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Old 22nd March 2018, 02:31 AM   #121
3point14
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Two quite important things:

(1) How close did the car's actual response approximate to the limit imposed by the laws of physics, and
(2) Is there any way it can be improved to approach that limit more closely?

Because the next time a pedestrian steps out in front of a self-driving car, it may just barely be possible to stop, and an improved control system may just barely be able to do so, thus saving a life. From an engineering perspective I suspect extreme cases like this are of critical importance because they can help to establish the performance limits of the system.

Dave

At what point do you stop asking those questions?

Or, rather, at what point do you consider those questions to be answered to the extent that the autonomous driver has 'passed' and allow it on the road? (Accepting that those questions can be asked and answered once the autonomous driver has been allowed on the road)
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Old 22nd March 2018, 02:45 AM   #122
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
At what point do you stop asking those questions?
When the system becomes obsolete and is withdrawn, I suspect; it's never a good idea to say "OK, the system's perfect so there'll never be any need to improve it." When accidents occur, it's always worth at least asking whether they could have been avoided or ameliorated.

Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
Or, rather, at what point do you consider those questions to be answered to the extent that the autonomous driver has 'passed' and allow it on the road? (Accepting that those questions can be asked and answered once the autonomous driver has been allowed on the road)
That's a very different question; if, as seems likely, this is judged to be an accident that couldn't possibly have been avoided or ameliorated, then in my opinion it shouldn't be seen as any kind of obstacle to acceptance. Unfortunately, people can have emotional reactions about this sort of thing that cloud the real issues, and that's where the fallacy of the perfect solution could get in the way.

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Old 22nd March 2018, 04:48 AM   #123
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Very, very harsh.

There was no chance to swerve or stop. A human driver would not have even had time to react, let alone brake or swerve.



100% disagree. She might just have well have materialised right in front of the car. I doubt there would be any driver who could have avoided hitting her.

Do the math

I downloaded the video (its 25 fps) and measured from the first frame where you catch a glimpse of the tennis shoes, to the moment they stopped the video just before impact. It is 43 frames = 1.72 seconds
Redo the math, because what you are using is the first time the shoes are visible on the camera. That is not the first time that the shoes would have been visible to an eyeball.

She had already crossed three lanes of traffic when she was hit. A human would have seen her earlier than the camera saw her......unless the human was tired, distracted, or drunk, all of which could happen.

Take a look at the frames just before she is hit. What do you see? You see a pair of disembodied legs in blue jeans. Above that? Nothing. Do you think your eyeball would have seen nothing? Even with a black shirt and brown skin, your eyeball can see something in those conditions, and in fact would have seen her while she was still in the second lane of traffic, and would have been able to tell her direction of motion. Look at the area illuminated by the headlights. Look at how bright it is. Are your headlights that bright? No. That's an artifact of the camera. The brightness of the headlights was saturating the camera element, and the sensitivity was adjusted downward so that the area illuminated by the headlights wouldn't be completely washed out. The result was that the area not illuminated by the headlights is completely blackened. Your retina is better than that.

She isn't hidden behind anything prior to her tennis shoes coming into view. They are in the field of view of the camera, but they are invisible due to lighting phenomena. There was plenty of time to avoid that collision if those cameras worked as well as the human eye.



In terms of assessing legal liability, the accident was definitely "her fault". She walked right out in front of a moving car. That isn't the same as saying the accident could not have been avoided.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 05:45 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
The report is that the pedestrian stepped in front of the car at such a time as the laws of physics did not allow the car to stop before hitting the pedestrian.
The car might not have been able to stop in time, but swerving into the next lane may have been possible if the pedestrian was detected early enough and her possible path was anticipated. This may highlight a need for improved sensor technology, maybe IR for use at night.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 06:21 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
If the laws of physics do not allow for the pedestrian to be detected in time for the car to stop, what is there to learn from this?
Have you seen the video of the crash?
Infrared or LIDAR should have picked her up long before you could see her in the headlights.
A minor correction to the right would have been enough to prevent the crash - no need for stopping.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 06:40 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Have you seen the video of the crash?
Infrared or LIDAR should have picked her up long before you could see her in the headlights.
A minor correction to the right would have been enough to prevent the crash - no need for stopping.
I think I agree. The video data is next to useless because of the way the headlights impact the viewable area of the camera. I assume the engineers are looking at the other sensor data to see how the system could be improved to avoid this. Or at least further minimize the impact.

