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Autonomous Car Crashes in USA

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Autonomous Car Crashes in USA

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Old 05-14-2018, 07:01 AM
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Autonomous Car Crashes in USA

I have been reading about several autonomous car crashes in USA. Admittedly most are Tesla. Mine doesn’t have that option so glad so I won’t be tempted to use it.
any autonomous comments
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Old 05-14-2018, 08:52 AM
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The problem with tesla is that it's too perfect, so people stop paying attention altogether.
With Mercedes you MUST interact every now and then, otherwise the system will start beeping.
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Old 05-14-2018, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Egonvdv View Post
The problem with tesla is that it's too perfect, so people stop paying attention altogether.
With Mercedes you MUST interact every now and then, otherwise the system will start beeping.

Not only beep it will deactivate. I'm surprised that the Tesla system doesn't do that as well.
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Old 05-14-2018, 11:17 AM
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The problem is that too many morons think the system must be perfect because otherwise the manufacturer wouldn't sell it and the gvm't wouldn't let them. As George Carlin famously said, "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that."
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Old 05-14-2018, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by The_Judge View Post
The problem is that too many morons think the system must be perfect because otherwise the manufacturer wouldn't sell it and the gvm't wouldn't let them. As George Carlin famously said, "Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that."
Well said. There are stupid people everywhere, some with too much money. (see POTUS)

