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Oct 28, 2015, 05:05 PM
Libertas in Infinitum
logan5's Avatar
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robot car delimma ...


So we're designing a GN&C DAP for a crewed space vehicle. It will primarily be flown by computers alone with a single pilot as a back up in case our triple redundancy fails ... and we're constantly presented by Training and Mission Design different failure modes that the DAP will have to account for and this brought up an interesting side conversation ....

If and when automatically driven cars become mainstream, the designers of the software will have be presented with a situation where in an emergency, there is no "safe" course of action ... does the car preserve itself at the expense of property and lives external to it? Or does it recognize that the value of the car and number of occupants are less than those that it would endanger outside of the car and choose a course of action that puts the car and occupants in danger?

Example ... driving down a blind turn there suddenly appears a massive demonstration with people in the road, there is no safe passage through the people and there isn't enough distance to brake and swerving to the left or right will lead to damage to the car and certain injury to occupants.
Oct 28, 2015, 05:27 PM
turn, turn, turn.
Kenny Sharp's Avatar
Put it in helicopter mode.
Oct 28, 2015, 05:33 PM
Registered User
Windrider53's Avatar
The programming of the car should be such that such a situation would never arise. If it is approaching a blind corner it should slow down enough that it can stop within the limits of its detection. Same as a human driver should.

It's called "driving within the limits of conditions".
Oct 28, 2015, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logan5
So we're designing a GN&C DAP for a crewed space vehicle. It will primarily be flown by computers alone with a single pilot as a back up in case our triple redundancy fails ... and we're constantly presented by Training and Mission Design different failure modes that the DAP will have to account for and this brought up an interesting side conversation ....

If and when automatically driven cars become mainstream, the designers of the software will have be presented with a situation where in an emergency, there is no "safe" course of action ... does the car preserve itself at the expense of property and lives external to it? Or does it recognize that the value of the car and number of occupants are less than those that it would endanger outside of the car and choose a course of action that puts the car and occupants in danger?

Example ... driving down a blind turn there suddenly appears a massive demonstration with people in the road, there is no safe passage through the people and there isn't enough distance to brake and swerving to the left or right will lead to damage to the car and certain injury to occupants.
What you are looking for here is the Kobayashi Maru "test".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobayashi_Maru

Maybe the car should try to decide which action will create the least damage. Sounds like you will need a quantum computer and AI.
Oct 28, 2015, 06:30 PM
Registered User
HELModels's Avatar
I heard a trucker complaining about how the collision detector on his truck will sometimes hit the brakes with nobody but him on the road. He hates it and that's just one little old smart feature that isn't always so smart. Autonomous cars/trucks are hopefully not in my lifetime.
Oct 28, 2015, 08:06 PM
Closed Account
I live in a retirement community. We have little old ladies driving huge cars. You haven't lived until a Chrysler Imperial is coming the wrong way in your lane and all you can see of the driver is a few inches of blue hair.

Some of these old people still want their independence and continue to drive when they are no longer capable. In certain instances, self driving cars make sense.
Oct 28, 2015, 10:42 PM
Suspended Account
smaller cars, airbags, rockets, and foam, problem solved.
Oct 29, 2015, 09:09 AM
Really?
dll932's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gooroo
What you are looking for here is the Kobayashi Maru "test".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobayashi_Maru

Maybe the car should try to decide which action will create the least damage. Sounds like you will need a quantum computer and AI.
Interesting-that was the first thing I thought of.
Oct 29, 2015, 09:15 AM
Really?
dll932's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by HELModels
I heard a trucker complaining about how the collision detector on his truck will sometimes hit the brakes with nobody but him on the road. He hates it and that's just one little old smart feature that isn't always so smart. Autonomous cars/trucks are hopefully not in my lifetime.
The algorithm governing it probably needs improving-to something like IF (more than just one condition) THEN (action). Not considering multiple conditions gave engine control system designers problems back in the day. In one case, Chrysler car computers would respond to throttle inputs by sampling RPM too often. Since it takes time for the engine to spool up, the computer would think the RPM was too low for the command and keep increasing it with every sample. In one case, a guy ended up driving through the back of his garage!
Oct 29, 2015, 09:22 AM
Really?
dll932's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Windrider53
The programming of the car should be such that such a situation would never arise. If it is approaching a blind corner it should slow down enough that it can stop within the limits of its detection. Same as a human driver should.

