Driving at night

User avatar
Cugel
Posts: 2690
Joined: 13 Nov 2017, 11:14am

Re: Driving at night

Postby Cugel » 13 Dec 2018, 11:10am

pete75 wrote:
Cugel wrote:
pete75 wrote:
It's people that are dangerous not cars.


If this is what you think then you've failed to grasp the essential nature of design. The design of a thing will prompt you to use it in a certain way. For example, you won't drive your car everywhere at a safe 8mph. Most cars are designed, advertised and sold to we their buyers as a fast and powerful thing with which to amplify one's status and (in the case of the males) macho posture. Many do so..... to excess.

But perhaps you think that you live completely independently of all the influences that affect the rest of us? You stand back making purely rational decisions and acts, ignoring the suggestions and prompts supplied by a thousand cultural artefacts...? Ha! You would be the first human ever to have done so, despite the siren call of various seductive things, including the very seductive motorcar.

Cugel


It seems some people are seduced by their own hyperbole.

As for design it's making cars safer not less so.

........ [snippety snip]

Many vehicle these days are being fitted with many of the features which will allegedly make autonomous cars safer than driven cars. Some of them can be switched off by the driver. Perhaps they shouldn't be.


Safer cars? This is a relative safety, though, since the things are still killing and maiming millions worldwide each year.

The fact is that a ton+ of metal hurtling along at 30-100mph right next to the likes of pedestrians, cyclists and, of course, other vehicles is a recipe for harm. Our personal transport systems as arranged for the car have an inherently dangerous design. But their design is also seductive. You and I think nothing of going at 40mph (perhaps more) through urban areas where that is the limit despite passing within a yard or two of pedestrians and cyclists; despite the possibility of cars, tractors and whatever lurching out of a junction, driveway or gateway.

"I have not had an accident yet", you may point out. I will merely point out the "yet" as well as the thousands who are still having (this year and every year) "accidents".

The safest car is no car. You may be right that some coming features of cars will reduce the killing and maiming. But don't count on it ever approaching zero. Still, everyone enjoys a wishful thunk. :-)

Cugel

pwa
Posts: 10473
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Driving at night

Postby pwa » 13 Dec 2018, 11:36am

Cugel wrote:
pete75 wrote:
Cugel wrote:
If this is what you think then you've failed to grasp the essential nature of design. The design of a thing will prompt you to use it in a certain way. For example, you won't drive your car everywhere at a safe 8mph. Most cars are designed, advertised and sold to we their buyers as a fast and powerful thing with which to amplify one's status and (in the case of the males) macho posture. Many do so..... to excess.

But perhaps you think that you live completely independently of all the influences that affect the rest of us? You stand back making purely rational decisions and acts, ignoring the suggestions and prompts supplied by a thousand cultural artefacts...? Ha! You would be the first human ever to have done so, despite the siren call of various seductive things, including the very seductive motorcar.

Cugel


It seems some people are seduced by their own hyperbole.

As for design it's making cars safer not less so.

........ [snippety snip]

Many vehicle these days are being fitted with many of the features which will allegedly make autonomous cars safer than driven cars. Some of them can be switched off by the driver. Perhaps they shouldn't be.


Safer cars? This is a relative safety, though, since the things are still killing and maiming millions worldwide each year.

The fact is that a ton+ of metal hurtling along at 30-100mph right next to the likes of pedestrians, cyclists and, of course, other vehicles is a recipe for harm. Our personal transport systems as arranged for the car have an inherently dangerous design. But their design is also seductive. You and I think nothing of going at 40mph (perhaps more) through urban areas where that is the limit despite passing within a yard or two of pedestrians and cyclists; despite the possibility of cars, tractors and whatever lurching out of a junction, driveway or gateway.

"I have not had an accident yet", you may point out. I will merely point out the "yet" as well as the thousands who are still having (this year and every year) "accidents".

The safest car is no car. You may be right that some coming features of cars will reduce the killing and maiming. But don't count on it ever approaching zero. Still, everyone enjoys a wishful thunk. :-)

Cugel

But compared to other causes of death or serious disability, road accidents rate quite low. A sense of perspective is required, or you would never go out on your bike. I imagine excessive armchair use kills many more people than cycling in traffic does.

