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Driverless Trucks now Used in Canada


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http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/self-driving-trucks-canada-1.4464693

 

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Suncor Energy is testing them at its oilsands operations in Alberta, while Rio Tinto is expanding their deployment at its iron ore mines in Australia.

The leading employer of Canadian men will see a 40% reduction in those costs once this is brought in, over the coming decade or two.  What will be the impact on politics ?  Certainly history has shown us that economic impacts such as this can have a large populist reaction.  ( Corn riots, 1816 ( http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-36276197 ) ; October Revolution, 1917 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_Revolution ; Election of Donald Trump 2016 )

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3 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

Probably a minor concern, when you consider the massive unemployment issue.

You mean the moral imperative to produce issue.

In any case it'll be foreigners that are making the robots ergo immigrants will be blamed.

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7 hours ago, eyeball said:

You mean the moral imperative to produce issue.

That sounds interesting, no matter how I interpret it - but what do you mean actually ?

 

7 hours ago, eyeball said:

 

In any case it'll be foreigners that are making the robots ergo immigrants will be blamed.

Maybe.  Or if it cuts left it will be rich people.  

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1 hour ago, Topaz said:

Seriously, I don't think it will catch on. I've talk to  people about the cars and they all say no way they don't trust the computers.

It will start on closed corporate properties first, like it has here. The real question is who do you trust more, computers or your drunk neighbour?

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27 minutes ago, ?Impact said:

It will start on closed corporate properties first, like it has here. The real question is who do you trust more, computers or your drunk neighbour?

The problem is. Can they co-exist? Humans break driving rules all the time. Can you write code that recognizes that the speed limit really isn't 100 kms/h, it's closer to 125 kms/h.

Can existing cars be retrofitted to be driverless? There are cars that have AI features that make them much safer, but not all cars have them. This is the same problem with EV's. They're only a niche because most people still drive ICE cars. At what point does the gas station become a place where you just swap out a cars battery? 

Who takes on the liability of driving, for whatever reason. The car manufacturers would have to if it's impossible to override the computer. And if it's possible to over-ride the computer then why even bother? 

I've heard people say that a driverless car will just scoot around town picking people up and go to work. But you'd still need enough of these cars to cover peak commuting times.

 

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38 minutes ago, Boges said:

The problem is. Can they co-exist? Humans break driving rules all the time. Can you write code that recognizes that the speed limit really isn't 100 kms/h, it's closer to 125 kms/h.

They will have to, and we already have some experience with that in the human monitored prototypes on the road today. Breaking rules like speed limits is an interesting question.

38 minutes ago, Boges said:

Can existing cars be retrofitted to be driverless?

I doubt that, too many peripheral dependencies.

38 minutes ago, Boges said:

Who takes on the liability of driving, for whatever reason.

Yes, liability is a big question that still needs to be resolved. If driverless cars become safer, and I have every reason to expect they will on average be significantly safer, then liability insurance will be lower than the human powered version. The question will become how will it be funded.

38 minutes ago, Boges said:

I've heard people say that a driverless car will just scoot around town picking people up and go to work. But you'd still need enough of these cars to cover peak commuting times.

Yes, there will still be a need for a lot of cars. With driverless cars however, ride sharing will be easier and instead of just parking and waiting for the end of your shift the car will become available to others. The net result will be fewer cars overall, but there will still be a lot of idle time in them. The point is that optimization will be much easier, and coordinating things like service intervals will be more efficient. Public transit may also be improved significantly, one of the problems today is that the suburban loop is not cost effective but driverless vehicles will improve that significantly.

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12 hours ago, Michael Hardner said:

That sounds interesting, no matter how I interpret it - but what do you mean actually ?

It means these truckers, like you and me and everyone else should buck up, roll up their sleeves, adapt, innovate, produce or die. Above all else don't come looking for a handout.  It'll be your own damn fault for not seeing the end of labour coming and preparing for it.  

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Maybe.  Or if it cuts left it will be rich people.

Only if it also cuts the powerful otherwise no, they'll both do just fine.

If it cuts righteously it'll be their brain-dead lickspittles who, when they're not whining about taxes and social spending, seem to relish lecturing ne're-do-wells on the finer points of finding and keeping a job.

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I am afraid driverless vehicles are not to far off in the future.  I don't think that politicians are anywhere near ready for the issues that will crop up as a result.

