News New US Autonomous Vehicle Guidelines Keep AV Standards Voluntary

bigdragon

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This is smart. Too much regulation too soon will stifle innovation and the development of AV systems. Regulations are frequently captured and abused by the biggest players in a field. Best to keep regulations minimal until the industry matures.
 

bit_user

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This is smart. Too much regulation too soon will stifle innovation and the development of AV systems.
How many people need to die, before you'd accept more regulations? There have already been at least a dozen deaths that have involved autonomous driving systems, and I don't know how many more injuries.

The Boeing 373 Max crashes have shown that even safety-critical industries are incapable of regulating themselves. Some years prior to the introduction of the Max, Congress cut back the FAA's role in certifying new aircraft, and that's the result we got. Ultimately, it turned out to be bad for both the public and the industry.

Regulations are frequently captured and abused by the biggest players in a field.
So, just don't have regulations? Because, waiting will only have the effect of players getting bigger and having more clout.

I'm sorry, lack of regulations not an option. It's best to have a fair and open process around creating them. It's not that hard to do.
 
Jan 12, 2020
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Normally I think regulations are important to protect citizens from corporations that prioritize profit over public safety.

However, in this case, the Trump administration is trying to undermine electric vehicles. They could care less about people's safety. This regulation is specifically targeting Tesla because their current lead in both autonomous and electric vehicles. The current data around autonomous driving is that a Tesla driving on Autopilot is 5.4 X less likely to be involved in an accident than a human and this product isn't even feature complete. Halting this technology would cause more death and harm already.

No, these regulations will be similar to the "regulations" Germany applied to autonomous vehicles that limits the steering angle. A feature purposefully intended to make the entire system useless and more dangerous thereby nerfing one of the best features of a vehicle that is cutting into their homegrown car manufacturers lagging behind the competition.

Republicans don't just suggest regulations unless they support institutionalized industry "leaders." You know better than that.
 

bit_user

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The current data around autonomous driving is that a Tesla driving on Autopilot is 5.4 X less likely to be involved in an accident than a human
That's a false dichotomy. It denies the possibility that there's any other way to implement driver assistance that could've avoided any of the crashes to date, and I fundamentally disagree with that position.

this product isn't even feature complete.
That's part of the problem. Tesla just decided for itself when the technology was good enough to unleash on the public, and then decided for itself the particular ways that they deployed it.

Halting this technology would cause more death and harm already.
That's another false dichotomy. Nobody is saying that development shouldn't continue - just that deployment should be according to thoughtful and consistent policies and procedures. At their best, that's really all regulations are.

No, these regulations will be similar to the "regulations" Germany applied to autonomous vehicles that limits the steering angle.
How do you know what shape regulations would take? US regulations rarely align exactly with Germany's. Why should they suddenly match up, in this case?
 

bigdragon

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How many people need to die, before you'd accept more regulations? There have already been at least a dozen deaths that have involved autonomous driving systems, and I don't know how many more injuries.
Federal regulation will not stop people from dying. People will still die with regulations in place. People have always died in the process of increasing humanity's technological prowess. Existing laws covering bodily injury, manslaughter, negligence, damage, and similar are appropriate for now. Negative PR and stakeholder/shareholder pressure are another control on the AV industry. Nobody in the AV industry wants to cause death, harm, or destruction.

Let's also keep in mind that localities hosting AV testing usually set rules on participants too. The lack of federal regulation does not mean there aren't local regulations. What works in one region may not work in another with different weather, infrastructure maintenance, road layouts, and other variables.

So, just don't have regulations? Because, waiting will only have the effect of players getting bigger and having more clout.
The current dominant companies will get bigger and expand their influence even in the presence of regulations. AV regulations should ratchet down once the industry starts settling on a couple of proven solutions. Right now nobody can agree on the right mix of sensors, maps, and algorithms.

What I do think would be helpful are standards that show the best implementations of specific pieces of sensor technology -- standards that may start bringing all the differing implementations closer together. Leadership from someone like NIST or UL is needed here.
 

bit_user

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So, do you have a vested interest in the matter, or are you just arguing on the basis of ideology?

Federal regulation will not stop people from dying. People will still die with regulations in place. People have always died in the process of increasing humanity's technological prowess.
This is really a cop out answer. You seem to be saying that unless deaths can be completely prevented, it's not worth doing anything about it. Fortunately, most people are smarter than that.

The actual numbers of deaths, injuries, and property damage matter. How the technology is deployed obviously affects that.

Existing laws covering bodily injury, manslaughter, negligence, damage, and similar are appropriate for now. Negative PR and stakeholder/shareholder pressure are another control on the AV industry.
That's just establishing liability, which I'm sure clever lawyers are already trying to work around with EULAs and what not. As for PR, recall how Boeing mounted a big PR campaign to establish pilot error, in the case of the 737 Max crashes. PR is an unreliable tool.

Nobody in the AV industry wants to cause death, harm, or destruction.
This argument is utterly toothless. In the vast majority of companies, people don't actively set about to harm their customers (or other members of the public), but financial & competitive pressures can result in decisions that have exactly such consequences. The point of regulations is to set guard rails, so that corners can't be cut that would make their products unnecessarily or unacceptably unsafe.

Let's also keep in mind that localities hosting AV testing usually set rules on participants too.
I didn't think we were talking about testing & development. Sure, there's going to be some special arrangements for that, and that's reasonable. No, this is really dealing with deployment.

Tesla didn't limit its automated driver assistance to just specific localities - they rolled it out to their entire fleet. The public doesn't limit their driving to local roads and city boundaries or county lines. When these systems are rolled out to the public, there need to be federal regulations, because trying to rely on a patch-work of local ones just isn't realistic.

The lack of federal regulation does not mean there aren't local regulations. What works in one region may not work in another with different weather, infrastructure maintenance, road layouts, and other variables.
Unless you're going to limit where people can drive these vehicles, then yes. there needs to be federal regulations.

One fundamental point of disagreement seems to be the value or necessity of this technology. Sure, I'd agree it has value to the public. However, it's not being developed to satisfy overwhelming public demand - it's being developed because it's possible, and there's a race because rich VCs and technologists want to be first, meanwhile other big automotive industry players don't want to be shut out. As such, I don't mind if industry progress is slowed, although I also don't think that's necessarily the consequence of regulation. A risk, but not an inevitability.

Anyway, it seems you're getting your wish. However, perhaps we'll all pay a high price for that, in the event of a mass-cyber attack or a raft of accidents that occur after some defect gets pushed out, in a software update. We'll see just how well litigation and PR work to prompt industry reform. I think it's sad that people will have to get hurt, before sanity hopefully prevails.
 

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