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Transportation Idle

Idiot Leaves Driver's Seat In Self-Driving Infiniti, On the Highway 406

Posted by samzenpus
from the bad-idea dept.
cartechboy writes Self-driving cars are coming, that's nothing new. People are somewhat nervous about this technology, and that's also not news. But it appears self-driving cars are already here, and one idiot was dumb enough to climb out of the driver's seat while his car cruised down the highway. The car in question is a new Infiniti Q50, which has Active Lane Control and adaptive cruise control. Both of which essentially turn the Q50 into an autonomous vehicle while at highway speeds. While impressive, taking yourself out of a position where you can quickly and safely regain control of the car if needed is simply dumb. After watching the video, it's abundantly clear why people should be nervous about autonomous vehicles. It's not the cars and tech we need to worry about, it's idiots like this guy.
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Idiot Leaves Driver's Seat In Self-Driving Infiniti, On the Highway

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  • What a jackass (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Chas (5144) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @08:02PM (#47618623) Homepage Journal

    While an impressive tech display, it simply highlights why I don't trust fully automated driver systems, ESPECIALLY as the only control system.

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @08:03PM (#47618629) Journal

    There's an old urban legend about a guy leaving the driver's seat of an RV (on cruise control) to use the bathroom. Personally I've never believed it, but it does serve to illustrate something about expectations.

    Judgement (and self-preservation) isn't a step function, it's more like a bell curve. And you can bet your bottom dollar that there will be a hopefully small but nevertheless significant portion of the population, down on the left end of the curve, who will think it's ok to have nobody in the driver's seat, or (more likely) someone asleep in the driver's seat, while the car is driving itself. It's statistically inevitable.

    ...because the expectation, among the unwashed public, is that a self-driving car will, you know, drive itself. It's even in the name. That there still has to be an operator in the driver's seat with hands near controls and looking outside is counter-intuitive to the concept of "a self-driving car".

    I mean geeze, google "autopilot related accidents". And pilots get a lot more training than mere automobile drivers.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @08:07PM (#47618657)

    No, it's clear why we should be worried about almost-but-not-really autonomous vehicles, in the real deal this would be fine

    That was my first thought. Idiots like this guy are the problem. Fully autonomous vehicles are the solution.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @09:38PM (#47619247)

    WE DON'T HAVE VERY MANY AUTOMATIC TRAINS IN THE WORLD, the reason is because they have to contend with stupid drivers and jaywalkers.

    Really? Bet you $500 it has more to do with unions than safety [railway-technology.com]. Most trains can not stop [minnesotas...ouncil.org] to avoid drivers or jaywalkers. That's why there are train crossings where the cars and peds stop.....simply because the train can not. Trains are much easier [wikipedia.org] to automate than cars or planes, having been done as early as 1961. Today there are several automated passenger trains [wikipedia.org], I rode on one at the San Fran airport earlier this year.

    Self-driving cars will never succeed.

    Driverless cars will probably be mandatory in the future, and my guess is that the insurance will become so prohibitively high, that you'll find it much cheaper to buy an automated car.

    Year 2045, scene courtroom

    Lawyer: So, sir, you (incredulously)willing chose to drive the vehicle by hand?

    Defendant: Yes, I did! I just wanted to exercise my right to enjoy driving my car

    Lawyer: Well, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the defendant freely admits to wanton and willfully endangering everyone else on the road! You must find him guilty!

    Or if you prefer the scene from I,Robot:

    Lt. John Bergin: What is the matter with you? Traffic Ops tells me you're driving your car manually. You ran two trucks off the road!

  • by MrKaos (858439) on Wednesday August 06, 2014 @10:14PM (#47619447) Journal

    You can't make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Harlequin80 (1671040) on Thursday August 07, 2014 @12:24AM (#47620027)

    Having lived in Australia and the UK as well as driven a motorcycle 20000km around Europe and a car from LA to Miami I feel that I can comment without the citation.

    Germany have the best drivers as they have the highest standard of awareness of other drivers on the road and they are very consistent in what they do. The behaviour on their autobahns and highways is completely predictable. The UK you need to learn what is the etiquette in order to be comfortable. They drive faster than their continental cousins on the same grade road, they tend to follow closer and generally require a lower gap. That said they are acutely aware of every other car on the road. They can do the zip merge and will let people in but if you are not from the uk you will find the spaces small.

    America tends to be the opposite end of the spectrum to the UK. Technically I am sure their driving skills are find but awareness of others on the road appears to be zero. Keeping to the slow lane also seems to be an unknown art. Also on smaller streets stop signs and the like seem to be on a do I feel like following this today setup. If you are merging onto a highway you can pretty much bet the cars on the highway won't speed up or slow down to make life easier for you.

    Australia sits half way between the UK and USA. There is slightly more awareness of other drivers (but not enough) people will accept a smaller gap and are more consistent drivers. Running stop signs and traffic lights is a big no no in Australia and most people don't do it.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Immerman (2627577) on Thursday August 07, 2014 @01:48AM (#47620387)

    I have no doubt that's what auto-makers would *like* to have happen - whether we let them or not is a separate question.

    But really, despite driving many cars there's only one AI - and every instance has exactly the same strengths and weaknesses. So why not insure the one driver, and thus incentivize the company to continuously improve it. Version 8.31.2036 has had an accident - get cracking boys, we want to fix the problem and deploy it as widely as possible before the next accident occurs.

    Make owners carry the liability and you're setting yourself up for a "smartphone" style ecosystem where most cars only get one or two updates, at best. Instead insurance will go up steadily for old cars as flaws are revealed, destroying the budget used-car market, much to the delight of the auto-manufacturers who created the flaws in the first place (unintentionally I hope).

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