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Autonomous Semi Tractors

While your stats are valid, they thing you’re not addressing is the fact that semi truck accidents cause significant more damage then cars due to their shear size. Statistically, there are more car accidents because there are more cars.

But I do agree truckers as a whole are better/safer drivers…unfortunately not all of them are.

There is no doubt the driving factor for autonomous semi’s cost, but also lack of drivers. There’s a huge shortage of truckers in the US right now.

Why the push for semi’s vs cars…believe it or not - it’s easier. Especially long haul trucking. The start of autonomous trucks will be interstates ONLY. When/If that goes well they’ll slowly start moving out to, other areas. Even after full implementation - they may realize that autonomous trucks may not be allowed in certain places. As I’ve stated many times…it’s still in it’s infancy, and changing daily.

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Now that is something of interest. A couple years before I retired I left work early to avoid a snow storm. Ran right into it on the way home. Pulled off the freeway to hole up in a parking area for a while but it was filled so had to keep moving and took the old 2 lane road for the next 15 miles. Total white out, couldn’t see a thing, couldn’t stop anywhere, just had to keep going till the next truck stop. I rolled my side window down and the only way I knew where I was on the road was to look for the weeds in the opposite ditch. Stopped at the truck stop until the plows came through.

As far as being smart I am glad that there are people like you or I would be in trouble with a lot of thing’s as I only have a 5th grade education and I don’t know what all I don’t know. I actualy graduated high school with sailer’s grade’s (below C level) but when my daughter was in the 5th grade she asked me for help with her home work one time I looked at the book and to me it looked like it was written greek that is why I say I have a 5th grade education. Back to car’s the only thing I would attempt to do on a new car would be to change a tire.

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I tried to help my daughter with her math homework, I am pretty good at math, something like if whatever loses an atom what is it’s new atomic weight. I was expecting algebra or something similar for a freshman in high school. Taught her how to change a tire before she needed to use the info, and she did. We are headed towards automated vehicles be it cars or trucks, but remembering Chicago unions, they require rear unload cement trucks as it takes 2 people, the same city that mandated lead services for water until 1986. Sometimes saving the old school is not necessarily an advancement in productivity or safety.

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I don’t remember what the problem was but it was math that I was never good at as I said it was like reading greek.

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I seem to recall there was facial recognition software that mistook some human beings for certain non-human primates . . . I believe this was very recently, maybe last year


The way image recognition works is by showing the software a huge collection of pixels representing a human fotos and identify them as human. And you would do the same for a bunch of 4 legged animals.

Using some fancy calculus and linear algebra, the software minimizes the difference between its identification and yours. This is known as training the software and more examples you have the better. However, each identification made by the computer is just a probability value

If you don’t have enough examples, it might assign an animal standing on 2 feet as a human shape thing with a high probability value

Having said the above, I’m ok with increasing the hour of operation and the driver’s role would be monitoring

Yeah St. Paul required elevator operators for automatic elevators too for quite a while. The job was cushy but had its ups and downs. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Don’t flag me bro.

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as long as it turns out better than that incident involving the self-driving car . . . with the human driver behind the wheel, but only monitoring . . . and the bicyclist

I understand that the woman on the bicycle suddenly veered into the path of the car . . . but she’s dead just the same

It didn’t help that the complacent monitor was watching the voice instead of listening

To me at least it’s a lot more boring to be watching someone or a computer drive than it is to actually drive. I can’t imagine doing that for ten hours straight and not get bleary eyed. Maybe if they could talk on the phone or something.

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Same here. But you are not going to pay some to flip a switch then sit there and watch. You can order the monitor to make periodic report on the machines status during the trip, get out every 2 hours to check on the cargo, hit a deadman switch periodically, etc

Not all facial recognition software is the same. Some are very good…others aren’t.

Just 10 years the error rate was well over 20%.

I would imagine that vehicles like this

on long hauls only would be used with AI auto pilot to take control for long stretches with a warm blooded qualified driver in charge.


There is no point to having a self driving truck with a driver on board monitoring. It would be much easier to stay awake and alert for 10 or 11 hours, If you are actually driving the truck, using major muscle groups and bouncing around the cab on bad pavement.


That would be an interim solution. For drivers, I guess nanny duty is better than losing your job. I agree that having to stay engaged in driving makes responding when required a lot quicker.


This is an interesting read about autonomous trucking. From an insider, no less.

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Maybe semi-autonomous trucks could be controlled remotely, like the military drones.
One operator could monitor several trucks, and take over if the AI gets confused.

If autonomous control was totally fail safe then trains would have no crews I would think. Is anyone actually researching that possibility?


In London, the Docklands Light Railway is fully automated, and has been running since 1987 without anyone at the controls of each train!

I have to admit that I was somewhat alarmed by that situation when I first rode those trains, but their safety record has been good over the past 33 years, with the last “accident” taking place in 1991.

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