Law Commissions open consultation into new rules for UK’s self-driving future

brooksby
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Re: Law Commissions open consultation into new rules for UK’s self-driving future

Postby brooksby » 9 Nov 2018, 2:14pm

kwackers wrote:Nah.

The hard bit of self driving cars is the "final mile". Driving between your house and the main A roads.
Bikes, peds, dogs, cats & hedgehogs are all things to be dealt with on that final mile, nobody will ever be able to remove them on the roads around your house.

But it turns out the final mile is easily the hardest problem to solve and the reason we wont (imo) see self driving cars any time soon* (other than specialist vehicles plying pre-defined routes).
If a car can drive itself the final mile there is absolutely no issue with it coexisting with cyclists or pedestrians on normal roads.

*Ten years I reckon, perhaps a few very expensive vehicles in five.
And by self driving I mean fully autonomous where the software never needs to hand over control to a driver, since handing over to a driver is an easy way to circumvent difficult problems.



Exactly. I can see self-driving vehicles actually working quite well on motorways (you know - the roads that WERE built for cars). But I cannot see how the roads in an urban area or a mixed use area can possibly be made safe for self driving vehicles to use...

kwackers
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Re: Law Commissions open consultation into new rules for UK’s self-driving future

Postby kwackers » 9 Nov 2018, 2:37pm

brooksby wrote:But I cannot see how the roads in an urban area or a mixed use area can possibly be made safe for self driving vehicles to use...

I've no doubt self driving cars will one day be able to navigate in such an area far safer than your average monkey-brained ape.
But just not yet.

pete75
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Re: Law Commissions open consultation into new rules for UK’s self-driving future

Postby pete75 » 9 Nov 2018, 2:39pm

The biggest problem caused by self driving vehicles will be the massive loss of employment for hundreds of thousands of people employed as drivers of one sort or another. Many of them will have few skills they would be able to transfer to other employment even if there were jobs available.

As for the rules we already have them - they make up the highway code. That document says "Do not endanger yourself, other road users or pedestrians and avoid mounting the kerb. " These vehicles should be able to drive according to it's rules and at least one model of each type should pass a similar driving test to that for human beings or ,for Kwacker's benefit, monkeys. They should be retested whenever any software changes are made.

kwackers
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Re: Law Commissions open consultation into new rules for UK’s self-driving future

Postby kwackers » 9 Nov 2018, 3:05pm

pete75 wrote:The biggest problem caused by self driving vehicles will be the massive loss of employment for hundreds of thousands of people employed as drivers of one sort or another. Many of them will have few skills they would be able to transfer to other employment even if there were jobs available.

As for the rules we already have them - they make up the highway code. That document says "Do not endanger yourself, other road users or pedestrians and avoid mounting the kerb. " These vehicles should be able to drive according to it's rules and at least one model of each type should pass a similar driving test to that for human beings or ,for Kwacker's benefit, monkeys. They should be retested whenever any software changes are made.

Lots of things cause job losses. Folk have been berating automation since the Luddites took more direct action and in all cases their fears have never been realised.
Why? Because for the most part the automation effectively reduces costs and society as a whole benefits by freeing up cash for other areas.
If there's a lesson then so far it's that automation creates rather than destroys jobs.

As for the rules of the roads, afaik you can already be instructed to go through red lights or even possibly drive on a pavement by suitable authorities.
So in that respect the OP is actually wrong in that a self driving car that did such things would by definition be doing it inside the law.

Effectively self driving cars are already being tested. The good thing is when you test one you test them all.

pete75
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Re: Law Commissions open consultation into new rules for UK’s self-driving future

Postby pete75 » 9 Nov 2018, 3:33pm

kwackers wrote:
pete75 wrote:The biggest problem caused by self driving vehicles will be the massive loss of employment for hundreds of thousands of people employed as drivers of one sort or another. Many of them will have few skills they would be able to transfer to other employment even if there were jobs available.

As for the rules we already have them - they make up the highway code. That document says "Do not endanger yourself, other road users or pedestrians and avoid mounting the kerb. " These vehicles should be able to drive according to it's rules and at least one model of each type should pass a similar driving test to that for human beings or ,for Kwacker's benefit, monkeys. They should be retested whenever any software changes are made.

Lots of things cause job losses. Folk have been berating automation since the Luddites took more direct action and in all cases their fears have never been realised.
Why? Because for the most part the automation effectively reduces costs and society as a whole benefits by freeing up cash for other areas.
If there's a lesson then so far it's that automation creates rather than destroys jobs.

