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Can Self-Driving Cars Ever Really Be Safe? | @ThingsExpo #AI #IoT #M2M #Sensors
No. Self-driving cars can never really be safe. They will be safer!

Analysts estimate that by 2030, self-driving cars and trucks (autonomous vehicles) could account for as much as 60 percent of US auto sales. That’s great! But autonomous vehicles are basically computers on wheels, and computers crash all the time. Besides that, computers get hacked every day. So you gotta ask, “Can self-driving cars ever really be safe?”

The Short Answer
No. Self-driving cars can never really be safe. They will be safer! So much safer that it’s worth a few minutes to understand why.

Humans Are Very Dangerous
First and foremost, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 90 percent of all traffic accidents can be blamed on human error. Next, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 80 percent of drivers expressed significant anger, aggression, or road rage behind the wheel at least once in the past year. Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities accounted for 29% of the total vehicle traffic fatalities in 2015. And finally, of the roughly 35,000 annual traffic fatalities, approximately 10 percent of them (3,477 lives in 2015) are caused by distracted driving.

Remove human error from driving, and you will not only save a significant number of lives, you will also dramatically reduce the number of serious injuries associated with traffic accidents – there were over 4.4 million in the United States during 2015.

Data Begins to Make a Case
In May 2016, a 40-year-old man named Joshua Brown died behind the wheel of a Tesla cruising in Autopilot mode on a Florida divided highway. He was the first.

Rage against the machine quickly followed, along with some valid questions about whether Tesla had pushed this nascent technology too fast and too far. Everyone expected the accident to be the fault of a software glitch or a technology failure, but it was not.

The NHTSA investigation found that “a safety-related defect trend has not been identified at this time and further examination of this issue does not appear to be warranted.” In other words, the car didn’t cause the crash. But there was more to the story. The NHTSA’s report concluded, “The data show that the Tesla vehicles crash rate dropped by almost 40 percent after Autosteer installation.” In reality, while Mr. Brown’s death was both tragic and unprecedented, the investigation highlighted a simple truth: semi-autonomous vehicles crash significantly less often than vehicles piloted by humans.

What Do You Mean by “Safe”?
The same NHTSA report mentioned 99 percent of US automakers had agreed to include Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) systems in all new cars by 2025 with the goal of preventing 28,000 crashes and 12,000 injuries. The AEB program is limited to rear-end crashes, but there are a host of other semi-autonomous features in the works, and by the numbers, all of them will make us safer.

That said, this is very new technology, and regulators will need to define what they mean by “safe.” Must our autonomous vehicles drive flawlessly, or do they just need to be better at it than we are? The RAND Corp think tank says, “A fleet of 100 cars would have to drive 275 million miles without failure to meet the safety standards of today’s vehicles in terms of deaths. At the time of the fatal May 2016 crash, Tesla car owners had logged 130 million miles in Autopilot mode.”

The Transition to Fully Autonomous Vehicles
In April 2016, Ford, Alphabet, Lyft, Volvo Cars, and Waymo established the Self-Driving Coalition for Safer Streets to “work with lawmakers, regulators, and the public to realize the safety and societal benefits of self-driving vehicles.” They have their work cut out for them.

Self-Driving Cars Need to Be Trained
In January 2017, Elon Musk tweeted that a software update featuring Shadow mode was being pushed to all Teslas with HW2 Autopilot capabilities. This enabled the car’s autonomous driving AI to “shadow” its human drivers and compare decisions that it (the AI) would make to the decisions that were being made by the human driver. Think of it as self-driving AI in training. The auto industry and several tech giants are working as fast as they can to make autonomous vehicles mainstream. To speed the process, they may need to share some data. Will they? My guess is, absolutely.

Hacks and Crashes
In September 2016, Chinese researchers discovered some “security vulnerabilities” in the Tesla Model S and remotely hacked into the car. This was notable because it was the first time anyone had remotely hacked into a Tesla. We have a thesis here at The Palmer Group, “Anything that can be hacked, will be hacked.” Is this going to be an issue? Yes, but it’s also going to be an arms race. I’m betting on the good guys, but to be fair, hacking across every digital touchpoint is a never-ending battle. We will do our best to combat the bad guys.

As for computer crashes, yes, it is possible for the computer that runs your self-driving car to crash, but it will happen so infrequently that, by the numbers, you will be significantly safer in an autonomous vehicle than if you were driving yourself.

