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The subtleness of driving

Discussion in 'Autopilot & Autonomous/FSD' started by TMeister, Oct 3, 2019.

  1. TMeister

    TMeister Gearhead

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    In another thread on summon being a silly party trick @SSonnentag posted this:

    Rather than carry two conversations on in that thread I pulled it out here to open this discussion up.

    I think @SSonnentag has a very valid point. Driving is not just made up of mechanical motions it also involves a whole wealth of inferences that we humans make all the time. It's easy to see the car 10 lengths in front of you correcting lane drifting and then you think "Gee, drunk or on the phone, maybe?" How about the guy coming up fast behind? You've seen him make lane changes to gain one car and you're going to be next. How do you react? For our Boston drivers... making eye contact when merging into the Calahan tunnel in the '70s means you lose the merge. Zipper merges? etc. etc. You get the picture.

    All of these require you to get in the head of other drivers based on your observations and then react. How is an automaton going to do that? Sensor suites on our cars have a long way to go to see other drivers inside their cars, see many car lengths in front and back. It just seems we really do have a long way to go.
     
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  2. XLR82XS

    XLR82XS D M C

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    FSD for me is not the future. Too many variables to consider vs. a human driving, especially in the arena of robo taxis. I'm not allowing my car to be used as a driver-less taxi for all the reasons most people can think of when pondering the issues of what can occur while you car is away. (drunks, damage, etc...) Sure,the cameras can capture incidents as they occur but it doesn't avoid the issues.

    I love my Teslas and I enjoy the driving experience they provide. I do use AP for trips and long distance driving and I love it. With all the crazy people in the world its scary to think of driver-less cars out there in the wild.
     
  3. bpjod

    bpjod Supporting Member

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    Actually I feel the opposite. I can't wait until they're all self-driving, then I can stop worrying about all the crazy people on the road.

    All the subtle things @TMeister mentions can be resolved if a common communications protocol is developed that allow the cars to communicate with one another. In fact this would speed traffic up considerably. Consider an intersection where rather than needing traffic lights, the cars simply communicated with each other and all zipped through the intersection without having to stop or ever colliding with one another. It would be amazing to see, but totally possible with no human drivers present. Yes, they'd have to stop to allow the pedestrians through but the rest of the time all cars from all directions could navigate through without any collisions or holdups.

    I'm obviously talking about a future with no human drivers though. Getting from where we are now to there is another issue.
     
  4. ramonneke

    ramonneke Active Member

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    Eye contact is almost essential in large cities in the Netherlands. Especially on crossings without traffic lights. Although there are rules for way of right there are *a lot* of situations where rules are hard to apply and sense is used together with hand gestures, nodding or even raising your eyebrows to indicate you give someone way of right.

    For example:

    2 cars approach each other at the same time. Which car takes precedence? Here in the Netherlands you usually your high beam in advance to signal to the other car that you will wait.

    4 cars approach a crossing at the same time. Rule is, right has right of way. Which car goes first as all come from right?

    Or a thing calls trams, here in Europe trams have complex right of way rules. Part of understanding is also detecting tram rails and anticipating on the tram being on the same road as you are.
     
  5. TMeister

    TMeister Gearhead

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    Exactly.

    Since I have a Tesla and my friends know me as a car guy they always ask me about when cars will be self-driving. I respond with "When all the cars on the road are autonomous, that's when".
     
  6. electronblue

    electronblue Active Member

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    This is actually something you can do to a certain extent with deep learning — and judging by Autonomy Investor Day Tesla tries to do something like this with lane enroachments... to sense them before someone is even technically doing it. I think we can all agree it is overzealous at the moment but still something that theoretically can be done.

    But yeah, it is a tall order to build a computer brain that has all the subtlety of an experienced human driver observing the world...
     
  7. Puddles

    Puddles Member

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    This is an area of intensive research as of course it’s the next logical level. There are limits to visual processing, but if the fourth car up can tell yours what’s happening, that’s huge. Imagine autonomous car trains running 120 mph and two feet apart.
     
  8. animorph

    animorph Active Member

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    I always termed this "social driving". When the car has to pick up subtle social cues from humans and interact with them. Like the video posted recently of a truck wanting to merge into an entrance/exit lane during a traffic jam (and across a gore point no less). We see the Tesla hesitate before accelerating again, something we're used to. In this case though, the truck presumably took that as an invitation to cut in.. Something entirely reasonable when we're cooperating together in heavy traffic. But Tesla's aren't that smart. The Tesla continued to accelerate, closing the gap, while the truck was far enough ahead of the Tesla that it (presumably) didn't see that acceleration and clipped the Tesla as the truck merged into the Tesla's lane. AP does seem to be a little blind at the front quarter, reacting very late to these kinds of incursions, if at all. Almost like the B-pillar cameras are not in use.

    That's one of the things I'm looking for while using AP. And why I'll typically (so far) turn off AP when exiting a freeway.
     

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