All about New Scientific, Concept and Futuristic Technologies Thread

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Dr. AMK, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Driverless shuttle buses hit the road in California city

    Published on Mar 19, 2018
    California's first driverless buses started running this month in San Ramon, near San Francisco. The electric shuttles can carry 12 people. John Blackstone climbed aboard for a spin.
     
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  2. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Uber breaks self-driving car record: First robo-ride to kill a pedestrian
    Autonomous auto system tests halted after woman dies
    By Shaun Nichols in San Francisco 19 Mar 2018 at 18:05
    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/03/19/uber_self_driving_car_fatal_crash/

    "A woman has died after she was hit by one of Uber's autonomous cars in the US.

    The taxi app maker said it is cooperating with the cops in the wake of the death.

    According to police, Uber's vehicle was driving itself, although it had a human pilot behind the wheel, when it hit a woman crossing the street in Tempe, Arizona.

    The accident happened on Sunday outside of the crosswalk near the intersection of Mill Avenue and Curry Road, according to telly news station ABC15. The woman, whose name has not been released, was taken to hospital, where she died of her injuries.

    The deadly collision is believed to be the first time a self-driving car operating fully in autonomous mode has killed a pedestrian. Computer-controlled vehicles have previously suffered prangs, and at least one Tesla driver was killed in a smash after engaging Autopilot. That said, Tesla's technology is more super-cruise-control than truly hands-free autonomous driving. And that crash killed the bloke behind the wheel, not someone outside the car, which is what happened in Arizona over the weekend.

    San Francisco-based Uber's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi took to Twitter to offer his sympathies on Monday:

    Some incredibly sad news out of Arizona. We’re thinking of the victim’s family as we work with local law enforcement to understand what happened. https://t.co/cwTCVJjEuz

    — dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) March 19, 2018
    Uber has suspended all self-driving car tests in Arizona, San Francisco, Canada, and elsewhere, following the death, it is understood. "Our hearts go out to the victim’s family," an Uber spokesperson said today. "We’re fully cooperating with Tempe Police and local authorities as they investigate this incident."

    It was initially reported that the victim was a cyclist, however, it later emerged she was walking across the road when the robo-ride struck.

    An Uber autonomous vehicle crashed into a bicyclist in Tempe overnight. Uber isn't saying much at this point, but is pulling self-driving cars off the road in Tempe, Pittsburgh, SF and Toronto https://t.co/YOacuWFRoB

    — Daisuke Wakabayashi (@daiwaka) March 19, 2018

    Arizona has been one of America's regions where self-driving cars have been permitted to operate under state law. A number of US states, including California, have been considering their own laws to allow self-driving cars to run on public roads without a human behind the wheel at all. "
     
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  3. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    NTSB to probe deadly crash involving self-driving car

    Uber suspends self-driving car tests after pedestrian killed

    Tempe Ariz. police discuss Uber’s self-driving vehicle that struck, killed pedestrian

    Uber Driverless Car Hits and Kills Pedestrian in Arizona
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
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  4. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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    Is this the world's smallest computer? IBM chip is no bigger than a grain of salt
    https://www.techrepublic.com/articl...er-ibm-chip-is-no-bigger-than-a-grain-of-salt
    • IBM has created what it says is the world's smallest computer, which packs several hundreds of thousands of transistors into a chip smaller than a grain of salt.
    • The processor is designed work alongside blockchain technology to help track goods, and while it won't be doing heavy lifting, IBM claims it will be capable of monitoring, analyzing and sorting data.
    IBM will today reveal what it claims is the world's smallest computer.
    The machine will pack several hundred thousands of transistors into a chip smaller than a grain of salt, and cost less than 10 cents to manufacture.

    The processor is designed to help track goods and combat fraud in the global supply chain, and while it won't be doing heavy lifting or have much in common with what most people consider a computer, IBM claims it will be capable of monitoring, analyzing and sorting data, thanks to having access to about as much power as a 1990s x86 processor.

    According to IBM the chip will act as what it describes as a crypto-anchor, which works alongside blockchain technology to connect the physical to the digital world, to help verify if a product has been handled properly throughout its journey.