Fear and Assessment of Risk
Some people are afraid to fly. When you point out that flying is the safest form of travel by several orders of magnitude, the response is always some version of, “But when a plane crashes everyone dies.” Human beings are not very good at assessing risk. If you don’t have a gas pedal, a brake pedal, or a steering wheel, and your car crashes, you will feel helpless and out of control. And you may die. But, by the numbers, tens of thousands of people will not die or be injured because semi-autonomous driving and ultimately fully autonomous driving will be much safer than pure human driving. Some will counter that it’s cold comfort if you’re the one who is killed or injured, no matter how rare it is. I agree. But, by the numbers, if you were going to make a policy decision for our society at large, you have to agree that saving tens of thousands of lives and millions of injuries is a worthy endeavor.

(BTW: Please do not bring up the absurd “Why Self-Driving Cars Must Be Programmed to Kill” scenario where “One day, while you are driving along, an unfortunate set of events causes the car to head toward a crowd of 10 people crossing the road. It cannot stop in time but it can avoid killing 10 people by steering into a wall. However, this collision would kill you, the owner and occupant. What should it do?” If you had situational awareness and time to consider all of the outcomes posited by this nonsense hypothetical, you’d have time to step on the brake. If you didn’t have time to consider all of the potential actions and outcomes, the AEB would have engaged to prevent the car from hiting what was in front of it – the people you would have killed while you were thinking about what to do.)

A Prediction
I’m pretty sure that before 2030, if you are under the age of 25 or over the age of 70, you are going to need a special permit to manually drive a car. I’m also pretty sure that you will not be allowed to manually drive on certain streets and highway lanes because you will pose too great of a threat to the caravans of autonomous vehicles on those roads.

With any luck, the fear-mongers and bureaucrats will get out of the way, and we will all be much safer sooner.

Related Articles

The post Can Self-Driving Cars Ever Really Be Safe? originally appeared here on Shelly Palmer

Read the original blog entry...

About Shelly Palmer
Shelly Palmer is the host of Fox Television’s "Shelly Palmer Digital Living" television show about living and working in a digital world. He is Fox 5′s (WNYW-TV New York) Tech Expert and the host of United Stations Radio Network’s, MediaBytes, a daily syndicated radio report that features insightful commentary and a unique insiders take on the biggest stories in technology, media, and entertainment.

