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Prank road sign fools Speed Assist.

Discussion in 'Model S: User Interface' started by BrianMA, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. BrianMA

    BrianMA Member

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    I encountered a speed limit sign that had been altered by somebody. Just the typical prank spray paint change from 35 to 85. Evidently, speed assist believed it because the little gray line on the speedo suddenly moved to 85. I laughed that it was actually confused like that. So I turned around to try get a picture of the sign, but the next time I drove by the gray line didn't move. I'll have to try again some other day.

    I did have a slight concern that if AutoPilot had been on it would have increased the speed to 85. With this car I could easily be at 60 or 70 before I realized what was going on and stepped on the brakes. Granted, I wouldn't plan to use AutoPilot on back roads, but what if the prank was on an interstate changing from 65 to 85 (or 165 like I have seen).


    speedlimit.png
     
  2. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    I don't believe these systems are ready for prime time. There is more out there in the world that cannot be anticipated by software logic than can, and one day someone's autopilot is going to send them into a tree. To use any kind of autopilot function is ceding control to a system that can only proceed according to pre-programmed logic that may or may not be accurately interpreting your surroundings. When you cede control, you pay less attention and that makes it much easier to lose control.
     
  3. jcaspar

    jcaspar Member

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    With a camera only system that is designed to read signs, this will happen by design. I suspect the Tesla system will integrate something like my wife's Ford Explorer does which posts the road speed limit sign by the nav screen, no doubt based on map/GPS information.

    No doubt autopilot or the Google car will take some people into a tree, or worse. Probably a lot less often than relying on drivers who are playing with their radio, Nav, iPhone, 17" screen etc.
     
  4. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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  5. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

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    "The sign said to go to 85, Dave"

    I am actually more worried about improperly painted lanes. It is common that when road workers are making repairs or rebuilding a bridge or overpass that they paint new lines onto the road temporarily. I can remember one that had two sets of lines and regular drivers would be unsure of which set to follow. The set that seemed like the proper thing to do was actually the wrong one and I saw a number of people almost get into an accident. How will a computer interpret that situation?
     
  6. rabar10

    rabar10 FFE until Model 3

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    Hopefully by detecting the construction signs posted in advance, getting the driver's attention, and auto-canceling Autopilot...
     
  7. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    The speed assist software should use multiple inputs and use the safest choice when they disagree.
    GPS data could provide evidence that the road sign is bogus ( or that the vision system made a mistake ).
    But even without complete GPS data a simple rule based system could have done that.
     
  8. BrianMA

    BrianMA Member

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    Perhaps just having a table of max speed limits for the state you are driving in.
     
  9. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    Wait... this system is live now? When did that happen? Is it part of the currently shipping Tech package?
     
  10. DJung

    DJung Member

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    Speed Assist and Lane Keeping Assist is standard and currently operational on all Model S vehicles with the new sensors.

    This is not the Autopilot system which would adjust your speed by reading speed limit signs. This is the speed assist feature which currently can only alert you if you are driving above the speed limit or if you are drifting out of your lane. Future software updates will add autopilot functionality.
     
  11. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Yea but you can assume the same sensor/camera that read the road sign is the exact same sensor/camera/piece of code that is going to supply "85mph" to the autopilot module.
     
  12. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

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    Presumably there will be a sanity check in the actual autopilot software, based on (as others have suggested) a geo-referenced database of known speed limits and/or a database of maximum speed limits by type of road and jurisdiction.

    But I Dread a kind of arms race to developing between pranksters who modify signage in ever more creative ways and the autonomous-driving software designers trying to stay ahead of them.
     
  13. David99

    David99 Active Member

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    In an interview Elon said, they expect the driver to still pay attention. It is not a self driving system. He said that is 5 years away. Obviously you can fool a simple system like speed sign recognition. True autonomous driving will use many redundant sources of information, not just simply reading signs or looking at lines on the road.
     
  14. swegman

    swegman Member

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    Regardless of what Elon says, the average car driver is lazy and will not pay attention. S/he will rely on the autopilot to operate the car, and when something goes wrong (which is bound to happen, sooner or later), s/he will scream bloody murder and attempt to sue Tesla.
     
  15. J1mbo

    J1mbo Member

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    This always used to happen in my previous car (Merc). It used to pick up speed limits from the back of speed restricted vehicles, from side streets, billboards... Basically anything around that looked vaguely like a speed limit sign.

    IMO, it could have been improved by comparing what it thinks is a new limit with the navigation database, and also measuring whether or not the sign is fixed (real) or moving (back of truck).
     
  16. Adm

    Adm Active Member

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    #16 Adm, Oct 26, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Is this what you were thinking about? It's a commercial of a Dutch insurance company.
     
  17. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    I think all will be well with auto pilot, especially when it *is* explicitly stated that it is just driver assist and the driver is still in control of the vehicle and has the final say on anything that is done.
     
  18. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    The autopilot is similar to navigation systems which give you a route and tell you when to turn. Sometimes the nav systems have wrong information (bridge closed, etc.) but they expect a real live person to be in control of the car and not do stupid things.
    Autopilot does expect a driver to be in control and to pay attention and not do stupid things.
    On balance, it will do a better job of controlling speed and keeping you in your lane but that's not an excuse to check out and go to sleep in the back seat.
     
  19. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    People set cruise control right now and stop paying attention to their speed, when they pass a speedlimit change and then get a speeding ticket, they're responsible. Same if they don't brake for the car ahead of them.
    People have parking sensors on their cars now, but if the parking sensor says they're clear, and they hit something, they're still responsible.
    People have GPS units in their cars, they often direct people to do illegal things (u-turn where it's not allowed, wrong way on a one way street, turn at a light where it's prohibited, give incorrect speed limits, etc.) The driver is still responsible for following the laws, not the GPS.

    There's nothing new here. The driver is responsible for everything the car does, and whatever this "average driver" does is their responsibility. They can try to sue Tesla all they want, but there's plenty of precedent for this stuff, and it's all on Tesla's side.
     
  20. dhanson865

    dhanson865 Active Member

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    I drive the same commute daily and pass same speed limit signs through all the seasons of the year. Whats to keep an autopilot/speed assist system from caching past signs at each geolocation and comparing vs the current limit. If the sign from spring says 35 and the sign from summer says 85 maybe the system will ask which I want to follow or maybe it should mark both on the dash and let me know there is a discrepancy that I can override or authorize.

    If I drive the route enough that it sees winter with no foliage blocking the sign that cached copy can help when spring/summer growth covers the sign before the road crew cuts back.

    If I drive the route enough that it sees fall/winter with no snow it can use the cached speed when the sign is covered by a snow drift.

    Heck if the system allows inputs I might be able to annotate my preferences on route sections from my smartphone, work PC, or home PC when I have time to kill waiting at a doctors office, on a break, just cause I'm trying to optimize my route.

    Sure there will be negatives in this process but I see plenty of room for a system to keep me alert or take some load off and still add positive feedback into the design of the whole thing. It doesn't have to be foolproof, it just has to be useful and customizable.
     

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