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User Info Bye-Bye Truckers....; entered at 2019-02-10 11:53:38
Posts: 156031
Registered: 2007-06-26
@Mangymutt --
Unexpected events can happen in a moment while driving, events that require thinking and emotion.


Coming home from my last excursion in heavy rain the truck in front of me ran over something that I believe was a table ("folding-leg" variety) that someone in front of HIM dumped on the road.

HE elected to run it over straight and square with NO deviation to warn anyone behind him that "something was about to happen" a half-second or so later (60mph = 88ft/sec, so if the truck dodges something you get roughly a half-second of warning that something is coming because the truck makes an unexpected move.)

It was ejected at the right side of my vehicle at a decent velocity from the rear tires of his trailer which was my first knowledge of its presence; there was a vehicle to my left.

I had two choices -- hit it and hope I had enough clearance to run over it without incident on the right side or risk hitting the car on my left, or worse, lose control on the wet surface, potentially causing a chain-reaction pile-up attempting to dodge it.

I elected, in the split-second available to make a decision, to run over it.

I didn't think it did damage at the time (nothing obvious) but on later inspection found it shoved my low-mounted foglight in the bumper cover back and scratched up the bumper cover pretty good on the far right lower side. Not worth reporting or having fixed as I was able to get enough access and the mounting points for the fog were not broken, nor was the assembly, so I was able to remove and re-mount it properly.

How does the autonomous truck deal with this? Same way, basically, I suspect, except that it has more knowledge of exactly what the limits of handling are than I do as a human, and thus MIGHT elect to dodge where I would not in traffic with compromised traction. On dry pavement I ABSOLUTELY would have attempted to go around it, having much more confidence in my ability to PRECISELY control exactly how much deviation my vehicle would accept without breaking free. Ditto if there had been no vehicle to my left that a small miscalculation would lead me to hit.

The AV probably has more knowledge of the physical limits of traction than the human as applied to the control inputs in a given set of conditions; that is, it can more-accurately dodge to exactly "X" degree without breaking free than the human can, simply because its actuation of the controls is more-precise than muscles are. HOWEVER, its decision is cold and emotion-less, and cannot react to ridiculous uncertainty. For example the odds of a baby carriage actually having a baby in it at 70mph on the highway in busy traffic at night are indistinguishable from zero; it is nearly-certain said carriage was lost from the back of a pickup in front, for example, and is NOT from an actual errant carriage with a baby inside. Does it try to dodge or stop OR DOES IT RUN IT OVER? Good question. The same situation IN TOWN is an entirely different proposition.

Last modified: 2019-02-10 12:05:06 by tickerguy

2019-02-10 11:53:38