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Collision avoidance path determination

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Kbm3, Jun 5, 2017.

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  1. Kbm3

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    As the autopilot software becomes more sophisticated it seems like the vehicle should be able to plot the safest path in order to avoid a collision. The system should be able to control steering, braking and even acceleration as needed to follow this path.

    Since Elon stated in the unveiling that autopilot safety features would be standard and only the convenience features be extra, I'm wondering if imminent collision detection and avoidance would occur even when the car is not in autopilot (and be included at no extra cost)?

    Does anyone know if the autopilot could take over vehicle controls (especially steering) even in manual mode?

    Elon seems incredibly passionate about safety, so I think that if this is possible then it would be included even if the car does not have autopilot convenience features enabled.

    If this is true, it would certainly be a huge benefit that the car will grow safer over time through over the air updates and cause insurance premiums to drop.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Steve C

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    My understanding is that it will currently take over even if autopilot is off only if a collision is 100% imminent.

    This will minimize damage and injuries.

    This will surely improve over time.
     
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    • Kbm3

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      This seems like a huge benefit that is almost never discussed when people are comparing Teslas to other cars. If this is true, your car will literally get safer every year.
       
    • Steve C

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      From their website.

      Automatic Emergency Braking

      1. Designed to detect objects that the car may impact and applies the brakes accordingly
      Side Collision Warning

      1. Warns the driver of potential collisions with obstacles alongside the car
      Front Collision Warning

      1. Helps warn of impending collisions with slower moving or stationary cars
      Auto High Beams

      1. Adjusts high/low beams as required
       
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      • MelindaV

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        remember also the collision avoidance is designed to reduce the risk of serious injury, not save the car from damage.
         
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        • SoFlaModel3

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          Conventional wisdom says if you get the safety features without purchasing autopilot then they must work when autopilot is off ;)
           
        • Kbm3

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          True. Although reducing serious injury should also reduce insurance costs.
           
        • Kbm3

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          Very true. The only question is: exactly what auto pilot safety features will be included in future software updates?
           
        • SoFlaModel3

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          I'm excited to find out the answer to that question and hopefully all of the other questions very very (did I say very?) soon!!
           
        • SSonnentag

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          I'm hoping the safety and collision avoidance AI will soon get to the point that things like a child, an animal or even a tumbleweed darting out in the road could be accounted for. I'd rather not hit these things as it causes damage to to life and property. In none of these three examples do I want the IA to wait until 100% certainty of a collision before taking evasive action. None of these objects is very predictable. Children, animals and blowing weeds/trash often start, stop, or change direction multiple times in fractions of seconds. So slowing down or taking evasive action even when the current trajectories do not indicate unavoidable impending impact is required.
           
        • Kbm3

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          I hope so too. Also determining what kind of things are safe to hit. I.e. a plastic bag that's floating in the road shouldn't cause the car to swerve.

          It's difficult to imagine that autonomous driving is just around the corner.
           
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          • SSonnentag

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            Exactly. This is where I would hope the radars would come into play in aiding to identify solid vs airy objects. Dodge 2x4s, but not plastic bags. Optically this is tricky, short of a human brain, which can somehow correctly identify objects faster than circuitry in many instances.

            Optically it is difficult to identify potholes vs freshly-patched potholes. But if a radar is thrown into the mix, this could potentially be done quite easily.

            Flashing shadows is another thing that scares me a bit about an optical-only solution to obstacle identification and avoidance. My Chevy Volt has slammed on the brakes more than once due to large birds flying over and casting a shadow on the road.
             
          • Dash

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            Imagine the horror when your car takes control out of nothing to steer to the side and accelerate. And you haven't even seen why (bird shadow?!).

            I think its a good call to only have emergency braking, not accelerating. At least until some years pass to gain trust on the system. Warnings should suffice for now.

            If the system would make a false conclusion and put you in even more danger by accelerating you out of the save zone, the media would rip the system (even Tesla?) apart in the air. Don't you think?
             
          • arnis

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            Yes, all vehicle manufacturers have their safety systems as different protocols (settings in menus) that are enabled by default. User can disable most of the things manually. Tesla's also have all available safety protocols active even if EAP is not ordered from factory (sensors are mounted).

            Autopilot's protocol is smooth: soft turns, soft acceleration, soft deceleration. Safety protocols take over autopilot in case of danger being detected by those stand-alone software scripts. And those are not smooth. This pretty much always happens with loud warning sounds. So it doesn't matter was the vehicle in AP or in manual mode, safety software is always observing situation.

            Right now, rear-ending protocol does not take over steering. It brakes hard.
            Not sure about side-collision warning. As far as I know only warning.
            Same for lane keep. Lane keep assist warns if you cross the lane without blinker.

            Though we have seen video when Autopilot slightly steered away from a vehicle
            that was ramming in from a side. Though not leaving current lane, just slightly moving to the
            furthest side. With audible warning of course.

            AFAIK, next level rear ending safety protocol (not only Tesla) will have ability to steer away
            to one of the sides of the vehicle collision will happen with extreme high probability.
            This should be possible if vehicle has side-collision detection hardware. There is no reason to ram
            vehicle at the next lane. But if there is no vehicle to the side, why not go there to avoid unavoidable.

            PS! Driver can always override steering wheel adjustments made by software!
            Actuator that turns the steering wheel is not powerful enough - driver is stronger.
             
            • Informative Informative x 1
            • Kbm3

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              Thanks for the incredibly informative post. As far as other manufacturers though, as I understand it, they cannot update their present cars through software to add more safety features like Tesla can. Do you know if this is true or not?
               
            • arnis

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              Actually there have been instances when there are software updates that fix or make some functionality better. Though usually no new safety features. Tesla makes a car, sells it, then makes the software. Other companies usually make a car and software and then sell the vehicle to customer. New features are added to new model/generation vehicle. As Tesla has only one model for segment they have to update that model rather than make another one and drop the older one.
               
            • Kbm3

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              The difference is Tesla is selling a car with much more capable auto pilot safety hardware than other manufacturers. Therefore, Teslas have a much greater capability of getting safer every year.
               
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              • arnis

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                It's not "auto pilot safety hardware" but just hardware. Autopilot uses cameras, radar, sonar sensors and GPS.
                Safety features Tesla has use the same sensors.
                Other vehicles also have those things. But what Tesla does better is actually trying to make things more capable.
                BMW, Mercedes etc - they buy sensors from manufacturers and mostly rely on software made by the
                sensor manufacturer. For example Delphi, Bosch. Tesla does wonders with the same hardware. They create their
                own software that makes different sensors work together. This is why Tesla NVidia's processing hardware.
                Again, NVidia offers their software for self-driving features but Tesla does their own.
                And in addition to all that Tesla has a central computer that receives data from all AP equipped vehicles, all the time.
                Other manufacturers do not have active learning on their regular vehicle fleet. This is very big difference.
                 
              • Kbm3

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                I was aware that it's not just auto pilot safety hardware. However it was poorly worded. Your post was very informative thank you
                 

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