General Question

flo's avatar

What do driverless cars do when the traffic light is not working and no one is directing traffic?

Asked by flo (12305points) June 29th, 2018

Do they keep moving if the light was green and just before turning yellow, at the time of the malfunctioning of the traffic light?

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29 Answers

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

My guess is it returns control to the driver.

snowberry's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 That’s the most likely scenario. But that also means that you can’t have passengers in a driverless car if none of them have a drivers license.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I will go with @RedDeerGuy1 said if going to the four way stop procedure isn’t already programmed into the cars computer.

stanleybmanly's avatar

We will soon see

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

@snowberry In the event that none of the passengers has a drivers licence then I assume that On-Star or other online person would take over.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I doubt they would allow that, some one in the car would have to have a valid drivers license.
Can you imagine a car load of ten year olds taking the family car into town for a movie?
Some one would have to have a valid drivers license in case of an accident, or breakdown.

zenvelo's avatar

It would treat it as a four way stop.

If the light was green and malfunctioned as they entered the intersection, it would have the right of way, same as if a human was driving the car. How would you know it was “just before yellow”?

Really,the machine will drive better than humans can.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I am going to argue that @zenvelo “the machine will drive better than MOST humans can”.
Providing the machine is operating,and maintained well.

kritiper's avatar

Like any good driver, they treat the no signals working intersection like a 4-way stop.

LostInParadise's avatar

If such situations are anticipated, it could be handled by having the cars communicate with one another and run an algorithm that determines the order in which the cars could proceed.

johnpowell's avatar

If you assume that the car has any sort of network connectivity to function you have lost.

Pretty easy to block cell/wifi with 100 bucks worth of kit. Totally illegal but easily doable.

flo's avatar

But aren’t people talking about the greatness of driverless car because “it leaves you do anything do your work, study, watch whatever is on the screen ,...” So,really, it’s as if there is no one in the car, with driver’s licence or not, right?

zenvelo's avatar

@flo That’s right! We will eventually get to the point where there won’t be a driver’s seat or a steering wheel. Just a screen to input your destination.

flo's avatar

@zenvelo Which is /would be a disaster .

zenvelo's avatar

@flo Why? The car will be able to drive better than a human, and safer.

flo's avatar

@zenvelo _By the way, why the “That’s right!” in response to my post before last? My point is people are misinformed about “driverless car” means no need for a human to monitor things”

And you’re ok with no checks and balances?

flo's avatar

And:
“The problem with putting a computer behind the wheel is not technology, but humans. There are more than 37 million vehicles licensed for Britain’s roads and they are driven by people. While computers might drive logically and follow the rules, people often don’t.”

And

Research has also revealed cases of driverless cars being “bullied” by pedestrians. Knowing the computer will slam on the brakes, they step out in front of them without worry.

Then there’s infrastructure. Cars might be able to react independently to the world around them but they require highly detailed maps to navigate. With roads changing constantly, how will they react to somewhere they suddenly don’t recognise?

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/predictions/we-are-not-ready-for-driverless-cars/

snowberry's avatar

Your article mentioned the possibility of hacking but it didn’t mention the possibility of the failure of the motherboard or a cooling fan. That could potentially strand a vehicle and its occupants in a very compromising situation, such is in a high crime area or heavy traffic.

flo's avatar

@snowberry So it’s even worse is what you’re saying?

snowberry's avatar

Anything is possible.

Pandora's avatar

I would think that it would have to have a licensed driver in the car. I mean even gps, are not perfect and drivers and people are told that they are responsible for any driving errors that the map may make. Sometimes a road is closed suddenly, or the map isn’t accurate or up to date. So you can’t use the excuse that the gps sent you the wrong way. So I gather you can’t be sleeping or drunk or unattentive in a self driving car because road conditions can always change and are not guaranteed to be perfect at all times. Floodings, pot holes, or a down tree or an accident. I will never trust a driverless car. Your phone can be hacked and your computers, so why would I trust that my car couldn’t be hacked. Bad enough that most cars run on computers as it is, but for the most part we still have control of our brakes or turning off the ignition. Well I think we do.

snowberry's avatar

Imagine a driverless car in heavy snow, or on a flooded road that hasn’t yet been blocked off. Sometimes it’s simply not safe to drive, but a driverless car won’t know that.

zenvelo's avatar

@snowberry You keep bringing up all these situations, but i see humans making disastrous decisions in those situations all the time! Like not maintains the vehicle and then it craps out in a bad spot. Or people spending days in the wilderness trapped in snow, when any computer connected to a weather app would say, “nope, not that road in this weather.”

@Pandora why does a licensed driver need to be there? They can’t do anything in an emergency.

There are reports of Tesla drivers being too dependent on auto driving and getting in accidents, because they are supposed to be paying attention!

snowberry's avatar

Right. I’m thinking of a world where everybody rode in driverless cars (where it was so normal you didn’t think about it as being unusual), and reasons why I wouldn’t want to be in one under those conditions.

flo's avatar

@zenvelo
1) Re. your ”....but i see humans making disastrous decisions in those situations all the time!” ” Two wrongs don’t make a right. The idea is not to get rid of the driver, so that there is no checker of the car, but to to help prevent driver from making the wrong choices.
2)Re. “why does a licensed driver need to be there? They can’t do anything in an emergency.” You contradicting yourslelf with: ”… because they are supposed to be paying attention!” (which you’re right about)

zenvelo's avatar

@flo Then why have a driverless car? Either the programming is good enough to make the driver not necessary, or else it is a way for a driver to not pay attention!. Which will result in accidents.

When the technology is advanced sufficiently, drivers won’t be needed.

Pandora's avatar

@zenvelo Exactly. But my GPS isn’t accurate all the time as it is. Why would anyone trust a driverless car.

flo's avatar

@zenvelo See @Pandora‘s last post: “Why would anyone trust a driverless car.”

But I responded to you a few posts ago.

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