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 2894
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Driving at night

Postby Bmblbzzz » 13 Dec 2018, 1:11pm

This is the thing about autonomous vehicles. They're not going to descend in a fanfare from Google, we've been absorbing them for a couple of decades from Ford and Toyota.

pete75
Posts: 11847
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Driving at night

Postby pete75 » 13 Dec 2018, 1:12pm

Cugel wrote:
pete75 wrote:
Cugel wrote:
If this is what you think then you've failed to grasp the essential nature of design. The design of a thing will prompt you to use it in a certain way. For example, you won't drive your car everywhere at a safe 8mph. Most cars are designed, advertised and sold to we their buyers as a fast and powerful thing with which to amplify one's status and (in the case of the males) macho posture. Many do so..... to excess.

But perhaps you think that you live completely independently of all the influences that affect the rest of us? You stand back making purely rational decisions and acts, ignoring the suggestions and prompts supplied by a thousand cultural artefacts...? Ha! You would be the first human ever to have done so, despite the siren call of various seductive things, including the very seductive motorcar.

Cugel


It seems some people are seduced by their own hyperbole.

As for design it's making cars safer not less so.

........ [snippety snip]

Many vehicle these days are being fitted with many of the features which will allegedly make autonomous cars safer than driven cars. Some of them can be switched off by the driver. Perhaps they shouldn't be.


Safer cars? This is a relative safety, though, since the things are still killing and maiming millions worldwide each year.

The fact is that a ton+ of metal hurtling along at 30-100mph right next to the likes of pedestrians, cyclists and, of course, other vehicles is a recipe for harm. Our personal transport systems as arranged for the car have an inherently dangerous design. But their design is also seductive. You and I think nothing of going at 40mph (perhaps more) through urban areas where that is the limit despite passing within a yard or two of pedestrians and cyclists; despite the possibility of cars, tractors and whatever lurching out of a junction, driveway or gateway.

"I have not had an accident yet", you may point out. I will merely point out the "yet" as well as the thousands who are still having (this year and every year) "accidents".

The safest car is no car. You may be right that some coming features of cars will reduce the killing and maiming. But don't count on it ever approaching zero. Still, everyone enjoys a wishful thunk. :-)

Cugel


It will never approach zero. It's impossible to remove all risk and harm from any society and for it still to function.

Speak for yourself about your own driving you know nothing about mine. You're right there are dangers in driving close to pedestrians at speed so instead of thinking nothing of going at 40 mph near them think about it and slow down a bit to what might be a less dangerous speed.

peetee
Posts: 1431
Joined: 4 May 2010, 10:20pm
Location: Cornwall

Re: Driving at night

Postby peetee » 13 Dec 2018, 1:29pm

How does an autonomous vehicle differentiate between a pedestrian and a cyclist? Is the recognition software that sophisticated? If it is programmed to avoid cyclist with a sensibly wide berth then it should do the same for pedestrians which could be on the carriageway where no pavement is present. In which case the vehicle would have to be clear of the pavement by some margin in town centres which would put it in the middle of the road in many locations and that is going to halt it's progress altogether, I would imagine.
And if that isn't written in to the software how does it treat people waiting to cross a road and is it intelligent enough to recognise a child who would 'chance it'? Good drivers would and would move over or wait.
Heck, I could keep going for a long time with these sorts of conflicting scenarios.
Current status report:
Latter side of fifty and feeling less than nifty.
Too many bikes on pegs and too few miles in the legs.

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 16947
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Driving at night

Postby [XAP]Bob » 13 Dec 2018, 2:25pm

peetee wrote:How does an autonomous vehicle differentiate between a pedestrian and a cyclist? Is the recognition software that sophisticated? If it is programmed to avoid cyclist with a sensibly wide berth then it should do the same for pedestrians which could be on the carriageway where no pavement is present. In which case the vehicle would have to be clear of the pavement by some margin in town centres which would put it in the middle of the road in many locations and that is going to halt it's progress altogether, I would imagine.
And if that isn't written in to the software how does it treat people waiting to cross a road and is it intelligent enough to recognise a child who would 'chance it'? Good drivers would and would move over or wait.
Heck, I could keep going for a long time with these sorts of conflicting scenarios.


