View Poll Results: Would you support strictly using self-driving automobiles?

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  • Yes

    15 28.85%
  • No

    28 53.85%
  • Unsure

    9 17.31%
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Thread: Self-driving automobiles

  1. #51
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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    I strongly disagree. Google's car can react to its surroundings much more quickly than a human driver can...and it isn't prone to doing irresponsible/risky maneuvers in the first place. That performance gap is only likely to increase as computers become more and more powerful.
    Computers do not react to their surroundings. They search various protocols and programming; but they cannot independently come up with their own solutions. Computers don't think. Even that Jeopardy computer, which had one of the most sophisticated data bases and search algorithms to date cannot think. It can take a command, search a data base, calculate probabilities, and respond in that manner. And even then it's wrong. What happens when a computer is wrong on the interstate? It's not the 3 car collision that may happen when humans **** up. No matter how much we program, a computer is not a living entity nor does it have the power of the human brain.
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  2. #52
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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    The chess playing robot was merely programmed with all the moves and could search better than a human can. However, a computer cannot beat the human brain. Driving in and of itself isn't tough. You could make robots to do it and with time you'd probably be able to develop a good algorithm through which you could properly control traffic. However, a computer does not beat a human. No way no how. The overall power of the human brain is superior to a computer. It cannot think, it can only go off the list of preprogrammed commands and search for one which best fits the situation. Humans are built for a wide variety of stimulus input, and visual data happens to be something our brain is exceedingly good with. Servoing the visual data to commands to muscles is a relatively trivial task. Yes, people mess us. But computers crash, get hacked, if not programmed right they give the wrong solution.

    Machine does not beat man
    Some simple applied combinatorics quickly reveals that even our supercomputers can't be programmed with all the moves. Similar to chess, driving is a system with a simple set of rules. It's funny how 80% of drivers claimed in a survey that they were better than average at driving. Implicitly supported by this is the other general consensus of the driving population that we have to deal with crappy drivers daily.

    Your argument that the human brain is superior fails when you properly restrict your attention to a set of specific functionalities. For example, you can't dispute that computers defeat humans in memory. Similarly, I can prove that humans do not have better response time than a computer. This is easily supported by the fact that Watson was able to ring in faster than Ken Jennings on Jeopardy. Note that it will be computer scientists, not average joes, programming this system. Believe me, there are many brains out there that could use firmware updates.

    I continue to think of more and more beneficial functions that could be implemented into this system; some are so simple that they are initially overlooked. For example, this system would change the meaning of "getaway car". The system could prevent oversize vehicles from taking routes which are unsafe, e.g. bridges with insufficient clearance. It only takes one software update to see that a precaution is always taken by all. The same can not be said for driving lessons.
    Last edited by Mathematician; 08-25-11 at 02:04 PM.
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  3. #53
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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    Quote Originally Posted by Kandahar View Post
    The car's sensors see the trees in the street, and drive around them or make a detour. Just like a human driver would.
    I don't trust glitches, hackery, shutdowns, etc.

    THERE'S a reason why Storm Troopers were better than Battle Droids.

  4. #54
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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Computers do not react to their surroundings. They search various protocols and programming; but they cannot independently come up with their own solutions. Computers don't think. Even that Jeopardy computer, which had one of the most sophisticated data bases and search algorithms to date cannot think. It can take a command, search a data base, calculate probabilities, and respond in that manner. And even then it's wrong. What happens when a computer is wrong on the interstate? It's not the 3 car collision that may happen when humans **** up. No matter how much we program, a computer is not a living entity nor does it have the power of the human brain.
    A robot car can detect the accurate distance and speed of all objects from all angles. It can precisely calculate potential collision vectors, stopping distance and alternative driving paths in microseconds. A computer remains hyper vigilant 24/7 and doesn't get tired, drunk or distracted. Your point that robots can't respond to situations not anticipated by their programmers is valid. Hardware failure will also have consequences. However, the truth is that humans are simply worse at driving, as evidenced by the thousands who die every year. The accidents caused by the robot will be far less than the accidents avoided.
    Last edited by rathi; 08-25-11 at 03:53 PM.

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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    Quote Originally Posted by Wake View Post
    I don't trust glitches, hackery, shutdowns, etc.

