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Well....this has REALLY chucked the “autonomous” cat in amongst the pigeons…


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Author Topic: Well....this has REALLY chucked the “autonomous” cat in amongst the pigeons…  (Read 47 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« on: December 01, 2016, 08:04:48 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Why a hacker is giving away a special code
that turns cars into self-driving machines


Startup Comma.ai released a free software kit to help developers learn to build
a device that can turn any car into an autonomous vehicle. Washington
is not happy with how this coder is getting around regulation.


By ELIZABETH DWOSKIN | 6:25PM EST - Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Experimental Uber self-driving taxi cabs. — Photograph: Brian Fung/The Washington Post.
Experimental Uber self-driving taxi cabs. — Photograph: Brian Fung/The Washington Post.

HERE is a strategy for start-ups dealing with regulators who might shut down your product: Make it free.

Scrappy self-driving car start-up Comma.ai released a free software kit on Wednesday to help developers learn to build a device that can turn any car into an autonomous vehicle. The year-old company, which is founded by a well-known hacker and backed by prominent Silicon Valley investors, hopes to accelerate the development of self-driving cars while skirting the ire of Washington.

The move raises questions of how the United States should foster innovation for promising technologies that also carry great risks. Experts say self-driving cars have the potential to dramatically reduce the number of accidents of the roadway, most of which are caused by human errors. But Comma's self-driving kit has only logged roughly 5,000 miles of road time, a number that is effectively a useless barometer for judging safety, said John Simpson, of the safety advocacy group Consumer Watchdog.

The announcement also reflects the types of maneuvering start-ups are increasingly engaging in as they chart a path in heavily regulated sectors of the economy. A wave of companies in areas such as housing, DNA testing and aerospace is weighing whether to work with officials or to follow the playbook of companies such as Uber and Airbnb — asking forgiveness, but not permission, and seeing where the chips fall.

In Comma's case, the strategy was an end run around the rulemakers.

When Comma.ai's founder, George Hotz, announced his plan to sell a do-it-yourself self-driving software and hardware kit for $999 at a large industry conference this fall, the tech world was giddy with excitement. While large automakers and technology giants have poured billions into autonomous vehicles, Comma's tech would have dramatically lowered the bar for entry.

Washington was skeptical: Shortly after the announcement at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, Hotz was slapped with a warning letter from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The 27-year-old Hotz — who was the first person to jailbreak an iPhone and whose hacking capabilities earned him a New Yorker profile and an offer from Elon Musk to build Tesla's automated systems — tweeted out the letter. It asked for detailed information about the safety of the product he said he intended to launch before the end of the year.

Within hours of getting the NHTSA letter, Hotz canceled the product launch. He didn't have the money to hire lawyers required to get government approval, he said in an interview with The Washington Post this week. Hotz added he had been receiving unnerving, unsolicited house calls from California officials, who stopped by to review what he was building.

He decided that a workaround would be to offer up the code to his kit — for free.

“We want to be the Android operating system for self-driving cars,” Hotz said at a news conference on Wednesday, held in the company's garage in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood. Hotz was referring to the open-source smartphone operating system, which has become ubiquitous because it is free and developers can easily innovate on it.

The code, which is available on the open-source collaboration platform GitHub, allows anyone (but really, hardcore hackers) to build a dashcam-like device that they can set up in their car. The device plugs into a port in the car called a controller area network, or BUS (in most cars built after 2006). Users must build the device with a 3-D printer and have an Android OnePlus 3 phone to run the code and provide the camera that can scan the road.

Technically, Hotz's software isn't a fully autonomous car such as the ones being tested by Google or GM. Hotz says it is an open-source alternative to Tesla's autopilot, which is considered semi-autonomous. When a user switches it on, the car goes into an autopilot mode enabling the driver to take their hands off the wheel and the gas pedal. The car can also stay in its lane and brake for the driver. Currently, the software works only with some Hondas and Acuras.

For safety, Hotz said his self-driving software is designed to shut down and decelerate the vehicle after six minutes if the driver doesn't actively keep it on.