    IBM describes crypto-anchors as "tamper-proof digital fingerprints" that are linked to the blockchain, and says its researchers are developing the chips to be embedded into products. The tiny solar powered computers would rely on LED lights to communicate with a network.

    Tying these chips to a blockchain, provides "a powerful means of proving a product's authenticity" says IBM, adding "within the next five years, cryptographic anchors and blockchain technology will ensure a product's authenticity — from its point of origin to the hands of the customer".

    What makes blockchain so potentially useful for tracking goods is that it offers a decentralized database that is immutable and unforgeable.

    IBM says the first crypto-anchor chips could be available within 18 months and be commonplace within five years.

    [​IMG]
    The new chip which IBM describes as the world's smallest computer. = Image: IBM
     
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  5. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Ah, yes, finally, the IBM Model 665 - Mark of the Encryption Authentication... ;)
     
  6. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    After Uber Self-Driving Fatality -- What Now?


    If autonomous vehicle control isn't better or more efficient than human control, or better at avoiding fatalities and accidents in general, why are we allowing it to take over our personal vehicle control?

    I for one do not welcome our autonomous robotic overlords, keep them off the roads, and out of my way. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2018
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  7. Dr. AMK

    Dr. AMK The Strategist

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    It's not mature enough yet, but the world is going this way regardless we like it or not.:)
     
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  8. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    Well then, I guess we better look both ways when crossing the road. o_O

    This crash - and others - are the purest examples of the fallacy of the value, of the utility, and the safety of Autonomous Vehicle Control - with Human Intervention.

    The Human, when in complete control - with no "smart help", will be paying attention in a way that is far closer to 100%. When the "smart help" is engaged Humans have a false sense of safety and ceed a large percentage of control and vital reaction time in the "belief" that the Autonomous Vehicle Control electronics and mechanical systems can be "trusted".

    Human's driving in a known area of pedestrian crossing know to not drive in the Right Lane - nearest the curb where we have less time to react - and we are also going to be careful in the dark around blind curves, slowing down and ready for action. We are expecting dangerous actions by other humans.

    We can think and reason our way on top of the logic of the mechanics of driving and consider the surroundings and take into account the psychology of our fellow Humans, and the thoughtless things they do; like crossing in the dark on a blind curve - within a short walking distance of the safe route across the street.

    The "learning machine" can't do this, it's rule-based control systems are inflexible in the scope of it's ability to cross boundaries of understanding, knowledge, and reason, in fact it can't do any of those things at all. A lot of AI money was wasted in the '70's and 80's last century trying to prove this wrong. Asymptotically approaching safety in operation isn't safe.

    The "belief" in the fallacy of the safety of "autonomous driving" is so obviously misplaced, it's another obvious sign of just how asleep humans are - how easily bamboozled and fooled we can be into a false sense of safety.

    There is this "Autonomous Lag Factor" of Autonomous Control between us and our vehicle, and it is extremely dangerous, and shouldn't be allowed to continue to operate on our Public roads.

    It's easy to be confused by comparing the long periods of successful Human Assisted Autonomous Vehicle driving as proving safe operation overall, but it's completely shattered by those split seconds of danger that prove it isn't safe, at all.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  9. hmscott

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    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  10. hmscott

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    Here’s how Uber’s self-driving cars are supposed to detect pedestrians
    Redundant, overlapping vision systems

    Devin Coldewey@techcrunch / Mar 19, 2018
    https://techcrunch.com/2018/03/19/h...ving-cars-are-supposed-to-detect-pedestrians/

    "A self-driving vehicle made by Uber has struck and killed a pedestrian. It’s the first such incident and will certainly be scrutinized like no other autonomous vehicle interaction in the past. But on the face of it it’s hard to understand how, short of a total system failure, this could happen, when the entire car has essentially been designed around preventing exactly this situation from occurring.

    Something unexpectedly entering the vehicle’s path is pretty much the first emergency event that autonomous car engineers look at. The situation could be many things — a stopped car, a deer, a pedestrian — and the systems are one and all designed to detect them as early as possible, identify them and take appropriate action. That could be slowing, stopping, swerving, anything.

