Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by chromas on Friday May 25 2018, @12:01PM   Printer-friendly
from the I-want-to-drive-in-the-other-lane;-I-want-to-merge-like-humans-do dept.

Submitted via IRC for TheMightyBuzzard

In the field of self-driving cars, algorithms for controlling lane changes are an important topic of study. But most existing lane-change algorithms have one of two drawbacks: Either they rely on detailed statistical models of the driving environment, which are difficult to assemble and too complex to analyze on the fly; or they're so simple that they can lead to impractically conservative decisions, such as never changing lanes at all.

At the International Conference on Robotics and Automation tomorrow, researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) will present a new lane-change algorithm that splits the difference. It allows for more aggressive lane changes than the simple models do but relies only on immediate information about other vehicles' directions and velocities to make decisions.

[...] One standard way for autonomous vehicles to avoid collisions is to calculate buffer zones around the other vehicles in the environment. The buffer zones describe not only the vehicles' current positions but their likely future positions within some time frame. Planning lane changes then becomes a matter of simply staying out of other vehicles' buffer zones.

[...] With the MIT researchers' system, if the default buffer zones are leading to performance that's far worse than a human driver's, the system will compute new buffer zones on the fly — complete with proof of collision avoidance.

Let me know when someone finds an algorithm that can deal with unknown situations as intuitively as human beings can. Until then...

Source: http://news.mit.edu/2018/driverless-cars-change-lanes-like-human-drivers-0523


Original Submission

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by looorg on Friday May 25 2018, @12:03PM (13 children)

    by looorg (578) on Friday May 25 2018, @12:03PM (#683974)

    So they want their selfdriving car to cut other people off, honk their horn for no reason and generally behave like an ass in traffic? OK ....

    • (Score: 1, Redundant) by c0lo on Friday May 25 2018, @12:11PM (1 child)

      by c0lo (156) on Friday May 25 2018, @12:11PM (#683978) Journal

      So they want their selfdriving car to cut other people off, honk their horn for no reason and generally behave like an ass in traffic?

      On the bright side, it won't be worse than it is now.
      Actually, it will be better by at least one less driver killed, ain't it?

      (grin)

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by aristarchus on Friday May 25 2018, @06:50PM

        by aristarchus (2645) on Friday May 25 2018, @06:50PM (#684141) Journal

        or they're so simple that they can lead to impractically conservative decisions, such as never changing lanes at all.

        Impractially conservative? As opposed to antsy, Amphetamine-fuelled, alt-right weaving through traffic for no reason other than you have a rabid wolverine in your underpants? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KThlYHfIVa8 [youtube.com]

        Funny how the same arguments are made for autonomous killing machines: Robots will not do My Lai, and will follow Rules of Engagement more ethically than humans could, because robots do not become murderously pissed. So autonomously-killing auto-navigating automobiles would have no emotional issues in being "impractically conservative" if that was more practical. In fact, they may also be completely unemotional in deploying on-board SSM's to remove radically edgy alt-right lane-changers from the driving public, for the greater safety of all.

    • (Score: 5, Funny) by MostCynical on Friday May 25 2018, @12:15PM (10 children)

      by MostCynical (2589) on Friday May 25 2018, @12:15PM (#683980) Journal

      Weave
      Not use indicators

      Maybe wave a robot arm, when someone lets it in..

      --
      "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
      • (Score: 4, Touché) by RS3 on Friday May 25 2018, @01:45PM (4 children)

        by RS3 (6367) on Friday May 25 2018, @01:45PM (#684003)

        Random algorithm to maybe use indicators, usually after beginning the lane change.

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by bob_super on Friday May 25 2018, @04:48PM (3 children)

          by bob_super (1357) on Friday May 25 2018, @04:48PM (#684079)

          More importantly, how do you correctly program it to force its way into the next lane, inches before the fourth cone that closes its own lane, after passing a couple hundred yards of crawling properly-merging traffic ?

