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Google's Waymo is launching a driverless Uber competitor in Arizona

Discussion in 'Auto News & Rumors' started by Erik Latranyi, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. Erik Latranyi

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    For the doubters who doubt autonomous vehicles are coming.........

    From the article:

    Waymo, the self-driving-car company spun out of Google, just made a huge move to rival Uber in the driverless-car arms race.

    Waymo said Tuesday that select people in Arizona can now hitch a ride in one of the company's autonomous Chrysler Pacifica minivans. The effort mimics the ones launched by Uber in Pittsburgh and Tempe, Arizona, but Waymo will differentiate itself by not having a human driver sit behind the wheel.


    Google's Waymo is launching a driverless Uber competitor in Arizona (at http://uk.businessinsider.com/waymo-self-driving-uber-competitor-arizona-2017-11?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheMoneyGame+%28The+Money+Game%29&r=US&IR=T )
     
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  2. link3721

    link3721 Yes, This MK Goes Off-Road
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    I wonder how much of a pricetag will be added when they finally come to market. I'm sure it will be like so many other safety additions that will take time to trickle down to be affordable and available in all cars. Still a while before that point happens.
     
  3. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    I wonder what autonomous cars are going to do to insurance rates. I could see companies dropping rates slightly, then enjoying huge profits as claims start to fall. Plus, it's still a grey area on who is liable if an autonomous car crashes.
     
  4. Erik Latranyi

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    They will eliminate the need for insurance because there is no driver.

    Manufacturers will be liable for product liability, like your microwave oven.
     
  5. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    Oh, I doubt the insurance lobby is going to let legislators allow autonomous car owners to go without insurance.;) They will come up with some fancy new name for no-fault and keep the money coming in.

    I think the liability issue is still murky though. Not when there is a mechanical failure or defect, but what happens when the autonomous vehicle doesn't make an emergency maneuver to avoid a collision and the driver/passenger is injured or killed? Will a vehicle be able to effectively drive during severe weather like snow and ice? If an car drives itself onto an icy patch then slides off a cliff, is the OEM at fault or the driver for not taking over? If I were a young lawyer, I'd start specializing on vehicle autonomy and liability.
     
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  6. Erik Latranyi

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    Sorry, but it has all been thought out.

    Autonomous cars fall under product liability, not owner liability because there is no operator.

    Second, an autonomous car is not like a human, and will not drive in dangerous conditions. Like an aircraft, it doesn'
    go if the conditions are unsafe.....those conditions will be set universally, so there is no "risk".

    If an autonomous car hits a moose that runs out in front of it, there is no liability. Your injuries are covered under your health insurance.
     
    #6 Erik Latranyi, Nov 8, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2017
  7. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    Nothing is ever all thought out. That's why litigation is out of control in the US. I can see a split in autonomous vehicles between zero interaction and driver capable whereas a zero interaction doesn't allow a human to take control ever. This would be mostly in service vehicles; cabs/black car service, long haul trucking(big potential there), shuttles, etc. Those would all have the passengers liability free. A personal vehicle with fully autonomous features plus driver features ads a level of complexity to determine who's in control. An attentive driver would still be able to take evasive action if needed and I believe (I could be wrong) it is still unlawful for a "driver" of an autonomous vehicle to be drunk or sleeping when the vehicle is driving itself. That proves there is still some responsibility on the driver. If an autonomous car hits a moose and the driver neglected to make any attempt to avoid it and the passenger is hurt, I'm sure there will be attempted litigation against the OEM to prove the safety of the autonomous system and against the "driver" for not being in control of their autonomous car, which is an odd oxymoron.

    The idea that the vehicle won't go if the conditions are unsafe is interesting as well. Will a car be smart enough to say, sorry I'm not driving because heavy rain is coming? Can an autonomous vehicle detect black ice or know that bridges freeze before the regular road? Will a vehicle stop on the side of the road during severe weather? Is it more dangerous to drive 5 miles in a terrible snowstorm, than to strand the passengers out in the same weather? I'm sure people are thinking of these scenarios and planning against them, but the real application of these plans is still in the infancy stages.
     
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  8. MJAB

    MJAB Well-Known Member

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    Fully autonomous cars will not be purchased by persons, but You'll buy a transport service with various degrees of features, options, ....
    The car could be of exclusive use of one person or shared with others, as well as could be shared the travel.

    You need to go to buy big items, than will arrive an autonomous van to take You to your favourite DiY center.
    Do You want to go downtown, than a small car will bring You and so on.

    The car has to do maintenance... another one will arrive at your home.

    It is like using a train, bus or airplane, You are the passenger.
     
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  9. somber

    somber 370,000 miles
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    This stuff is happening fast. I wonder how many years we have left to drive our own cars?

