back to article Google robo-car suffers brain freeze after seeing hipster cyclist

A cyclist riding a fixed-gear bike claims to have brought a Google robo-car to a standstill. The rider, one “Oxtox” took to the forums of Road Bike Review with a tale in which he spotted “a Google self-driving Lexus”. Oxtox says “near the end of my ride today... we both stopped at an intersection with 4-way stop signs.” The …

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FAIL

Programs

The more complex it is, the harder to maintain. So called A.I. are exceptionally fragile compared to a Lathe controller, set-box GUI, accounts program because it's impossible to predict all eventual inputs and situations. Unlike a GUI an autonomous car can't ignore input until it gets "valid" input.

Autonomous vehicles need their own dedicated pedestrian and cyclist free road ways, the equivalent of railways without tracks.

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Terminator

But what were they typing in?

Must. Kill. Hipster. Cyclist?

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Impossible situation.

Such a cyclist is totally unpredictable, as such the only solution that doesn't carry any risk of killing him is to wait for him to go.

Car was right.

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So he would have preferred it just to run him down !

Complaining it stopped seems a strange argument

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Re: So he would have preferred it just to run him down !

Who's complaining?

The original story seems to have been a good-natured encounter, where none of the human parties got stressed or upset. We're told the googlers found it amusing, and it no doubt adds incrementally to the experience that'll bring self-drive to the masses in due course.

It's only amongst the Reg commentards that anyone seems to be getting bothered, let alone expressing extreme prejudice and advocating psychopathic behaviour as at least two have done. I came here to post to tell the little strangely-analagous anecdote about what happened to me yesterday (above), when I got held up by an a car messing about but nothing bad happened, and noone lost their temper at anyone.

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" have no freewheel so when the pedals are moving, the wheels are moving"

no freewheel? whats the point of that?

and did you mean "when wheels are moving, pedals are moving?

and how is any of the above relevent to the technique of not putting your feet down?

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"Is it specified who (should have had) priority? Could it be that everyone concerned was in fact doing exactly the right thing?"

Indeed, this is likely to be one of the biggest problems for self-driving cars. Even once we manage to get them to know and follow all the rules and recognise everything around them, what happens when the rules are don't actually lead to a sensible conclusion? For example, if four cars arrive at the junctions of a four-way mini-roundabout at exactly the same time, the law says that everyone has to give way to someone and no-one actually has right of way. As humans, we solve that by making embarrassed eye contact for a bit until someone says fuck it and just goes for it. But if the rules say a computer isn't allowed to move, it doesn't, and it's not going to get impatient and force a resolution (although presumably there will be special programming for Audis to cover that). The usual issues people always bring up about identifying obstacles and so on are actually relatively easy to solve, it's situations that require the car to technically break the rules that are likely to be the trickier ones.

@ Fraggle850

".if riding in city traffic. What happens if you have to do an emergency stop? Do you just fall over?"

You what? Have you never actually ridden or seen a bike before? If you have to do an emergency stop, you simply do an emergency stop. Cleats don't mean bolting your feet to the bike and needing a workshop full of power tools to release you again, it takes a fraction of a second to make the tiny sideways motion needed to unclip. If you're unable to stop safely then absolutely you shouldn't be using cleats, but incompetence is not a problem that banning cleats could solve.

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"incompetence is not a problem that banning cleats could solve"

No, but enforcement of the Highway Code would.

As would plates, insurance, testing etc.

Prove you're not an incompetent lunatic all the time - just like drivers and motorcyclists have to before they get out on the road unsupervised.

The sooner they ban headphones on the road the better, nothing worse than the cyclist wobbling side to side infront of you completely unaware of everything except the ipod blaring in their ears.

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Re: "incompetence is not a problem that banning cleats could solve"

The sooner they ban headphones on the road the better,

In most places they fall foul of the "keep aware of your surroundings" rule. It is rarely acted upon by the cops, though I remember that Montreal's city police started dishing out heavy fines to cyclists sporting headgear when I was there a couple years back. I heard a lot of my colleagues bitch about how unfair it was that they were fined as the motorists were a danger to them, not the opposite. Idiots.

