TruckingTruth Article: Self Driving Vehicles Are Coming Soon You Say? I Say Please Stop Clowning Us

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Tim H.'s Comment
member avatar

I wear a cool hat.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
I wear a cool hat.

Is it made with Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil?

Bud A.'s Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I wear a cool hat.

double-quotes-end.png

Is it made with Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil?

No, that's my cool hat.

qy52ee506a.jpg

Brett Aquila's Comment
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That is, if you believe we actually sent men to the moon. Or even ever sent anyone through the Van Allen Belt without killing them with radiation. But I'll stop now, since I know this has instantly put me in the kook category for most of you, if I'm not there already

No, I'm down with all that. I don't know if it's knowable or not for any of us outside of the program, but there's no question we had done a ton of amazing things back then, some 50 or so years ago. Which saddens me to think Siri couldn't find a place 8 miles away and I'm barely able to get a cell signal where I'm at, only 1.5 miles off of I-87. I mean, how ridiculous is that, right?

Boooooo telecoms.

wtf-2.gif

Here's one of my favorite articles ever:

Everything's Broken And No One's Upset

That was written in 2012 and it's every bit as true today. Software is just awful these days when it comes to reliability. What percentage of websites do you ever visit where you go, "Wow, that was a great experience. Everything loaded fast, and performed reliably." Probably 5% of em. Drives me nuts.

And yet another cool trip down technology's memory lane for those of you who think shiny, new things run the world:

So Apple's software is pretty awesome, right? And Linux is super amazing! Why? Well because both are Unix-based systems. And when was unix first released?

November 1971

The History And Timeline Of Unix

Computer aided design, manufacturing control systems, laboratory simulations, even the Internet itself, all began life with and because of UNIX systems. Today, without UNIX systems, the Internet would come to a screeching halt. Most telephone calls could not be made, electronic commerce would grind to a halt and there would have never been "Jurassic Park"!

So yap, once again we've come so far, haven't we? That's why our best operating systems are based on a foundation from almost 50 years ago.

And hey, how good was 1971? It wasn't just Unix that came into being that year.

I was born October 1971 and Pat Netzel, my silent partner behind the scenes here at TruckingTruth, my best friend of 32 years, was born November 1971

Unix and Pat and I ......... 1971........... 45 years young .........

thank-you-2.gif

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
John L.'s Comment
member avatar

There isn't enough paper. There aren't enough letters in the alphabet. There aren't enough words in the dictionary to list all the possible "points-of-failure" involved in putting a driver-less vehicle on the average US Interstate highway.

I've spent 30 years working in system automation (most recently in offshore drilling system automation), so I can speak with some small amount of authority. There is no way in hell that this little experiment will survive the first crash involving a fully-loaded, autonomous "semi" taking out a car-load of humans on a family vacation to "where-ever" America.

Truck loads of lawyers will be billing until the cows come home!

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

John L wrote:

There isn't enough paper. There aren't enough letters in the alphabet. There aren't enough words in the dictionary to list all the possible "points-of-failure" involved in putting a driver-less vehicle on the average US Interstate highway.

I've spent 30 years working in system automation (most recently in offshore drilling system automation), so I can speak with some small amount of authority. There is no way in hell that this little experiment will survive the first crash involving a fully-loaded, autonomous "semi" taking out a car-load of humans on a family vacation to "where-ever" America.

Truck loads of lawyers will be billing until the cows come home!

Well put John...

I did my time, 30 years of it on the delivery side; pharma, logistics and distribution, including two real time systems; one for Conrail (in-cab controls) and one that involved flow metering, movement, and control of combustible liquid. Been through my share of pre-production forced marches lasting for months.

Whenever public safety is involved software testing is incredibly complex and usually protracted until all regulatory oversight is satisfied. Quadruple redundancy and every little detail must be documented. And the testing...it never really ends, it changes to maintain compliance and functional upgrades.

Totally agree here with John...testing every possible scenario will be an infinitely difficult task. Testing things we know can happen is one thing...assuming you can surpass that. Then comes security. A whole other set of variables, a moving target that is virtually impossible to predict or prevent 100% of the time.

Recently FedEx was hit with a RansomeWare virus that crippled their operation for days...what is the risk of autonomous trucks being hacked for the purpose of committing a crime? I'd suggest it would be a very juicy target for a terror network. No one is talking about that...but make book on it, very difficult to prevent if this ever comes to fruition.

Although at least a decade or more away, I do believe there will eventually be systems that will automate trucking, in controlled and limited access corridors. But to the degree of eliminating the driver, I just don't see that as a possibility, ever. Too many things can and will go wrong. Eliminating the fail safe of an on-board human backup or assist...doubtful.

And Ed...just so we are all clear, computer systems and the infrastructure necessary to securely run them, specifically for the Fortune 500 Corporations, are housed in huge facilities called Data Centers, usually more than one for failover purposes. One of the largest banks in the US has two such facilities on the East coast near Philly, each over 300,000 square feet. Wall to wall, rows and rows of racked servers, data storage, EC gear, firewalls, network and telecom gear with overhead track work for the miles and miles of cabling. There are thousands of facilities like this throughout the US. We still need very large spaces for all of this equipment...

