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Transportation

Pedestrian Attacks Self-driving Car in the Mission (curbed.com) 268

An anonymous reader shares a report: Cruise AV, a self-driving car company owned by General Motors, reports that earlier this month an unidentified man in the Mission flung himself onto one of the company's autonomous vehicles while it was conducting a road test. According to a report filed with the California DMV (all companies testing self-driving cars on California public streets are required to make public reports any time an accident happens), the close encounter of the vehicular kind happened at 9:27 p.m. as the car was waiting to make a turn and "stopped at a green light in between crosswalks of Valencia Street and 16th Street, waiting for pedestrians to cross." The car's human driver says that a pedestrian then unexpectedly ran into the street against the traffic signal and "shouting....struck the left side of the Cruise AV's rear bumper and hatch with his entire body." The driver adds, "There were no injuries, but the Cruise AV sustained some damage to its rear light." No witnesses called the police.
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Pedestrian Attacks Self-driving Car in the Mission

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  • What? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dbrueck ( 1872018 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @12:56PM (#55961603)

    What's the Mission?

    • Re:What? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by known_coward_69 ( 4151743 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @01:01PM (#55961667)

      most likely they lied to the cops about being hit by the car to sue for a big insurance payout

      • In other news, a black teenager ran backwards into a bullet leaving a police officer's gun. No sandwich was found at the scene.

    • Re:What? (Score:5, Informative)

      by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt.nerdflat@com> on Friday January 19, 2018 @01:02PM (#55961675) Journal

      Presumably, it's either a community, district, or suburb of San Francisco.... although I was only able to piece together that much by reading the article.

      Well played, Slashdot.... well played.

    • Gothic rock band from the 80s.

    • Re:What? (Score:5, Funny)

      by pr0t0 ( 216378 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @01:05PM (#55961719)

      You have to accept the mission before you can be told what it is.

      • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

        The first rule of The Mission is that you do not talk about The Mission.

        The second rule of The Mission is that you do not talk about The Mission.

      • and if you or your team is caught the Secretary will disavow any knowledge. As a tangent, which Secretary.
    • Re:What? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 19, 2018 @01:08PM (#55961755)

      It's a suburb in San Francisco - The Mission District

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_District,_San_Francisco

    • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @01:13PM (#55961809)

      I dare any person who has ever been to, or lived in SF to disagree with me.

      And I mean it literally as that is where multiple times I have seen someone taking a dump *against a wall*.

    • Re:What? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Hadlock ( 143607 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @01:15PM (#55961833) Homepage Journal

      It's a historically hispanic neighborhood about 2 miles from the skyscrapery financial district/downtown.
       
      It's also one of the sunniest, least windy and warmest (5-10F warmer when most of the city is 55-62F year-round) neighborhoods with an abundance of good ethnic (mexican, indian, etc) restaurants. As a result everyone wants to live there, and have successfully pushed out something like 50% of this hispanic population in favor of predominantly white "tech bros". Property owners are allegedly torching their own properties so that they can rebuild old commercial buildings with way more profitable modern, high density residential housing.
       
      The current (neighborhoods in SF change hands every 25-30 years) old guard is pretty anti-modernism of their neighborhood and have vandalized or stopped bike share, car share, removing existing parking (parking here is a nightmare but so is traffic, SF has the lowest car ownership per capita in competition with manhattan, something like 35% and dropping) and opposing new bus lanes. Hispanic owned businesses are not doing amazing. There's a lot of pushback against anything percieved as a threat to the "traditional" Mission neighborhood. Prices went from under $2000 a month for a two bedroom 10 years ago to, I haven't checked recently but probably $3800 to $5000 depending on location; i.e. if you grew up in this neighborhood to parents without a college education (not unlikely) you very likely may not be able to afford to live here when you turn 18 (or whatever age you decide to no longer live with your parents).
       
      So If it wasn't a crazy homeless guy (very likely) I can see this being some tangential offshoot of local opposition in some form.

    • much of SF believes the rest of the world revolves around their epicenter. The idea that people would not know what "The mission" was probably would not even dawn on people like story author. If you asked somebody in IOWA where "The Tenderloin" was, they would understandably think you were talking about meat.
      • much of SF believes the rest of the world revolves around their epicenter.

        NYC has the same attitude, except maybe 10X more extreme. But at least for NYC it is somewhat justifiable.

        The problem with SF's Tenderloin is that it is named after NY's Tenderloin. Both are historically red light districts. Although SF's Tenderloin is becoming more gentrified over the last 30 years that it will probably need to be renamed.

