Autonomous Vehicles vs. Motorcycles

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Trash, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. Trash

    Trash Active Member

  2. TonisToo

    TonisToo Active Member

    My first instinct was to slam on the brakes and swerve right toward the Volvo which would surely be able to avoid me due to it's own on board safety systems. Clearly the correct answer though is to brake and swerve into the Harley because the loud pipes will save our lives.

    Seriously though, I have never stopped to considered the dilemma of having to program the software for an autonomous vehicle that would have to assess this situation and make a decision. It is interesting to consider.

    Being involved in the telecommunications industry, it will be very interesting to see where this next year takes us in developing our country's 5G network that will support autonomous cars. Especially in light of how embedded Huawei is in our current network and recent threats from China concerning the possibility of barring them from participation.

    Like it or not, this technology is on the horizon.
  3. RossKean

    RossKean Active Member

    Take out the Harley. Win-win solution. Softer target and one less Harley.:D

    Just kidding. No idea how the whole autonomous vehicle stuff will develop. The technology scares me somewhat but I wonder if the computer driven car would be any stupider than half the drivers already on the road. A single autonomous vehicle has to reproduce what a skilled and careful human can do. While I currently have some difficulty in attributing that much capability to current state-of-the-art, I have been astonished how far it has come in a few years. (Still can't see how this will work under very challenging weather or poor road conditions.) Major advantage is that lapse of attention is not an issue with the computer. The biggest breakthrough will be when the autonomous vehicles can talk to each other and decide your fate between them. Skynet, anyone? (Terminator reference)

    As for the scenario in the article, there is no good answer and even with time to think about it, I don't know what I would do - probably stay in my lane and hope for the best. Pretty sure the car's brain would never make a better judgment than a person although it might be less susceptible to a (wrong) reflex reaction.

    Edit: When it comes (and I think it will within the decade), what happens to all of us motorcyclists? Designated roads to ride where you have to sign a waiver accepting risk?
  4. Trash

    Trash Active Member

    I can’t help but agree with you folks that it’s advance will be relentless, driven on a large part by the big Insurance Companies. I just hope it holds off until my riding days are over. o_O

    It’s bad enough riding down here in Arizona where, for some unknown reason, texting whilst driving is still legal.
    While you all are at it, maybe you can help explain the reasoning behind that to me... :eek:
    skibum69 likes this.
  5. Jim C-G

    Jim C-G Active Member

    The dilemma does not seem so much to be a moral one as much as it is "who is going to get sued?" The algorithms may consider where is the most damage going to occur with an action and maybe, accessing the much higher possibility of injury or death of the motorcyclist, maybe the outcome would be to ram the Volvo to lessen the possibilities of a fatality. Now, if your car has been having a nice data exchange with the Volvo, maybe it will decide that the Harley, which is not chatting nicely, is justifiably the direction to turn into and also disregard the loud pipes.
  6. HunterSon

    HunterSon Active Member

    Hmm, a large heavy object falls out of the truck you are following in your car/truck/prius. It carries a lot of momentum so I figure it didn’t come to a dead stop when it hit the ground unless it was a ships anchor.

    If I was paying attention and not tail gaiting I bet I would have plenty if time to stop. Barring that if you were aware of the motorcyclist and baby carrying Volvo, a collision with an object that is moving in the same direction as you doesn’t sound as bad as running someone else off the road.

    If you are going to have a crash regardless, pick the option with the least collateral damage. Seems like a reasonable choice.
  7. Trash

    Trash Active Member

    Dave, I think your last sentence probably provides the best clue to what autonomous vehicle programmers are likely to do. Given the fear of liability and potential lawsuits, I would imagine that the vehicle will probably stop in the shortest distance possible. Better a one vehicle accident than a multiple vehicle collision caused by swerving to avoid a fallen object?

    I guess my biggest takeaway from the article was the realization that some “faceless” person somewhere is making decisions that will eventually affect us all...
  8. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    Sounds like it was an interesting video by others comments, can you imbed it here?
  9. Trash

    Trash Active Member

    Hey Bob,
    It wasn’t a video, it was an editorial.
    Just click on the link in my original post if you would like to read it.
  10. Bob

    Bob Active Member

    Thanks Trash, got it. Interesting Editorial.

    Bottom line:
    I think for an autonomous technology to be survive it would have to maximize the safety of all parties involved... not just the people in the vehicle who are paying for it to protect them.

    Other thoughts:
    I think the driver was tailgating and too close to avoid the object which fell off the truck.
    I think he will be deemed to be at fault whether he hits the motorcyclist, the Volvo, or the heavy object and kills himself and/or any passengers he may have on board.
    I think if the technology was good enough to decide between hitting the biker or the Volvo, it would have been good enough to prevent the human error of tailgating in the first place and therefore would have avoided the dilemma instead of having to 'solve' it.
    I think it would be morally wrong to introduce autonomous controls to any vehicle which would save the lives of careless/incompetent/inconsiderate/impaired/dangerous drivers or riders at the expense of others.
    I think currently technology that helps prompt drivers to stay in their own lane, prompts them to brake if there is something in their lane, and keeps them from tailgating while on cruise etc. provide helpful driver aids but in the end it is the driver who must assess the situation and act or react accordingly.
    I also think the article slightly minimizes the fact that some drivers would choose to hit the heavy object or otherwise instinctively give their lives to save others...
    cue Lawrence of Arabia: Scroll to the last paragraph to see how his death applies.
    I think insurance companies might be tempted to offer lower rates to vehicles equipped with autonomous technology, but I also think that would be a zero-sum game in the end due to litigation when technology fails.
    I think that bad driving habits (rolling thru stop signs, tailgating, etc.) eventually become trained reflexive actions just because they work and are almost never challenged.
    I think driving/riding is a privilege not a right and good defensive driver education and training could easily help folks avoid a lot of the accidents we see. I'd gladly submit a yearly medical, do a written and a road test from an insurance company, even give them access to my vehicles computer if they would give me a fair insurance rate based on how I drive, not based on how often others crash. At least some insurance companies are capping pain and suffering claims and limiting write-off cheques for Lamborghinis and such... so there is that.
    HunterSon likes this.

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