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If you can't sleep in it, it is not self-driving

Daniel in SD

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2018
7,135
10,620
San Diego
I don't think that's true at all, do you have something specific in mind? As far as I know, this nonsense semantic argument about the "real" meaning of "self-driving" never existed at all until people wanted to yell about Tesla.

Note that in aviation, cockpit automation systems have decades and decades of history and no one every wanted to make a stink about needing a pilot, nor come up with a new word (beyond "missile" I guess) to describe vehicles without one.
Obviously you can automate parts of flying just like you can automate parts of driving (i.e. autopilot). A "self-flying" plane refers to a plane that doesn't need a pilot.
For example here's an editorial from 2007 heralding the imminent arrival of self-driving cars:
As the baby boomers cruise into their golden years, I have good news for them — and for everyone else in danger of being run over by these aging drivers. The boomers will not be driving like Mr. Magoo. An electronic chauffeur will conduct them on expressways, drop them at the mall entrance and then go park their cars.

If you doubt this prediction, I don’t blame you. The self-driving car ranks right up there with the personal hovercraft as the futurist vision that never comes true. In 1969, Disney unveiled Herbie the Love Bug; in 1940, Popular Mechanics promised a car that would chauffeur you across America in a single day to visit Aunt Lillian.

At the 1939 World’s Fair, the crowds at the General Motors Futurama exhibit saw traffic speeding 100 miles per hour thanks to electronic help. “Safe distance between cars is maintained by automatic radio control,” a voice explained as visitors looked down on the vast diorama of the World of Tomorrow, complete with hangars for dirigibles and landing decks for autogyros.

“Does it seem strange? Unbelievable?” the announcer intoned. “Remember, this is the world of 1960!”

O.K., so they were a little off on the date. But today, finally, those electronically spaced cars are on the highway. You can buy cars with “adaptive cruise-control” that automatically slow down if the radar or laser detects you tailgating. Your car can warn you when you stray across lane markings, and these kinds of sensors are already being used experimentally in cars that drive themselves.
 
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Matias

Active Member
Apr 2, 2014
3,475
4,203
Finland
Alex Roy who works at Argo AI offers a simple litmus test for determining if a car is really self-driving or not:

"Pick a vehicle. Can you get in, pick a destination and safely go to sleep? If yes, it’s self-driving. If no, it’s not"





Source: It's Not a Self-Driving Car Unless You Can Sleep In It

Alex's "sleep" litmus test seems to be a special case of the "mind off" litmus test. Sleep works because you can't be controlling the car in your sleep so the car is definitely doing all the driving. So it does work to prove the car is truly self-driving.

But we could probably think of other "mind off" activities that could also serve as a litmus test:
- Can I ride in the back seat with no driver in the front seat?
- Can I read a book while the car drives?
- Can I watch a movie while the car drives?

I think we might be able to generalize Alex's litmus test: "if you can't safely take your mind off of driving, it is not self-driving".
You can sleep in every car. Just not very long!
 

PDX-Y

Member
May 24, 2021
220
256
Portland, OR
The question was what would you call a car that does require a driver?
No, that's the spin. No one is confused about what this product does, most certainly no one in this thread. You want to argue about the product's name as a sideways way of arguing against the product itself without having to argue "about" the product itself.

If you don't think current FSD capabilities are acceptable without a driver, then start a thread about that. Arguing about the name isn't productive for anyone.

The truth is that lots of people really like the current "supervised autonomy" (my term, just to perpetuate it) product and buy it, for a ton of money. And I guess that's upsetting to you?
 
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Daniel in SD

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2018
7,135
10,620
San Diego
No, that's the spin. No one is confused about what this product does, most certainly no one in this thread. You want to argue about the product's name as a sideways way of arguing against the product itself without having to argue "about" the product itself.

If you don't think current FSD capabilities are acceptable without a driver, then start a thread about that. Arguing about the name isn't productive for anyone.

The truth is that lots of people really like the current "supervised autonomy" (my term, just to perpetuate it) product and buy it, for a ton of money. And I guess that's upsetting to you?
This is a thread about taxonomy, I also like to take argue about the product itself and there are plenty of other threads where I do that. :p
Elon also appears to agree with me. Today he said "I am highly confident that the cars will be capable of FSD, with the FSD computer and the cameras. I am confident they will be able to drive themselves with a safety level substantially greater than the average person."
The cars are not yet Full Self-Driving.
 

Lloyd

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jan 12, 2011
6,337
2,207
San Luis Obispo, CA
I don't think that's true at all, do you have something specific in mind? As far as I know, this nonsense semantic argument about the "real" meaning of "self-driving" never existed at all until people wanted to yell about Tesla.

Note that in aviation, cockpit automation systems have decades and decades of history and no one every wanted to make a stink about needing a pilot, nor come up with a new word (beyond "missile" I guess) to describe vehicles without one.
Yes, but airplanes are expected to arrive in one piece where missiles are not !
 