It's called "driving within the limits of conditions".
Reminds me of driver's ed class: they were showing us one of those old movies. In one scene they showed a yellow traffic signal and asked "what does this mean?" or like that. Some kid in the back of room piped up with "it means PUNCH IT!" We cracked up.
Oct 29, 2015, 10:29 AM
Registered User
HELModels's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dll932
The algorithm governing it probably needs improving-to something like IF (more than just one condition) THEN (action). Not considering multiple conditions gave engine control system designers problems back in the day. In one case, Chrysler car computers would respond to throttle inputs by sampling RPM too often. Since it takes time for the engine to spool up, the computer would think the RPM was too low for the command and keep increasing it with every sample. In one case, a guy ended up driving through the back of his garage!
Somebody mentioned quantum computers. Apparently these are real good at searching multiple possibilities and choosing the best. I saw a Netflix documentary where a guy got a PhD by making one that ca!lculated one thing only and it was the size of an oven. Ya hear quantum and think tiny.
Oct 29, 2015, 10:32 AM
Don't look at me like that....
62pilot's Avatar
The Three Laws man, the the Three Laws.
Oct 29, 2015, 01:10 PM
DS JUNKY
Look at the automation that has happened in Jets in the last 25 years that makes flying safer and that's in an industry that is slow to adopt new technology. I am quite confident a sea of auto driving cars will be safer than the cluster of $IOU$ we have going on now where you constantly wonder how someone even got a license or what their problem is.

The intriguing thing to me is the potential high speed coupling that auto driving cars can bring. Take the 405 in Socal the busiest freeway in the US. It runs through a dense metropolis so any expansion is incredibly expensive if not outright practically impossible. Total grind getting through 10 hours a day. But imagine if they dedicated 3 lanes to coupling only auto-drive vehicles. You have a line of cars doing 65+ one foot off their bumpers Nascar style. This not only would do wonders for fuel efficiency but it would multiply the lane bandwidth at least 3 fold. This would be a godsend for growing/congested cities with no room to expand. Think of the productivity and economy boosting aspects of giving all these commuters more time. It would be like extending people's life span in a way (at least filling wasted hours with a better quality of life).
Oct 29, 2015, 02:53 PM
Really?
dll932's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Z06kal
Look at the automation that has happened in Jets in the last 25 years that makes flying safer and that's in an industry that is slow to adopt new technology. I am quite confident a sea of auto driving cars will be safer than the cluster of $IOU$ we have going on now where you constantly wonder how someone even got a license or what their problem is.

The intriguing thing to me is the potential high speed coupling that auto driving cars can bring. Take the 405 in Socal the busiest freeway in the US. It runs through a dense metropolis so any expansion is incredibly expensive if not outright practically impossible. Total grind getting through 10 hours a day. But imagine if they dedicated 3 lanes to coupling only auto-drive vehicles. You have a line of cars doing 65+ one foot off their bumpers Nascar style. This not only would do wonders for fuel efficiency but it would multiply the lane bandwidth at least 3 fold. This would be a godsend for growing/congested cities with no room to expand. Think of the productivity and economy boosting aspects of giving all these commuters more time. It would be like extending people's life span in a way (at least filling wasted hours with a better quality of life).
Airliners have higher closing speeds but they can move vertically as well. They also have minimums to follow for separation, etc. In cars things tend to happen faster and there are multiple inputs-sort of like a furball in a dogfight scenario.
Oct 29, 2015, 03:14 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by dll932
Reminds me of driver's ed class: they were showing us one of those old movies. In one scene they showed a yellow traffic signal and asked "what does this mean?" or like that. Some kid in the back of room piped up with "it means PUNCH IT!" We cracked up.
Reminds me of Jeff Bridges lines in Starman.

"I watched you very carefully. Red light stop. Green light go. Yellow light - go very fast."


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