    THERE'S a reason why Storm Troopers were better than Battle Droids.
    Humans are glitches is the current driving system we have. In regards to hackery, we have information security research to fight intelligence with intelligence. One point of this system is to idiot-proof travel.
    "With me everything turns into mathematics."
    "It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well."
    "It is truth very certain that, when it is not in one's power to determine what is true, we ought to follow what is more probable." -- Rene Descartes

  6. #56
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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    Quote Originally Posted by rathi View Post
    A robot car can detect the accurate distance and speed of all objects from all angles. It can precisely calculate potential collision vectors, stopping distance and alternative driving paths in microseconds. A computer remains hyper vigilant 24/7 and doesn't get tired, drunk or distracted. Your point that robots can't respond to situations not anticipated by their programmers is valid. Hardware failure will also have consequences. However, the truth is that humans are simply worse at driving, as evidenced by the thousands who die every year. The accidents caused by the robot will be far less than the accidents avoided.
    You assume accidents caused by the robot will be far less than the accidents now. A few thousand people die every year on the road, some in preventable situations. Humans do make mistakes and cannot be as universally programmed as cars. I think with enough time you can refine the programs well enough to have a positive impact; but the testing phase may be hell.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

    Quote Originally Posted by A. de Tocqueville
    "I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it."

  7. #57
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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    You assume accidents caused by the robot will be far less than the accidents now. A few thousand people die every year on the road, some in preventable situations. Humans do make mistakes and cannot be as universally programmed as cars. I think with enough time you can refine the programs well enough to have a positive impact; but the testing phase may be hell.
    In 2009, 32% of the 30,000 traffic fatalities were caused by drunk drivers. At least another 16% are caused by fatigue. So we already eliminated half of driving related deaths before we even get started. We can then look at rear end collisions avoided by avoiding tailgating and faster reaction time. Or avoided merging accidents by being able to see in all directions. Fog and weather related accidents reduced by senors that are degraded by such conditions. Sadly, Robots don't even have to be that great at all in order to outperform humans.

  8. #58
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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathematician View Post
    As an applied mathematician and computer scientist, I am curious what percentage of the public would accept the conversion from using human-driven automobiles to self-driving automobiles. The necessary technology is clearly realistic. Let's assume, for the sake of simplicity, that the cost will be relatively the same. Here is just an initial list of benefits of my proposal:
    1. Prevention of DUI
    2. Prevention of accidents due to poor driving skills

    3. Prevention of traffic jams
    4. Potential to increase speed limits
    5. Freedom to focus on other things (child, eating, work, etc.)
    6. Auto-navigation

    Some of these even have benefits as a consequence, such as improved fuel efficiency as a result of fewer/no traffic jams. What support or opposition does anyone wish to provide?

    Anything mechanical can break....I dont want to be sitting in a self driven vehicle that has a malfunction...I prefer to kill myself driving

    Then theres the lemons...then theres shoddy manufacturing and building...at least if im in control and a malfunction occurs I can take defensive measures to save myself....nah Ill personally pass on the self driven cars

  9. #59
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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    Quote Originally Posted by lpast View Post
    Anything mechanical can break....I dont want to be sitting in a self driven vehicle that has a malfunction...I prefer to kill myself driving
    I think you're forgetting that it's not just you who can kill you on the road right now.
    "With me everything turns into mathematics."
    "It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well."
    "It is truth very certain that, when it is not in one's power to determine what is true, we ought to follow what is more probable." -- Rene Descartes

  10. #60
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    Re: Self-driving automobiles

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Computers do not react to their surroundings.
    I suggest you watch some of the demonstrations of self-driving cars if you believe this. There are plenty of them on YouTube.

    They search various protocols and programming;
    That is more or less how the human brain works as well.

    but they cannot independently come up with their own solutions. Computers don't think. Even that Jeopardy computer, which had one of the most sophisticated data bases and search algorithms to date cannot think. It can take a command, search a data base, calculate probabilities, and respond in that manner.
    Driving is pretty algorithmic. There are three basic components: 1) The ability to physically control the operations of the car such as the steering wheel, gas, and brakes; 2) The ability to know where you are and how to get to your destination from there; 3) The ability to see your surroundings and react in a safe way while obeying traffic laws. Computers are already far better than humans at #1 and #2, and are quickly approaching human skill level at #3 and will soon surpass it.

    And I might add #4 to the list: 4) Not doing something stupid like driving while drunk, sleepy, fidgeting with the radio, or on your cell phone. Unlike humans, computers are 100% effective at this task.

    And even then it's wrong. What happens when a computer is wrong on the interstate? It's not the 3 car collision that may happen when humans **** up.
    Why not? What exactly do you imagine would happen? And what makes you think whatever nightmare scenario you are envisioning would occur often enough to offset the 40,000 auto fatalities that occur every year now, almost entirely due to human error?

    No matter how much we program, a computer is not a living entity nor does it have the power of the human brain.
    A self-driving car doesn't need to have the power of the human brain. It just needs to be better than humans at driving a car.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 08-26-11 at 12:15 AM.
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