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  #181  
Old 12 April 2018, 04:54 PM
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Mister Ed

Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
In 1916, drivers might have been used to driving a horse, which was capable of looking where it was going.

-- hey, the horse or ox drawn cart was the original self-driving vehicle! Complete, of course, with a tendency to occasionally go somewhere else than the humans in the vehicle intended, including possibly into other vehicles or off the road.
That's it! Let's drop all this stuff Google and Tesla and everyone else is doing and bring back the original, one-horsepower, self-driving vehicle!

Last edited by ChasFink; 12 April 2018 at 04:55 PM. Reason: Added quote
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  #182  
Old 12 April 2018, 05:17 PM
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Nope.

Arizona couple killed in Ireland when horse-drawn carriage crashes
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  #183  
Old 08 May 2018, 02:41 PM
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Default Uber’s self-driving car saw the pedestrian but didn’t swerve – report

https://www.theguardian.com/technolo...-swerve-report

Quote:
Although the car’s sensors detected Herzberg, its software which decides how it should react was tuned too far in favour of ignoring objects in its path which might be “false positives” (such as plastic bags), according to a report from the Information. This meant the modified Volvo XC90 did not react fast enough.

The report also said the human safety driver was not paying close enough attention to intervene before the vehicle struck the pedestrian.
Aha, this refers to the study I was talking about earlier, even though the figures for Uber weren't in the table we found:

Quote:
Uber’s self-driving technology was also called 5,000 times worse than Waymo’s in an independent analysis in 2017, while it has had legal tussles with various US states where it has tried to test vehicles.
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  #184  
Old 08 May 2018, 02:45 PM
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Roll eyes

And because Uber has the self-driving car perfected soooo well:

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi on flying taxis, the future and taking over a company in crisis

Quote:
Uber is releasing new information about Uber Air, an ambitious plan to launch a fleet of autonomous flying taxis in two years. "CBS This Morning" got the first look at the design models that will be on display at Tuesday's Uber Elevate Summit in Los Angeles.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/uber-ce...cars-uber-air/

~Psihala
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  #185  
Old 08 May 2018, 03:20 PM
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Psihala, I won't even go and read that. It is completely obvious that there is no real plan to have a fleet of autonomous flying taxis in 2 years. This is purely making crazy plans they know will not come about in the hopes of getting news coverage.
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  #186  
Old 08 May 2018, 03:22 PM
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They may be on to something. You can't run down a pedestrian in the air.
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  #187  
Old 08 May 2018, 03:48 PM
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Future topic title (Thanks, Richard W!):

Uber’s self-driving car flying taxi saw the pedestrian building but didn’t swerve – report

~Psihala
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  #188  
Old 08 May 2018, 03:50 PM
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Autopilot is a simpler problem than auto-drive (at least when you have rigorous control over landing sites). There are much fewer variables for a computer to consider once it gets a few stories off the ground. My understanding is that we mostly don't use autopilot in aircraft because the idea of flying without a human pilot makes people twitchy.
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  #189  
Old 08 May 2018, 04:03 PM
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Autopilot at 1,000 feet above the tallest obstacle on the ground is simple*. Autopilot below 500 feet** near or in build-up areas would be very complicated since there are so many obstacles like power lines, light poles, banners, etc.

* Minimum altitude for aircraft in the US when over populated areas.
** FAA definitely controls the airspace above 500 feet, below that is a grey area.
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  #190  
Old 08 May 2018, 04:40 PM
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IIRC, don't the autopilot systems of airliners have collision avoidance as a part of the operation? I know they will alarm if another airplane is detected on a collision course but I don't know if the autopilot will take action to avoid a collision.
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  #191  
Old 08 May 2018, 05:07 PM
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I'm not a pilot, but my understanding is that TCAS will sound an alarm and instruct one pilot to climb and the other to descend, but the human pilots have to actually take action, the autopilot won't do it automatically. I think as a general rule the autopilot will only take actions that the human pilots have commanded it to take.
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  #192  
Old 08 May 2018, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
Autopilot at 1,000 feet above the tallest obstacle on the ground is simple*. Autopilot below 500 feet** near or in build-up areas would be very complicated since there are so many obstacles like power lines, light poles, banners, etc.