      • Re:What? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Rakarra ( 112805 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @02:30PM (#55962513)

        much of SF believes the rest of the world revolves around their epicenter. The idea that people would not know what "The mission" was probably would not even dawn on people like story author.

        Maybe, but the story was written for a San Francisco publication that has a San Francisco audience. IE, the article writer's expectation that the website readers would know what "The Mission" is is not unfounded. The submitter of the Slashdot article, however, simply cut and paste the first paragraph of the article and used that as the submission. Not necessarily a bad way to share a story, but when taking a niche article and spreading it to a wider geographic audience than it was originally intended for, it helps to add a little context on top. I wouldn't blame the original publication for that.

        We see this all the time on Slashdot when someone submits an article without context, assuming others have a baseline amount of knowledge about what they're talking about.

    • The Mission [wikipedia.org] is a district in San Francisco, somewhat akin to the way New York City is broken up into boroughs like the Bronxand Manhattan. From what I've gathered (having never visited the Bay Area), the Mission is well-known for its art scene, LGBTQ community, and food, though hopefully a local can chime in with better information.

    • The Mission is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work... when you go to church... when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

    • Mission in the Rain [youtube.com]

      Kids these days!

    • Of all the problems I considered that could happen to a self driving car; breeding season did not even make it to the list.
    • In the wooden chair
      Beside my window
      I wear a face born in the falling rain
      I talk to shadows from a lonely candle
      Recite the phrases from the wall
      I can't explain this Holy pain

      Six days ago my life had taken a tumble
      The orders came from high above they say
      A need to use me once again they've got my number
      Further the cause boy, yes you know the game

      I'll wait here for days longer
      Till the sister comes to wash my sins away
      She is the lady that can ease my sorrow
      She brings the only friend
      That helps me find my way

      I sea

    • A better headline would be ...in a place called 'the Mission' but that's not a slashdot editor's job.

    • msmash is garbage. Submissions should be marked "troll".
  • Bay Area Idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 19, 2018 @12:57PM (#55961609)

    You can tell when someone's from the Bay Area because they're so self-important that they describe local locations to the world with no context to explain for people not from the area.

    • by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @01:04PM (#55961705)

      Call them Bay Aryans (for their attitude). They love that.

    • by Daetrin ( 576516 )
      To be fair, this is an article on the San Francisco section of "curbed.com", which is a site that seems intentionally dedicated to local issues. A quick check shows that ny.curbed.com has articles talking about local locations that only New Yorkers would know about, seattle.curbed.com has articles talking about local locations that only Seattleites would know about, etc.

      Or are you suggesting that everyone living in New York, Seattle, or any of the other cities curbed.com has a page for originally hailed f
    • by Macdude ( 23507 )

      Oh yah, it's not like New Yorkers aren't just as "self-important" when they refer to the SoHo, the Bronx, Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, etc. Or Altantians (?) refer to Little Five Points, Candler Park or Cabbage Town. Or literally anyone from any other location uses common names for neigbourhoods in their area.

      But good job not letting reality get in the way of your prejudice...

      • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

        Or Altantians (?) refer to Little Five Points, Candler Park or Cabbage Town.

        Lived near Little Five Points (kind of between Inman Park and the MLK center) while I was in grad school. I was underwhelmed. Never been to Candler Park. Have no fucking clue what Cabbage Town is though. OTP is so much better than ITP anyway.

    • I've never lived in or even visited the Bay Area, yet I've been aware of the Mission District for as long as I can recall, as well as some of what sets it apart within the city. It's a well-known neighborhood even outside of that local sphere...perhaps not as well-known as I had thought, given the confusion in the comments, but I had no problem reading the headline (despite mostly having lived in South Florida and Texas), and I wouldn't have expected most others to either.

    • You can tell someone's from some unimportant patch of the US because they're so self-important that they think a local paper writing an article for local consumption is intended for them. And that they are "the world".

    • People from large well-known urban areas are always like this. They say "The City", and mean whatever their city is, like that's the only city in the world. New Yorkers do that. San Franciscans do that. I don't like Los Angelinos do that, at least.

  • Need I say more?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This "mission" that they were on. Or was it Top Secret?

  • by Thud457 ( 234763 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @01:02PM (#55961671) Homepage Journal
    New data point - people are assholes.

    Do you want SKYNET? Because that's how you get SKYNET right there.
    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      The reason for all those "robot runs amok" stories is that "human runs amok" isn't a story premise; it's more like a chronic condition.

