Dangerous safety system?

Technology in driving is becoming more dominant...
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jont-
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Re: Dangerous safety system?

Postby jont- » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:07 am

akirk wrote:I would expect the manufacturer to detail in the manual how their systems work - and for the driver to read the manual! :D (not likely I know!!!)

Now go read up on machine learning, and tell me whether manufacturers really have any idea at all about how it will work :lol:

In other news, careful how you wash your new P&J...

http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2018/02/washing-avs/

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akirk
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Re: Dangerous safety system?

Postby akirk » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:42 am

waremark wrote:
akirk wrote:I would expect the manufacturer to detail in the manual how their systems work

Is that expect in the literal sense of the word, or in what would happen in a fantasy utopian world? Manuals dont normally explain fairly simple systems on cars, let alone the complex algorithms at play in autonomous driving.

I think it should be okay to explain the basic outline:
- you have automated braking
- it activates up to this speed
- it chooses to come on when it spots an obstacle in this area (with pretty diagram)
- you can turn it on and off here...

now as a driver you know that if something comes into that range when you are doing less than that speed the car will brake...
the reality is that for most cars the autonomous systems are no more complex than e.g. auto wipers / cruise control - both of which are arguably semi-autonomous systems, you would expect those to be explained in the manual...


Matt1962 wrote:
akirk wrote:
Strangely Brown wrote:
akirk wrote:you as driver are responsible for how the car behaves under your control, your job to know how the system will operate, and to anticipate etc.


Really? How much control do you think you'll have over a [semi-]autonomous car that is "under your control"? Do you really expect manufacturers to provide details of their algorithms so that it would be possible for you to "know how the system operates"?

I think that is rather the point of this discussion. Manufacturers are taking more and more decisions away from the driver so at what point does the liability fall to the manufacturer of the "safety" system rather than the driver?


I would expect the manufacturer to detail in the manual how their systems work - and for the driver to read the manual! :D (not likely I know!!!)
At this stage with cars they are not really autonomous it is a set of very simple logic systems and it is up tot the driver to understand them and drive accordingly - or turn them off, or choose to buy a car without them...

we do live in a society where people love to find someone else responsible for their mistakes, but I think that a part of AD is the notion that we drive in a more aware / more deliberate / more controlled fashion, so if that is a car with systems like this, then I think that we do need to understand them and drive accordingly...

Alasdair


I don't agree with some of that.....
'Driving accordingly' in the real example here would mean making sure that your speed was always either above 28mph (45Km/h is the point at which the unwarned autonomous braking switches off) OR low enough to mean that no one is EVER going to drive into the back of you if you come to an abrupt halt for no reason. I don't think this is possible (and there would always be a transition period anyway).
The incident I mentioned originally, happened at around 20mph and was violent enough for the drawers to shoot out from under the front seats etc. I would hope that as an 'advanced driver' I would not have run into the back of a car that did the same thing, but I am not completely convinced :|. Turning the system off might seem like the correct AD solution, but I suspect this might have its own unwelcome implications with regard to insurance etc. (maybe another topic?).
I'm with Strangely Brown on this one. If the incident I described had led to a rear end collision, the major fault would have been with my car. As the driver I would have been blameless and the driver of the car behind would have been maybe 25% responsible. Is this different from the car having been supplied with a mechanical fault that causes an accident?


We might have to disagree ;) but if (as per my answer to Waremark above) the driver reads the manual, and knows that under 28mph within a certain zone an obstruction / moving target / etc. will cause it to activate, then you would have known that a person moving into that zone might trigger braking, so if you are happy with the system, you adjust your driving and perhaps pausing / lifting off may have stopped it triggering (we don't know how close you were), if you are not happy with the system interfering as your ability to analyse the situation is better than the car's ability, then turn the system off...

the Kodiaq manual is here: https://ws.skoda-auto.com/OwnersManualS ... Manual.pdf The section on Assist systems (pg 213) starts with:
The assistance systems only serve to support the driver and do not relieve the driver of the responsibility for driving the vehicle

so that is the manufacturer liability removed ;)
Page 248 explains that a pedestrian crossing will trigger the system... also that Front Assist will intervene up to 130mph
Page 247 explains how to set the distance at which it triggers (though the manual is not clear whether that is also for pedestrians)
Page 249 tells you how to turn it off...

So, I am not clear why you think that as the driver you will be blameless - the machinery you are in charge of behaved as the manual said it would - and you had the choice to turn that system on or off - why is that therefore not the driver's responsibility?

I do believe that as new systems come in we need to find better ways for drivers to understand the implications and a diagram showing scope and explaining how it works would be better than text...

