יום ראשון, 12 בנובמבר 2017

Traffic Control and Bargaining in Self-Driving Vehicles

Upon reading "Walkaway" by Cory Doctorow (yes, he is still a smug lefty and the reading was NOT a pleasant experience), I've ran into the following passage:

“I don’t think I’ve ever traveled this fast in city traffic,” he said.
Jacob gave him a fatherly wink.
Natalie reached across the large internal compartment and gave her dad a sock in the thigh. “He’s showing off. There’s custom firmware in these, lets them cut the clearance envelope in half, which makes the other cars back off because we’re driving like unpredictable assholes.”
“Is that legal?” Hubert, Etc said.
“It’s a civil offense,” Jacob said. “The fines are paid by direct-debit.”
“What if you kill someone?” Seth got to the point.
“That’s a criminal matter, more serious. Won’t happen, though. There’s a lot of game theory stuff going on in the car’s lookahead, modeling likely outs and defectors and injecting a huge margin of safety. Really, we’re playing it safer than the stock firmware, but only because the car itself has got much better braking and acceleration and handling characteristics than a stock car.”
“And because you’re terrifying other cars’ systems into getting out of your way,” Seth said.
“Right,” Natalie said, before her dad could object. He shrugged and Hubert, Etc remembered what she’d said about his being “old rich,” unconcerned by the idea that anyone would resent his buying his way through traffic.

 This led me to several thoughts about self-driving vehicles.

Traffic Control



What does it mean to operate the self-driving vehicle (hence forth "s-car")? The operator sets for a car specific destination and specific route. In fact it is not different from what people do today with Waze or Google Maps. But assuming all the traffic is made of s-cars, it makes sense for the entity operating the road(s) to establish a Traffic Control Center (hence "TCC"). This way, as the operator gives order to s-car , he communicates not/not only with Google Maps for statistical projections of time and cost, but to the actual database of the status of the road. TCC in its turn can incorporate this data thus having noit only derct knowledge of all the s-cars already on the road, but all the cars that arte to be on the road, so it can advise or adjust prices accordingly.

Bargaining



But that is the first step. What happens if one s-car makes some drastic change? Since the s-cars are less prone to traffic accidents, consider the following scenario:

A passenger in s-car got cardiac arrest. Since people prone to such conditions are monitored, it is easy to transmit critical data, both to the car and the medical personal. Since it is known conditions, also makes sence that the s-car has in it's memory list of medical facilities to treat such a conditions, and list of people to contact with the data. But here is the question How does the car proceed with announcing it is no longer going at its leasure to declared destination but rather to medical center ASAP? 

One way is to inform TCC and let it clear the way. This will  make a lot of trouble for the TCC since every s-car ahead on the route should be not only rerouted, but also all incurring costs to be settled. But there is a second way - well known economical idea of barter over resources. Since the condition was known in advance, the use of the medical facilities as well as TRANSPORTATION is covered by the insurance. The s-car itself can, therefore, to participate with the TCC in settling and compensating other  s-cars on the road, by offering monetary incentives or compensations for the s-cars to move aside, using the insurance money.

Should such bartering protocol exist, it can be used not only in emergencies, but ALWAYS. as  a system of economising of the traffic by introduction of inner price system, where operators consider and come upon agreement of their time and money. Which they already do today, selecting the routs.






אין תגובות:

Ludwig von Mises Institute on Facebook