back to article Zero accidents, all of your data – what The Reg learnt at Bosch's autonomous car bash

Autonomous cars, what's not to like? According to their proponents, they will herald an accident, traffic and generally hassle-free age of transportation. So much so, in fact, that Bosch – the world's largest supplier of automotive parts – has decided to "evolve into a provider of services for road users". The company used …

Why would anyone trust what Bosch says?

They were the ones that programmed the ECU's in the VW scandal.... and got away with virtually zero bad publicity even though the dodgy code was their copyright, not VW's (complicit springs to mind to say the least)!

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"and got away with virtually zero bad publicity"

Possibly because the code was there for legitimate development purposes and was then misused by VW. It's very difficult to do development and test work on things like engines unless there are ways to turn things off selectively.

Your argument is a bit like blaming Sabatier for stabbings.

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Re: "and got away with virtually zero bad publicity"

"Your argument is a bit like blaming Sabatier for stabbings."
Really? Sabatier implies a high-quality knife produced by any one of a number of manufacturers in the Thiers region of France, but more than likely it's a cheap piece of shite from China. Sabatier is not a registered brand unlike Henckel, Wusthof, or Messermeister for example who make the knives chefs use.

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Zero accidents is a dangerous goal to set

There was a time when aviation (which is very similar to the automated car bussiness in many ways) when zero accidents was the goal. There was stiff punishment for those found guilty and lots of deep detailed investigation into whatever accident was reported. It didn't really work. Many accidents found deep rooted problems in the organisation of all kinds of companies and bureaucracies that should have come to light sooner but weren't because people didn't dare report them. Because reporting an accident could lead the reporting into hot water himself.

Nowadays the safety culture is not focused on zero accidents, but on mitigating and diminishing the impact of the incidents that lead up to an accident so that as many edge cases leading up to an accident are excluded. But this means for instance that those reporting incidents should be protected from all consequences of reporting them. It also means not prosecuting those involved in accidents when they do happen so that all information possible can be gained from those involved to get a detailed root cause from all levels without fear of reprisals. Especially this last one is something that SHOULD be implemented when it comes to autonomous vehicles but is probably never going to happen because of the "someone has to be made responsible and punished for their mistakes" attitude many people have. Unless it's criminal negligence a programmer or designer working on autonomous vehicle hardware/software should never be held responsible for accidents that happen due to flaws in the software or hardware. And if they didn't use best practice due to cost cutting it should be the managers and beancounters on the chopping block. Not the scapegoat designers.

Recent incidents like the Tesla crashing under the side of a truck show the "off with their heads" attitude reigns unfortunately.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Zero accidents is a dangerous goal to set

"but is probably never going to happen because of the "someone has to be made responsible and punished for their mistakes" attitude many people have"

Basically you are saying that Bosch shouldn't ever be held responsible for any accident their cars cause. Nor any payments for the victims of said accidents, i.e. free ride for the corporation, not their problem at all.

In aviation you can lose your license to fly and that's serious motivator, but nothing even near exists on the road. Won't happen either, every manufacturer will oppose it with tooth and nail.

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Nice idea, but

I live out in a rural area of the USA where God lost his sandals. Cellular phones are hit-or-miss, load up your software travel map route BEFORE you start from somewhere that does have coverage, and don't expect the turn-by-turn directions to arrive before the turn. Self-driving cars may work fine on freeways, in the city or suburbs, but good luck out by me, even before you factor in the deer and other wildlife.

(side topic) How big or dense does an object have to be before the car registers it? Friend showed me a picture of her half-ton pickup. Looked like a shotgun blast to the front grill. Nope, a tom turkey that was low-flying across the road, his skull took out her radiator.

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Re: Nice idea, but

"Cellular phones are hit-or-miss, load up your software travel map route BEFORE you start from somewhere that does have coverage, and don't expect the turn-by-turn directions to arrive before the turn"

Look up. Way up.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpaceX_satellite_constellation

Ok, it won't work in tunnels but between terrestrial 4G and the 3 competing satellite internet systems being rolled out, being "out of touch" is going to be difficult-to-impossible in coming years.

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So Bosch is going to pay my insurance bill?

If Bosch wants to collect data and have control over the car & keep "tech-savvy" owners from turning features on themselves then they should be responsible for any liability/single vehicle accident insurance costs.

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Anonymous Coward

There _will be accidents_

""Well, when we have autonomous cars, there won't be any accidents," one Bosch employee said"

And that tells to the world that what is the level of expertise in this company: They are morons.

Autonomous car will crash, every one (model, not necessarily every car) of them.

Partially to "unseen environment", i.e. snow, gravel, flood, what ever. Or they just stop when there's 20cm of snow on the ground as they've no idea what to do.

Partially to programming errors: There're tens of millions of lines of code: There's no way there aren't any major bugs, causing accidents.

Then there are _mechanical failures_: Autonomous cars are still cars and _cars always fail_: Nothing in the world can stop that.

And finally: _Other_ autonomous cars by different manufacturers which react differently and cause accidents.

Most simple example: A British car in France would try to drive on right.

Ergo: Anyone claiming that there won't be accidents, is a patentable idiot.

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Anonymous Coward

Stasi-level of tracking, 24/7/365.

""If a user opts out of sharing geolocation data, this will undermine certain safety features such as preventing speeding in speed-limited areas, and will undermine traffic congestion information required to assist traffic management,"

And this is Bullshit on highest degree. There's no need to contact mothership to know what the local speed limit is as it is in the map. Only reason to do that is to spy on you and sell the data.

It's also a serious intrusion of privacy but these Bosch-morons see only money in it: Your privacy is wrothless to Bosch (as a company).

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Anonymous Coward

No security for you by Bosch, I see

I have to say that all of that collected stupidity they say, this one takes the cake:

"If your car is hacked, he said, information on the attack will go back to a Bosch security centre for the code to be analysed line by line, and a patch pushed out to the fleet as well as the car in question."

Yea, right. When the car is hacked, you _have no control over it_ and it doesn't send anything to Bosch: It has new masters now.

These morons are totally disconnected from _any reality_: Hacked car _is hacked_.

There's nothing you can do to remotely, anymore: That's the end of the story, finis.

And these, so called experts, spew bullshit like this as truth? WTF?

Collective and concentrated stupidity is so thick you can cut it with a knife and sell by cubic meter.

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Anonymous Coward

Driver identity is sellable data, of course it tracks the driver face

"Perhaps most unnerving was the camera that detects which way your eyes are looking so the car can tell when you're not paying attention to the road."

It uses the face regonition to name the driver and you bet that data is always sent to Bosch.

There's no technical reason to spy on driver in a car which is driving itself so the reasons are commercial, i.e. sellable data.

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Natural disaster = no vehicles

In a world with interconnected autonomous cars that are "shared", any interruption to the network means that the cars do not operate. Tsunami, earthquake, fire, flood, hurricane or terrorist attack on infrastructure and personal transport grinds to a halt. The system has no way to verify your ID when you hop in a shared vehicle and if it's autonomous, it won't have a way to circumvent debris in the road by moving into the opposing lane on up on a sidewalk or even a detour through a shopping center parking lot. Just when it might be very important to have transport, the system could utterly fail. Only those with grandpa's red Barchetta squired away in the garage will be able to get anywhere.

After an earthquake, the only roads will be the ones that are the easiest for a bulldozer to plow.

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