    As for insurance, I imagine the owner would be liable for negligence on maintenance of the vehicle. If they keep letting it run on bald tires and this leads to an accident, then I'm sure the owner would be liable, not the manufacturer.

    I got a kick out of imagining a Waymo van that's running low on gas sitting next to a gas pump, waiting for its human keeper to arrive to fill it up.
     
  10. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    Unintended consequence of autonomous vehicles, the return of the full service station..?
     
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  11. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    I hadn't thought of autonomous vehicles as being part of subscription service. Very interesting concept. It makes a lot of sense though. Subscribers can get the vehicle of their current needs without the "hassle" of ownership. Vehicles could originate at local dealerships or how bout this, repurposed derelict mall/big box retail stores (big parking lot already included). The future is full of possibilities...
     
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  12. link3721

    link3721 Yes, This MK Goes Off-Road
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    A fully autonomous car would be covered by the manufacturer, but the current Waymo lvl 4 would be covered by both depending on who is operating the vehicle. If operating as autonomous, manufacturer would be liable but the driver would be liable in the instance where they are operating.
     
  13. Erik Latranyi

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    Autonomous vehicles would be programmed to protect the life of the passengers st all costs. If that eans stopping, so be it.
     
  14. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    Can't recall if it was discussed here or elsewhere, but will an autonomous car strike/kill a pedestrian (or group of pedestrians) in order to protect the occupant? That's an ethical hot potato...
     
  15. Erik Latranyi

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    Likely that it would not the pedestrians rather than crash and hurt the passengers.

    Pedestrians that are so quick to fool an autonomous car are probably trying to die anyway.
     
  16. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    Self-driving bus involved in crash less than two hours after Las Vegas launch (at https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/nov/09/self-driving-bus-crashes-two-hours-after-las-vegas-launch-truck-autonomous-vehicle )

    Passengers reported that the collision could have been avoided if the bus backed away from the oncoming truck. Autonomous accident avoidance technology isn't past the deer in the headlights stage, but it will come with better technology and fewer unpredictable human drivers on the road.
     
  17. KrisW

    KrisW Active Member

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    I see a lot of wishful thinking here about insurance and liability, and from a surprising source. You will pay, and you'll end up paying more.

    Claiming there's "no risk" in autonomous driving is a nonsense. There are always risks. There are always liabilities, but we're to believe that Google, one of the most slippery customers out there when it comes to dodging legal obligations, will empty its pockets for failures of its autonomous vehicles? Expect long, protracted legal cases where Google, etc wear down the little guy until there's no money left for an award.

    You can call me a cynic, but based on how the modern US works, I expect the bulk of the liability to be dumped on governments and taxpayers after expensive lobbying by the Silicon Valley companies.

    Auto insurance will remain, because the alternative of bundling auto accident cover with health insurance will leave about half the nation's drivers without cover: healthcare insurance in the United States is already a total shambles - adding new risks to policies won't solve the affordability problems. Or maybe the Brave New World only for rich white bros, just like the rest of Silicon Valley's great ideas?

    I actually think there's a bright future for autonomous transportation, but it'll be in freight and logistics, where contractual obligations are much more clearly defined than for private drivers, and the commercial gains are easy to see. (Plus, autonomous trucks can do double-shifts without having to tamper with their tachographs the way human drivers are forced to...)
     
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  18. link3721

    link3721 Yes, This MK Goes Off-Road
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    I'd imagine that type of scenario is so remote that it would be lost in the statistical noise.
     
  19. GasAxe

    GasAxe Well-Known Member

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    It's extreme, but if the programing is equally extreme of protecting the occupant at all costs, the two will intersect at some point. With the amount of miles driven each year in the US alone, even a miniscule statistical occurrence can mean an actual event taking place every so often. Look at some of the more ridiculous recalls OEM's have been required to do when an unlikely specific set of circumstance allowed a horrific accident. Those accidents are played up in the media and the next thing we know, big expensive changes are made.

    All I'm saying is that a sort of Pandora's box is being opened with autonomous vehicles and it's a bit presumptuous to believe the application of the technology will be initially flawless and any liability issues are already clearly defined.
     
  20. link3721

    link3721 Yes, This MK Goes Off-Road
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    Keep in mind it doesn't have to be flawless, it just needs to be better than humans.

    I would argue that a person couldn't realistically make that kind of decision in a split second either, way too much going on. Most people would be trying to save themselves to the end. To expect an autonomous vehicle to operate in a manner that doesn't try to protect it's occupants at all costs doesn't seem right, because it couldn't realistically do the job any better than a person.

    Let's say autonomous cars reduce traffic fatalities from the current 35000-ish to 500 per year. Even if one remote incident like the one in our hypothetical scenario results in 50 people dying to save the life of the car's passengers, it'll be hard to argue againat the other 30000+ lives saved by the technology.
     
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