Nonetheless, humans do tend to have tunnel vision when driving at night and I have driven right past deer on the shoulder that my passengers saw but I didn't Because I was looking out to the maximum viewable distance for my headlights and the deer were moving perpendicular to the lanes.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 06:45 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
I posted that exact same comic back on page 1.
I knew it had been posted in one these threads, I should have taken the time to check. <palm to face>


Quote:
The problem is people are using Vaccine Denier logic.

"I don't care that X is many, many more times more effective in a risk/reward sense than Y, I won't accept it until Y is 100% safe" which doesn't make any kind of sense.

So many people just want to write a Luddite anti-tech narrative that lets them be the "I told you so guy" when something does go wrong.

And this is just a phase we go through with all new tech that I wish we could just skip.
The human element is the whole reason this is such important work. If humans didn't think like that we wouldn't have such a high fatality rate for automobiles to begin with. If we all drove consistently by the rules of the road I think we could reduce fatalities by half, at least. Maybe more. but we all know better than the many state rule makers and are safer than the average driver, so we kill each other in very high numbers.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 06:50 AM   #128
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What about less safe but never at fault for an accident? Is that worse than more safe but regularly at fault?
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Old 22nd March 2018, 06:57 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
What about less safe but never at fault for an accident? Is that worse than more safe but regularly at fault?
I suspect that's logically inconsistent. If you eliminate all the accidents where a human driver would have been at fault in terms of proximate cause, then there would be fewer accidents in total. To make the system less safe it would therefore have to to inflict greater harm when it wasn't at fault in terms of proximate cause, which is in itself a fault. A good example would be mounting revolving knives on the front of the car to kill jaywalkers; while the initial fault would be with the jaywalker, no sane commentator would think that it was a good idea carryig the knives.

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Old 22nd March 2018, 07:01 AM   #130
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Not so. You would have had several seconds warning.

You are judging by what you see on the camera, but the camera does lie. The intensity of the headlights makes most of the vision wash out, so she is not visible until it's too late, but most people's eyes are better than that camera, and the motion of the feet, or the reflectors on the bicycle tire would have caught your attention and even if you didn't realize it was a person, you would have been primed to react when, two seconds before the collision, she came into actual view.

I've had people do that on Woodward Avenue, and very commonly on Ten Mile Road, and I've nearly hit them, but the key word is "nearly".

She was at fault, in a legal sense, but an alert human driver would not have killed her.
From what I could see in the video, there were no reflectors on the spokes. They come standard on bikes, but they get broken and fall off or get removed over time. When I was in college, if was very, very uncool to have reflectors on your bike. Kids would buy bikes and take off the reflectors on the first day they had the thing. Then crash into each other while riding around on campus at night.

The rest of your point stands, though. The human eye can often see things that don't show up in video.

Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Have you seen the video of the crash?
Infrared or LIDAR should have picked her up long before you could see her in the headlights.
A minor correction to the right would have been enough to prevent the crash - no need for stopping.
I'll be curious to see what the investigation determines. I am assuming we will eventually get some sort of diagram of what sensor picked her up, where.

I have to admit, this does look potentially avoidable. It is not as clear cut as some of the police commentary suggested. I had thought that she had just stepped onto the road from the sidewalk, perhaps obscured by vegetation or something. But she was right out in the open, and had been for at least a few seconds before the crash.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 07:01 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
I suspect that's logically inconsistent. If you eliminate all the accidents where a human driver would have been at fault in terms of proximate cause, then there would be fewer accidents in total. To make the system less safe it would therefore have to to inflict greater harm when it wasn't at fault in terms of proximate cause, which is in itself a fault. A good example would be mounting revolving knives on the front of the car to kill jaywalkers; while the initial fault would be with the jaywalker, no sane commentator would think that it was a good idea carryig the knives.

Dave
Well, suppose every case where a jaywalker jumps into the road, and currently a driver manages to stop, the Uber car plows into them. It isnt often that drivers are found at fault in those cases.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 07:08 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Have you seen the video of the crash?
Infrared or LIDAR should have picked her up long before you could see her in the headlights.
A minor correction to the right would have been enough to prevent the crash - no need for stopping.
IR maybe (no idea on the range for that), but I'm not so sure about LIDAR.
Isn't that lower resolution, with a fairly low refresh rate?

Be interesting what the sensors picked up, and what it interpreted the data as.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 07:10 AM   #133
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Several have mentioned ' swerving ' ..

