back to article Cruise self-driving cars stopped and clogged up San Francisco for hours

Weeks after Cruise launched its autonomous, driverless taxi rides to the public in San Francisco, numerous vehicles mysteriously piled up and blocked several lanes of incoming traffic downtown. Apparently a bunch of driverless Cruise vehicles were "stuck" blocking an intersection for "a couple of hours" the other night, …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    The robot uprising

    But instead of Schwarzenegger and the Terminator it's Reg from On The buses

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: The robot uprising

      I was thinking more like "Johnny Cab" from 'Total Recall'

      "I am not FAMILIAR with that address..."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The robot uprising

      Hey Blakey does your bus go by the dark satanic mills?

  2. John Robson Silver badge
    Coat

    Does it really need to be AI?

    Why not just put tags in the back of everyone's shirt and track that and the ball - no AI required...

    If player's Z axis location is further forward than all but one of the opposition when the ball air pressure spikes (because it's being kicked) then flag potential offside - with an indicator on screen as to the player in question and the ball at moment of pressure spike.

    1. Natalie Gritpants Jr Silver badge

      Re: Does it really need to be AI?

      I'm confused. Does that mean you can't be taller than the opposition?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Does it really need to be AI?

        Why not just put a series of long poles across the field

        Introduce a large ball

        Attach players to the poles and use large motors to spin the rods+players as the ball goes past

      2. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Does it really need to be AI?

        No, it means that my offspring have corrupted my brain with minecraft coordinates.

    2. Falmari Silver badge

      Re: Does it really need to be AI?

      @John Robson "ball air pressure spikes (because it's being kicked) then flag potential offside"

      Needs to do more than just react to ball air pressure spikes otherwise the vast majority flagged as potential offside will not be offside.

      The ball is kicked, headed, bounces, etc all the time, the majority of air pressure spikes are not due to a player releasing possession.

      Also the system would have to identify which player and team was releasing possession to identify if that teams players were offside.

      Back to the question Does it really need to be AI? No it does not.

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Does it really need to be AI?

        "Needs to do more than just react to ball air pressure spikes otherwise the vast majority flagged as potential offside will not be offside."

        Yes - but that's why it flags it to the team watching the monitors on the sidelines, not direct to the ref.

    3. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Does it really need to be AI?

      Or does it need to be done at all? I'm not really familiar with all the details of commercial lycra-based entertainment but I seem to recall they just toss a coin to decide who makes the first move. Couldn't they apply the same technology everywhere a decision is required?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Does it really need to be AI?

        This is FIFA, decision's aren't decided by the toss of a coin

        Unless it's a bloody big coin and tossed the right way ... wink ... wink

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does it really need to be AI?

      AI destroying more jobs, this time for the legally Blind.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Does it really need to be AI?

        AI needed since no one understands the off site rule to start with!

        1. Def Silver badge

          Re: Does it really need to be AI?

          As someone who hates football with an unrivaled passion, even I understand the offside rule.

          (You cannot be further forward than the furthest back player (excluding the goal keeper) of the other team when possession of the ball is passed forward.)

          Off site rules are something else completely. Nobody understands those, so in that respect you are completely correct.

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: Does it really need to be AI?

            Oh I don't hate it - it's not worth the effort.

            Of course I call it soccer whenever I have to refer to it, and generally treat it with the disdain it* deserves... but hate is going too far.

            * Commercial soccer that is. I have nothing against school/community based sports**.

            ** No using a golf bat on a golf court doesn't count as sport.

            1. Def Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: Does it really need to be AI?

              Oh I don't hate it - it's not worth the effort.

              I find it's good to have a few hobbies to help get you through the dark winter nights.

          2. kz20fl2

            Re: Does it really need to be AI?

            It doesn't exclude the goalkeeper. There must be one player from the opposing team between an attacking player and the goal as the ball is played. Yes, this player is USUALLY the goalkeeper, but if the goalkeeper advances upfield it is not.

    5. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Does it really need to be AI?

      I thought all the players did wear some tech now anyway to track their heart rate, distance run, etc. A sensor sounds like a simple extension. Although humans are not a point location; perhaps they have tried both and decided this is better, perhaps it's a human factor that they couldn't get people to agree.

    6. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Does it really need to be AI?

      The whole offside technology thing is flawed from the very beginning, because they are trying to use technology to answer the wrong question. The point of the offside rule is to prevent strikers from loitering upfield behind the opposition defensive line. It's not to call offside against a striker whose toe just happens to be 2mm beyond the toe of the last defender. Adding ever more *precision* will not improve *accuracy*.

