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Old 12 September 2017, 11:49 PM
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Default Driverless-car rules loosen: U.S. regulator stops demanding safety assessments

http://www.latimes.com/business/auto...912-story.html

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Under that directive, automakers and technology companies will be asked to voluntarily submit safety assessments to the U.S. Department of Transportation, but they donít have to do it.

And states are being advised to use a light regulatory hand.
Just in case it isn't clear what this means:
Quote:
[Transportation Secretary]Chao said she supports new legislation working its way through Congress to support driverless-car development. Last week, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would let automakers each put up to 25,000 cars on the road even if some features donít meet current safety standards. Over three years, the cap would rise.
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Old 13 September 2017, 09:37 AM
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Not to suggest it was intentional, but its interesting this story appeared on the same day the NTSB held their board meeting to determine the probable cause in the May 2016 Tesla crash.

~Psihala
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The board's report declares the primary probable cause of the collision as the truck driver's failure to yield, as well as the Tesla driver's overreliance on his car's automation — or Autopilot, as Tesla calls the system. Tesla's system design was declared a contributing factor.
Source: ABC News-- Tesla's semiautonomous system contributed to fatal crash: Feds )
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Old 13 September 2017, 02:22 PM
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Is it horrible of me to hope that, if there's a car crash injury that would have been avoided by the regulations they're intending to get rid of, the person injured is Chao or one of the Congresspeople supporting it?

Statistical chances being what they are, of course, I don't suppose that's likely.
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Old 13 September 2017, 06:20 PM
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Errata Errata is offline
 
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Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
Is it horrible of me to hope that, if there's a car crash injury that would have been avoided by the regulations they're intending to get rid of, the person injured is Chao or one of the Congresspeople supporting it?
What if one of the tens of thousands of people killed in car accidents in the US every year is saved because self-driving technology gets here a little earlier. Is it horrible to hope that one of those people is Chao?

I have mixed feelings about this, because I feel like a lot of automakers right now are playing fast and loose with the development of this technology to beat others to the market and avoid being left too far behind. This technology deserves a greater emphasis on safety than a lot of developers are giving it right now, so I'm a little concerned about how the rollout will go. Some bad incidents are inevitably ahead.

People will die due to mistakes in the technology. But saying that shouldn't happen is an impossible standard, when people ignore that so many people are dying from human driver mistakes every day. When a self-driving car kills someone it will be headline news, but when a driver kills someone today, and another a few hours later, and another and another, it will barely make the local news.

As long as self-driving cars make a lot fewer mistakes and kill a lot fewer people, then it will be a life-saving technology, and it will keep saving more lives as the technology improves from there. But that's not the standard that people are going to hold it to. They'll hold it to the impossible one.

I do think there is an important role to government regulators to facilitate this transition in a smart way though. Just abdicating their responsibility will lead to some manufacturers racing to beat others to market and cutting corners. Someone needs to be the arbiter to make sure they're being smart about safety.
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Old 13 September 2017, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Errata View Post
What if one of the tens of thousands of people killed in car accidents in the US every year is saved because self-driving technology gets here a little earlier. [ . . . ]

People will die due to mistakes in the technology. But saying that shouldn't happen is an impossible standard, when people ignore that so many people are dying from human driver mistakes every day. When a self-driving car kills someone it will be headline news, but when a driver kills someone today, and another a few hours later, and another and another, it will barely make the local news.
That's a fair point.

But if the technology is tried out on the public roads without sufficient safeguards, with the result that people die not because of unpreventable possibilities but because of preventable ones, the result is likely to be not that the technology comes into common use a little earlier, but that it does so a whole lot later, because of backlash against improper attempts to get it out before it's actually ready.
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Old 13 September 2017, 08:34 PM
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It wouldn't be the first time an industry jumped the gun and wrecked itself.

The thing about full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes is that sometimes the torpedoes damn you instead.
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Old 14 September 2017, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorny locust View Post
That's a fair point.

But if the technology is tried out on the public roads without sufficient safeguards, with the result that people die not because of unpreventable possibilities but because of preventable ones, the result is likely to be not that the technology comes into common use a little earlier, but that it does so a whole lot later, because of backlash against improper attempts to get it out before it's actually ready.
Or it doesn't happen at all. The Hindenburg disaster, caused in part by the use of hydrogen and inflammable doping, effectively killed the widespread use of airships to this day. Even though many attempts to revive airships have been made with credible claims of safety and efficiency, none have really succeeded.
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