Yes the recognition is good enough to do that - but it only needs to do so in order to predict likely motions. So it can detect a signalling cyclist as well.

One dead giveaway is that pedestrians are normally slower than cyclists...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 2894
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Driving at night

Postby Bmblbzzz » 13 Dec 2018, 2:34pm

Yes, I think they can distinguish between pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders and so on. But that doesn't mean they give a wide clearance to the kerb; more likely they treat it as a porous barrier, something like a lane line -- much as human drivers and pedestrians do in practice.

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 2894
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Driving at night

Postby Bmblbzzz » 13 Dec 2018, 5:04pm

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (Acea) is fiercely opposing an EU bid to benchmark a technology that automatically reduces car speeds to local limits. The group favours one which just sends speeding drivers a dashboard warning.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/20 ... ves-a-year

User avatar
Cugel
Posts: 2690
Joined: 13 Nov 2017, 11:14am

Re: Driving at night

Postby Cugel » 13 Dec 2018, 6:02pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:
The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (Acea) is fiercely opposing an EU bid to benchmark a technology that automatically reduces car speeds to local limits. The group favours one which just sends speeding drivers a dashboard warning.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/20 ... ves-a-year


Only 1300 deaths not prevented? It's worth it, according to Mr 75, as there are worse dangers so why carp about this one? Anyway, he says cars are getting safer (unless it bothers someone's profits or "right" to go Toading about).

What if there were a few aeroplane crashes next year and 1300 deaths the result? Would everyone just shrug their shoulders and think about their next lovely flight to Marbella? What about a similar death rate on the trains? Would this even be reported? You bet it would! With bells-on, sirens and dire warnings of every kind to avoid the things until matters were vastly improved.

But cars? No, they're fine as "I love my car"*.

Cugel

* Toad of Toad Hall

pete75
Posts: 11847
Joined: 24 Jul 2007, 2:37pm

Re: Driving at night

Postby pete75 » 13 Dec 2018, 6:09pm

Cugel wrote:
Bmblbzzz wrote:
The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (Acea) is fiercely opposing an EU bid to benchmark a technology that automatically reduces car speeds to local limits. The group favours one which just sends speeding drivers a dashboard warning.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/20 ... ves-a-year


Only 1300 deaths not prevented? It's worth it, according to Mr 75, as there are worse dangers so why carp about this one? Anyway, he says cars are getting safer (unless it bothers someone's profits or "right" to go Toading about).

What if there were a few aeroplane crashes next year and 1300 deaths the result? Would everyone just shrug their shoulders and think about their next lovely flight to Marbella? What about a similar death rate on the trains? Would this even be reported? You bet it would! With bells-on, sirens and dire warnings of every kind to avoid the things until matters were vastly improved.

But cars? No, they're fine as "I love my car"*.

Cugel

* Toad of Toad Hall


Where did I say there are worse dangers? You've made that one up. You sound very like Toad when you say you drive close to pedestrians at 40 mph without even thinking about it. And yes cars are getting safer and have been for a few years now.

peetee
Posts: 1431
Joined: 4 May 2010, 10:20pm
Location: Cornwall

Re: Driving at night

Postby peetee » 14 Dec 2018, 4:11pm

You are undoubtedly correct insomuch as they are dynamically safer in comparable situations but the greatest issue is and always has been that one of the side affects is to cosset the occupants and distance them in a sensory way from the hostility and inherent danger of their surroundings. This leads inevitably to greater speeds and reliance on the vehicles braking and handling capibilities and less margin for error when something unforseen crops up. Unfortunately human beings reaction times have not improved to match.
Current status report:
Latter side of fifty and feeling less than nifty.
Too many bikes on pegs and too few miles in the legs.

thirdcrank
Posts: 28648
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Driving at night

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Dec 2018, 5:39pm

The vehicle whose driving triggered the thread was a lorry.