          • (Score: 2) by Osamabobama on Friday May 25 2018, @07:19PM

            by Osamabobama (5842) on Friday May 25 2018, @07:19PM (#684158)

            Are you implying that it's best to merge early, leaving a perfectly good lane unused? You should read up on the zipper merge [arstechnica.com].

            --
            Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
          • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Saturday May 26 2018, @02:25AM

            by RS3 (6367) on Saturday May 26 2018, @02:25AM (#684319)

            No problem for my randomness algorithm!

          • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26 2018, @02:52PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26 2018, @02:52PM (#684536)

            More importantly, how do you correctly program it to force its way into the next lane, inches before the fourth cone that closes its own lane, after passing a couple hundred yards of crawling properly-merging traffic ?

            if [$car >= $bmw]
            do
                        goto front_of_line;
            else
                        merge_slowly();
            fi

      • (Score: 4, Funny) by looorg on Friday May 25 2018, @01:59PM

        by looorg (578) on Friday May 25 2018, @01:59PM (#684010)

        If they get an robot arm to wave I'm sure they'll also program it to give you the finger just as often, or more.

      • (Score: 2) by Snow on Friday May 25 2018, @03:20PM (3 children)

        by Snow (1601) on Friday May 25 2018, @03:20PM (#684046) Journal

        You are not entirely wrong.

        When people want to change lanes, they kinda weave around a bit. They drift toward one side of the lane. Other people can notice this (subconsciously or otherwise) and can create a gap. Sometime the gap creation is to let them over. Other times it's because they seem erratic and you want to give them space. Either way, a space is cleared and the car can move over.

        Another tactic is to just change lanes very slowly. No gap? No problem. Just kinda slowly drift over to where you want to be and most of the time it works out.

        • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday May 25 2018, @03:24PM

          by tangomargarine (667) on Friday May 25 2018, @03:24PM (#684049)

          When people want to change lanes, they kinda weave around a bit. They drift toward one side of the lane. Other people can notice this (subconsciously or otherwise) and can create a gap.

          Maybe near you. Near me, people seem to have a love affair with the lane markers and like to keep their tires on one of them even when they're not thinking about changing lanes. This is one of the major reasons for my paranoia philosophy of driving: if you assume all drivers are intentionally trying to hit you at all times, you'll be surprised a lot less often.

          Being surprised is expensive

          --
          "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @07:11PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @07:11PM (#684153)

          Another tactic is to just change lanes very slowly. No gap? No problem. Just kinda slowly drift over to where you want to be and most of the time it works out.

          Please paste a huge sign on your car that says "idiot" and never drive around this area. Thanks.

        • (Score: 2) by deimtee on Saturday May 26 2018, @10:50AM

          by deimtee (3272) on Saturday May 26 2018, @10:50AM (#684442) Journal

          Another tactic is to just change lanes very slowly. No gap? No problem. Just kinda slowly drift over to where you want to be and most of the time it works out.

          When I was having lessons for a heavy endorsement on my licence that is pretty much exactly what the instructor said.
          him: "Move into that lane" (a lane of bumper to bumper traffic, moving at about the same speed as my lane)
          me : (driving a large truck) "That lane is full, there's no space to move into."
          him: "Just indicate and move over slowly. They'll get out of your way."

          He was right, they did. Not sure if the large yellow [DRIVER UNDER INSTRUCTION] signs helped them make that decision.

          --
          No problem is insoluble, but at Ksp = 2.943×10−25 Mercury Sulphide comes close.
  • (Score: 2) by Rivenaleem on Friday May 25 2018, @12:33PM (7 children)

    by Rivenaleem (3400) on Friday May 25 2018, @12:33PM (#683982)

    Let me know when someone finds an algorithm that can deal with unknown situations as intuitively as human beings can. Until then...

