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Old 17th February 2017, 15:56   #271
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Yes I've heard this whole thing of sensors plastered absolutely everywhere. Everyone knows how reliable sensors are in the real world.
A sufficiently high reliability is always possible if you're willing to pay for it. The sensors may have redundancy to cover for failure, but does the communication link have similar redundancy, for example?
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Old 17th February 2017, 16:00   #272
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So why are so many of them trying to get over here?
Because they're usually coming from those other countries with a larger supply of working age people? The girl dishing out the coffee in your local Costa is from Poland or somewhere near, not Germany or Sweden (unless your Costas are very different to mine).
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Old 17th February 2017, 16:51   #273
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A sufficiently high reliability is always possible if you're willing to pay for it. The sensors may have redundancy to cover for failure, but does the communication link have similar redundancy, for example?
Yes if the CPDLC fails then the pilots revert back to broadcasting their long/lat on HF at specified points. There are many real world examples of how the tech gurus in their perfect worlds have tried to engineer things like Mother Nature out of the equation then 5 yrs down the line the fitters discover that 5 yrs of being in service 20 hrs a day and being battered by the elements they start failing on a regular occurrence.
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Old 17th February 2017, 17:14   #274
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In the event of an AF447 situation, the plane could immediately send out a mayday signal when things start to go wrong and begin broadcasting even more data than would normally be required.
Except there was never even a Pan situation, never mind mayday. The aircraft was flown into the ocean. They were likely under 5000 feet before they even left 1G flight.
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Old 17th February 2017, 17:39   #275
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I feel we have drifted more towards flight than railways but how would a pilotless plane have coped with Flight 1549 that ditched in the Hudson with not one loss of life?
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Old 17th February 2017, 17:59   #276
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I feel we have drifted more towards flight than railways but how would a pilotless plane have coped with Flight 1549 that ditched in the Hudson with not one loss of life?
That depends on if anyone had thought it a likely enough situation to actually program for - I'm guessing that they would not. My guess is that the plane would have impacted the ground somewhere between where the engines failed and the closest airport, likely with major loss of life both on the plane and on the ground.
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Old 17th February 2017, 19:25   #277
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Reading your response tells me you really don't understand the way auto flight systems work on an aircraft. The ADIRU needs reliable airspeed data to provide flight director guidance to the auto pilot. In the air the RNP of the navigation systems in up to 2 miles. The ANP is usually around 0.3 miles. The airspeed data is crucial which is why there are three of them on commercial airliners. On the PFD and the NF the pilots are given all the information they need to fly the plane constantly. I can assure you that planes are not flying themselves when everything is normal, there is still a lot of data required to be input by the crew. They are still required to double check all waypoints and altitude constraints input into the flight management systems. And at busy airports planes are vectored into sequence by ATC. There is still no radar coverage over the Atlantic and all communications are done via HF, it is usually done via CPDLC now but it is still a case of the aircraft having to report its position regularly to ATC. Seems to me that you are desperately trying to believe that a job can be automated just for the sake of automating it without actually understanding the problems involved.
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Yes if the CPDLC fails then the pilots revert back to broadcasting their long/lat on HF at specified points. There are many real world examples of how the tech gurus in their perfect worlds have tried to engineer things like Mother Nature out of the equation then 5 yrs down the line the fitters discover that 5 yrs of being in service 20 hrs a day and being battered by the elements they start failing on a regular occurrence.
This is how planes have operated in the past and how they operate now. This does not mean they will operate that way in future. Technology is developing faster and faster and it will mean that things that haven't been possible suddenly will be. Unless you're looking forward to the future and seeing how a small startup in San Francisco can pull together a few technologies and build something remarkable you'll simply be left behind. Just as big auto makers have gone on shopping sprees buying up small autonomous driving shops in the Bay Area, Airbus and Boeing will have little option but to do the same as otherwise their competition will and they will lose out. As I said, the commerical advantage of using autonomous aircraft for cargo planes is enormous and in a thin-margin commoditised market with big customers like Amazon now competing themselves you have little choice but to adopt them as soon as they're available.