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Anonymous Coward

"Indeed, this is likely to be one of the biggest problems for self-driving cars. Even once we manage to get them to know and follow all the rules and recognise everything around them, what happens when the rules are don't actually lead to a sensible conclusion? For example, if four cars arrive at the junctions of a four-way mini-roundabout at exactly the same time, the law says that everyone has to give way to someone and no-one actually has right of way. As humans, we solve that by making embarrassed eye contact for a bit until someone says fuck it and just goes for it. But if the rules say a computer isn't allowed to move, it doesn't, and it's not going to get impatient and force a resolution (although presumably there will be special programming for Audis to cover that). The usual issues people always bring up about identifying obstacles and so on are actually relatively easy to solve, it's situations that require the car to technically break the rules that are likely to be the trickier ones."

I think in a situation such as an all-way roulette, the best solution would be to resort to chance. If a car encounters such a scenario where all the roads are occupied but no one moves for a certain length of time, indicative of a yield lock, then the simplest solution would be for each car to pull a random number from say 1 to 50 and wait that many tenths of a second before making an assertive move forward, say a foot or two. Odds are one car will move first, it asserts right of way and we go from there. If more than one move at the same time, repeat between all the cars that moved then. Law of Averages should create a case where just one car moves before too long. At least with computers, there'll be no emotional inclination to "cut".

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Re: "incompetence is not a problem that banning cleats could solve"

"In most places they fall foul of the "keep aware of your surroundings" rule. It is rarely acted upon by the cops, though I remember that Montreal's city police started dishing out heavy fines to cyclists sporting headgear when I was there a couple years back. I heard a lot of my colleagues bitch about how unfair it was that they were fined as the motorists were a danger to them, not the opposite. Idiots."

It's like that where I am as well. You cannot block both ears when driving or riding because one needs to have aural awareness (in the event of a horn or siren, for example, the source of which may not be immediately visible). I think they let a monaural earpiece slide, though, since one ear was still free.

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"For example, if four cars arrive at the junctions of a four-way mini-roundabout at exactly the same time, the law says that everyone has to give way to someone and no-one actually has right of way."

The same way you do collision avoidance in Ethernet - random delays before making the next decision to move.

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Headphones - Re: "incompetence is not a problem that banning cleats could solve"

Many (many!) years ago I used to do a paper round on a bicycle and (back in the days of the Sony Walkman et al) I used to listen to music on headphones, but I kept the volume down to just above the ambient level of traffic noise, so I was still aware of what was going on.

Now compare that to the idiots who drive around with massive bass bins in their boot who would probably not hear a bomb if it went off outside their car...

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Standardization of intra car comminucation would come in handy here...

Also, there are exceptions even when all cars come to the intersection at the same time:

1) Those that do not go straight have to wait for traffic to clear

2) Amongst those that go straight, the ICCP (Intra-Car-COmmunication Protocol) can determine who goes first

After that, the nearside rule applies, and every cars goes in turn.

Regards,

Guus

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Would the Google Car stop if two mimes pretended to hold a piece of glass over the road?

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Most computers are already familiar with mime types.

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Genius.

Get on over to the caption competition whilst you're on form.

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Laughing and punching stuff into a laptop

if ( count > 3 ) { RunTheFuckerOver(); }

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I'd love to see the config panel:

Hipster avoidance: on/off

Drive style: old lady/tourist/normal/effective progress/joyride

Speed limits: 0 / +5% / +10% / ignore

Tyre screech: off / dramatic moments / always

Wheelspin: never / two lane traffic lights / always

Priorities order: pedestrian / cyclist / other vehicle / GoogleCar: drag to edit

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The way forward is simple...

Quite rare for me to recommend a Metro article, and don't be put off by the title. It contains both a video of an idiot-cyclist breaking a red light and ending up getting hit by a bus (and most of my fellow cyclists cannot stand such idiots), and a thought-provoking idea of why our crowded streets could be better if 30% of people got around by bike.

http://metro.co.uk/2015/06/03/the-law-should-protect-cyclists-and-penalise-motorists-5227953/

It's about time we enforced the rules for all road users properly. The way to protect the idiot cyclist in the video is to police the roads properly and catch these idiots. Why are they allowed to get away with it? The way to protect the vast *majority* of cyclists is to make it socially unacceptable for drivers to hold the sort of poisonous, aggressive attitude of our friend 'Vladimir' as he drives around our towns. The vast majority of motorists show me a lot of courtesy when I'm cycling, but every once-in-a-while a 'Vladimir' almost wipes you out on a stupid overtake. As a car driver I know that this is pointless, because it is other vehicles which slow down car journeys through towns.