    Given the massive numbers of people who die in accidents each year you are not setting the bar very high here.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by c0lo on Friday May 25 2018, @12:44PM (1 child)

      by c0lo (156) on Friday May 25 2018, @12:44PM (#683986) Journal

      Even with the bar that low, we'll be looking for a long time they'll be able to pass over it.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 2) by darkfeline on Friday May 25 2018, @05:54PM

        by darkfeline (1030) on Friday May 25 2018, @05:54PM (#684106) Homepage

        Given the numbers for actual miles driven by self-driving cars, the number of collisions per miles driven (even including Uber's questionable engineering), the number of successful human interventions per miles driven (compared to actual humans who are on autopilot most of the time), and the fact that self-driving cars are already driving normal people on public roads (in case you weren't paying attention), they passed that bar a long time ago.

        --
        Join the SDF Public Access UNIX System today!
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @12:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @12:53PM (#683988)

      Let me know when someone finds an algorithm that can deal with unknown situations as intuitively as human beings can. Until then...

      Stop resisting! Dead or alive, you're coming with me!

      That was easy. Next?

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Friday May 25 2018, @12:57PM (2 children)

      by VLM (445) on Friday May 25 2018, @12:57PM (#683990)

      I googled up "National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey Report to Congress" or similar (I've read it before, its a NHTSA pub) and found the 2008 PDF pretty easily and about 145 deaths per year are from lane changes.

      We've been averaging fifty lightning strike deaths per year for a long time, so dying because of lane changes is about three times more likely than lightning strike.

      Of course a huge percentage of accidents involve people not driving their car, mere passenger, due to being high, drunk, phone, radio, talking, just generally not paying attention, which is pretty safe and works well thousands of times without issue until someone ends up dead. So an algo that simply issues "sleep(5000);" randomly once in awhile won't do much worse than a human car occupant (can't really call them drivers).

      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday May 25 2018, @03:20PM

        by tangomargarine (667) on Friday May 25 2018, @03:20PM (#684047)

        I wonder what the corresponding rate of accidents that *would have happened* if one of the drivers hadn't rapidly changed lanes is. Just this morning I had a guy pull out right in front of me from a cross-street that I had to dodge. In the far lane. Nice

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
      • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday May 25 2018, @07:52PM

        by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 25 2018, @07:52PM (#684171) Journal

        That lane change accidents don't cause that many deaths (simply because they happen at low relative speeds relative to each participant) , hardly justifies hand waiving them away as insignificant. They often tie up multiple lanes of traffic, cause injuries, and a lot of damage. Further more they have a habit of mushrooming into vehicle events involving more than the original two vehicles involved.

        The instant karma lane change you see quite often in Russian Dash-Cam videos is the jerk who tries to cut off a much larger vehicle, ends up doing the pit maneuver upon his own vehicle when his back end contacts the trucks front bumper, and he gets pushed sideways in front of the truck, and shoved down the highway for as long as the truck driver thinks he can get away with pretending an in-ability to stop his big rig.

        Nobody gets killed. But jerk gets his entire car bashed up, four tires ripped from rims, and gets a terror ride sideways down the highway.

        --
        No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Friday May 25 2018, @02:47PM

      by Immerman (3985) on Friday May 25 2018, @02:47PM (#684032)

      Yeah, what immediately sprang to mind in response was that old chestnut:
      "When in trouble or in doubt run in circles scream and shout"

      Pretty sure it won't take much AI to outperform that...

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @12:43PM (6 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @12:43PM (#683985)

    If these cars are driverless then how will they blow the horn and give other cars the finger when these driverless cars change lanes?

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by c0lo on Friday May 25 2018, @01:12PM (1 child)

      by c0lo (156) on Friday May 25 2018, @01:12PM (#683993) Journal

      If these cars are driverless then how will they blow the horn and give other cars the finger when these driverless cars change lanes?

      Blowing the horn isn't that hard to automated.
      Giving the finger is even easier, just mount on the hood a miniature replica of the L.O.V.E. statue in Milan. As a perpetual act of culture, for all to see at any given time.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Friday May 25 2018, @02:45PM

        by VLM (445) on Friday May 25 2018, @02:45PM (#684031)

        Blowing the horn isn't that hard to automated.