News flash, the Tesla is not a Level 4 car. If you don’t brake and rear end an immovable object, well .....Darwin.
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Old 05-14-2018, 01:47 PM
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The problem is what happens if the semi-autonomous driving feature makes a mistake or gets confused and steers your car into something like a concrete barrier because it think the lane is leading there and it doesn't detect the obstacle or decides to ignore it. If all this happens at speed, the driver isn't likely to have enough time to intervene and divert the car in time from its collision course even if the driver is paying attention and has their hands on the steering wheel.
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Old 05-14-2018, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by visualguy View Post
The problem is what happens if the semi-autonomous driving feature makes a mistake or gets confused and steers your car into something like a concrete barrier because it think the lane is leading there and it doesn't detect the obstacle or decides to ignore it. If all this happens at speed, the driver isn't likely to have enough time to intervene and divert the car in time from its collision course even if the driver is paying attention and has their hands on the steering wheel.
That can't happen if a driver is paying attention and has their hands on the steering wheel. A small effort from a pinky finger is enough to override computerized vehicle guidance. A ouch on the brake will cancel computerized throttle responses.
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Old 05-14-2018, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by ua549 View Post
That can't happen if a driver is paying attention and has their hands on the steering wheel. A small effort from a pinky finger is enough to override computerized vehicle guidance. A ouch on the brake will cancel computerized throttle responses.
At highway speeds, a steering mistake from the semi-autonomous driving system can cause a deadly collision in a fraction of a second. The driver isn't likely to be able to counteract something like this in time.
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Old 05-14-2018, 02:33 PM
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The key is if the driver is paying attention. I'm an old guy and my response time is less than 200 ms as measured at my last driving refresher course. When I was younger it was closer to 100 ms. That is between 10 and 20 feet at 70 mph. That is plenty of time to make corrections.
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Old 05-14-2018, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by visualguy View Post
At highway speeds, a steering mistake from the semi-autonomous driving system can cause a deadly collision in a fraction of a second. The driver isn't likely to be able to counteract something like this in time.
Moreover, most drivers utilizing the so-called semi-autonomous driving system aren't likely to be paying as close attention to the road as they would if they didn't have the system. The bottom line is these systems are no where near ready for prime time, and IMO it's an outrage that government agencies are allowing car companies to test their theories and beta versions on public roads.
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Old 05-14-2018, 02:38 PM
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Old 05-14-2018, 02:39 PM
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Old 05-14-2018, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ua549 View Post
The key is if the driver is paying attention....
Therein lies the problem — what's the point of a self-driving car if you have to pay constant attention to the road as if you were in charge?
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Old 05-14-2018, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by ua549 View Post
The key is if the driver is paying attention. I'm an old guy and my response time is less than 200 ms as measured at my last driving refresher course. When I was younger it was closer to 100 ms. That is between 10 and 20 feet at 70 mph. That is plenty of time to make corrections.
Maybe for fighter pilots. I'd probably be dead before I have a chance to realize what's going on. Also, even if I'm able to react in time, loss of control may happen as a result of whatever exaggerated instinctive reaction my brain decides to produce. You don't only have to react in time, you also need to have the right reaction.
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Old 05-14-2018, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by The_Judge View Post
Therein lies the problem — what's the point of a self-driving car if you have to pay constant attention to the road as if you were in charge?
Correct, and I actually find it worse than if I were in charge. It's harder to babysit and augment a distrusted partially-effective system than it is to just do it yourself.
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Old 05-14-2018, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by The_Judge View Post
Moreover, most drivers utilizing the so-called semi-autonomous driving system aren't likely to be paying as close attention to the road as they would if they didn't have the system. The bottom line is these systems are no where near ready for prime time, and IMO it's an outrage that government agencies are allowing car companies to test their theories and beta versions on public roads.
You could make the case for controlled and careful testing, but the insane thing is that car companies are allowed to put these half-baked systems in production cars. I'm really surprised by that.
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Old 05-14-2018, 03:28 PM
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I don't want the government dictating more than what they already do. The US government is responsible for sub-standard head lights, ambiguous rear turn signals, etc. Even with a perfect system the driver behind the wheel has the responsibility for safe vehicle operation. I appreciate the semi-autonomous system in my car because the Distronic Plus system instrumentation is much better. The speedometer not only shows my cruise control speed setting and my speed, it also shows the speed of the car in front of me. Look for the 3 triangles on the speedo arc.
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:26 PM
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From what I'm reading, most people here do not have the semi autonomous driving option. Try it, it's great. The key word is "semi Autonomous". That means you have to drive your car but with less effort. In the last reported Tesla accident the woman admitted to playing with her phone. I have it on both of our cars and would not be without it.
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:47 PM
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It works great, as it is intended to, as an "Assist" device.
However, when there are a lot of aggressive drivers cutting in and out of the lane, I deactivate it.
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Old 05-15-2018, 03:21 PM
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We have every option available on our 18 and we wouldn't order a Mercedes again without it. It's an assist, and a great one at that.
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Old 05-15-2018, 03:55 PM
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I have it, but I don't let it steer - I don't trust it not to steer me into something or off the road. One unlucky software or sensor glitch, and it's game over if I can't correct it in time.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:50 AM
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I let it steer, but I never take my hands off the wheel. As Ronald Reagan said "Trust but verify."
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Old 05-16-2018, 12:09 PM
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I spend a lot of time in Teslas (work in tech, way too many friends/coworkers with them) so I've had a ton of experience with their autopilot system. It's pretty interesting how Mercedes and Tesla approach semi-autonomous driving in their vehicles. First off, the technology is still pretty immature, and by no means should you let the car drive itself. That's not what these systems are designed to do. With that being said, the ability of Tesla's AP (AP1 and older AP2) is slightly better than Mercedes' Intelligent Drive at lane tracking at freeway speeds, if I was to make a subjective guess, the Mercedes system will handle 80% of the situations that the Tesla system can handle. They both work well in the middle lane where there's no turnoffs and differing lane definition to confuse the systems. In slow speeds (<50km/h) they're pretty equal, and works great in driving itself.

Now, the differences.

Tesla's AP gives you the sensation that it's driving itself primarily from the amount of torque exerted on the steering wheel. The Mercedes system gently steers the car, so if you're actually doing the driving, you can barely feel the correction. With your hands on the wheel on a Tesla, it steers so powerful that you can't make corrections with a light touch, so it feels like the car is driving you. This "trains" the driver to think that the car is doing all the work.

Next is the alert system. These are level 2 systems, which means the driver needs to be paying full attention and take over if the system goes wrong. Both systems allow you to be hands off for about a minute before shutting you down. On the Mercedes, there's a steering wheel display that glows green when active, and white/grey when inactive. There is no audible chime. The good with this system is that it forces the driver to pay complete attention to the task of driving. If you look away and the system disengages, you have no idea, so you are trained to always be looking out. The flaw here is that the steering wheel display is in the bottom of the cluster, and you have to look down away from the road to see if the system disengaged or not. There is a fix for it, and that's the $1500 HUD which overlays that steering wheel graphic in your field of vision. Personally, I would not order or use Intelligent Drive without HUD option strictly based on this flaw.