This is also why my newest car is 2003 and has none of this - auto lights / auto windscreen wipers / cruise control are as automated as I get and even then I keep an eye on them! I have no doubt that there will be drivers in the future who will get into a car like mine - set cruise control and let it drive into the back of another car and then blame the machinery because they were used to front assist or equivalent and expected the car to back off - maybe I am old-fashioned, but the driver holds responsibility for what the car does - the manufacturer only holds responsibility for communicating to the driver what it will do, and then making sure that the system behaves as expected...

Alasdair

sussex2
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Re: Dangerous safety system?

Postby sussex2 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:46 am

jont- wrote:http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/abu-dhabi-tour-organisers-blame-automatic-brake-sensor-for-cavendish-crash/

I suspect manufacturers don't have any readily available way of being contacted with this sort of false positive. It's marginally possible that the vehicle itself has logged something which will eventually be uploaded by the dealer next time it's serviced, but I'm sceptical.

Regarding 1 - I don't think it matters how hard you brake, if the car behind runs into you, they're going to have a hard time defending it.


Somewhere back in the mists of time there was a judges ruling on this subject:
If you stop 'unreasonably' with no real justification then a driver running into the back of you may not be liable.
I used to keep a copy of it in my car but that was, as mentioned, a long time ago.

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dvenman
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Re: Dangerous safety system?

Postby dvenman » Mon Feb 26, 2018 11:57 am

akirk wrote:I think it should be okay to explain the basic outline:
- you have automated braking
- it activates up to this speed
- it chooses to come on when it spots an obstacle in this area (with pretty diagram)
- you can turn it on and off here..


Ok...I'm sure my sister hasn't read her car manual and she wouldn't be alone. She's loathe even to try out the paddles for the auto box "because I don't know how they work", even when a minute's experimentation would help her driving.

Sticking stuff in a drivers' manual is - for a lot of people - akin to not telling them at all because they'll never bother, then wonder why they get hit from behind when their car "shouldn't have done that, should it?"

Matt1962
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Re: Dangerous safety system?

Postby Matt1962 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:31 pm

akirk wrote:
We might have to disagree ;) but if (as per my answer to Waremark above) the driver reads the manual, and knows that under 28mph within a certain zone an obstruction / moving target / etc. will cause it to activate, then you would have known that a person moving into that zone might trigger braking, so if you are happy with the system, you adjust your driving and perhaps pausing / lifting off may have stopped it triggering (we don't know how close you were), if you are not happy with the system interfering as your ability to analyse the situation is better than the car's ability, then turn the system off...

the Kodiaq manual is here: https://ws.skoda-auto.com/OwnersManualS ... Manual.pdf The section on Assist systems (pg 213) starts with:
The assistance systems only serve to support the driver and do not relieve the driver of the responsibility for driving the vehicle

so that is the manufacturer liability removed ;)
Page 248 explains that a pedestrian crossing will trigger the system... also that Front Assist will intervene up to 130mph
Page 247 explains how to set the distance at which it triggers (though the manual is not clear whether that is also for pedestrians)
Page 249 tells you how to turn it off...

So, I am not clear why you think that as the driver you will be blameless - the machinery you are in charge of behaved as the manual said it would - and you had the choice to turn that system on or off - why is that therefore not the driver's responsibility?

I do believe that as new systems come in we need to find better ways for drivers to understand the implications and a diagram showing scope and explaining how it works would be better than text...

This is also why my newest car is 2003 and has none of this - auto lights / auto windscreen wipers / cruise control are as automated as I get and even then I keep an eye on them! I have no doubt that there will be drivers in the future who will get into a car like mine - set cruise control and let it drive into the back of another car and then blame the machinery because they were used to front assist or equivalent and expected the car to back off - maybe I am old-fashioned, but the driver holds responsibility for what the car does - the manufacturer only holds responsibility for communicating to the driver what it will do, and then making sure that the system behaves as expected...

Alasdair


'Making sure the system behaves as expected' is surely the key here? I have no problem with most of the principles of 'Front Assist' as described in the manual, because the autonomous braking is apparently preceded by a warning in the majority of situations. Unwarned braking at extremely low speeds doesn't present me with any great problems either. As already mentioned I have experienced the very low speed braking on a couple of occasions, but I have yet to experience the preceding warning (or any autonomous braking) at 28mph+ speeds.
Where I differ from you is whether the machinery behaved as the manual said it would. I am only speculating on what the trigger might have been - in fact the manual seems to suggest that (for whatever reason?) the pedestrian trigger is limited to 18mph (30kph) and I was probably going slightly faster than that. The trigger could, I suppose, have been facing buildings coupled with light conditions etc? As also mentioned this has only happened once in eight months of ownership, but to me it represents a fault in the system that is exacerbated by the scale of the designed response - a warning would be much more appropriate. The manual does say that the driver may experience some 'undesired' responses, but I am unconvinced that the 'blame' in any incident would rest with me for not disabling a default system.
I do not have the same choices of vehicle as you - this is a company car from a limited list of options. Having said that, apart from this one point, I have been extremely pleased with it.