Un-trained drivers don't do that very well..
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Old 22nd March 2018, 07:19 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
The car might not have been able to stop in time, but swerving into the next lane may have been possible
And also may have resulted in a massive accident and multiple fatalities. Generally, swerving is not a good idea.


Quote:
if the pedestrian was detected early enough and her possible path was anticipated. This may highlight a need for improved sensor technology, maybe IR for use at night.
People don't have IR use at night.

That said, the video does seem to contain way less information than I'd be comfortable driving with.


As an aside, why isn't that road lit?
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Old 22nd March 2018, 07:27 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Have you seen the video of the crash?
Infrared or LIDAR should have picked her up long before you could see her in the headlights.
A minor correction to the right would have been enough to prevent the crash - no need for stopping.
That's my take on it, though if the detection was slower a correction to the left might have been better, since she was moving to the right. The camera shows her as invisible, because its dynamic range is limited, and it's exposing for the headlights, and I suspect that an alert driver would have seen her sooner than we do here.

This is not to say the fault was not with the pedestrian, and I would hope that the clear need for improvement does not turn into a shifting of fault. But we negotiate such situations constantly. Defensive driving is learning to cope with and survive the faults of others. Being free of culpability is not the same as having adequate skill.

The relative risks and rewards may be very difficult to sort out. Most drivers make mistakes from time to time, and depend either on luck or the skill of others to bail them out. I can conceive of a self driving car that never makes such mistakes, and thus a great many of them would greatly to the overall safety of the system, but its suitability might still be questionable if in addition to never making mistakes it also misses the mistakes of others.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 07:33 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
Being free of culpability is not the same as having adequate skill..
But I think that is exactly what it means. Keeping your license, the state's measure of your adequacy at driving, is almost entirely dependent on remaining free of culpability for any accident or traffic violation.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 07:38 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Well, suppose every case where a jaywalker jumps into the road, and currently a driver manages to stop, the Uber car plows into them.
Then the self-driving car would be presumed to be partially at fault. Given people's emotional reactions to killer robots, in such a scenario I suspect self-driving cars would be banned very quickly.

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Old 22nd March 2018, 07:38 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
....
As an aside, why isn't that road lit?
What is your experience with road lighting?

My experience is many more miles of un-lit road than otherwise..

There tend to be a lot of well lit intersections.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 07:49 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post


As an aside, why isn't that road lit?
It's this weird quarter mile stretch where it leaves developed city and approaches Tempe Town lake (artificial) from the north side. It is this little chunk that is undeveloped so lighting isn't extensive yet.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/N+...1ec7fbe1f496fa

Facing south is where it appears to have happened.

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Old 22nd March 2018, 07:49 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Have you seen the video of the crash?
Infrared or LIDAR should have picked her up long before you could see her in the headlights.
A minor correction to the right would have been enough to prevent the crash - no need for stopping.
After seeing the video, this is absolutely the type of accident an autonomous car is supposed to avoid. Even if the system was not able to detect the object as a person, it should have been able to detect something moving into its lane - that's why the Lidar is there. Heck, there's a video of a Cruise autonomous stopping for a raccoon.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 08:22 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Redo the math, because what you are using is the first time the shoes are visible on the camera. That is not the first time that the shoes would have been visible to an eyeball.
It's also not the first time she'd be visible to the car. That one camera view we saw was not the only view the car had. Those cars have multiple front facing cameras, radar, and lidar.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 08:27 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
And also may have resulted in a massive accident and multiple fatalities. Generally, swerving is not a good idea.
True, but this is a car with 360 degree radar and lidar. It knows before it starts to change lanes whether or not it's clear to do so.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 08:46 AM   #143
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https://twitchy.com/gregp-3534/2018/...-police-chief/

The video does not really reflect what we were told, imo.

This pedestrian should easily have been avoided, either by the car, or by the driver.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 08:55 AM   #144
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Originally Posted by LTC8K6 View Post
https://twitchy.com/gregp-3534/2018/...-police-chief/

The video does not really reflect what we were told, imo.

This pedestrian should easily have been avoided, either by the car, or by the driver.
Do you think police would normally find a driver at fault for this kind of performance?
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Old 22nd March 2018, 09:35 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
What is your experience with road lighting?

My experience is many more miles of un-lit road than otherwise..

There tend to be a lot of well lit intersections.

I think this is probably very geographically dependent.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 09:36 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Do you think police would normally find a driver at fault for this kind of performance?
No, the driver would not be at fault.