Because NHTSA regulates commercial vehicles, Hotz said he is exempt from regulatory scrutiny because he is not selling anything.

NHTSA spokesman Bryan Thomas said the agency had no comment.

Simpson, the Consumer Watchdog advocate, said he was skeptical of Hotz's regulatory hack. He said that NHTSA has the authority to pull any car off the road that has features that make it an imminent danger, and that the agency has the authority to review free add-on features to cars. “Comma is a clear threat to highway safety, and attempting to release it like this is absolutely outrageous,” he said. “NHTSA and the California DMV should act now to keep vehicles equipped with Holtz's device off the highway.”

He added that any driver who put this on their car could be breaking the law. Under California law, an autonomous vehicle is not allowed on a public road without a permit that includes a $5 million insurance policy and a demonstrable training program for drivers. Even though Hotz calls his innovation a “self-driving” kit, he argued his product is more like Tesla's autopilot and is therefore exempt from self-driving regulations.

Hotz warned that the government should not attempt to shut down a tool that could save lives, and said that engineers should be free to build products for the good of society. He also dismissed the possibility that open-sourcing the technology could enable hackers to break into cars, saying cars were already so connected to the Internet that the risk was present regardless.

“We're not offering this as a consumer product,” Hotz said. “This is for tinkerers. These are people who, if they wanted to do bad things, they already could.”

Jabbing at bureaucrats everywhere, he opened his news conference playing the '90s hip-hop classic “Regulate” and ended it with a lyric from the rapper Drake: “Everyone who doubted me is asking for forgiveness. If you ain't been a part of it, at least you got to witness”.


• Elizabeth Dwoskin is The Washington Post's Silicon Valley correspondent.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2016/11/30/why-a-hacker-is-giving-away-a-special-code-that-turns-cars-into-self-driving-machines
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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2016, 02:37:51 pm »

self driving trains

i can hardly wait to laugh at you with your broom sweeping the platform  Grin
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Are you sick of the bullshit from the sewer stream media spewed out from the usual Ken and Barby dickless talking point look a likes.

If you want to know what's going on in the real world...
And the many things that will personally effect you.
Go to
http://www.infowars.com/

AND WAKE THE F_ _K UP
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2018, 05:19:58 pm »


Still waitiing?

I'll be retired before it happens.
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2018, 05:20:17 pm »


from the print edition of the Los Angeles Times…

THE AGENDA: Self-driving cars — tech's pedestrian problem

To make autonomous vehicles safer, some say, humans have to be reprogrammed.

By JEREMY KAHN | Monday, August 27, 2018

Over time, cities will probably adopt “geo-fencing” — a fancy term for creating separate zones and designated pickup spots for self-driving cars. But until then, pedestrians' unpredictable behavior poses a challenge. Without clues such as crosswalk markings and stoplights, the cars' software is less likely to identify jaywalkers. — Photograph: Dreamstime.
Over time, cities will probably adopt “geo-fencing” — a fancy term for creating separate zones and designated pickup spots for self-driving cars.
But until then, pedestrians' unpredictable behavior poses a challenge. Without clues such as crosswalk markings and stoplights,
the cars' software is less likely to identify jaywalkers. — Photograph: Photograph: Dreamstime.


YOU'RE crossing the street wrong.

That is essentially the argument some self-driving car boosters have fallen back on in the months after the first pedestrian death attributed to an autonomous vehicle and amid growing concerns that artificial intelligence capable of real-world driving is further away than many predicted just a few years ago.

In a line reminiscent of Steve Jobs' famous defense of the iPhone 4's flawed antennae — “Don't hold it like that” — these technologists say the problem isn't that self-driving cars don't work, it's that people act unpredictably.

“What we tell people is, ‘Please be lawful and please be considerate’,” said Andrew Ng, a well-known machine learning researcher who runs a venture fund that invests in AI-enabled companies, including self-driving start-up Drive.AI. In other words: no jaywalking.