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akirk
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Re: Dangerous safety system?

Postby akirk » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:38 pm

agree - it is difficult to know how to expect it to behave until you see it in action, and even then you might not fully understand the edge scenarios - perhaps you need a test group of volunteers who sprint out in front of you when the car is delivered, so you can learn how it will work... :)

I think that the biggest issue here is that manufacturers are putting in systems which are designed to 'help' without clarity on exactly when they will trigger, with consumers assuming that the car will do what they expect (it won't), and systems which are not fully robust - which leads to drivers making assumptions and reality being slightly different... fully autonomous / fully non-autonomous are both easy situations to deal with - the mix we are seeing now will lead to issues... but the manufacturers do give the ability to switch them off, so if uncertain that has to remain the default position...

starting a car will become like a flight-pre check in a plane - with a checklist of systems to disable each time!

Alasdair

Matt1962
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Re: Dangerous safety system?

Postby Matt1962 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 3:45 pm

I seem to remember an old Top Gear feature where they were trying to crash a car with autonomous braking.

To be honest I am a bit uncomfortable with the idea of switching off a feature that to outsiders would appear to be there to protect pedestrians etc. If you cast your mind back to the tragic case of the brakeless cyclist, I think that most of the informed commentators agreed that the absence of brakes was probably irrelevant other than with regard to the punishment of the cyclist. I wonder whether we are far away from similar situations regarding drivers decisions on 'safety' technology. Who is to say whether I could respond as fast as the autonomous system if someone walks out in front of me?

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akirk
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Re: Dangerous safety system?

Postby akirk » Mon Feb 26, 2018 4:22 pm

Matt1962 wrote:I seem to remember an old Top Gear feature where they were trying to crash a car with autonomous braking.

To be honest I am a bit uncomfortable with the idea of switching off a feature that to outsiders would appear to be there to protect pedestrians etc. If you cast your mind back to the tragic case of the brakeless cyclist, I think that most of the informed commentators agreed that the absence of brakes was probably irrelevant other than with regard to the punishment of the cyclist. I wonder whether we are far away from similar situations regarding drivers decisions on 'safety' technology. Who is to say whether I could respond as fast as the autonomous system if someone walks out in front of me?


I understand where you are coming from, but I feel that if you pick apart what you are saying it is actually quite worrying...

If society is going to move to a place where there is liability through not using something like the semi-autonomous braking system because you have turned it off - even though you have brakes which do the job well - then that is the start of a slippery slope which states that humans are deemed less competent than the system. Also, a system is only intelligent as those who code it (who are not there in that setting - and who, as you found out, get it wrong!), so it would be saying that the driver is deemed less competent than a coder sitting elsewhere...

there is a difference between:
- turning off a semi-autonomous system which chooses when to apply the brakes - and leaving a competent human in charge to choose when to apply the brakes (brakes still extant)
- not having any brakes at all :)

and this is where there is an AD relevance...
you don't need to have the human faster than the autonomous system
you simply need to:
- apply better logic
- be able to predict better
- drive to the circumstances
- know what you plan to do next, so decisions are made in context (very relevant ref. this discussion as you would have taken into account following cars as well)
- anticipate much further down the road

actual speed of the braking need not be milli-seconds quicker because the good driver will have changed the need to brake in that way

any driver who needs semi-autonomous braking should hand in their licence immediately - they are not fit to drive... and you have clearly demonstrated in what you have said, that (a) you didn't need it and in fact (b) you were more intelligent than the system... so turn it off and just drive... at what point will such a system prevent injuries where you can not?

Alasdair

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GTR1400MAN
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Re: Dangerous safety system?

Postby GTR1400MAN » Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:04 pm

The lawyers have been at the words for this one! ;)

What is the point any of these types of 'auto braking' features if it can't be trusted to work? :twisted: They just create a false sense of security.

Some significant "it my not work" points at the end. Particularly worrying for motorcyclists. :o Tesla also has this 'issue'. :o :evil:

Mike Roberts

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GTR1400MAN
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Re: Dangerous safety system?

Postby GTR1400MAN » Mon Feb 26, 2018 5:22 pm

And then look at the marketing on this one.

The car will keep you safe!



Other manufacturer adverts are doing the same. Volvo have one where the car even takes avoiding action. I hope it doesn't count me on my motorcycle as expendable, compared to hitting the car in front, if I'm coming the other way.
Mike Roberts


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