As for the rules of the roads, afaik you can already be instructed to go through red lights or even possibly drive on a pavement by suitable authorities.
So in that respect the OP is actually wrong in that a self driving car that did such things would by definition be doing it inside the law.

Effectively self driving cars are already being tested. The good thing is when you test one you test them all.


The Askthepolice website says
"It is important to remember that in committing the offence (crossing the stop line) the onus will be on you to provide evidence that you did so to allow an emergency vehicle through, and this may be considered as mitigation." https://www.askthe.police.uk/content/Q699.htm

What's happening is a new and different type of automation to spinning jennies and Crompton's mule. A friend who is an AI prof says it's somewhat naive to think that the coming AI/robotics revolution will create anything like the number of jobs that it takes away.

Who is testing them - the manufacturers? Test one you test them all - yes. The obverse is that if one commits a driving offence for which a human would be banned they all should be banned.

brynpoeth
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Re: Law Commissions open consultation into new rules for UK’s self-driving future

Postby brynpoeth » 9 Nov 2018, 3:41pm

Doomed we are, all of us :wink:
Labour is talking of a four-day working week :)
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kwackers
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Re: Law Commissions open consultation into new rules for UK’s self-driving future

Postby kwackers » 9 Nov 2018, 3:45pm

pete75 wrote:The Askthepolice website says
"It is important to remember that in committing the offence (crossing the stop line) the onus will be on you to provide evidence that you did so to allow an emergency vehicle through, and this may be considered as mitigation." https://www.askthe.police.uk/content/Q699.htm

In the case of a self driving car that will be easy peasy since they've more sensors and cameras than Jessops.
pete75 wrote:What's happening is a new and different type of automation to spinning jennies and Crompton's mule. A friend who is an AI prof says it's somewhat naive to think that the coming AI/robotics revolution will create anything like the number of jobs that it takes away.

It's not naive at all, there's a lot of 'project fear' when it comes to AI/robotics and with nothing more than presumption.
Highly automated countries are amongst some of the wealthiest in the world with the highest living standards.

Money saved by automation is money reinvested into the economy, this isn't presumption but fact born out over the last few hundred years with no evidence that even recent events are changing it.

pete75 wrote:Who is testing them - the manufacturers? Test one you test them all - yes. The obverse is that if one commits a driving offence for which a human would be banned they all should be banned.

Sorry you're making yourself look a bit daft here.
I'll rephrase that for you.
If one human commits an offence for which they'd be banned than all humans should be banned.
(Or we could just fine the manufacturer...)

kwackers
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Re: Law Commissions open consultation into new rules for UK’s self-driving future

Postby kwackers » 9 Nov 2018, 3:48pm

brynpoeth wrote:Doomed we are, all of us :wink:
Labour is talking of a four-day working week :)

That's the really sad thing about automation.
In theory stuff becomes cheaper, jobs becomes scarce so in theory the answer is we all move to 4 (or even 3) day weeks.
We could still afford the 'stuff' and have a job and more off time to boot.

But what always happens is that automation actually increases the time pressure on us!

Fingers crossed for this time. :wink:
(Although as I get nearer retirement I feel things should stay as they are, no way I should have spent my entire life working 5 days a week if future generations only need to work 3 or 4 ;) )

thirdcrank
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Re: Law Commissions open consultation into new rules for UK’s self-driving future

Postby thirdcrank » 9 Nov 2018, 3:50pm

I've no doubt self driving cars will one day be able to navigate in such an area far safer than your average monkey-brained ape.
But just not yet.


What's being negotiated here isn't the standards these vehicles will be capable of achieving but rather which laws and guidance they will be free to ignore.

kwackers
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Re: Law Commissions open consultation into new rules for UK’s self-driving future

Postby kwackers » 9 Nov 2018, 3:54pm

thirdcrank wrote:What's being negotiated here isn't the standards these vehicles will be capable of achieving but rather which laws and guidance they will be free to ignore.

No.

What's being negotiated is how things need to change to allow the introduction of self driving cars.
We're not really talking about breaking the law - even though some on here seem to think that.
We're talking about a new class of vehicle and whether the highway code in its present form accommodates them or not.

Perhaps that means some laws will be changed, perhaps it means some laws will apply only to manually driven cars.
That there'll be exceptions or changes shouldn't be a surprise since we do that already for bicycles, trucks, tracked vehicles etc.
They'll still be obeying the law though.

Perhaps you'd rather there was no discussion, simply dump them on the streets without thought?

kwackers
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Re: Law Commissions open consultation into new rules for UK’s self-driving future

Postby kwackers » 9 Nov 2018, 4:01pm

As an addition.

