Silicon Valley is stupid


What do you do when a train stalls? You sit in it and wait for help. The rest of the trains are specifically designed to handle that situation.

Same thing for freeways. You don’t get to decide what to do. Your car is a train.


No human-controlled vehicle should be allowed on freeways. Done.


I know I’m on the wrong side of history for this but I will be the old man yelling at the cloud and driving my ancient non self driving car and motorcycle on the back roads until I literally can’t. I just like driving too much…


If your car breaks down DO NOT FUcKiNg WAIT in your car. Get the fuck out. Get the fuck off the road, the other side of the barriers. The most dangerous place in a breakdown is in your car, on the hard shoulder. Any random truck swerved slightly out of lane as it passes and you are fucked. Really, do not wait in your car.


In that case, wait as near to your car as safe, generally well back from the road. The idea stands in that you probably shouldn’t be hiking down the road for help.


My take is if you are on a highway of only self-driving autos, and are now in a disabled vehicle… the other vehicles should see that readily and transponders should be able to signal a stopped vehicle emergency and automated cars would just adapt to it. So no-one is likely to hit you.

That said if there is a real emergency requiring you to exit the vehicle (fire, heat, whatever) then maybe don’t go crossing the interstate or using a pogostick.

In fact, for emergencies where a car is totally disabled, it could have a pedestrian beacon in the glovebox that you activate which alerts oncoming traffic that you are there. It would also alert emergency services automatically. This would allow the autos to anticipate your location and ensure you get prompt service.

I don’t see why that can’t exist now.


The tech exists. Many municipalities have bought tech where an infrared signal light blinks in a certain pattern read by cameras on traffic signals to change the signal and stop traffic in an emergency vehicle’s favor instead of having to barge through the intersection against the light. Sadly I watched a cop do this the other day just to make a U turn without having to wait… or at least that’s what I suspect, since the light turned green for me then suspiciously immediately turned back red as the cop car approached from the opposite direction.


Spoilers - you could not. The closest you have is the Tesla Autopilot, which has an unfortunate habit of slamming into stationary objects(or trying to, if someone takes over to prevent the accident) with alarming regularity. Even the top researchers in the field of SDVs think it’s not ready for that yet, at least on public roads.

What you might hear from silicon valley tech douchebags who are trying to sell a technology that they don’t really understand, they might disagree, but counterpoint, a silicon valley douchebag who doesn’t understand the technology he’s selling is already directly responsible for multiple deaths, and his company is known to have attempted to cover up this fact, and butted heads with the NHTSA over their investigation of it not going their way. All because he tried to push a technology that wasn’t ready for public deployment in an attempt to increase his own bottom line and give his branding a boost.


Oh, I mean specifically in the case where there are only self-driving cars on the freeway.

Yeah, in the current world if you break down in a traveling lane on a freeway, you have to GTFO as soon as possible.


The tech in this Cadillac is interesting but I can’t imagine even GM has the money to map every single road in the US, let alone other countries.


A decently amusing encapsulation of this thread’s themes.


The Caddy tech is good - better than autopilot - but it’s also good mostly because it fails safe rather than fails deadly, and the disengagement tone is frankly unmissable, and includes a physical cue - the seat gives a rather aggressive buzz, like being gently goosed with a handshake buzzer.

Plus, you say that you don’t think GM has the cash to map that many roads - fun facts, that’s exactly how it works. They paid a company(I think it was called Usher or Husher something like that?) to LIDAR map something like a 130 thousand miles of road - some of them with low-flying aircraft, but still - which amounts to basically every highway and interstrate in the country. And then they went over all of that data, and carefully decided on a case by case basis where SuperCruise was allowed to engage. They even keep track of roadworks and such, and live-update to change the engagement boundaries.

It’s not perfect, but it’s a really impressive system.


The system is impressive, but I don’t know that GM can map every tiny little street in the US to make that tech into autopilot. That’s what I was getting at. The further info is helpful, though. I also think the camera instead of an actual rear view mirror is brilliant, especially as cars dedicate more of their structure to support.


I figure they’re biding their time on that one, until some clever startup decides to do it independent of having a vehicle of their own to sell, and buying the info from them. Or something like it, at least. Right now, they don’t want to make a full self driving system, they’re perfectly happy to polish and perfect the highway-only version and have people driving for all the tricky stuff. That way, they build their reputation as the safe and reliable self-driving option, so that when they do have a full system, they already have the public trust established.

God yes. A lot of modern sedans have shit for rear visibility - especially for tall people. There are some stand-out exceptions, but not that many.


I got a Chevy Bolt last week which has the rear view mirror camera thing and it’s super nice and gives you way more visibility but with one minor weird issue: refresh rate. I thought a car behind me was an emergency vehicle because the LED daytime running lights were flashing in the camera feed. I guess they use PWM dimming and it was going in and out of sync with my camera.

I think freeway self driving is pretty reasonable with current or near future tech but living somewhere where I occasionally drive past exploded deer it should probably have some ability to not crash into roughly people sized objects.


Nope, no dimming. The cheap, mass produced LEDs they use in automotive applications just don’t sync well with the typical cameras in use. If you watch a lot of car videos (as I do) you see this effect everywhere.


It’s the same reason that you see scanlines going down when someone tries to capture a computer monitor on video. Only relatively high end cameras have a feature to eliminate it. On my Panasonic GH series cameras it is called Synchro scan.


OK, cheap power supplies then. but same idea, out of sync refresh rates. Point being it wasn’t a thing I had considered until I saw it. If they’re all roughly the same frequency you can compensate for it like with a monitor but to make up for a broad range of frequencies sounds harder.


Yes, the Syncrho scan setting would only work if all the things you are trying to sync are the same refresh rate. If two are off, you are in trouble.