    Uber’s vehicles are equipped with several different imaging systems which work both ordinary duty (monitoring nearby cars, signs and lane markings) and extraordinary duty like that just described. No less than four different ones should have picked up the victim in this case.

    [​IMG]Top-mounted lidar. The bucket-shaped item on top of these cars is a lidar, or light detection and ranging, system that produces a 3D image of the car’s surroundings multiple times per second. Using infrared laser pulses that bounce off objects and return to the sensor, lidar can detect static and moving objects in considerable detail, day or night.

    [​IMG]
    This is an example of a lidar-created imagery, though not specifically what the Uber vehicle would have seen.

    Heavy snow and fog can obscure a lidar’s lasers, and its accuracy decreases with range, but for anything from a few feet to a few hundred feet, it’s an invaluable imaging tool and one that is found on practically every self-driving car.

    The lidar unit, if operating correctly, should have been able to make out the person in question, if they were not totally obscured, while they were still more than a hundred feet away, and passed on their presence to the “brain” that collates the imagery.

    Front-mounted radar. Radar, like lidar, sends out a signal and waits for it to bounce back, but it uses radio waves instead of light. This makes it more resistant to interference, since radio can pass through snow and fog, but also lowers its resolution and changes its range profile.

    [​IMG]
    Tesla’s Autopilot relies mostly on radar.

    Depending on the radar unit Uber employed — likely multiple in both front and back to provide 360 degrees of coverage — the range could differ considerably. If it’s meant to complement the lidar, chances are it overlaps considerably, but is built more to identify other cars and larger obstacles.

    The radar signature of a person is not nearly so recognizable, but it’s very likely they would have at least shown up, confirming what the lidar detected.

    Short and long-range optical cameras. Lidar and radar are great for locating shapes, but they’re no good for reading signs, figuring out what color something is and so on. That’s a job for visible-light cameras with sophisticatedcomputer vision algorithms running in real time on their imagery.

    The cameras on the Uber vehicle watch for telltale patterns that indicate braking vehicles (sudden red lights), traffic lights, crossing pedestrians and so on. Especially on the front end of the car, multiple angles and types of camera would be used, so as to get a complete picture of the scene into which the car is driving.

    [​IMG]Detecting people is one of the most commonly attempted computer vision problems, and the algorithms that do it have gotten quite good. “Segmenting” an image, as it’s often called, generally also involves identifying things like signs, trees, sidewalks and more.

    That said, it can be hard at night. But that’s an obvious problem, the answer to which is the previous two systems, which work night and day. Even in pitch darkness, a person wearing all black would show up on lidar and radar, warning the car that it should perhaps slow and be ready to see that person in the headlights. That’s probably why a night-vision system isn’t commonly found in self-driving vehicles (I can’t be sure there isn’t one on the Uber car, but it seems unlikely).

    Safety driver. It may sound cynical to refer to a person as a system, but the safety drivers in these cars are very much acting in the capacity of an all-purpose failsafe. People are very good at detecting things, even though we don’t have lasers coming out of our eyes. And our reaction times aren’t the best, but if it’s clear that the car isn’t going to respond, or has responded wrongly, a trained safety driver will react correctly.

    Worth mentioning is that there is also a central computing unit that takes the input from these sources and creates its own more complete representation of the world around the car. A person may disappear behind a car in front of the system’s sensors, for instance, and no longer be visible for a second or two, but that doesn’t mean they ceased existing. This goes beyond simple object recognition and begins to bring in broader concepts of intelligence such as object permanence, predicting actions and the like.

    It’s also arguably the most advanced and closely guarded part of any self-driving car system and so is kept well under wraps.

    It isn’t clear what the circumstances were under which this tragedy played out, but the car was certainly equipped with technology that was intended to, and should have, detected the person and caused the car to react appropriately. Furthermore, if one system didn’t work, another should have sufficed — multiple failbacks are only practical in high-stakes matters like driving on public roads.

    We’ll know more as Uber, local law enforcement, federal authorities and others investigate the accident."
     
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