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lighten up- contrast and camouflage and survival

March 07, 2019 12:44PM
[www.iflscience.com]

above article is about self-driving cars not able to recognize darker toned people and soap dispensers not noticing darker hands (which seems odd, because anyone might have just done gardening or an oil change and have dark hands). I've had bathroom automatic water systems not start when I wave my hand under them- I just assumed they were broken, which, if they can't recognize me, they kind of ARE.

There are loads of facial recognition articles out there about how the programs have trouble recognizing certain groups on people, including gender problems.

Perhaps different levels of light could be introduced to help recognition.

I remember an article on a high schooler's death in a crosswalk right near her school. Morning sun in the driver's eyes. And we all have trouble seeing at certain times of morning or later afternoon when driving into the sun that is rising or sinking.

But I'd like to talk about inadvertent camo. I was driving recently and noticed movement on the tall hill I'd be getting to soon. It was a person in a gray hoodie on a motorcycle, going up a steep incline of gray paved road. I had to squint and analyze to figure out what it was. All I saw was the person's gray fleece covered back and head, so this isn't about gender or race. The person simply blended, way too well, into the background. I'm glad their bike was well ahead of me. People on motorcycles (and sometimes bicycles-like in the Uber self-driving accident- the woman was walking her bike) get hit WAY too often. Please, people, dress in bright colors or with better contrast, so you can be seen.

My husband is an old bicycle rider who still goes out riding on the highway on any of his many bicycles-he has bright yellow bicycle jerseys, at least, though I think bicycle clothes are kind of an affectation. I buy him safety yellow and orange t-shirts for his warm weather rides and walks.

When my oldest was 3, he had a bright yellow BIG WHEEL (kind of a low rider plastic tricycle.) He used it only in the backyard, along with the fancy blue and black metal tricycle an aunt had sent (it had a tall bar to encourage parents to have their hand on the tricycle while in use (but, eventually, the kid is going to start pedaling faster than the parent can walk- to shake us off, I suppose-independence). I didn't really THINK about its being bright yellow- it was on sale and I bought what they had.

The boy next door had a blue and black BIG WHEEL. He was of Mexican heritage and well-tanned (because his parents didn't fear playing in the sun, as my family did, back then). I remember driving into our street at dusk and almost hitting this kid (he was wearing dark blue, riding blue and black, low down on a paved street that his trike blended into. Of course, he shouldn't have been riding in the street, but kids DO.
The only health consequence that day was my pounding heart from the adreneline when I hit the brakes.

But, this is a health issue. The woman killed in Arizona, walking her bicycle, wasn't recognized by the Uber car. The safety driver swerved and braked too late to save her.

People blend and light conditions make a difference.

For your own safety, dress in contrasting or bright colors.
And buy bright colored trikes and bikes for the people you give gifts to or the programs you donate toys to for children.

BTW, "prove you're not a robot" often doesn't have enough contrast for me to recognize every storefront , car, or bus pictured in the grids. I have better luck with the traffic lights and crosswalks they sometimes picture.
Subject Author Views Posted

lighten up- contrast and camouflage and survival

chimi 27 March 07, 2019 12:44PM

Re: lighten up- contrast and camouflage and survival

Jan DeCourtney, CMT 13 March 09, 2019 10:41PM

Re: lighten up- contrast and camouflage and survival

chimi 13 March 11, 2019 10:48AM



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