There are some precedents:  commercial aircraft have been very highly automated for some time now.  In fact, when a Cat III or IV ILS approach to minimums is flown, it is forbidden for the pilot(s) to have ANY control - as the computers on board must execute the entire landing.  Reason is: the cockpit would be still in the cloud when the wheels touch down - or no vision at all since these can be "zero-zero" landings (no visibility, no ceiling) no way to visually land the airplane at all.  Landing an airplane might seem complex, but it is actually a lot easier than driving a truck.  Airplanes have considerable separation from others, but trucks can be a few feet away from everything around them, including other trucks coming opposite direction.  Automation on big airplanes has become so pervasive, there have been a fair number of major crashes that resulted in an automation failure (either systemic or pilot induced) that left the pilots to hand fly the airplane, and they couldn't do it.  Now, these are very highly trained "experts", working to very precisely defined standards using mega-million dollar avionics to fly an airplane that is in a very well controlled environment.  Now apply that to trucking with barely drivers that are barely trained, hardly tested and seldom supervised providing the backup to the automation (as at least during some long transition phase, all full automated stuff will have a "safety" driver - who will be bored to tears as there is seldom any reason to intervene.   Now think of some mindless drama teacher being entrusted to regulate these activities, and you can see the train wreck coming.

No question that at some point, drivers will lose their jobs, but that is still off in the future.

Now, why would we WANT this to happen?  Ever notice the huge number of obviously "new Canadian" drivers out there?  I was visiting a fellow in the Golden Horseshoe at his truck repair company a few years back.  Writing up the week's safety inspections on a fleet of gravel trucks, he said to me:  "Look at this, I have 50 different trucks, 50 different drivers and only one driving license!".  Truck driving here is seen as some kind of "knights of the road" occupation, but in some countries, it is one of the lowest on the totem pole.  The industry is rife with all kinds of schemes to circumvent the law.  The Dec 18 US reg that requires EDL (electronic data logging) is causing pure havoc because it will make cheating on hours of service impossible - and as a result, will dramatically alter the entire US industry.  The cost of doing business was already based on severe abuse of drivers that forced them to fudge the logbooks in many cases to earn a decent living or pay for their truck.

I would much rather share the road with a computer driven truck than a probably illegal immigrant who has fraudulently obtained a driving license (or simply forged one, as I saw at the repair shop).  Now, if our government(s) can not even police something as basic as immigration and licensing, how the hell are they supposed to set and enforce a regulatory environment as complex as what we will see with automated and ultimately autonomous trucks mixed in with cars, trucks, school buses, etc.??.

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18 hours ago, cannuck said:

1. I don't think that politicians are anywhere near ready for the issues that will crop up as a result.

2. Now think of some mindless drama teacher being entrusted to regulate these activities, and you can see the train wreck coming.

3. No question that at some point, drivers will lose their jobs, but that is still off in the future.

4. Now, why would we WANT this to happen? 

5. Now, if our government(s) can not even police something as basic as immigration and licensing, how the hell are they supposed to set and enforce a regulatory environment as complex as what we will see with automated and ultimately autonomous trucks mixed in with cars, trucks, school buses, etc.??.

1. Of course not.  But that is mostly because the people aren't ready.  Our collective IQ around economics is too low to vote on such things.

2. Any world leader has to defer to the braintrust of economists, and I have listened to what they have to say.  There really isn't an answer, but your point on our dear leader is taken.

3. Not so far off that we shouldn't start talking about it ?

4. How can you even ask that ?  Automation reduces costs of production.

5. How ?  Automation.

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On 27/12/2017 at 9:18 PM, eyeball said:

If it cuts righteously it'll be their brain-dead lickspittles who, when they're not whining about taxes and social spending, seem to relish lecturing ne're-do-wells on the finer points of finding and keeping a job.

Meanwhile the brain-dead lickspittles on the left, who want to be the most fair in the world, so fair that they'd give away their own baby's future seem to just give them ne'er-do-well's more drugs.

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1 hour ago, Michael Hardner said:

1. Of course not.  But that is mostly because the people aren't ready.  Our collective IQ around economics is too low to vote on such things.

2. Any world leader has to defer to the braintrust of economists, and I have listened to what they have to say.  There really isn't an answer, but your point on our dear leader is taken.

3. Not so far off that we shouldn't start talking about it ?

4. How can you even ask that ?  Automation reduces costs of production.

5. How ?  Automation.

In fairness, it is not all about economics, it is also about highway safety.

There certainly are huge economic benefits:  reducing the driving labour to zero is one.  Keeping the truck on the road for full tank of fuel if needed is another (drivers have to stop by law fro break and after 11 driving hours in US and 13 in Canada).  What is not so obvious is the HUGE reduction in capital cost - drivers are very inconvenient things because they have to sleep and have days off - but you need to provide each one a truck, so to cover those things, you need almost 3x as many human driven trucks as you could autonomous 24 x 7 vehicles.