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Sno-boy's Comment
member avatar

One word why this technology is a long way, if ever, off ... Lawsuits

Brett mentioned "ham sandwich" there's and old adage most of us have heard "you can get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich "

You can extrapolate that out to "you can find a lawyer somewhere to sue a ham sandwich"

Deep pockets of big corporations attract lawsuits like flies to honey. Technology is not foolproof. Kill a carload of children (even if the driverless truck is ABSOLUTELY not at fault) and show a jury morgue pictures of dead and maimed little 10 or 12 year old little leaguers and the plaintiff's attorney closing argument is "yes the soccer mom's van crossed the centerline... but a professional operator (human) has been proven (by expert witnesses) to be able to avoid this type of collision with evasive moves that a driverless truck can't process (regardless of the validity of the argument or not.)

In the legal profession, expert witnesses are known as "liar for hire" and you will see sympathetic juries returning verdicts constantly in the TENS of millions of dollars against these publicly held big tech corporations.

Hey folks! We have our first article release in a new section we've put together called:

Truck Driving News, Interviews, And Happenings:
The People, The Stories, and The News From The Highways Of America

We're going to be doing op-ed pieces, interviews, driver features, and all kinds of interesting stuff.

Our Truck Driving Blog section has traditionally been mentoring-type articles like you would find in our Truck Driver's Career Guide. They are mostly aimed at helping new drivers prepare for life on the road.

This new section will be a much wider variety of things, and we're going to be featuring a lot of interviews with drivers from our forum and we'll be quoting you guys a lot in articles we'll be doing.

Today's release is our first and it was actually a spontaneous one, inspired by an experience I had yesterday trying to get some really simple directions on my phone. It brought to the forefront for me, for the millionth time, the pathetic state of software in our society today, and how utterly absurd the idea of self-driving trucks is today.

So I whipped out an op-ed piece called:

Self Driving Vehicles Are Coming Soon You Say? I Say Please Stop Clowning Us

Have a look and give us your thoughts right here! And if you don't have any thoughts then maybe you could send us a ham sandwich? Maybe some apple pie? Whatever ya got is fine. We're hearty eaters.

Enjoy!

smile.gif

DWI:

Driving While Intoxicated

John L.'s Comment
member avatar

John L wrote:

double-quotes-start.png

There isn't enough paper. There aren't enough letters in the alphabet. There aren't enough words in the dictionary to list all the possible "points-of-failure" involved in putting a driver-less vehicle on the average US Interstate highway.

I've spent 30 years working in system automation (most recently in offshore drilling system automation), so I can speak with some small amount of authority. There is no way in hell that this little experiment will survive the first crash involving a fully-loaded, autonomous "semi" taking out a car-load of humans on a family vacation to "where-ever" America.

Truck loads of lawyers will be billing until the cows come home!

double-quotes-end.png

Well put John...

I did my time, 30 years of it on the delivery side; pharma, logistics and distribution, including two real time systems; one for Conrail (in-cab controls) and one that involved flow metering, movement, and control of combustible liquid. Been through my share of pre-production forced marches lasting for months.

Whenever public safety is involved software testing is incredibly complex and usually protracted until all regulatory oversight is satisfied. Quadruple redundancy and every little detail must be documented. And the testing...it never really ends, it changes to maintain compliance and functional upgrades.

Totally agree here with John...testing every possible scenario will be an infinitely difficult task. Testing things we know can happen is one thing...assuming you can surpass that. Then comes security. A whole other set of variables, a moving target that is virtually impossible to predict or prevent 100% of the time.

Recently FedEx was hit with a RansomeWare virus that crippled their operation for days...what is the risk of autonomous trucks being hacked for the purpose of committing a crime? I'd suggest it would be a very juicy target for a terror network. No one is talking about that...but make book on it, very difficult to prevent if this ever comes to fruition.

Although at least a decade or more away, I do believe there will eventually be systems that will automate trucking, in controlled and limited access corridors. But to the degree of eliminating the driver, I just don't see that as a possibility, ever. Too many things can and will go wrong. Eliminating the fail safe of an on-board human backup or assist...doubtful.

And Ed...just so we are all clear, computer systems and the infrastructure necessary to securely run them, specifically for the Fortune 500 Corporations, are housed in huge facilities called Data Centers, usually more than one for failover purposes. One of the largest banks in the US has two such facilities on the East coast near Philly, each over 300,000 square feet. Wall to wall, rows and rows of racked servers, data storage, EC gear, firewalls, network and telecom gear with overhead track work for the miles and miles of cabling. There are thousands of facilities like this throughout the US. We still need very large spaces for all of this equipment...

It's late and I don't wish to start into another long thread, but i will just say that, IMHO, we (they) are trying to solve the wrong problem. We don't need automated vehicles so much as we need automated roadways. It's the environment that these vehicles will operate in that is the real problem. It's total chaos out there and there isn't a computer built that could do it. At least not one that would fit under the hood of your average automobile.

No, we need to take control of the stream of vehicles on the highway essentially turning them into a virtual train. Oops, there I go off on a tangent that i said I wasn't going enter ... can we pick this up later?

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Oops, there I go off on a tangent that i said I wasn't going enter ... can we pick this up later?

Absolutely.

And I agree. There's no way we're going to retrofit current vehicles and roadway systems to use driverless vehicles on a large scale in today's environment.

And I must admit, I still have quite a few aces up my sleeve. Like if people want a real possibility to ponder, how about drones? Autonomous vehicles aren't the risk we face as truck drivers, drones are. Now that is a feasible technology path to follow in today's world with relatively little in the way of infrastructure needs and very little disruption to the way life is currently being lived.

Hey, I just thought of something. Where's Rickipedia? I know that dude has to have all kinds of great stuff for this conversation.

smile.gif

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Tim H.'s Comment
member avatar

Drones could deliver the mail/online order to you in your truck, rv, etc. while in transit right to your window.

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