      Having a pressure monitor in the ball to note when it was kicked is simply an extension of this, a technological replacement from simply eyeballing when the ball was last hit and freeze-framing there. The problem is that football footage is filmed at 50fps (a frame every 0.02s), players can run at 35-40 km/h + (over 10 m/s for 1 player and over 20m/s relative speed for 2 players running in opposite directions). That means there could be up to 40cm difference between frames. Film at 200fps still gives 10cm difference between frames.

      FIFA and everyone else involved simply needs to accept that there is a margin of error that they won't improve upon, and instead of investing in technology that pretends it can tell if someone is 2cm offside, maybe invest it in fan education campaigns

  3. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Twenty million for scraping billions of images without permission?

    Chump change, a cheap cost of doing business.

    Make it illegal, full stop.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Twenty million for scraping billions of images without permission?

      It *is* illegal, so there's the fine, and they must stop whatever they were doing amd delete it.

      Since they continue asserting that their interpretation of the GDPR is the only one that matters, it might get interesting when they become a repeat offender.

  4. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Trollface

    Autonomous Vehicles all simultaneously updating their OS

    Windows Update strikes again

    1. Richard Pennington 1
      Facepalm

      Re: Autonomous Vehicles all simultaneously updating their OS

      Either that or Cruise have invented the first fully-automated flash-mob.

      1. An_Old_Dog Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        The Italian Job, Updated

        Perhaps someone compromised their systems and "told" the AIs, "drive here and wait". It was a distraction / blocking action to keep the cops away from the site of the break-in.

        (Icon for perps making their escape.)

    2. Sherrie Ludwig

      Re: Autonomous Vehicles all simultaneously updating their OS

      They went on strike for better WiFi and higher Gig speeds

  5. Little Mouse Silver badge

    Deadlock condition?

    Those driverless Cruise cars sound like the church carpark when I was little, with all the drivers trying to our-nice each other when everyone left at the same time.

    "After you." - "No no no. After you." - "But I insist. After you" etc etc etc.

    Deadlock conditions are bad enough in software, without having them cross into the physical realm as well.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Deadlock condition?

      Also rural Canada, people with right of way stop for other people at stop signs = chaos

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Deadlock condition?

        Sorry!

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Deadlock condition?

      manual override...

      https://youtu.be/F6GYOsi8gqo?t=502

      KITTMichael Knight vs KARR

  6. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    What matters...

    is intelligence of SOME form for detecting all the ********* **** ******* faked injuries.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DId I read this right

    Someone is really calling these things "Cruise" given their obvious use by terrorists as delivery systems?

    Why bother with suicide bombers when you can just pack a taxis and send it to the desired address. Works for missiles too.

  8. tip pc Silver badge

    How do they ensure sensor is in middle of the Ball?

    A player can be offside by an inch or less, so how do they ensure the sensor is exactly in the middle of the ball and how do they know where the players foot is in relation to the defending side?

    I bet it’ll cause more problems than it solves.

    1. Joe W Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: How do they ensure sensor is in middle of the Ball?

      [ ] you understand offside

      [x] your prediction of that AI-thingy causing more problem than it solves is likely correct (adn I share that sentiment)

      The position of the ball has not too much to do with it. It is the position of the players you need to care about. And yes, that can be a matter of a few 2.5cm. The position of the ball matters when it comes to scoring not-goals (*cough* Wembley).

  9. Mike 137 Silver badge

    They should have tested them here...

    "Apparently a bunch of driverless Cruise vehicles were "stuck" blocking an intersection for "a couple of hours" the other night"

    The best test site for these would be the Hemel Hempstead UK Magic Roundabout: - five roads (three of them trunk) into five unidirectional mini roundabouts surrounding a bidirectional main roundabout. If 'driverless' vehicles could negotiate this in the rush hour among conventional traffic (including buses) the problem would have been solved. If not, more work still needed.

  10. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Keep that momentum!

    I look forward to seeing the exceptionally strong Autopilot team continue that momentum

    ... right into the back of a fire engine.

    Too soon?

  11. imanidiot Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Yet more evidence

    that current gen "driverless" cars and "autonomous vehicles" are shit and are making no noticeable improvement whatsoever.

  12. John D'oh!

    Looks to me like they were getting ready for a race condition.

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