Whether self-driving cars can correctly identify and avoid pedestrians crossing streets has become a burning issue since March after an Uber self-driving car killed a woman in Arizona who was walking a bicycle across the street at night outside a designated crosswalk. The incident is still under investigation, but a preliminary report from federal safety regulators said the car's sensors had detected the woman but its decision-making software discounted the sensor data, concluding it was probably a false positive.

Google spinoff Waymo has promised to launch a self-driving taxi service, starting in Phoenix this year, and General Motors Company has pledged to start a rival service — using a car without steering wheel or pedals — sometime in 2019. But it's unclear if either will be capable of operating outside of designated areas or without a safety driver who can take over in an emergency. Meanwhile, other initiatives are losing steam. Elon Musk has shelved plans for an autonomous Tesla vehicle to drive across the United States. Uber has axed a self-driving truck program to focus on autonomous cars. Daimler Trucks, part of German automaker Daimler, now says commercial driverless trucks will take at least five years. Others, including Musk, had previously predicted such vehicles would be road-ready by 2020.

With these timelines slipping, driverless proponents such as Ng say there's one surefire shortcut to getting self-driving cars on the streets sooner: persuade pedestrians to behave less erratically. If they use crosswalks, where there are contextual clues — pavement markings and stoplights — the software is more likely to identify them.

But to others, the very fact that Ng is suggesting such a thing is a sign that today's technology simply can't deliver self-driving cars as originally envisioned. “The AI we would really need hasn't yet arrived,” said Gary Marcus, a New York University professor of psychology who researches both human and artificial intelligence. He said that Ng is “just redefining the goal posts to make the job easier,” and that if the only way we can achieve safe self-driving cars is to completely segregate them from human drivers and pedestrians, we already have such technology: trains.

Rodney Brooks, a well-known robotics researcher and professor emeritus at MIT, wrote in a blog post critical of Ng's sentiments that “the great promise of self-driving cars has been that they will eliminate traffic deaths. Now [Ng] is saying that they will eliminate traffic deaths as long as all humans are trained to change their behavior? What just happened?”

Ng argues that humans have always modified their behavior in response to new technology, especially modes of transportation. “If you look at the emergence of railroads, for the most part people have learned not to stand in front of a train on the tracks,” he said. Ng also notes that people have learned that school buses are likely to make frequent stops and that when they do, small children may dart across the road in front of the bus, so they drive more cautiously. Self-driving cars, he said, are no different.

In fact, jaywalking became a crime in most of the United States only because automobile manufacturers lobbied intensively for it in the early 1920s, in large measure to head off strict speed limits and other regulations that might have affected car sales, said Peter Norton, a history professor at the University of Virginia who wrote a book on the topic. So there is a precedent for regulating pedestrian behavior to make way for new technology.

Although Ng may be the most prominent self-driving proponent calling for training humans as well as vehicles, he's not alone. “There should be proper education programs to make people familiar with these vehicles, the ways to interact with them and to use them,” said Shuchisnigdha Deb, a researcher at Mississippi State University's Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems. The U.S. Transportation Department has emphasized the need for such consumer education in its latest guidance on autonomous vehicles.

Maya Pindeus, co-founder and chief executive of Humanising Autonomy, a London start-up working on models of pedestrian behavior and gestures that self-driving car companies can use, likens such lessons to public awareness campaigns Germany and Austria instituted in the 1960s after a spate of jaywalking fatalities. Such efforts helped reduce pedestrian road fatalities in Germany from more than 6,000 deaths in 1970 to fewer than 500 in 2016, the last year for which figures are available.

The industry is understandably keen not to be seen offloading the burden onto pedestrians. Uber and Waymo both said in emailed statements that their goal is to develop self-driving cars that can handle the world as it is, without depending on changing human behavior.