PDX-Y

Member
May 24, 2021
220
256
Portland, OR
This is a thread about taxonomy
No it isn't. Be honest with yourself. There don't even exist any products in the "you can sleep in it" bucket to bother categorizing. Why argue about "taxonomy" in a field with one player (maybe two, if you count the Waymo taxis)?

It's a thread about semantics (what "self" means), which isn't the same thing at all. And IMHO it's not a productive one, since it's clearly just perpetuating existing grievances via different means.
 
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Daniel in SD

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2018
7,135
10,620
San Diego
No it isn't. Be honest with yourself. There don't even exist any products in the "you can sleep in it" bucket to bother categorizing. Why argue about "taxonomy" in a field with one player (maybe two, if you count the Waymo taxis)?

It's a thread about semantics (what "self" means), which isn't the same thing at all. And IMHO it's not a productive one, since it's clearly just perpetuating existing grievances via different means.
The term "self-driving" existed long before Waymo. Obviously we can categorize things that don't exist.
I will concede that this is a losing battle and there's not much hope of returning to the original definition. In fact the SAE agrees that it has become meaningless.
7.1.3 Self-Driving
The meaning of this term can vary based on unstated assumptions about the meaning of driving and driver. It is variously used to refer to situations in which no driver is present, to situations in which no user is performing the DDT, and to situations in which a driving automation system is performing any part of the DDT.
Yes, there does exist such a product: Waymo. Waymo is a full self-driving car that you can safely sleep in while it drives you to your destination.
I don't think a car that relies so heavily on remote assistance can really be full self-driving. It's just regular self-driving.
 
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diplomat33

Average guy who loves autonomous vehicles
Aug 3, 2017
8,534
12,090
Terre Haute, IN USA
I don't think a car that relies so heavily on remote assistance can really be full self-driving. It's just regular self-driving.

I might take issue with "so heavily". As far as I know, remote assistance is pretty rare. JJ Ricks has done 70 rides with only a couple instances of remote assistance.
 
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Daniel in SD

Well-Known Member
Jan 25, 2018
7,135
10,620
San Diego
I might take issue with "so heavily". As far as I know, remote assistance is pretty rare. JJ Ricks has done 70 rides with only a few instances of remote assistance.
I wonder if he was able to perceive all of them. Anyway, that still sounds like a lot to me.
I think since Tesla came up with the term "Full Self-Driving" they should get to define it as long as it also meets the original definition of "self-driving" (which they have done at various times, including today).
 

diplomat33

Average guy who loves autonomous vehicles
Aug 3, 2017
8,534
12,090
Terre Haute, IN USA
I wonder if he was able to perceive all of them. Anyway, that still sounds like a lot to me.
I think since Tesla came up with the term "Full Self-Driving" they should get to define it as long as it also meets the original definition of "self-driving" (which they have done at various times, including today).

Well, Waymo meets the original definition of "self-driving" since remote assistance never takes over the car.

From the definition you shared. Waymo would meet the "no driver is present" and "no user is performing the DDT" definitions of SD. Tesla would only meet the last part "performing any part of the DDT".

7.1.3 Self-Driving
The meaning of this term can vary based on unstated assumptions about the meaning of driving and driver. It is variously used to refer to situations in which no driver is present, to situations in which no user is performing the DDT, and to situations in which a driving automation system is performing any part of the DDT.
 
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mrbulk

Member
Sep 5, 2017
462
366
Las Vegas NV
Much like the variety of proprietary terminology different companies assigned their past products (such as the Sony Memory Stick or their gargantuanly successful BetaMax, remember that?) it makes for a fractured consumer experience. Why not just standardize and say "Level 5" or whatever Musk is aiming for? They're about to allow other EVs to charge up at their Superchargers (which would require standardized adapters) anyway, right?

I know the next post will probably answer, "Because Elon don't wanna say Level 2" or whatever, but this really would be the best way to truly contrast and compare between brands (that is if other makers cared to assign Levels to their own Super Cruise, Pro-Pilot, Traffic Jam Assist, etc. systems) and then have NHTSA or whoever they choose to use, test and evaluate and RATE THEM (according to already-existing SAE standards) at their respective Levels.

If a maker improves their system, they get re-tested and re-rated.
 

qdeathstar

Completely Serious
May 17, 2019
3,916
4,189
VB
Alex Roy who works at Argo AI offers a simple litmus test for determining if a car is really self-driving or not:

"Pick a vehicle. Can you get in, pick a destination and safely go to sleep? If yes, it’s self-driving. If no, it’s not"





Source: It's Not a Self-Driving Car Unless You Can Sleep In It

Alex's "sleep" litmus test seems to be a special case of the "mind off" litmus test. Sleep works because you can't be controlling the car in your sleep so the car is definitely doing all the driving. So it does work to prove the car is truly self-driving.

But we could probably think of other "mind off" activities that could also serve as a litmus test:
- Can I ride in the back seat with no driver in the front seat?
- Can I read a book while the car drives?
- Can I watch a movie while the car drives?

I think we might be able to generalize Alex's litmus test: "if you can't safely take your mind off of driving, it is not self-driving".
Well then mission accomplished. I’ve seen several videos of people sleeping while using autopilot!
 

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