The "final mile" problem means in my opinion that self driving cars can co-exist with normal vehicles, pedestrians etc with no problems.

But where self driving cars potentially have large benefits is their ability to chain, drive close to each other and much faster.
And where would that be an advantage?
Motorways.

If any class of vehicle is going to suffer because it struggles to co-exist with self driving cars it most likely is manually driven cars because if there are roads with no other type of vehicle on them and no danger of them appearing then they can barrel along faster and closer.

With that in mind it wouldn't surprise me if the outside lanes of some motorways became devoted to self driving vehicles and as numbers increase and the number of manual cars falls I could envisage a world where motorways eventually become self driving only and the manual driver (who presumably is now only driving for fun) is banned and forced onto A roads.

thirdcrank
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Re: Law Commissions open consultation into new rules for UK’s self-driving future

Postby thirdcrank » 9 Nov 2018, 4:05pm

I've no problem with a discussion. An earlier one was about whether these vehicles should be obliged to stick to speed limits or not in current conditions. I believe it would kill sales dead if they had to comply, rather than "keep up with traffic." This is a different issue to whether these vehicles are, or are capable of being, inherently safer than traditional vehicles. To contue with the monkey theme, it will suitthe marketing people if these vehicles can ape human behaviour, or self-interested "judgment."
=======================================================

And along with the manual driver, the cyclists and pedestrians will shifted out of the road.

brynpoeth
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Re: Law Commissions open consultation into new rules for UK’s self-driving future

Postby brynpoeth » 9 Nov 2018, 4:08pm

It might be enough for a start if self-driving vehicles parked legally

My leafy suburb is full of teachers, civil servants and the like, many of these **monkeys** are too stupid to park legally, they block paths, park on corners etc etc, reverse out of parking spaces because they are incompetent to reverse their large vehicles in, endanger their own children, how stupid can one be?

Might lead to traffic wardens being released, plusminus? :?
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kwackers
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Re: Law Commissions open consultation into new rules for UK’s self-driving future

Postby kwackers » 9 Nov 2018, 4:43pm

thirdcrank wrote:I've no problem with a discussion. An earlier one was about whether these vehicles should be obliged to stick to speed limits or not in current conditions. I believe it would kill sales dead if they had to comply, rather than "keep up with traffic." This is a different issue to whether these vehicles are, or are capable of being, inherently safer than traditional vehicles. To contue with the monkey theme, it will suitthe marketing people if these vehicles can ape human behaviour, or self-interested "judgment."

It's never going to happen that a self driving car will be allowed to break the law.
What might happen (and what the OP is about) is that the law may change to allow special cases for them.

Perhaps the vehicle manufacturers will lobby for special consideration? Who knows.
But what manufacturer is going to risk a corporate manslaughter charge by knowingly allowing their product to break existing rules?
I'm pretty sure the answer is none.
thirdcrank wrote:And along with the manual driver, the cyclists and pedestrians will shifted out of the road.

We come back to this time and time and I don't understand why you think that.
The one place you cannot remove cyclists and pedestrians from is local roads.
And the hardest thing by far for a self driving car to do is navigate those roads.
Once it can do that then it can coexist happily with them on any road thereby negating any need to remove them.

The example I gave above is about motorways and the only reason it makes sense there is because motorways are designed for fast moving traffic and nothing else.
Your average A roads can never ban manual cars, motorbikes or bicycles because they're not suited to high speed, nose to tail traffic and more importantly because in the absence of alternatives they join all the bits those vehicles use to get around.
The best transport system will be one that gets the automatic cars onto motorways and away from minor roads and if we have fast self drive only motorways then it's a no brainer since they'll out perform A roads by an order of magnitude.
Where self driving cars use A roads it'll be for local journeys and there'll be no point blasting along at high speed because the time saved would be teeny compared to the risk (not to mention the cost of having to maintain those roads at a level suitable for such high speed traffic).

kwackers
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Re: Law Commissions open consultation into new rules for UK’s self-driving future

Postby kwackers » 9 Nov 2018, 4:52pm

Another thing I notice in the OP link is the idea of having an independent accident and safety branch responsible for investigating accidents involving self driving vehicles.

This I think would be an excellent idea.

The thing with self driving cars is that if a design fault (hardware or software) causes an accident then it applies to all cars of the same make/model.
If the investigation team saw fit they could 'ground' a particular make/model of car until the fixes had been applied.

This is very similar to how the CAA works and I think it would be a prime mover in making sure manufacturers were on the ball since nobody is going to want to be the one that sells cars that spend all their time refusing to move.