An Uber Ford Fusion driverless sedan travels through Pittsburgh in 2016. Critics assert that today's artificial intelligence simply cannot deliver self-driving vehicles as originally envisioned by researchers. — Photograph: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images.
An Uber Ford Fusion driverless sedan travels through Pittsburgh in 2016. Critics assert that today's artificial intelligence simply cannot deliver
self-driving vehicles as originally envisioned by researchers. — Photograph: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images.


One challenge for these and other companies is that driverless cars are such a novelty right now, pedestrians don't always act the way they do around regular vehicles. Some people just can't suppress the urge to test the technology's artificial reflexes. Waymo, which is owned by Alphabet Incorporated, routinely encounters pedestrians who try to “prank” its cars, repeatedly stepping in front of them, moving away and then stepping back in front of them, to impede their progress.

The assumption seems to be that driverless cars are designed to be extra cautious so the practical joke is worth the risk. “Although our systems do have super-human perception, sometimes people seem to think Newton's laws no longer apply,” said Paul Newman, the co-founder of Oxbotica, a British start-up making autonomous driving software.

Over time, driverless cars will become less fascinating, and people will presumably be less likely to prank them. In the meantime, the industry is debating what steps companies should take to make humans aware of the cars and their intentions.

Drive.AI, which was co-founded by Ng's wife, Carol Reiley, has made a number of modifications to the self-driving vehicles it's road testing in Frisco, Texas. They're painted a distinctive bright orange, increasing the chance that people will notice them and recognize them as self-driving. Drive.AI also pioneered the use of an external LED-display screen, similar to the ones many city buses use to display their destination or route number, that can convey the vehicle's intentions to humans. For instance, a vehicle stopped at a crosswalk might display the message: “Waiting for you to cross.”

Uber has taken this idea further, filing patents for a system that would include a variety of flashing external signage and holograms projected in front of the car to communicate with human drivers and pedestrians.

Google has filed patents for its own external signage.

Oxbotica's Newman said he likes the idea of such external messaging as well as distinctive sounds — much like the beeping noise large vehicles make when reversing — to help ensure safe interactions between humans and autonomous vehicles.

Deb said her research shows that people want external features and audible communication or warning sounds of some kind. But so far, besides Drive.AI, the cars these companies are using in road tests don't include such modifications. It's also not clear how pedestrians or human drivers could communicate their intentions to self-driving vehicles, something Deb said may also be necessary to avoid accidents.

Pindeus' company wants those building self-driving cars to focus more on understanding the nonverbal cues and hand gestures people use to communicate.

The problem with most of the computer vision systems that self-driving cars use, she said, is they simply put a boundary box around an object and apply a label — “parked car” or “bicycle” or “person” — without the ability to analyze anything happening inside that box.

Eventually, better computer vision systems and better AI may solve this problem.

Over time, cities will probably remake themselves for an autonomous age with “geofencing” — a fancy term for creating separate zones and designated pickup spots for self-driving cars and taxis.

In the meantime, your parents' advice probably still applies: Don't jaywalk, and look both ways before crossing the street.


__________________________________________________________________________

• Jeremy Kahn is a London-based senior reporter for Bloomberg News, where he covers technology companies and tech-related issues. He has written about cloud computing, music streaming, artificial intelligence and battle between droids and drones for last mile delivery. Prior to joining the technology reporting team in late 2015, Jeremy spent more than four years as a senior writer for Bloomberg Markets and Bloomberg Pursuits magazines, where he wrote feature articles about everything from the psychology of traders to counterfeit classic cars. Previously, he lived in New Delhi, India, where he was a frequent contributor to Newsweek, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Smithsonian magazine and The Atlantic. From 2004 to 2006, he was the managing editor of U.S. political magazine The New Republic in Washington, DC. He started his career as a writer at Fortune magazine in New York, traveling widely to cover everything from accounting fraud to civil war in the Ivory Coast and the war in Iraq.

http://enewspaper.latimes.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=717d2833-33ed-430e-88e1-593a633af847
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2018, 02:03:06 pm »

Ok so not before every single road has at least one pedestrian crossing then.
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The way politicians run this country a small white cat should have no problem http://sally4mp.blogspot.com/

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