Tesla does this quite differently than Mercedes. On the Tesla, the system has a display that auto steer is working, and when it gets confused, it will let out a chime to let you know that you need to take over. The problem here is in conjunction with the heavy steering effort by AP, it once again trains the driver to think that you can look away, and the system will warn you when it needs you to take over. Basically, it's acting like a Level 3 system where the car does the monitoring of the driving, but it's not capable of that. I've had Tesla AP drive off my lane, drive over the yellow line, and other sketchy issues while the system still thinks it's working properly with AP engaged. This training of the driver to believe the car is doing all the work and warning you when it needs to is the likely reason why there are so many Tesla crashes with AP lately.

Overall, the 2 systems work extremely well if used properly, meaning the driver should be paying attention to the road to monitor what the system is doing. I really like how they work in bumper to bumper traffic, it's great stress relief to let the car do all the work in the boring parts of the drive.
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rage2 View Post
I spend a lot of time in Teslas (work in tech, way too many friends/coworkers with them) so I've had a ton of experience with their autopilot system. It's pretty interesting how Mercedes and Tesla approach semi-autonomous driving in their vehicles. First off, the technology is still pretty immature, and by no means should you let the car drive itself. That's not what these systems are designed to do. With that being said, the ability of Tesla's AP (AP1 and older AP2) is slightly better than Mercedes' Intelligent Drive at lane tracking at freeway speeds, if I was to make a subjective guess, the Mercedes system will handle 80% of the situations that the Tesla system can handle. They both work well in the middle lane where there's no turnoffs and differing lane definition to confuse the systems. In slow speeds (<50km/h) they're pretty equal, and works great in driving itself.

Now, the differences.

Tesla's AP gives you the sensation that it's driving itself primarily from the amount of torque exerted on the steering wheel. The Mercedes system gently steers the car, so if you're actually doing the driving, you can barely feel the correction. With your hands on the wheel on a Tesla, it steers so powerful that you can't make corrections with a light touch, so it feels like the car is driving you. This "trains" the driver to think that the car is doing all the work.

Next is the alert system. These are level 2 systems, which means the driver needs to be paying full attention and take over if the system goes wrong. Both systems allow you to be hands off for about a minute before shutting you down. On the Mercedes, there's a steering wheel display that glows green when active, and white/grey when inactive. There is no audible chime. The good with this system is that it forces the driver to pay complete attention to the task of driving. If you look away and the system disengages, you have no idea, so you are trained to always be looking out. The flaw here is that the steering wheel display is in the bottom of the cluster, and you have to look down away from the road to see if the system disengaged or not. There is a fix for it, and that's the $1500 HUD which overlays that steering wheel graphic in your field of vision. Personally, I would not order or use Intelligent Drive without HUD option strictly based on this flaw.

Tesla does this quite differently than Mercedes. On the Tesla, the system has a display that auto steer is working, and when it gets confused, it will let out a chime to let you know that you need to take over. The problem here is in conjunction with the heavy steering effort by AP, it once again trains the driver to think that you can look away, and the system will warn you when it needs you to take over. Basically, it's acting like a Level 3 system where the car does the monitoring of the driving, but it's not capable of that. I've had Tesla AP drive off my lane, drive over the yellow line, and other sketchy issues while the system still thinks it's working properly with AP engaged. This training of the driver to believe the car is doing all the work and warning you when it needs to is the likely reason why there are so many Tesla crashes with AP lately.

Overall, the 2 systems work extremely well if used properly, meaning the driver should be paying attention to the road to monitor what the system is doing. I really like how they work in bumper to bumper traffic, it's great stress relief to let the car do all the work in the boring parts of the drive.
Thanks for the comparison from experience. Your points about training the driver make sense. I always wonder why some Tesla owners were so bold as to read a book or watch a movie while driving but I suppose if the car takes the assertive role in driving it is easy to think you're not needed as much.
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Old 05-17-2018, 05:16 AM
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Very interesting post. I have a 2015 S205 with the driving assist package and am awaiting my S213 due next month.
On the S205 the car does have an audible warning if you take your hand off the wheel for longer than the allowed time as well as the warning graphic changing from green to red though this does not display in the HUD. The chiming gets more insistant the longer you leave it (we have several long straight empty motorways here in France).
I think the system comes into its own in stop start motorway jams which I happily hardly ever encounter but I appreciate every aid going to assist me in day to day driving as I am after all in charge of a lethal machine and human. We all make mistakes and anything that helps me not too is welcome.
Can anyone else confirm the warning chime in the e has been removed? That would seem a retrograde step to me.
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