Roads are for people. No matter how we get around, we should all stick to the rules and respect each other's rights to safety.

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Re: The way forward is simple... Okay Smartypants

How is the well deserved, tongue in cheek, comment by Vlad "Poisonous"? Just because he's talking about YOU? Feeling bereft, diddums?

As far as I can see, it is a well deserved response to the arrogant, narcissistic, rude, law breaking, cyclists that infest the roads. If you are a jerk then be prepared to reap what you sow and meet Darwin personally!

Stop with the "Socially Unacceptable" PC bullcrap! Everyone has a right to express an opinion and these cyclists deserve a negative one. Take some PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY. That doesn't take a "village".

People don't have to kowtow to the religion of political correctness, they just have to use some common sense and a little "gray matter".

That alone will prevent it (gray matter) being splattered all over the highway.

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Re: The way forward is simple... Okay Smartypants

@Dan Paul

"As far as I can see, it is a well deserved response to the arrogant, narcissistic, rude, law breaking, cyclists that infest the roads.."

So to clarify, you consider that 'I would have gotten out and knocked the wanker off his bike. Then run over his bicycle' is a 'well deserved' punishment for a cyclist who yielded at a 4 way stop junction to an automated car.

The world has its problems but thank fuck people like you aren't in charge here at least.

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Why does the cycling subject bring out so many trolls?

Anyone would think the user's in their metal boxes stand to get physically injured, but no, it's the soft objects around them that petrify ther sense of ownership and importance.

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It is funny to see idiots like Dan Paul using the tax argument. Most adult cyclist have a car and therefore pay road tax. Do you want to road tax pedestrians? Double if they are walking a dog? Bicycles are very light cf. cars and do not damage roads.

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billium

It's hilarious to see entitled moronic dolts like you comment vacuously against any opinion they don't care for.

What do you pay as a cyclist towards roads and their upkeep?

NOTHING!

An automobile driver pays for roads with the taxes on gasoline, the taxes on his /her vehicle, the registration fees, the insurance etc. This list is ENDLESS.

These fees and taxes are effectively a "Use Tax". Don't give me the malarkey that "Bicycles don't damage roads". That's common knowledge. What cyclists do is use the roads and thus they should pay to do so whether they have a car or NOT.

WHY NOT CHARGE CYCLISTS WITH REGISTERING, LISCENCING, TESTING AND INSURANCE JUST LIKE AUTOMOBILE DRIVERS ARE?

Anything less is discriminatory!

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I have a car ... I pay road tax, just like most adult cyclists. Is this too hard to grasp?

You do not stop paying road tax when you use a bike, if you have a car!

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@Dan Paul

You don't pay road tax, you pay car tax. Roads are maintained out of general taxation. Car Tax is based upon CO2 emissions. So you do not pay for the roads, you pay a levy for the amount of poison you spew out into the environment.

So as a matter of fact all cyclists pay the same as cars with similar emissions i.e. nothing.

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In the UK, if you pay pretty much any tax, you pay for the roads - it's maintained out of general taxation, not a specific road tax itself. VED isn't to pay for the roads, it's to encourage the use of smaller cars. It's a tax on the car itself, not the road use - otherwise hybrid 4x4s would still pay the higher rate.

No idea what the criac is in the US, mind (which, Jagged, is where I assume Dan Paul is from)

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Joke

Re: @Dan Paul

Car Tax is based upon CO2 emissions. So you do not pay for the roads, you pay a levy for the amount of poison you spew out into the environment.

So as a matter of fact all cyclists pay the same as cars with similar emissions i.e. nothing.

So lets get the cyclists to MOT station and stick the emissions meter tube in their gob and see how much CO2 they breathe out then.

And road tax is not necessarily based on emissions. Older cars go by engine displacment. Not sure how you'd measure that on a cyclist.

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"No idea what the criac is in the US, mind (which, Jagged, is where I assume Dan Paul is from)"

The general rule in the US is that road maintenance is collected through a combination of gasoline taxes and vehicle registration fees (the latter getting more attention lately because it can make up for the lower gas taxes brought in by high-efficiency and non-liquid-fuel vehicles). Other taxes may be involved but they're done on a case by case basis depending on the needs of the state or locality. Virginia, for example, restructured its gasoline tax structure a few years ago to bring in more revenue (for much-needed road repairs) and to reduce the need to adjust for inflation again in future.