However, I think that particular camera view does not reflect what the driver could actually see, and I believe had he been looking, he'd have seen her in time.

As for the car, yes, it should have seen her long before the accident and avoided her.

In fact, it should have alerted the driver to an object in the road.

Apparently nothing at all happened as far as detection or avoidance.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 09:37 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Do you think police would normally find a driver at fault for this kind of performance?
Unsafe driving thus partial fault.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 09:38 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
It's this weird quarter mile stretch where it leaves developed city and approaches Tempe Town lake (artificial) from the north side. It is this little chunk that is undeveloped so lighting isn't extensive yet.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/N+...1ec7fbe1f496fa

Facing south is where it appears to have happened.
I don't understand what that paved X is in the center divider area. It looks like its there for people, but they don't connect to anything. It looks like that is where she was coming from anyways.

ETA: Popular mechanics addresses my observation. https://www.popularmechanics.com/tec...-a-pedestrian/

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A super-weird aspect of this crash site is that it occurred at a place where a beautiful brick-paved diagonal walking path was provided across the median, along with a sign instructing people not to use it. This is beyond pedestrian-hostile design; it's damn-near entrapment.

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Old 22nd March 2018, 09:38 AM   #149
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A standard car with the auto-braking feature would have probably done better than the autonomous car did.

This is the exact scenario for selling us these features, isn't it? A person walking out in front of your car.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 09:41 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by LTC8K6 View Post
Was she riding a bicycle or what? I keep seeing a pic of a car that hit a bicycle associated with this story.

https://www.abc15.com/news/arizona-p...rash-overnight

I have always been wary of these human attendant drivers in autonomous vehicles.

It seems to me that the human is always going to be late to react because of the expectation that the car will take care of the problem.
Indeed, elsewhere I have seen that the interventions are occurring about once every 5,000 miles.

That's a recipe for boredom, even with the best will in the world.

There is a question why the car was exceeding the speed limit, which should be a very basic constraint for an autonomous vehicle.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 09:44 AM   #151
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Post

Originally Posted by Stankeye View Post
I don't understand what that paved X is in the center divider area. It looks like its there for people, but they don't connect to anything. It looks like that is where she was coming from anyways.
Looks basically decorative.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 10:13 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by LTC8K6 View Post
A standard car with the auto-braking feature would have probably done better than the autonomous car did.

This is the exact scenario for selling us these features, isn't it? A person walking out in front of your car.
No because adding a safety feature to a human controlled system and adding a safety feature to an automated system are nearly completely different things.

There's a real thing in safety studies called the Peltzman Effect. Long story short safety features don't always work because when they are introduced it makes people less concerned with safety and the loss of attention often offsets or at least reduces the gains made by the safety feature.

You put anti-lock brakes on cars and people break with less car, the gain is offset. Studies show no statistically difference in car crashes in cars with anti-lock brakes. Make bicycle riders wear a helmet? Cars give them less birth and space, same thing.

It's simple human psychology. If you're carrying a box that has nitro glycerin in it, you're gonna be reeeaaaaaaal careful about carrying that box. But if somebody takes that box and puts a safety feature on it that makes it 25% less likely to explode you are not, no matter how hard you try, going to be able to maintain the same level of vigilance, you will be just a little bit more relaxed with that box now.

This isn't a problem with automated systems. If you design a robot to carry around that box of nitro glycerin and put it in its programming that the box must not be exposed to vibrations or g-forces over X percent the robot will do that. If you add the same safety feature to the box you did to the human the robot isn't going to start thinking "Well I've got that safety feature so those vibrations and g-force rules set before aren't as important now, I can afford to be a little lax with them" the way a human will do.

With an automated system you can reap the benefits of safety features without a trade off in lowered vigilance.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 10:29 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Indeed, elsewhere I have seen that the interventions are occurring about once every 5,000 miles.

That's a recipe for boredom, even with the best will in the world.

There is a question why the car was exceeding the speed limit, which should be a very basic constraint for an autonomous vehicle.
Hasn't been determined that it was speeding, that question is still out there.

Quote:
(A New York Times story says the vehicle was traveling 40 in a 45 mph zone but does not cite its sources, although a July 2017 Google Street View image shows a 45 mph sign not far from the crash site. According to Tempe police spokesperson Lily Duran, the speed limit 35 mph.)
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Old 22nd March 2018, 10:53 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
But I think that is exactly what it means. Keeping your license, the state's measure of your adequacy at driving, is almost entirely dependent on remaining free of culpability for any accident or traffic violation.
I think you misunderstand or misread. Adequacy of driving is not dependent on saving others from their culpability. Of course there's a gray area where avoidance is expected and culpability is shared, but you're not likely to be liable for failing to make uncertain maneuvers that are beyond normal driving competence, and matters of judgment are just that. And yet, we do this all the time, and more often than not a smart quick decision will either work or mitigate the harm.

