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Old 11 May 2018, 12:24 AM
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erwins erwins is offline
Join Date: 04 April 2006
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 12,367

I think they've all done some amount of closed course testing, or are building on stuff that did. But that misses the point. The DARPA competition HAD to be a closed course because it needed to be made easy enough to be an achievable goal.

Closed course testing has been used to make things easier. So having done closed course testing at some point is not a virtue, and doesn't address my point. My point is that the cars need to stay in closed course testing until they can handle, at the very least, the kind of challenges that crop up all the time in the "real world." They should be throwing those challenges and others at the vehicles until they work out the solutions.

I suppose it is possible that a company could have a robust enough safety driver program that "real world" testing is made safe enough, and then closed course challenges could be set up to work on the issues that are observed. I don't think Waymo has that mindset, since they've announced plans to deploy cars without safety drivers soon. (There would be remote monitoring and the ability to take control remotely, and they won't say exactly how much the cars will be remotely controlled.)

And even Waymo shows the "we'll solve that problem later" mentality. They are testing in extremely fair-weather, unchallenging locations. Can these cars operate safely in precipitation? What happens if a remotely monitored vehicle encounters an unexpected rain storm?
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