  • Ambulance chasers (Score:5, Informative)

    by cyberchondriac ( 456626 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @01:05PM (#55961711) Journal

    Kids are doing this all over, apparently: they run up to a car while it's at a light or in heavy traffic, jump on the hood or elsewhere and act like they got hit by the car, hoping to get a settlement. I've seen dashcam video that was pretty funny because some of the attempts are just so obviously staged.

    • Kids are doing this all over, apparently: they run up to a car while it's at a light or in heavy traffic, jump on the hood or elsewhere and act like they got hit by the car, hoping to get a settlement. I've seen dashcam video that was pretty funny because some of the attempts are just so obviously staged.

      Adults have been doing this scam in China for years.

    • Most cars outside Russia don't have a dashcam. Even there they don't have a side cam. A typical perpetrator of this kind of fraud doesn't have enough intelligence to know a test self-driving car will be packed with cameras from every angle.

    • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

      Yup, the old auto accident insurance scam.

      This one is probably my favorite. [youtube.com]
      This one is great too. [youtube.com]

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @01:09PM (#55961771) Homepage

    ...or it'd run him over in self-defense.

  • by Danathar ( 267989 ) on Friday January 19, 2018 @01:21PM (#55961895) Journal
    What I want to know is how did the car react? What did it do? Obviously it's not going to drive over a pedestrian, but from a purely autonomous car programming perspective I'd like to know how the car reacted to it (or not)
  • Where "old" people throw themselves in front of car for insurance payout!

    Eg. https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

  • run of the mill insurance scam attempt, he likely picked out the self driver because he knew the corporate owners would have deep pockets.
    • by wbr1 ( 2538558 )
      A self driving car also has a pile of sensors and cameras. Good luck to that moron if that was the motive.
  • Cruise AV, a self-driving car company owned by General Motors, reports that earlier this month an unidentified man in the Mission flung himself onto one of the company's autonomous vehicles

    But wait, there's more!

    The car's human driver says...

    OK, so there was a driver in this self-driving car.

    It sounds to me like they ran over a guy, and somebody's trying to dodge a lawsuit by saying someone "threw themselves at the car". And if there was, as the self-driving car's driver says, "damage to a tail light",

    • Cruise AV, a self-driving car company owned by General Motors, reports that earlier this month an unidentified man in the Mission flung himself onto one of the company's autonomous vehicles

      But wait, there's more!

      The car's human driver says...

      OK, so there was a driver in this self-driving car.

      It sounds to me like they ran over a guy, and somebody's trying to dodge a lawsuit by saying someone "threw themselves at the car". And if there was, as the self-driving car's driver says, "damage to a tail light", let me ask you this: If you went outside and threw your body at a car, do you think you could break a tail light?

      Yeah pedestrians running out in front of your car is something that happens. Especially children.. It is one of the harder things to compensate for, especially for a computer.

      • Yeah pedestrians running out in front of your car is something that happens.

        If someone ran out in front of your car, it wouldn't damage the tail light.

        I'm thinking that the test driver backed into something and made up the entire story to protect his job.

        • by HiThere ( 15173 )

          Presumably there are camera images. Even if the car wasn't in autonomous mode they'd probably be running. (If they weren't, then I would echo your suspicions.)

    • let me ask you this: If you went outside and threw your body at a car, do you think you could break a tail light?

      Heck no; there's an Interstate highway just outside.

    • Why would you think someone couldn't easily break a taillight? They aren't made of tempered glass or anything, just cheap plastic. Depending on how the light assembly is mounted it might not even take an impact from an elbow or knee.

      • Depending on how the light assembly is mounted it might not even take an impact from an elbow or knee.

        Go try it right now. See if you can break a tail light with just your elbow.

    • It sounds to me like they ran over a guy

      Because running over someone while driving forward causes them to hit the left rear bumper....somehow. And the multiple corroborating witnesses in TFSummary were all paid off.

      If you went outside and threw your body at a car, do you think you could break a tail light?

      Easily. They're plastic, not unobtanium.

  • The Mission must be somewhere in Russia. ZING!

  • out of work people will do this just get med bills paid (for other stuff as well but they just I got hit by a car and after I got out I have this bill I can't pay and I did not ask for any of this to be done)

  • We are going the sue
    GM
    The STATE
    The DMV
    Cruise AV
    The City of Mission

    if you need cash call 555-whiplash

    • We are going the sue
      GM
      The STATE
      The DMV
      Cruise AV
      The City of Mission

      if you need cash call 888-555-WHIPLASH. That's right, 888-555-WHIPLASH. Our service representatives are standing by and waiting for your call. 888-555-WHIPLASH; CALL NOW!

      Tidied that up for you just a tad. :)

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