Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

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Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby Rob Lister » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:35 am

Google is now publishing a summary of all accidents in which its self-driving have been involved.

http://www.google.com/selfdrivingcar/fi ... t-0515.pdf

Easy to read; fairly easy to understand. They could have provided video. Perhaps they might in the future.

They were not at fault in any of the accidents.

But is that enough?

I'm going to ask a tough and potentially unfair question here: Could the AV have avoided any of the accidents?

Example: The AV is stopped at a stoplight. A meat-car is approaching from behind. The AV determines the car is not going to stop in time and will likely collide with the rear of the AV. Should the AV accelerate forward through (or partially through) the intersection in an attempt to prevent or at least reduce the impact?

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Re: Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby Bruce » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:42 am

I want to see a video of how the google car handles potholes, especially the potholes on the route I take to and from work. What does google car do when it's approaching a gaping pothole at 65 mph on the freeway when flanked on both sides by traffic?
Such potential!

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Re: Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby Anaxagoras » Sun Jun 07, 2015 12:15 pm

Well, so far anyway, I think it's only being tested in places like Nevada where it rarely ever snows and there aren't many potholes. The technology does rely on a very detailed map, which could in theory also include the locations of potholes. But driving in the snow is not something I think they've tried yet.

As far as accident avoidance, if you are stopped at a stoplight then there could be oncoming traffic, so if you accelerate into the intersection you could cause another accident. Eventually, it would be great to have that sort of functionality, but even just not causing accidents is a pretty good start and an improvement over many human drivers.

You gotta be sure the function at least doesn't make things worse. Baby steps. I'm pretty impressed with what they've done so far, but obviously more can and should be done. An AI that doesn't rely on a 3D map in its memory would be pretty cool. Because, there may be cases where the map is wrong because something has changed. There's a new obstacle in the road say, or a new road sign, lanes closed for work or something like that. This sort of AI would have to be much smarter though. But it exists in science fiction:

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Re: Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Sun Jun 07, 2015 1:16 pm

Even one fatal or seriously injurious accident, and there will be successful agitation to ban it.

Eventually the ban may be lifted, but Google isn't going to stick their neck out for it.
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Re: Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby Rob Lister » Sun Jun 07, 2015 3:19 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:Even one fatal or seriously injurious accident, and there will be successful agitation to ban it.


fify.

There's no doubt 'agitation' to ban it now among taxi drivers. https://www.google.com/search?q=taxi+dr ... omous+cars

What's in it for the politicians? Tons of cash flowing to them from google or outrage from the upcoming taxi unions? Decisions, decisions.

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Re: Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Sun Jun 07, 2015 3:56 pm

As long as it's just taxi drivers, nothing doing.

But what if it's mothers who are afraid their children might be killed?
Because one was, or at least a pedestrian went to the hospital?

Lister hates children. :cry:
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Re: Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby Rob Lister » Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:02 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:As long as it's just taxi drivers, nothing doing.

But what if it's mothers who are afraid their children might be killed?


Rather vague what if, don't ya think?

Because one was, or at least a pedestrian went to the hospital?


? What are you talking about?

Lister hates children. :cry:


I don't hate mine so much.

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Re: Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby asthmatic camel » Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:19 pm

Probably a lot safer than the fucking awful taxi drivers we have round here.
Shit happens. The older you get, the more often shit happens. So you have to try not to give a shit even when you do. Because, if you give too many shits, you've created your own shit creek and there's no way out other than swimming through the shit. Oh, and fuck.

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Re: Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:32 pm

Rob Lister wrote:? What are you talking about?


Reprise: Even one fatal or seriously injurious accident, and there will be successful agitation to ban it.

Clarification: IF there never is is such an accident, or if it only happens after we're all using driverless cars, all bets are off on my prediction.

