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View Poll Results: Will self driving autos kill car insurance?
Of course 42 16.22%
Maybe but not for a long time 188 72.59%
I'm a luddite... 29 11.20%
Voters: 259. You may not vote on this poll

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  #61  
Old 01-23-2013, 03:25 PM
Heywood J Heywood J is offline
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Originally Posted by vividox View Post
Swerving to avoid a deer has got to be top ten dumbest things you can do while driving.
For a human, maybe. For a computer that's aware of both the car's performance envelope, and the surroundings, that's the smartest way to avoid an obstacle.
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  #62  
Old 01-23-2013, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Heywood J View Post
For a human, maybe. For a computer that's aware of both the car's performance envelope, and the surroundings, that's the smartest way to avoid an obstacle.
I'm still hesitant to agree. Even if the computer perfectly swerves, there is still a pretty decent chance the deer is going to move right into your path. If you are swerving for the purpose of keeping speed and the deer does move in front of you, you are now going to be hitting the deer at 65 mph instead of the 25 or 35 you'd be going by just going straight and slowing down. Much worse accident that way. Not exactly safe, and the computer is going to know that. When you see a deer - anywhere, the safe bet is to simply slow down, going the same speed and trying to go around is just not smart.
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  #63  
Old 01-23-2013, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by vividox View Post
Swerving to avoid a deer has got to be top ten dumbest things you can do while driving.
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Originally Posted by vividox View Post
I'm still hesitant to agree. Even if the computer perfectly swerves, there is still a pretty decent chance the deer is going to move right into your path. If you are swerving for the purpose of keeping speed and the deer does move in front of you, you are now going to be hitting the deer at 65 mph instead of the 25 or 35 you'd be going by just going straight and slowing down. Much worse accident that way. Not exactly safe, and the computer is going to know that. When you see a deer - anywhere, the safe bet is to simply slow down, going the same speed and trying to go around is just not smart.
That's exactly correct. Plus, a sudden swerve like that might be a real problem for someone with his face in a copy of Life Contingencies (or whatever kids are reading these days).
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  #64  
Old 01-23-2013, 03:43 PM
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Oh well, whether this is coming in 20 or 40 years it is clear that the days of car insurance as we know it are numbered.
That's alright, the day is coming when 100% of your paycheck will go toward health insurance anyway. It's inevitable.
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  #65  
Old 01-23-2013, 03:50 PM
Heywood J Heywood J is offline
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I'm still hesitant to agree. Even if the computer perfectly swerves, there is still a pretty decent chance the deer is going to move right into your path. If you are swerving for the purpose of keeping speed and the deer does move in front of you, you are now going to be hitting the deer at 65 mph instead of the 25 or 35 you'd be going by just going straight and slowing down. Much worse accident that way. Not exactly safe, and the computer is going to know that. When you see a deer - anywhere, the safe bet is to simply slow down, going the same speed and trying to go around is just not smart.
You can both brake and swerve, unless you literally don't have an inch to spare and have to use all the grip for turning. And if the deer darts to a different place in the middle of the maneuver, computer would respond instantly by swerving to a different place.

You need to stop thinking like a human driver when discussing the behavior of an optimally programmed computer-piloted car. The rules of thumb that are a good idea to follow for an average human driver are not necessarily an optimal path for a computer.

Humans can't react instantly, the vast majority don't really know how to control a car at the limit of adhesion, and they can't react instantly and adequately to changing conditions. With those limitations in mind, hard braking in order to minimizes the damage from the collision is probably the best approach. I'd certainly do that, because I'm a human. However, if you remove those limitations by putting a computer behind the wheel, pure physics take over, and the optimal driving solution converges to the optimal driving dynamics solution.
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  #66  
Old 01-23-2013, 04:15 PM
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You can both brake and swerve, unless you literally don't have an inch to spare and have to use all the grip for turning. And if the deer darts to a different place in the middle of the maneuver, computer would respond instantly by swerving to a different place.

You need to stop thinking like a human driver when discussing the behavior of an optimally programmed computer-piloted car. The rules of thumb that are a good idea to follow for an average human driver are not necessarily an optimal path for a computer.

Humans can't react instantly, the vast majority don't really know how to control a car at the limit of adhesion, and they can't react instantly and adequately to changing conditions. With those limitations in mind, hard braking in order to minimizes the damage from the collision is probably the best approach. I'd certainly do that, because I'm a human. However, if you remove those limitations by putting a computer behind the wheel, pure physics take over, and the optimal driving solution converges to the optimal driving dynamics solution.
Even if a computer is driving and has perfect reaction time, it doesn't make sense to jerk and shimmy and swerve in reaction to an erratic 500 pound animal. The computer will probably have sensors decent enough to detect the deer at a range in which stopping is possible anyway, so there is absolutely no reason to swerve instead of just slow down. I, for one, would not want to be in a car being driven by a computer and then all of a sudden be pulled left and right four times. Such wild reactions from the computer would also make it much more dangerous for a human to take control should they need to. It just doesn't make sense.
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  #67  
Old 01-23-2013, 04:17 PM
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However, if you remove those limitations by putting a computer behind the wheel, pure physics take over, and the optimal driving solution converges to the optimal driving dynamics solution.
Given the randomness of the world around us, shouldn't there be numerous occasions where the "optimal driving solution" still involves a crash?

E.g., what if a tidal wave hits the coast? Will your car optimally flee the coastline?

And I can't imagine that Google has been testing these cars with a large animal intentionally trying to intercept the vehicle. (Or have they?)
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  #68  
Old 01-23-2013, 04:21 PM
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Given the randomness of the world around us, shouldn't there be numerous occasions where the "optimal driving solution" still involves a crash?
Of course. If an earthquake happens and the road falls away from you just as you're driving over it, you're screwed no matter what. I just don't buy the argument in the slightest that collisions with deer are unavoidable. Those are exactly the kinds of collisions that computers would be able to avoid the best.
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  #69  
Old 01-23-2013, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by vividox View Post
Even if a computer is driving and has perfect reaction time, it doesn't make sense to jerk and shimmy and swerve in reaction to an erratic 500 pound animal. The computer will probably have sensors decent enough to detect the deer at a range in which stopping is possible anyway, so there is absolutely no reason to swerve instead of just slow down. I, for one, would not want to be in a car being driven by a computer and then all of a sudden be pulled left and right four times. Such wild reactions from the computer would also make it much more dangerous for a human to take control should they need to. It just doesn't make sense.
I'm sure that to a driver from 1950ies, having a brake pedal that could decide to pulsate on its own would also "not make sense". History shows that eventually some sense is knocked into such Luddites.
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  #70  
Old 01-23-2013, 04:35 PM
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I'm sure that to a driver from 1950ies, having a brake pedal that could decide to pulsate on its own would also "not make sense". History shows that eventually some sense is knocked into such Luddites.
Now you're being silly.
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