Friday, February 2, 2018

Driverless cars taking you right into a ditch

Well, they don't end up in the ditch but only because the (human) driver takes over from the software every mile:
Mercedes' driverless cars need human intervention approximately every 2.08km (1.3 miles), and other makes are totally reliant on frequent switching to manual, according to figures from the Californian Department for Motor Vehicles. 
The "disengagement reports" (the times an autonomous car was taken over by the human tester) of the major autonomous vehicle companies that test on the US Golden State's highways and byways are available on California's DMV's website. Driverless tests take place in several other US states, but there is no equivalent law in these places.
Not all autonomous car software is a wretched as Mercedes', but not one is truly autonomous - even the best performance showed dozens and dozens of disengagements.

Color me unimpressed.  And today's Dilbert cartoon is funny in a "Ha Ha Only Serious" way:

Hat tip to the Queen Of The World for the Dilbert sighting.  As she pointed out, "Right up your alley!"


Old NFO said...

Yep, imagine it being run by windoze... sigh It could LITERALLY be the blue screen of death!

SiGraybeard said...

What's the other name for an autonomous car's driver? Guinea pig.

At the Embedded Systems Conference last week, one of the big addresses was “How Do We Make Autonomous Vehicles Safe Enough?”. Design News translated that into “The Silver Lining of Autonomous Car Accidents”. Yeah, they're going to have accidents, and yeah, people are going to die, but it will help us make everything better and then fewer people will die. Besides, we "know" that we can make systems that drive better than people so fewer people are going to die.

You ought to read that link on DN. Shocking hubris.

Ken said...

Somebody 'splain to me how the autonomous system will handle yesterday's I-80 follies: a stack of vehicles behind a two-lane oversize load, with a state trooper in the passing lane to keep the amateur Earnhardts from trying to go three wide on the high side.

Pursuant to said jockeying, gravel truck decided he needed the piece of my lane that I was occupying at that moment. I dove onto the on-ramp (which the Lord thoughtfully provided at that moment), then noticed there was a Malibu stopped at the end of the on-ramp. Even more Providentially (capitalization intentional), there was an opening in the right lane, into which I dodged.

Next time I see a two-lane oversize load on the interstate, I'm just gonna hit the next exit for a donut and cup of coffee. (On the plus side, the old fart still has reflexes. Good thing, because he is certainly not even an amateur Earnhardt, and particularly not in a Ford Five Hundred.)