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Except there was never even a Pan situation, never mind mayday. The aircraft was flown into the ocean. They were likely under 5000 feet before they even left 1G flight.
That isn't how I read the Wikipedia summary. Also, remember that with the constant communication the plane's progress can be compared against its planned flightplan and analysed for statistical anomalies. An AI would have noticed something was wrong here from the data even if the pilots didn't. If the ground co-cockpit AI can tell the pilots that their pitot tubes have probably failed (remember, it'll have all of the weather data as well!) then the pilots can start to rectify the situation. If your pilots are no longer doing high-level problem solving then they really don't have much of a purpose any more.

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That depends on if anyone had thought it a likely enough situation to actually program for - I'm guessing that they would not. My guess is that the plane would have impacted the ground somewhere between where the engines failed and the closest airport, likely with major loss of life both on the plane and on the ground.
You don't program AI like that. Modern AI systems learn from experience and use that learning to handle novel situations, just like a human pilot would. The AI systems have an ultimate goal of landing the plane safely and they'll work out what resources they've got available to manage that - again, just like a human would. It would be able to take into account all of the information it had about the situation and work out how much flight time it had left, and whether it would be able to make it back to a runway. It would do all of this in a fraction of the time needed for a human to do the same. If the only option would be to ditch, then it would have learned already how best to ditch a plane, just as human pilots are taught to ditch aircraft. The AI systems can be trained up on huge numbers of simulations, and unlike a human pilot there is no need to train up each aircraft individually.

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Yes I've heard this whole thing of sensors plastered absolutely everywhere. Everyone knows how reliable sensors are in the real world.
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A sufficiently high reliability is always possible if you're willing to pay for it. The sensors may have redundancy to cover for failure, but does the communication link have similar redundancy, for example?
With this sort of technology, costs do not scale linearly with the number deployed. The best way for NR to pay for the cost of developing one of these CCTV posts would be to cover the entire railway network with them, as the cost of developing one is a huge amount but the cost of building the second one is really just the cost of materials. Adding some amount of overlap in sensing areas isn't going to break the bank and could even be more affordable if the cost of fixing a single failure is high.
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Old 17th February 2017, 20:04   #278
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How does your AI cope with crosswinds that are above operating range or what happens if there is a problem with the ILS (either on the plane or on the ground) requiring a visual approach?

Let me guess, the AI will be programmed or the AI will learn?...
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Old 17th February 2017, 20:13   #279
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You don't program AI like that. Modern AI systems learn from experience and use that learning to handle novel situations, just like a human pilot would.
That's the problem. Ditching was a counter-intuitive action. Instructions from ATC were to head to Teterboro Airport and technically given the height and velocity they should have been able to make it. But Sully felt how the aircraft was flying and decided to go into the river - in part because he could see that there were vessels on the water able to provide assistance, and due to a reluctance to take his aircraft over densely populated areas.

Good luck codifying those sorts of judgement calls into an algorithm.
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Old 17th February 2017, 20:28   #280
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So why are so many of them trying to get over here?
Simple demographics. The UK needs significant net immigration for the next 15 years merely to cope with the baby boomer generation leaving the workforce. The historically low UK birth rate means there are insufficient new locals joining the working population, so the gap has to be bridged somehow. There are already significant shortfalls of suitably qualified and capable workers in parts of the UK economy and the trend is for this to be a growing problem. Employers (notably the NHS and the construction industry) are trying to plug the gaps by attracting workers from overseas.

Very few politicians want to talk about this, for some reason or other.

Anyway, back to the thread ...
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Old 17th February 2017, 20:30   #281
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That's the problem. Ditching was a counter-intuitive action. Instructions from ATC were to head to Teterboro Airport and technically given the height and velocity they should have been able to make it. But Sully felt how the aircraft was flying and decided to go into the river - in part because he could see that there were vessels on the water able to provide assistance, and due to a reluctance to take his aircraft over densely populated areas.