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SHIBATA
Transparent
Cloud

BOYD
Neo4j

VANDER-
MINDEN

Flatiron
Strategies

JAME-
NSKY

Embotics

KOCHER
Grey Heron

SPROULE
Metavine

BLACK
SQLstream

WARD
DWE

MILLER
Covisint

EVAVOLD
Covisint

MEINER
Oracle

MEEHAN
Esri

WITECK
Citrix

LIANG
Rancher Labs

BUTLER
Tego

ROWE
IBM Cloud

SKILLERN
Intel

SMITH
Numerex
@ThingsExpo New York All-Star Speakers Include

CLELAND
HGST

VASILIOU
Catchpoint

WALLGREN
Electric Cloud

HINCH-
CLIFFE

7Summits

DE SOUZA
Cisco

RANDALL
Gartner

ARMSTRONG
AppNeta

SMALLTREE
Cazena

MCCARTHY
Bsquare

DELOACH
Infobright

QUINT
Ontegrity

MALAUCHLAN
Buddy Platform

PALIOTTA
Vector

MITRA
Cognizant

KOCHER
Grey Heron

PAPDO
POULOS

Cloud9

HARLAN
Two Bulls

GOLO
SHUBIN

Bit6

PROIETTI
Location
Smart

MARTIN
nfrastructure

MOULINE
Everbridge

MARSH
Blue Pillar

PARKS
SecureRF

PEROTTI
Plantronics

HOFFMAN
EastBanc

WATSON
Trendalyze

BENSONOFF
Unigma

SHAN
CTS

MATTELA
Redpine

GILLEN
Spark
Coginition

SOLT
Netvibes

BERNARDO
GE Digital

ROMANSKY
TrustPoint

BEAMER
GoTransverse

LESTER
LogMeIn

PONO
-MAREVA

Google

SINGH
Sencha

CALKINS
Amadeus

KLEIN
Rachio

HOASIN
Aeris

SARKARIA
PHEMI

SPROULE
Metavine

SNELL
Intel

LEVINE
CytexOne

ALLEN
Freewave

MCCALLUM
Falconstor

HYEDT
Seamless

@ThingsExpo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers Include

SCHULZ
Luxoft

TAMBURINI
Autodesk

MCCARTHY
Bsquare

THURAI
SaneIoT

TURNER
Cloudian

ENDO
Intrepid

NAKAGAWA
Transparent

SHIBATA
Transparent

LEVANT-LEVI
testRTC

VARAN NATH
GE

COOPER
M2Mi

SENAY
Teletax

SKEEN
Vitria

KOCHER
Grey Heron

GREENE
PubNub

MAGUIRE
HP

MATTHIEU
Octoblu

STEINER-JOVIC
AweSense

LYNN
AgilData

HEDGES
Cloudata

DUFOUR
Webroot

ROBERTS
Platform

JONES
Deep

PFEIFFER
NICTA

NIELSEN
Redis

PAOLALANTORIO
DataArchon

KAHN
Solgenia

LOPEZ
Kurento

KIM
MapR

BROMHEAD
Instaclustr

LEVINE
CytexOne

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

GORBACHEV
Intelligent
Systems

THYKATTIL
Navisite

TRELOAR
Bebaio

SIVARAMA-
KRISHNAN

Red Hat
Cloud Expo New York All-Star Speakers Included

DE SOUZA
Cisco

POTTER
SafeLogic

ROBINSON
CompTIA

WARUSA
-WITHANA

WSO2 Inc

MEINER
Oracle

CHOU
Microsoft

HARRISON
Tufin

BRUNOZZI
VMware

KIM
MapR

KANE
Dyn

SICULAR
Basho

TURNER
Cloudian

KUMAR
Liaison

ADAMIAK
Liaison

KHAN
Solgenia

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

SUSSMAN
Coalfire

ISAACSON
RMS

LYNN
CodeFutures

HEABERLIN
Windstream

RAMA
MURTHY

Virtusa

BOSTOCK
IndependenceIT

DE MENO
CommVault

GRILLI
Adobe

WILLIAMS
Rancher Labs

CRISWELL
Alert Logic

COTY
Alert Logic

JACOBS
SingleHop

MARAVEI
Cisco

JACKSON
Softlayer

SINGH
IBM

HAZARD
Softlayer

GALLO
Softlayer

TAMASKAR
GENBAND

SUBRA
-MANIAN

Emcien

LEVESQUE
Windstream

IVANOV
StorPool

BLOOMBERG
Intellyx

BUDHANI
Soha

HATHAWAY
IBM Watson

TOLL
ProfitBricks

LANDRY
Microsoft

BEARFIELD
Blue Box

HERITAGE
Akana

PILUSO
SIASMSP

HOLT
IBM Cloudant

SHAN
CTS

PICCININNI
EMC

BRON-
GERSMA

Modulus

PAIGE
CenturyLink

SABHIKHI
Cognitive Scale

MILLS
Green House Data

KATZEN
CenturyLink

SLOPER
CenturyLink

SRINIVAS
EMC

TALREJA
Cisco

GORBACHEV
Systems Services Inc.