        Yeah yeah funny mod, not disagreeing. However, seriously, does anyone know if any of the self driving cars have actually automated the horn and added it to driving algos?

        A couple months ago some obviously crazy or high person jumped in front of a self driving car and died, possibly a self driving car should use facial recognition to tell if a pedestrian isn't looking at the car and then honk to get attention on the theory that maybe they could leap out of the way. I suppose road testing this kind of thing is going to be very exciting.

        Oh and using the data on the driver's phone, gotta honk at hot chicks, hot guys, maybe both depending on tindr/grindr app config, and gotta honk at people you know, at least according to how the locals drive around here. Otherwise they'll get pissed off and think you don't care about them, and this is the era of social media not antisocial media. Supposedly.

    • (Score: 1) by choose another one on Friday May 25 2018, @01:28PM (3 children)

      by choose another one (515) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 25 2018, @01:28PM (#683998)

      blowing the horn or _giving_ the finger is trivial to automate (e.g. https://cdn.thisiswhyimbroke.com/images/drivemocion-message-system.jpg [thisiswhyimbroke.com] )

      Real question is if the cars are driverless who is going to be watching or listening to react to it?

      What we actually need before we get driverless cars is a proper standardised driving insult (giving and receiving) protocol.

      • (Score: 2) by tangomargarine on Friday May 25 2018, @03:12PM (2 children)

        by tangomargarine (667) on Friday May 25 2018, @03:12PM (#684044)

        What we actually need before we get driverless cars is a proper standardised driving insult (giving and receiving) protocol.

        Then could we add a hands-free car-to-car calling system? To call up and tell all those people, "hey idiot, your turn signal has been on for the last 6 miles."

        I get not hearing the quiet ticking, but how do people manage to miss the flashing arrow on their dashboard?

        --
        "Is that really true?" "I just spent the last hour telling you to think for yourself! Didn't you hear anything I said?"
        • (Score: 2) by choose another one on Friday May 25 2018, @03:38PM

          by choose another one (515) Subscriber Badge on Friday May 25 2018, @03:38PM (#684054)

          Then could we add a hands-free car-to-car calling system? To call up and tell all those people, "hey idiot, your turn signal has been on for the last 6 miles."

          The 80s called, they want their CB radio back...

          [yeah I know, most were not exactly hands-free but less of a handful than using a damned phone]

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @06:25PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25 2018, @06:25PM (#684126)

          This will be solved first by an Italian car company.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by crafoo on Friday May 25 2018, @01:50PM (4 children)

    by crafoo (6639) on Friday May 25 2018, @01:50PM (#684005)

    This is interesting. They've calculated safe buffer zones around each vehicle based on their immediate velocity and position. And then they found that a typical human driver ignores these safe buffer zones. Did they just quantify exactly how bad most drivers are?

    I think most good drivers are aware and try to maintain buffers to avoid putting themselves into a situation they will have no control over leading to a crash.

    I also think there are many drivers, especially inexperienced drivers, who do not understand just the basic physical dynamics of driving. Things happen fast, and they don't understand how they got themselves into a situation where required reaction times are so short, they had effectively zero control. They experience this for the first time, are shocked when the (statistically) inevitable happens. Then, because of the decision they made 3 steps ago put them into the situation, they just blame the other driver. Yes, their immediate actions didn't cause the crash. Their decision 3 steps ago put them into a situation where a collision was likely or physically impossible to avoid.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by VLM on Friday May 25 2018, @02:54PM (2 children)

      by VLM (445) on Friday May 25 2018, @02:54PM (#684036)

      And then they found that a typical human driver ignores these safe buffer zones. Did they just quantify exactly how bad most drivers are?

      My immediate reaction was a racing car course I took (nothing too exotic) where serious sober racers can trust each other to behave in a sane manner on a controlled-access track, so you can tailgate people at high speed without getting killed nearly as often as would happen on the road.

