mandatory self-driving on interstates during rush hour in certain metro areas, or some other extremely limited situations. even that won't happen for 20 years. for the next 10 years at the very least, many new cars sold will still lack self-driving capability, even if self-driving capabilities skyrocket.

    i'm certain we are more than 40 years away from *mandatory* autonomous driving in, for example, residential, rural, and construction zones.

    *IF* 90% accident reduction (and corresponding fatality reduction) were achieved in *all* situations, including the above mentioned, (and to re-iterate, i do not believe it is a practical goal in those situations), then i think it is absolutely a no-brainer that by law autonomous systems should be used. no idiotic "my car my choice" libertarian ideal holds a candle to the simple math of X-thousand dead children per year that would still be alive. any argument against would be arguing for one's own pleasure at the very tangible cost of thousands of dead. i have zero respect for that position. (again, this is assuming questions of safety can be statistically removed from the equation)

    but it's kind of a moot point, though, because it depends on several dubious hypotheticals coming true - 1) technology getting to a point that we can imagine but not remotely achieve as yet, 2) statistical proof that the tech reduces accidents by 90% and 3) bills forbidding human driving passing all the various stages required to become actual law (from committee to house to senate to the president's desk and on to withstanding any judicial challenges). all of which are far from certain in my opinion.
     
  15. DFibRL8R

    DFibRL8R Member

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    This is how I think it will go down as opposed to a government mandate. Once the technology is such that it is clear autonomous driving decreases the chance of a collision, injury etc and thus decreases the average cost of insurers paying claims, the cost of insurance should decrease. Specifically, you would pay a lower premium if you have an autonomous vehicle just like you pay a lower premium if you have ABS, airbags or an accelerometer Drive Safe & Save™ Mobile App – State Farm®

    Sure you can still drive your own car if you want your insurance rates to be double. Auto insurance is ridiculously expensive due to the frequency of collisions caused by human error. A 90 % reduction in accidents could substantially lower insurance rates making autonomous driving technology really pay for itself quickly.
     
  16. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    Yesterday I found an article from April or May 2014 which discussed autonomy - as though it was something still 20 years off. It even quoted a Mercedes research engineer who was projecting a 50 year time frame for Level 5 autonomy. We all know the bomb that dropped three months later in October with no prior announcement. Two years later MBZ has partnered with Nvidia and gone the deep learning route.

    A lot has changed in 24 months. Somebody said we tend to overestimate what can be done in one year but underestimate what can be done in 10. I am beginning to think it's likely that my girlfriend's 7 year old son will never drive a car.

    Anybody over 40 doesn't matter (that will be me in only 6 months, boo hoo) - it isn't relevant if we want steering wheels. The 7 year old and his 4 year old little sister think it's perfectly natural that we don't touch the steering wheel anymore (except to quiet the nags). They think Teslas are incredibly cool - but they never express a desire to drive. Driver's license rates have been declining for years - and now all of a sudden we have an automaker announcing they will never build another car not capable of self driving.

    I predict that 10 years from now less than 5% of people turning 16 at that time will ever obtain a driver's license in their lifetime. I don't think that's too aggressive a prediction.
     
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  17. Pezpunk

    Pezpunk Member

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    well, my reaction to this depends on what you mean by "emergency intervention". escalators and elevators give the riders the ability to hit a big red "emergency stop" button as means of emergency intervention, but only privileged administrators and emergency personnel such as firefighters can manually control it beyond that.

    metro trains also give the operator little more control than "emergency stop" and "resume operation" during normal duty.
     
  18. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    Well, let me count off a few accidents I know of personally in no particular order:

    1 - My sister fell asleep driving home from high school and drove off an embankment, flipping her car. She was fine - woke up called police.
    2 - My uncle fell asleep driving back from a long day of skiing after a night of almost no sleep. Drove off an embankment (amazingly he lived).
    3 - As a stupid young man I loved speed and it's amazing I'm alive today. I was that 20 year old moron zig zagging through traffic on the freeway in a turbo powered Japanese sports car I had no business piloting.
    4 - My girlfriend got rear ended last year.
    5 - A relative got t-boned by a guy texting on his phone.
    6 - A friend on a sports car mountain run with a marque club ran into a car ahead of him which was flipped over on its roof around a blind corner - whether the flip over or my friend's impact killed the driver we'll never know.

    So that's six I can think of - self driving cars would have, I believe, prevented all of them. If at least 90% of fatal accidents are due to very simple "not paying attention" incidents it would seem that we don't need technology much more advanced thatn what we have now @Pezpunk. We just need computers that don't doze off and get distracted. The difficult to solve corner cases would be, I'd think, less than 1% of all fatalities - weird stuff like a boulder crashes down on your roof while driving underneath a cliff, etc.

    If it is really true that Tesla crashes dropped 40% overnight on generation 1 of an autopilot with one camera and very limited abilities to do anything but drive straight forward in a lane - then it seems to me 90% is an easy target with what is shipping now - after the software is written. Corner case solving isn't needed because so many accidents are low hanging fruit.

    You don't agree?
     
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  19. Pezpunk

    Pezpunk Member

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    i do agree, but unfortunately i'm not in charge (not yet, anyway).

    i think it's really easy (or soon will be) to prove that in general, autonomous cars are safer than manually-operated cars, but i think it's very hard, even with statistical evidence in hand, to convince an individual that a computer would do better than they personally would in an emergency situation. i have a hard time believing laws forbidding human intervention would be popular enough to make it to implementation unless the evidence becomes unimpeachable across an unreasonably broad range of situations, and even then you will have a lot of extremely stubborn holdouts clinging to virtually non-existent situations as justification for them needing to assume full control of their vehicle at any time. not saying i agree with them. just saying there's going to be tons of them.

    remember all the people in the 80's who swore they would never wear a seat belt because if their car fell into a river, it would make it harder to escape? completely unreasonable and absurd, but nevertheless a common argument.
     
  20. Max*

    Max* Banned

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    You misread my statement. MANDATING driverless cars will not happen in my lifetime, and I'm ~10 years younger than you. Having driverless cars on the road WILL happen in our lifetimes.

    We're in agreement.
     

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