On 16/5/19 10:17 am, David McLoughlin wrote:
> Matthew Geier wrote:
> > Siemens are not just going for augmentation - their end game is a
> street running tram with out a driver.
> I wonder if this can happen though, at least with 2019 technology
> which admittedly is amazing and getting more so every year.
> Last time I went on the Docklands Light Rail in London, it still had a
> staff member in the driver's position, even though it is a completely
> segregated, fully automatic system.
That's due to an oddity of UK rail law that requires a 'qualified'
person onboard. For the DLR they are not normally at the front unless
'degraded' operation happening. This person is also not normally in a
position to hit the e-stop if the line is obstructed, they will be back
in the train probably chatting to a passenger, not watching the road ahead.
I have actually been asked to move on a DLR train so the 'CSO' could
take semi-manual control. (due to works at a station they had to stop
the train in a different spot from what the beacon said). Once the train
was stopped the CSO locked the console, I resumed my position and they
restarted the train from the usual spot at one of the doors.
Similar style trains in Europe have no one on board at all - including
Lyon and Nuremberg having GoA4 automation with NO PLATFORM DOORS!
The Nuremberg system is notable for having run over some one while under
full automation - the stations are equipped with RADAR object detectors
- which did operate, but they jumped within the emergency braking
distance of the train, whose emergency brakes had operated instantly and
correctly. But physics can't be denied.
> I am not sure the public is ready for a driverless tram running in
> mixed traffic. In fact I don't think driverless cars will take over
> any time soon, especially once the computer driving one of them
> decides to swerve to kill the child rather than the pensioner crossing
> the road in front of it, or vice versa.
Given the rate that humans kill other humans on the roads today, the
machines can already do much much better. But society seems ok with
people killing other people, we are not ready for machines to kill
people, even if they do so at a far lower rate than us imperfect human
Autonomous cars will come quickly when the insurance industry changes
tack and offers either discounts for autonomous cars or has a 'loading'
for manual driving. It's in the hands of the insurance lawyers, not the
On the engineering side it's merely an exercise is cost optimization
now. The theory is understood.