Monday, November 16, 2015

Google car driving too slow in faster lane, Mountain View

And the challenge: self driving cars must learn to respond defensively to defective humans.

Image result for Google car stopped in Mountain view picture
Two (2) humans in self-driving car
didn't move car out of faster lane
A Mountain View police officer pulled over one of Google's self-driving cars on El Camino Real, near Rengstorff Avenue, on Thursday. ( Photo courtesy Zandr Milewski )
But officer, the car can only drive
25 mph--  the zone limit is only 35 mpf
San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate/Jenna Lyons, 11/12/15, "Self-driving Google car pulled over in Mountain View." "....  It began as a routine traffic stop after an officer responded to a slow moving car backing up eastbound traffic on El Camino Real near Rengstorff Avenue, police said.The officer stopped the car, which was going 24 mph in a 35 mph zone , then realized it was a Google vehicle.

When the officer made contact with the operators, he asked how they chose travel speeds and let them know the car was impeding traffic. Mountain View police said they regularly perform tests with Google to see how its cars react to emergency vehicles on the road.

Under the California Vehicle Code, the Google car is a neighborhood electric vehicle and cannot drive on roads with a speed limit above 35 mph. That meant the car was allowed to be on the road." Read article. 

 San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate article (above) update, 11/15/15, "Police stop Google self-driving car for going too slowly."    ....  "The bubble-shaped prototype has two seats. Its top speed is 25 mph.  "Driving too slowly? Bet humans don't get pulled over for that too often," Google's self-driving car project wrote in a blog post. It said the cars — outfitted with high-tech sensors and computing power — have never received a ticket. .... Representatives of Google's self-driving car project have said that in recent months they've been trying to program the vehicles to drive less like robots and more like people — in part to reduce the number of times they are hit by other drivers expecting certain driving behavior." 

Related news articles.  San Jose Mercury News/Peninsula/The Daily News/Jason Green, Staff Writer, 11/13/15, "Mountain View: Google self-driving car pulled over for 'driving too slowly'." "MOUNTAIN VIEW -- When one of Google's self-driving vehicles is pulled over, who gets the ticket? The passenger or the car?   .....  The vehicle didn't stop itself; a passenger took control and pulled over for the officer, according to police. ... So, no ticket, and the question of who would get it remains unanswered. New York Times/Business Day/Christine Hauser, 11/13/15. "Google driverless car is stopped by California police for going too slowly." “The officer stopped the car and made contact with the operators to learn more about how the car was choosing speeds along certain roadways and to educate the operators about impeding traffic,” a police statement said.  Under the California Vehicle Code, the cars are permitted to operate on streets that have a speed limit of 35 m.p.h. or slower, the police said.  So no ticket was issued. The car technically had no driver, but there are usually two operators in the Google cars capable of taking over if needed, and that was the case this time, the police official in charge of the traffic team, Sgt. Saul Jaeger, said in a telephone interview. The Google vehicle was allowed to go on its way, with the understanding that if the operators noticed that traffic was stacking up, they needed to pull over and let it flow by, just as if someone had engine trouble and was inching down the road. “Just like anybody,” Sergeant Jaeger said. Google’s autonomous test cars are programmed to follow the letter of the law. But as The New York Times reported in September, researchers in the fledgling field of autonomous vehicles say that one of the biggest challenges facing automated cars is blending them into a world in which human drivers don’t behave by the book." 

Note photographs.  Google self-driving car on San Antonio Road, Mountain View, June, 2015 by Gordon De Los Santos/Google from New York Times.  Policeman by Zandr Milewski from VIN News blog, also from Associated Press in the San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate article update (above). 

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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