The safety payoff may come if and when autonomous vehicles really can be autonomous.  Milking impossible amounts of work for the lowest possible time results in a lot of cheating in the truck driving world.  On top of that, reality is that there are definite limits on just what people can do without making mistakes, and mistakes in 40 to 60 tonne trucks are not a good thing.  The question is: can the automation work better than the people?  Ultimately, it can, but as we have learned from aviation, it takes time to perfect that automation, and it doesn't always work (thus why we still have pilots on board).   BUT: if you are going to supervise the automation, all of the economic benefits are gone, and once more, as we learned from aviation, when you take the driver out of the constant involvement part of the equation, they don't always perform very well when they have to step in mid crisis.

Sadly, regulators and legislators are not very good at understanding these things from real life, and when you build a cabinet around political correctness instead of vocational experience, things go even worse when policy is turned into leg and reg than is reasonable or acceptable.

Edited by cannuck
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  • 2 weeks later...

Someone will get very rich off driverless trucks...   Some of  these people’s extra wealth should be redistributed to those who lost out from their gain.  

Thats how we will tackle the problem.  Tax the winners to take care of the losers.  

Luckily for me, goat milk will always be in demand. 

Edited by The_Squid
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6 hours ago, The_Squid said:

Someone will get very rich off driverless trucks.

Lots of people will get very rich, some people will do very well working in the new technology, many people will get good jobs in the new technology, and all consumers will be a little bit better off due to lower costs.

And the #1 job for men in many areas will eventually disappear.

That's how it will almost certainly go down.

 

6 hours ago, The_Squid said:

Some of  these people’s extra wealth should be redistributed to those who lost out from their gain.  

 

Sure, but... the political economy has not been going that way.  Tax rates for corporations and wealthy individuals have been going down.  One side of the discussion says that this response happens to encourage investment, and the other side decries "trickle down economics" that enables a widening gulf between have and have-nots.

 

6 hours ago, The_Squid said:

Thats how we will tackle the problem.  Tax the winners to take care of the losers.  

 

Will we ?

6 hours ago, The_Squid said:

Luckily for me, goat milk will always be in demand. 

I'm all right, Jack !

I prefer robot milk, for one.

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On 26/12/2017 at 12:22 PM, Michael Hardner said:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/self-driving-trucks-canada-1.4464693

 

The leading employer of Canadian men will see a 40% reduction in those costs once this is brought in, over the coming decade or two.  What will be the impact on politics ?  Certainly history has shown us that economic impacts such as this can have a large populist reaction.  ( Corn riots, 1816 ( http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-36276197 ) ; October Revolution, 1917 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_Revolution ; Election of Donald Trump 2016 )

Driverless cars and trucks are still a ways off from being used on public streets. You claim 10-20 years, I suppose it's possible. Not sure I completely like the idea. If there is an accident with the truck and there's no driver, who is at fault? Many instances in the past where the truck driver was sued for negligence. I would not assume a computer control system will be perfect every time. Safety interlock systems are useful but only to a point.

I don't understand why you inserted Trump here for comparison. Was that just for dramatic effect? I mean in context of economic fallout. I read that unemployment in the US is way down, and wages are going up. Please, if you would, explain this reference.

 

Edited by OftenWrong
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8 hours ago, The_Squid said:

Someone will get very rich off driverless trucks...   Some of  these people’s extra wealth should be redistributed to those who lost out from their gain.  

Good luck with that, never happened in the past and never will happen. Welcome to the capitalist economy, created by the rich for the rich and screw everyone else. Of course everyone must bow down and praise the great economists, because that is church doctrine. 

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6 hours ago, OftenWrong said:

Driverless cars and trucks are still a ways off from being used on public streets. You claim 10-20 years, I suppose it's possible. Not sure I completely like the idea.

It's a guess, based on what I have read.  Whether or not we like the idea, it's coming.

6 hours ago, OftenWrong said:

If there is an accident with the truck and there's no driver, who is at fault? Many instances in the past where the truck driver was sued for negligence. I would not assume a computer control system will be perfect every time. Safety interlock systems are useful but only to a point.

First of all the new system would be much safer.  As today, manufacturers would be liable for their hardware and software.

 

6 hours ago, OftenWrong said:

I don't understand why you inserted Trump here for comparison. Was that just for dramatic effect? I mean in context of economic fallout. I read that unemployment in the US is way down, and wages are going up. Please, if you would, explain this reference.

 

I said it above: economic impacts in the past have driven populist upheaval in the political class, including the election of populist leaders.

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24 minutes ago, Michael Hardner said:

I said it above: economic impacts in the past have driven populist upheaval in the political class, including the election of populist leaders.

I see. I've got it now, thanks. Good observation.

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