COLLISON
Apcera

PRABHU
OpenCrowd

LYNN
CodeFutures

SWARTZ
Ericsson

MOSHENKO
CoreOS

BERMINGHAM
SIOS

WILLIS
Stateless Networks

MURPHY
Gridstore

KHABE
Vicom

NIKOLOV
GetClouder

DIETZE
Windstream

DALRYMPLE
EnterpriseDB

MAZZUCCO
TierPoint

RIVERA
WHOA.com

HERITAGE
Akana

SEYMOUR
6fusion

GIANNETTO
Author

CARTER
IBM

ROGERS
Virtustream
Cloud Expo Silicon Valley All-Star Speakers

TESAR
Microsoft

MICKOS
HP

BHARGAVA
Intel

RILEY
Riverbed

DEVINE
IBM

ISAACSON
CodeFutures

LYNN
HP

HINKLE
Citrix

KHAN
Solgenia

SINGH
Bigdata

BEACH
SendGrid

BOSTOCK
IndependenceIT

DE SOUZA
Cisco

PATTATHIL
Harbinger

O'BRIEN
Aria Systems

BONIFAZI
Solgenia

BIANCO
Solgenia

PROCTOR
NuoDB

DUGGAL
EnterpriseWeb

TEGETHOFF
Appcore

BRUNOZZI
VMware

HICKENS
Parasoft

KLEBANOV
Cisco

PETERS
Esri

GOLDBERG
Vormetric

CUMBER-
LAND

Dimension

ROSENDAHL
Quantum

LOOMIS
Cloudant

BRUNO
StackIQ

HANNON
SoftLayer

JACKSON
SoftLayer

HOCH
Virtustream

KAPADIA
Seagate

PAQUIN
OnLive

TSAI
Innodisk

BARRALL
Connected Data

SHIAH
AgilePoint

SEGIL
Verizon

PODURI
Citrix

COWIE
Dyn

RITTEN-
HOUSE

Cisco

FALLOWS
Kaazing

THYKATTIL
TimeWarner

LEIDUCK
SAP

LYNN
HP

WAGSTAFF
BSQUARE

POLLACK
AOL

KAMARAJU
Vormetric

BARRY
Catbird

MENDEN-
HALL

SUPERNAP

SHAN
KEANE

PLESE
Verizon

BARNUM
Voxox

TURNER
Cloudian

CALDERON
Advanced Systems

AGARWAL
SOA Software

LEE
Quantum

OBEROI
Concurrent, Inc.

HATEM
Verizon

GALEY
Autodesk

CAUTHRON
NIMBOXX

BARSOUM
IBM

GORDON
1Plug

LEWIS
Verizon

YEO
OrionVM

NAKAGAWA
Transparent Cloud Computing

SHIBATA
Transparent Cloud Computing

NATH
GE

GOKCEN
GE

STOICA
Databricks

TANKEL
Pivotal Software


Testimonials
This week I had the pleasure of delivering the opening keynote at Cloud Expo New York. It was amazing to be back in the great city of New York with thousands of cloud enthusiasts eager to learn about the next step on their journey to embracing a cloud-first worldl."
@SteveMar_Msft
General Manager of Window Azure
 
How does Cloud Expo do it every year? Another INCREDIBLE show - our heads are spinning - so fun and informative."
@SOASoftwareInc
 
Thank you @ThingsExpo for such a great event. All of the people we met over the past three days makes us confident IoT has a bright future."
Yasser Khan
CEO of @Cnnct2me
 
One of the best conferences we have attended in a while. Great job, Cloud Expo team! Keep it going."

@Peak_Ten


Who Should Attend?
Senior Technologists including CIOs, CTOs & Vps of Technology, Chief Systems Engineers, IT Directors and Managers, Network and Storage Managers, Enterprise Architects, Communications and Networking Specialists, Directors of Infrastructure.

Business Executives including CEOs, CMOs, & CIOs , Presidents & SVPs, Directors of Business Development , Directors of IT Operations, Product and Purchasing Managers, IT Managers.

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Join Us as a Media Partner - Together We Can Rock the IT World!
SYS-CON Media has a flourishing Media Partner program in which mutually beneficial promotion and benefits are arranged between our own leading Enterprise IT portals and events and those of our partners.

If you would like to participate, please provide us with details of your website/s and event/s or your organization and please include basic audience demographics as well as relevant metrics such as ave. page views per month.

To get involved, email Patricia Henderson at patricia@sys-con.com.