More prediction: Some little kid is going to get in the way of one.
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Re: Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby Rob Lister » Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:40 pm

I would normally say there's a 100% chance of some kid eventually running in front of one and getting killed. But given what I know thus far of your success rate at making predictions, I'm not so sure now.

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Re: Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Sun Jun 07, 2015 4:44 pm

We'll see. :p
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Re: Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby Bruce » Sun Jun 07, 2015 5:16 pm

I'm not worried about driving with google cars on an average clear day with average traffic. I'm worried about driving with google cars on a day with terrible weather, or terrible road conditions, or when there's heavy traffic and half are google cars and half are not, or in emergency situations. I have a pretty good idea how a human will react in all of these situation, but I have no idea what a google car will do.

Let's say Google car is driving on a narrow mountain road and is faced with the decision of crashing into a recently fallen boulder or driving off a cliff, for example.

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Your move, Google car.
Such potential!

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Re: Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby Anaxagoras » Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:54 pm

Abdul Alhazred wrote:As long as it's just taxi drivers, nothing doing.

But what if it's mothers who are afraid their children might be killed?
Because one was, or at least a pedestrian went to the hospital?

Lister hates children. :cry:


Because children never get killed by human drivers?
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Re: Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:16 pm

Anaxagoras wrote:Because children never get killed by human drivers?


Save that argument for later.

I'm just telling you the issue that is coming up, not making the plea myself.
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Re: Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby Witness » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:12 am

Yep, things aren't too bright for robots. Image

[youtube]7A_QPGcjrh0[/youtube]

(For comical relief, as those self-driving car accident reports are a bit boring… for now.)

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Re: Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby Rob Lister » Fri Jun 26, 2015 10:32 am

Robotic Road Rage? Asshattery? Or just plain happenstance?

Two rival self-driving cars have close call

Absmeier was a passenger in a prototype Audi Q5 crossover vehicle equipped with lasers, radar, cameras and special computer software designed to enable the vehicle to drive itself, with a person at the wheel as a backup.

As the Delphi vehicle prepared to change lanes, a Google self-driving prototype - a Lexus RX400h crossover fitted with similar hardware and software - cut off the Audi, forcing it to abort the lane change, Absmeier said.
http://news.yahoo.com/two-rival-self-dr ... nance.html

That's pretty bad reporting. How many times has this happened to me? Probably twice on any dual-line drive. I'm trying to 'get over' and some asshat in the next lane speeds up to close the gap I was trying to get in. Does he not know I pay taxes for these roads? I bet he did that on purpose!

There is always a cooperation of drivers in merging situations. Generally, speeding up to cut the other guy out isn't nice. But yet we've all done it; maybe we didn't 'notice' he was trying to get in; maybe we 'thought' he was waiting until we got by; maybe we already let two other guys in and now feel it is 'our turn'. Maybe a half-dozen other reasons. Or maybe we're just being an asshat.

Is 'Do No Evil' Google an asshat? Or was Google car just having a bit of fun with a competitor; Machine-sibling rivalry perhaps? Did it chuckle in binary?

At any rate, given the reporting one must assume the Google car had right-of-way, and that is that. Without a video, we can't really call that a close call.

That said, I think Google should include close calls as an addendum to their accident report. Not only the cases wherein they were the hero, but any and all.

ETA: It turns out that Reuters, as usual, enhanced the story a bit.

"I was there for the discussion with Reuters about automated vehicles," she told Ars by e-mail. "The story was taken completely out of context when describing a type of complex driving scenario that can occur in the real world. Our expert provided an example of a lane change scenario that our car recently experienced which, coincidentally, was with one of the Google cars also on the road at that time. It wasn’t a 'near miss' as described in the Reuters story."

"Our car did exactly what it was supposed to," she wrote. "Our car saw the Google car move into the same lane as our car was planning to move into, but upon detecting that the lane was no longer open it decided to terminate the move and wait until it was clear again."
http://arstechnica.com/cars/2015/06/no- ... content%29

Perhaps we need self-driving reporters.
Last edited by Rob Lister on Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby gnome » Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:19 am

Anaxagoras wrote:
Abdul Alhazred wrote:As long as it's just taxi drivers, nothing doing.