And in some if not many states, a certain degree of culpability will not result in loss of license anyway.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 10:55 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by Disbelief View Post
Hasn't been determined that it was speeding, that question is still out there.
Thanks, the news report I saw stated that it was doing 38mph in a 35 limit.

I doubt that would be a serious contributing factor, but would raise a red flags that if it was speeding, what else would it be getting wrong.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 10:57 AM   #156
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Old 22nd March 2018, 11:04 AM   #157
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Redo the math, because what you are using is the first time the shoes are visible on the camera. That is not the first time that the shoes would have been visible to an eyeball.

She had already crossed three lanes of traffic when she was hit. A human would have seen her earlier than the camera saw her......unless the human was tired, distracted, or drunk, all of which could happen.

Take a look at the frames just before she is hit. What do you see? You see a pair of disembodied legs in blue jeans. Above that? Nothing. Do you think your eyeball would have seen nothing? Even with a black shirt and brown skin, your eyeball can see something in those conditions, and in fact would have seen her while she was still in the second lane of traffic, and would have been able to tell her direction of motion. Look at the area illuminated by the headlights. Look at how bright it is. Are your headlights that bright? No. That's an artifact of the camera. The brightness of the headlights was saturating the camera element, and the sensitivity was adjusted downward so that the area illuminated by the headlights wouldn't be completely washed out. The result was that the area not illuminated by the headlights is completely blackened. Your retina is better than that.

She isn't hidden behind anything prior to her tennis shoes coming into view. They are in the field of view of the camera, but they are invisible due to lighting phenomena. There was plenty of time to avoid that collision if those cameras worked as well as the human eye.

In terms of assessing legal liability, the accident was definitely "her fault". She walked right out in front of a moving car. That isn't the same as saying the accident could not have been avoided.
Show me the evidence of these things.

You have no idea how good the eyesight of the driver was.
You have no idea how long the driver has been driving, or how tired they are
You have no idea how well the driver was dark-adapted (the driver could have had to cope with glare from oncoming headlights of another car, and it takes several seconds or more to re-adapt)

The dynamic range you are seeing when you view the video includes
1. the dynamic range of your vision,
2. the quality and dynamic range of video file being played back on the website,
3. the dynamic range of your own video system (video graphics card and monitor of your computer and how it is set up).

In fact, you have no idea whether what you see in the video is actually what the camera saw. Ever been into a large store selling televisions, where they are playing the same movie or TV programme and a couple of dozen screens? Ever notice the vast difference in the range of colour, contrast, saturation and image quality across all those TVs?

There is nothing wrong with my math. It is definitive and it is 100% correct based in ALL the available information (not on your speculation about what a human ca or cannot see).

There is no way that ANY driver, no matter how good he or she was, could have avoided hitting that pedestrian at a fatal speed. Not a chance... none!
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Old 22nd March 2018, 11:12 AM   #158
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Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
The car might not have been able to stop in time, but swerving into the next lane may have been possible if the pedestrian was detected early enough and her possible path was anticipated.
No.

Swerving would have made no difference, and may have led to loss of control of the vehicle, making things worse. Turning the steering wheel to any sufficient degree takes fractions of a second longer than stamping on the brake pedal. In any case, the vehicle was already well past the pedestrian by the time any steering input could have taken place.

Originally Posted by jrhowell View Post
This may highlight a need for improved sensor technology, maybe IR for use at night.
I agree with this, and I'm somewhat surprised that IR is not already used in combination with the lidar and radar.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 11:15 AM   #159
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It's possible they want to get data from single sources (Visual, thermal, IR, Lidar, Radar) before trying to advance the system to taking data from multiple sources.
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Old 22nd March 2018, 11:16 AM   #160
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
There is no way that ANY driver, no matter how good he or she was, could have avoided hitting that pedestrian at a fatal speed. Not a chance... none!
You ask for evidence of all these things then deny without evidence the possibility that a human could have seen the pedestrian at a significantly further distance than you can in that low resolution video

It's entirely possible that a person paying attention could have had more time to react than that video seems to imply.
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