@ThingsExpo Blogs
I recently had the opportunity to give a 10-minute keynote at DataWorks Summit 2017. I know what most of you are thinking: Schmarzo can barely introduce himself in 10 minutes! What sort of keynote could he give in just 10 minutes? And to be honest, I too struggled with what to say. But after some brainstorming with my marketing experts (Jeff Abbott, Erin Banks, and Chris Hill), we came up with an idea: Pose 5 questions that every organization needs to consider as they prepare themselves for digital transformation. And while I didn’t have enough time in 10 minutes to answer those questions...
Because IoT devices are deployed in mission-critical environments more than ever before, it’s increasingly imperative they be truly smart. IoT sensors simply stockpiling data isn’t useful. IoT must be artificially and naturally intelligent in order to provide more value In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Engineering System Architect at Greenwave Systems, will discuss how IoT artificial intelligence (AI) can be carried out via edge analytics and machine learning technologies that enable things to process event data at the source, learn patterns of behavior over time...
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
We all probably remember the movie (“Jurassic Park”), even if we don’t remember this exact scene: Dr. Malcolm, played by Jeff Goldblum is explaining Chaos Theory to Dr. Ellie Sattler, played by Laura Dern. Dr. Malcolm is explaining how random, seemingly negligible events can disrupt even the most carefully laid out plans. Dr. Ian Malcolm: [after the T-Rex failed to appear for the tour group]. “You see a Tyrannosaur doesn’t follow a set pattern or park schedules, the essence of chaos.”
The renowned military strategist John Boyd taught that people and institutions collect favorite philosophies, strategies, theories and ideologies over a period of time, and then try to align the future to fit them. The problem with this is the future is rarely like the past, and trying to fit new data into old paradigms often forces us to perform irrational mental gymnastics, which leaves us farther from the truth.
In recent years AI has grown significantly and become a substantial area of business investment. What has changed, and how does this affect you? For a long time, artificial intelligence was pure science fiction, relegated to books, television and movies—and you don’t need us to tell you that we are well past that point today. In the last few years we have seen extremely rapid advancement in a series of technologies that have come together to unlock a wave of AI investment. According to Accenture, 85% of executives plan to invest extensively in AI in the next three years, and in the same tim...
In the blog “From Autonomous to Smart: Importance of Artificial Intelligence,” we discussed the two critical artificial intelligence (AI) challenges in creating “smart” edge devices: Artificial Intelligence Challenge #1: How do the Artificial Intelligence algorithms handle the unexpected, such as flash flooding, terrorist attacks, earthquakes, tornadoes, police car chases, emergency vehicles, blown tires, a child chasing a ball into the street, etc.?
Chatbots are the next big thing, but there’s always another big thing coming. Prepare for the future with a flexible architecture that’s ready for everything. Chatbots are growing rapidly in popularity and adoption, but while more and more organizations are beginning to see the potential, far fewer have developed a concrete strategy for them. Major companies are experimenting with the AI behind chatbots though (with varying degrees of success, such as Microsoft’s Tay.ai and Facebook’s recent conversing bots), and it’s easy to find coverage about the promising future of chatbots and enthusiast...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be looking at some significant engineering investment. On-demand, serverless computing enables deve...
With the wave of personal assistants, such as Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant, and new startups leveraging AI and analytics to build personal companions, it’s becoming clear we are moving toward a new voice-controlled relationship with technology. As we have already seen in the consumer market, it is all but a given that these voice-activation systems will eventually make it into the enterprise environment, as the potential benefits of these systems could be tremendous in simplifying and automating activities. Although it may be a long time before we see the full likenesses of “HAL” from “2...
API Security has finally entered our security zeitgeist. OWASP Top 10 2017 - RC1 recognized API Security as a first class citizen by adding it as number 10, or A-10 on its list of web application vulnerabilities. We believe this is just the start. The attack surface area offered by API is orders or magnitude larger than any other attack surface area. Consider the fact the APIs expose cloud services, internal databases, application and even legacy mainframes over the internet. What could go wrong?
I have had the opportunity to work for and around a good many start-ups during the course of my career. Often the start-up founders would simply define a problem, develop a solution and launch a company. The marketing department would then do their very best to identify the individuals in each target company that experienced the problem and had a budget to fix it. This was always a challenging task, that has become even harder today.
Fast-paced changes in the business landscape demand enterprises to rethink their existing business models and add innovative capabilities keeping in mind the new imperatives. One among them is the focus on Digital transformation. In the retail industry, growth is measured in terms of increased sales and value addition to existing products while keeping customer expectations in mind. This is where a digital focus is important to remain competitive.
Increasingly, in a world of compressed times and distances, humans will be the inventors, designers and managers of digital systems and processes, rather than the operators. Operations will be measured in milliseconds, an inhumane speed where only the machines can deliver. Professor Paul Virilio, a philosopher of speed, urbanist and cultural theorist, wrote at length about the impact of speed on society. He wrote that speed compresses both time and distance. Where once it took a letter 6 months to get to the other side of the world, an email can now arrive in seconds. Today's near real-tim...
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, shared examples from a wide range of industries – including energy, transportation, and retail – of using IoT to create new business opportunities and improve eff...
In 2016, artificial intelligence (AI) reached its climax. Research and advisory firm Tractica predicted that the annual worldwide AI revenue will grow from $643.7 million in 2016 to $38.8 billion by 2025. The revenue for enterprise AI applications will increase from $358 million in 2016 to $31.2 billion by 2025, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 64.3%. Thus, IT and business decision makers must face up to the potentials of AI already today. For each kind of organization this leads to the question, which type of technologies or infrastructure they can leverage to operate an A...
Any significant business process that can be documented and best practices identified - will be. Any defined process that can be standardized - will be. Standardized processes that can be codified and automated (through robotic software automation), will be - if the volume justifies it. If the process is repeatable across many companies it will be offered as a shared service on a platform in a cloud.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Digital technology innovations and advancements, and our adoption of them, have changed us. We are different consumers, employers and employees. Our expectations have increased. We have become mobile, impatient and demanding. We are global. We demand immediate, accurate and real-time responses. We use our technology not just for reading historic events and news, but also for predicting our future turn while navigating at 60 MPH.