* Minimum altitude for aircraft in the US when over populated areas.
** FAA definitely controls the airspace above 500 feet, below that is a grey area.
And even more difficult at less than 500 feet, what's called nape of the earth.
A Taxi that can't come down to ground level to drop off or pick up customers wouldn't be very useful.
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  #193  
Old 08 May 2018, 06:03 PM
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You could have towers like Zeppelin mooring stations (okay, not the best example). Or designated landing zones with a controlled volume above it. Door-to-door travel would take either a lot of urban planning or for the flying taxis to drive the "last mile."
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  #194  
Old 08 May 2018, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NobleHunter View Post
Or designated landing zones with a controlled volume above it.
We already have those. They're called airports.

~psihala
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  #195  
Old 08 May 2018, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Psihala View Post
We already have those. They're called airports.

~psihala
Which is why we could use autopilot much more heavily than we currently do with airliners. VTOL taxis or cars wouldn't need massive runways. More like oversized parking lots with cones of obstruction free air above them. Easier to scatter them through cities.
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  #196  
Old 08 May 2018, 06:41 PM
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It's like a variation of the "air park community" of decades ago; small, uncontrolled airstrips with houses built around the taxiway and an airplane in every garage.

While there are still such communities scattered around the country, I'm not as convinced what would amount to an "air-taxi park" is going to be any more popular with either the FAA or the populace... and, as has already been pointed out, such changes certainly aren't going to come about in anything like two years.

If I were to use my own residence as an example, were I to call for such a service, there isn't anywhere within half a mile one of these things could land (space-wise) to come and pick me up and I'd likely have to chose a destination close to where I was going and get a ride from there. I could probably get where I'm going quicker using a standard Uber service.

~Psihala
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  #197  
Old 08 May 2018, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
Aha, this refers to the study I was talking about earlier, even though the figures for Uber weren't in the table we found:
I don't even believe those figures. Each company has a completely different criteria for what counts as a disengagement.
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  #198  
Old 08 May 2018, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
...* Minimum altitude for aircraft in the US when over populated areas...
Title 14 Chapter I Subchapter F Part 91 Subpart B §91.119

Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes...


I expect that those VTOL taxibots are going to spend the vast majority of their time in the process of either taking off or landing. My expectation is that there will be enough political clout behind them that they will be allowed to fall under the exemption currently allowed for helicopters.

Edit add: Obstacles to VTOL air traffic are relatively finite and static, and are probably not a huge challenge for flight control systems. Self-driving cars are up against a much tougher set of problems.

--Bob K.
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  #199  
Old 09 May 2018, 01:10 AM
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How much more complicated does the auto pilot problem become when there are fleets of air taxis in the air?

It does get rid of pedestrians, and other land-based mobile hazards, plus presumably there would not be large numbers of human piloted flying vehicles to deal with. So probably it would reduce the variables in that way. But, a confused autonomous airplane can't just pull over or turn the controls over to a passenger/backup driver.
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  #200  
Old 09 May 2018, 05:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
How much more complicated does the auto pilot problem become when there are fleets of air taxis in the air?
I'm pretty sure that's the big impetus behind ADSB.

Quote:
Originally Posted by erwins View Post
...But, a confused autonomous airplane can't just pull over or turn the controls over to a passenger/backup driver.
Two things:

1) The autonomous jumpbots in question will most likely have VTOL capacity. The business case is pretty much all red without it.

2) No, but it can't pull over or give up control to the occupants, but it can take any of a variety of contingency actions, including but not limited to:

* Switching to a backup or backup-backup navigation and control system

* Flying towards a known safe "regroup" area

* Climbing to a safe altitude and establishing a holding pattern

* Calling home for an assist

* When all else fails, navigating towards an open area and deploying the BRS parachute

--Bob K.
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