      With a side dish of when I had a long work commute and sometimes I was on the interstate with civilian idiot drunk drivers and sometimes out with the rush hour professionals, there is a certain feel to the experience such that the commuting professionals pay much more attention and are vastly less unpredictable such that you could take certain liberties without dying. This is not necessarily extreme stuff, for example due to perceived fellow driver skill level I feel much safer at 25 MPH in ice conditions with commuter professionals than I do with Sunday drunk driver yahoos at 15 MPH. The amount of stupidity WTF you see on the road varies a bit with time of day. I wonder if the learning algos as mentioned are picking up on that. That guy looking out each window and mirror while wearing a suit and tie and its 5:00 pm I can inch a little closer to him than some moron playing with his radio and drinking god knows what out of a bottle as he weaves around at 2am on the way to a scheduled maintenance window, so that goofball gets the maximal size space cushion for safety.

      Wait till the algos are discovered to be "racist" because certain skin color drivers are less predictable on the road than others... Or the algo learns "oh look there's a pot leaf bumper sticker aka that driver's reaction time will be measured in seconds not milliseconds", etc.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Immerman on Friday May 25 2018, @02:59PM

      by Immerman (3985) on Friday May 25 2018, @02:59PM (#684039)

      I think another component is likely that humans are really bad at solving nonlinear physics equations in their head while driving, and intuition is generally a poor estimate, so that "safe buffer zone" they think they're leaving actually isn't.

      Intuitively, how much do you think your braking distance increases when going 43mph instead of 30? I mean you're not even going half again as fast, so you probably guesstimate maybe 50% further, when in reality you've more than doubled it. Going 70 instead of 60 increases your kinetic energy by 36%, with a corresponding reduction in maneuverability. But intuition tends not to compensate for such things - and that "safe buffer zone" you think you're leaving is probably not actually enough if anything does go wrong - which it very rarely does, so you don't get a lot of feedback on your misjudgement.

  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by bob_super on Friday May 25 2018, @04:58PM (1 child)

    by bob_super (1357) on Friday May 25 2018, @04:58PM (#684084)

    Hey, since we have computers controlling cars, Why hasn't anybody added a big screen between the back window and bumper, where the car could print in plain english "going to the right lane, exiting in 1 mile, thank you".
    Humans can't communicate that well from inside their cage, so we got turn signals. Autonomous cars can be explicit (not too long, for safety).

    Patent pending

    • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Saturday May 26 2018, @03:39AM

      by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Saturday May 26 2018, @03:39AM (#684337) Homepage Journal

      Wow. Incredible idea. Let me tell you, I wouldn't mind that one. Although it might be a little bit dangerous. And possibly very awkward. Because the wrong person might follow you. If you weren't careful about what you showed on your "explicit" screen. They think it's you in the screen, you tell them no, it's not you, it's an actor. Doing the things you want to do.

      Some folks don't like to look at that type of screen. And they don't want other folks to look either. New York City, we used to have a red light district. Times Square, people don't know this. So many adult theaters. Until .@RudyGiuliani [twitter.com] shut them down. He brought Disney, he brought many things. You can bring your kids, take a selfie with Captain America. Very wholesome. And very profitable, trust me.

      As far as I’m concerned, there's no such thing as bad porn. There's great porn and there's OK porn. Like pizza. But .@VP [twitter.com] Pence -- great guy, beautiful guy -- doesn't like to see anyone naked. Not even his wife. And there are many many people like him. I'd love to see the cars with the very special screens. And our wonderful young people would love that. They love their screens. Folks my age have business cards. And we have fax machines. When we like someone in a very special way, we trade business cards. And we send each other very special faxes. Or we do the Snapchat, I'm very big on Snapchat. Very big. But the young folks have sex "tapes," they're the modern day business card. And I was in a few pornos (Playboy), as everyone knows. Unfortunately I didn't have sex in those. Although I had a lot off-camera. And I still do!!!

(1)