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Re: billium

Nobody (in the UK) pays road tax. Car owners pay *CAR* tax.

"Bicycles damage roads, they should pay tax".

Ok, how? **CAR** tax is calculated on the vehicle emissions. So, bicycle=zero emissions=zero tax.

Wah Wah! bicyles wear the road just as cars do!!! Wah!!!

Ok. Road wear is proportional to the cube of the rolling weight of the vehicle. My bicycle with me on it weighs 80kg. My car weighs 1600kg. 1600/80 is 20. The cube of 20 is 8000. So, my wear-on-the-road bicycle tax should be 1/8000th of the £180 vehicle tax my car is liable for. 2.25p TWO AND A QUARTER FUKCING PENCE. Now, who do I send the cheque to?

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Re: billium

So, my wear-on-the-road bicycle tax should be 1/8000th of the £180 vehicle tax my car is liable for. 2.25p

Doesn't that assume you do the same mileage with the two vehicles?

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WTF?

Re: @Dan Paul

Y'know, I find it fascinating (and hilarious) how Right-wing Libertarian Americans are *SO* against additional taxes that affect them, yet, somehow, when it's an issue like this, they're in favour of taxes for *other* people!

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Re: billium

I do about ten times more mileage in my car than my bike, so ok, reduce that down to 0.225p.

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Facepalm

Re: @Dan Paul

I find it fascinating (and hilarious)

Which is just another way of saying "it rustles my jimmies though I'm not fully sure why" or "somebody is wrong on my Internet".

Right-wing Libertarian

Mr. Marsden, I do think this omelette fell out of your cranium?

Next up: Dry Water, Unblue Sky, Leftists for Freedom and Free Money.

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@Destroy All Monsters - Re: @Dan Paul

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-libertarianism

(And, yes, I know it's Wikipedia, but I can't be bothered to do any more searching now)

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etz

The car behaved exactly as it should (ie. avoided hitting idiot, unshielded meatsack regardless of priority) , the cyclist should have ridden on.

Four way stops aren't common in the UK (I've never seen one), but are in other countries (South Africa, Australia). The rules are pretty simple: first come, first serve. Arrive at the same time, yield to the right/left as per usual. In the event 2 cars opposite arrive and one is turning across the other, the turner enters the junction and waits for the other car to go straight across. The turner then has priority over all other cars outside the junction. It's really simple, also way easier and fairer than all the idiotic roundabouts we have in the UK.

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Pint

"A.I. is hard."

Next, they'll stumble across James May in his Push-Me-Pull-You double-fronted car.

Then Edd China will show up with his 75 mph couch.

Next, a motorized Shed will close in on them, leading to several '1202 Alarms'.

I'll be out walking my kangaroo and it'll get loose, leading to CPU meltdown.

A truck delivering huge mirrors should be amusing.

Try winter diving in Canada, when the entire visual field is just shades of white.

"A.I. is hard."

They're not only not done, their hardware is incapable of accomplishing the complete job.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "A.I. is hard."

"Next, they'll stumble across James May in his Push-Me-Pull-You double-fronted car."

So what? Which end is moving forward is all the car needs to know.

"Then Edd China will show up with his 75 mph couch. Next, a motorized Shed will close in on them, leading to several '1202 Alarms'."

Same here. Who cares what shape it's in. If it's moving, it's a potential vehicle and potential hazard.

"A truck delivering huge mirrors should be amusing."

Don't those trucks have to cover their mirrors during transit due to the glare issue?

"Try winter diving in Canada, when the entire visual field is just shades of white."

Radar doesn't care what color is the target, only that it can reflect back.

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Holmes

Re: "A.I. is hard."

They're not only not done, their hardware is incapable of accomplishing the complete job.

It's like someone is talking about the human brain here.

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Holmes

I read through that topic on the cyclists forum. Considering the OP couldn't follow the conversation very well I'm not putting a whole lot of stock into his summary of the events.

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Trollface

A new problem in AI

The Google Car Driving Dilemma?

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Mushroom

So much rage

and it's not even about a clown on a unicycle

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