Good luck codifying those sorts of judgement calls into an algorithm.
However, the AI would have an even better feeling of how the plane is flying because it would have every single data point created by every single sensor on board at its disposal. It would know exactly what state the engines were in and whether or not any thrust was possible, or how likely it would be that the engines would fail before landing. Since it would be able to make all of these decisions faster than the human it would have even more time to get to an airport.

Remember that I did say the first pilot-less planes will be cargo ones, so that there will be zero humans on board rather than the cockpit crew alone. Should a cargo plane have this sort of situation you can simply write it off and purposely ditch or crash it into the water as appropriate. After years of fault-free autonomous flying even when these sorts of situations happen there will be no good reason to have human pilots on board passenger ones.
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Old 17th February 2017, 20:57   #282
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You don't get it though. The cost of fitting these sensors is falling through the floor at the same time as the cost of making them. A level crossing CCTV camera, for instance, that was nothing but a post driven into the ground with a battery, solar panel and wireless antenna included would cost a fraction of a traditional installation with the need to run cables along the trackside. If the CCTV post is a self-contained unit then a single piling train could fit dozens a night, as it's far easier to install than an OHLE stanchion.



Who doesn't own a smartphone now? Companies have a huge incentive to equip their staff with smart devices. NR would just give a rugged smartphone (bought off the shelf) to each and every permanent way worker that they had to keep on them at all times. This keeps them in contact with each other and the maintenance crews, which is obviously a good thing, and with the GPS location it can then add them to a centralised map of the railway network. Trains would know about every permanent way worker on their route before they even set off, while the permanent way workers would have the information they need about whether the electrification is live or a track is in use. Literally all that I have described could be written as a smartphone application and deployed today.



NR not having the finances to do things is exactly why all of these things will happen, as they will make the railway much cheaper to run. That mass sensor deployment would pay for itself before too long when you consider the huge sums of money involved in infrastructure problems.


I agree with what you say to an extent, but for the railways to go over to true automation would require a complete rewrite on how it designs, procures and operate. Of course, not a impossible task.

Oh and the app you talk of? It would not be deployable today, too much would have to change, and billion would have to be spent to even get to a stage where that information would even be ready for an app to pick it and display it.


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Old 17th February 2017, 20:57   #283
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That isn't how I read the Wikipedia summary.
You are basing your knowledge on what is written on Wikipedia.

Righto then!
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Old 17th February 2017, 20:59   #284
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Simple demographics. The UK needs significant net immigration for the next 15 years merely to cope with the baby boomer generation leaving the workforce. The historically low UK birth rate means there are insufficient new locals joining the working population, so the gap has to be bridged somehow. There are already significant shortfalls of suitably qualified and capable workers in parts of the UK economy and the trend is for this to be a growing problem. Employers (notably the NHS and the construction industry) are trying to plug the gaps by attracting workers from overseas.

Very few politicians want to talk about this, for some reason or other.

Anyway, back to the thread ...
And yet we have hundreds of thousands of able bodied people out of work!
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Old 17th February 2017, 21:03   #285
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Default Driverless trains - why limited progress on the national rail network?

The though of a driverless and staffless railway scare me, but it's gonna happen, hopefully long after I have gone. Technology is advancing at a crazy rate. I know the railway isn't ready for automation, too much has to change, but to answer some of your questions!

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Is it a little robot that climbs out of the cab to check the wheels when a train has been reported with dragging brakes or 'smoke' seen from the train ?
Why would it need to? Wheel speed sensors on each wheel could soon work out there is a dragging brake. Then a man in the control room can decide on information the train is giving him.



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Will it run at reduced speed when one of the horns fail ? If there is a light out on a TSR will it report it ?
Of course it can, the train will know the horn is faulty, and can then run at a set speed. TSRs won't need lights, as everything will be in cab based, and speeds will be transferred as part of the movement authority.



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Not sure how it would examine the line, The field of vision for the front facing camera would have to be so wide, it would pick up everthing, now where a real person can sort out the bad from the good, a computer based system, its clear or its not, there are no maybes,


I've asked this question before, which no one can really answer (apart from a man in the control centre watching the video, from a filthy camera covered in grime and dead bugs!)

Anything is possible if you are willing to throw enough money at it!


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