But what if it's mothers who are afraid their children might be killed?
Because one was, or at least a pedestrian went to the hospital?

Lister hates children. :cry:


Because children never get killed by human drivers?


Because that kind if logic always stops us from enacting stupid bans.
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Re: Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby Anaxagoras » Sat Jun 27, 2015 6:57 am

So here's the Reuters follow-up story:

http://venturebeat.com/2015/06/26/delph ... ogles-car/

Delphi claims its self-driving car didn’t come close to hitting Google’s car

(Reuters) – Delphi Automotive on Friday offered a new description of an encounter on a California road between one of its prototype self-driving cars and a self-driving vehicle operated by Google, saying “the vehicles didn’t even come close to each other.”

The description differed from Delphi’s original account on Thursday, when a company official told Reuters that a Google self-driving car on Tuesday “cut off” a Delphi self-driving car that was beginning to make a lane change. The incident occurred in Palo Alto, and no collision took place. The official was a passenger in the Delphi vehicle.

To avoid the Google car, the Delphi car “took appropriate action, as it is programmed to do,” the Delphi official said on Thursday. The vehicle’s sensors recognized the presence of the Google car, aborted its move, waited for the Google car to finish its maneuver, then completed its own lane change, he said.

On Friday morning, a Delphi spokeswoman said the Delphi car had seen the Google car move into the lane where it was planning to go. The Delphi car detected “that the lane was no longer open” so it “terminated” the lane change. The cars were about a lane width apart, according to the spokeswoman.

“During a recent visit with Reuters, our Delphi expert described an actual interaction that we encounter all the time in real-world driving situations. In this case, it was a typical lane change maneuver. No vehicle was cut off and the vehicles didn’t even come close to each other,” the Delphi spokeswoman said on Friday afternoon. “Both automated vehicles did exactly what they were supposed to do.”

Google, which had declined to comment on the story on Thursday, issued a brief statement on Friday that said the “two self-driving cars did what they were supposed to do in an ordinary everyday driving scenario.”

A Reuters spokesperson on Friday said the news agency “stands by accuracy of its original story.”


Seems to me like Reuters tried to make a story out of nothing at all here. Maybe the word "cut off" was originally used by Delphi, but it seems that "close call" was all embellishment by Reuters. And what exactly counts as "cut off"? Both cars wanted to change lanes into the same lane at approximately the same time, but apparently the Google car did it first. Is that a "cut off" move? Even if the vehicles never came close to each other?

I guess it proves that the engineers should be extra careful about what they say when talking to reporters so as not to give a wrong impression. OTOH, maybe the reporter knew it was bullshit but needed something to put into the headline otherwise who would even bother to read the story (or reprint it)? So he intentionally took a few liberties to make it more interesting? There would probably be some temptation to do that, wouldn't there.
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Re: Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby Rob Lister » Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:50 am

Anax wrote: guess it proves that the engineers should be extra careful about what they say when talking to reporters so as not to give a wrong impression.


Maybe engineers should avoid the press altogether.

While it is true that Reuters didn't overtly lie, they certainly lied by omission. Even in my original take on the article before I knew the truth of the matter it was pretty clear that something was missing from the story ... it just didn't jive.

But ...

They wanted sensationalism, and now they have it. This latest installment of Reuters Embellishment is the talk of the tech web.

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Re: Google Self-Driving Car Accident Reports

Postby Rob Lister » Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:20 am

June report is out.
http://static.googleusercontent.com/med ... t-0615.pdf

Links at that link might be at interest. Particularly ...

https://www.ted.com/talks/chris_urmson_ ... s_the_road
Ted Talk on what the driving through the eyes of a google car.


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