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Autonomous vehicles
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Clinically Insane
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Oct 22, 2013, 01:03 AM
 
Autonomous vehicles are as cool as hell! Questions:

1) Have any of you guys experienced the autonomous steering options in the 2013 Mercedes and BMW cars? How was this experience?

2) What are your arguments against trusting an autonomous vehicle if you have any, and do you predict these ever changing? We should see these vehicles in our lifetimes, if not this decade.


Autonomous vehicles might be one of, if not the culturally defining technological innovation of our generation. The potential is so huge:

- increased highway speed limits
- reduced traffic accidents and congestion
- you can put your kids in these vehicles without needing an adult driver (although of course it will take many years before adults are comfortable doing this)
- you could have your autonomous car park itself somewhere pretty far away from where you need to be dropped off
- you could be drunk in your car
- perhaps cars will be built to be more like portable beds for long road trips?
- improved fuel economy

It's exciting that this technology is slowly being phased into existence with the autonomous steering stuff. Many other vehicle makers have committed to implementing similar autonomous driving features in the coming years. I'm not an expert on this stuff, but I've just started reading about this a little, and I think it is all so damn cool!
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 01:56 AM
 
1) Nope

2) Pass. I prefer things be under my control, period. I don't trust 95% of the people I have known in my life, much less a car with my safety. I'm all for the option for those that want it, I'm just not the one. I personally like spirited driving which is why I have a manual, as will my next car.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 02:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by exca1ibur View Post
1) Nope

2) Pass. I prefer things be under my control, period. I don't trust 95% of the people I have known in my life, much less a car with my safety. I'm all for the option for those that want it, I'm just not the one. I personally like spirited driving which is why I have a manual, as will my next car.
It won't be too long before the sky will be filled with drones, most of them doing things like delivering pizza. If those don't smash into things I figure a car is easy.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 02:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by exca1ibur View Post
1) Nope

2) Pass. I prefer things be under my control, period. I don't trust 95% of the people I have known in my life, much less a car with my safety. I'm all for the option for those that want it, I'm just not the one. I personally like spirited driving which is why I have a manual, as will my next car.
Same here. Don't want one, don't need one.
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Oct 22, 2013, 03:21 AM
 
You guys are old and boring. I want my car to park for me, I want to sleep during road trips, and I want to go super fast.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 03:51 AM
 
It comes down to whether you enjoy driving or view it as a chore. Generally, I love it, but I don't drive interstates and freeways very often.
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Oct 22, 2013, 04:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
It comes down to whether you enjoy driving or view it as a chore. Generally, I love it, but I don't drive interstates and freeways very often.

I would imagine that these cars would have a manual driving mode that would work as it does today, or for emergencies. There will always be people that enjoy driving the car themselves, but there are far too many practical applications for the autonomous vehicles to not think that they would be a pretty big deal once technologically and financially practical.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 04:13 AM
 
The day will come when your only choice on a public road is fully autonomous mode.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 07:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
- you could have your autonomous car park itself somewhere pretty far away from where you need to be dropped off
I think this is the biggest part of the impending transportation revolution. Parking is big business (read: a drag on the economy), and a big headache. It will basically vanish overnight. Not only that, but people will start to care less about a long commute, because now driving time can be productive time. You can knock out the whole read-your-email/homework part of your work day during the drive. Or nap, play computer games*, or read MacNN. If this makes a long commute a non-issue, it will revolutionize the housing market (you know, the one that has been about location, location, location). It has always been that your house needs to be close to your job and close to entertainment. Once you'll be able to nap to and from work, and pass out on the way home from the bar, housing location stops mattering. You can go ahead and get the perfect house at a reasonable price, because it will be away from the city (which might be another plus in and of itself).

* also, eventually computer games will benefit from integration with the car. The car you're riding in could implement force-feedback that a home-theater designer couldn't dream of.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 08:10 AM
 
...none of which really solves the urban sprawl, traffic congestion, fuel consumption, or smog problems associated with sprawl. Skeleton, you seem to be implying that robot vehicles will accelerate sprawl? Interesting.

I love the parking idea though - large superlot high-rises in strategic areas outside of downtown. Genius.
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Oct 22, 2013, 08:12 AM
 
Also to tie it in to the "impeding zombie apocalypse" theme developing in the "change the world" thread: won't it all crash down so much quicker if we can't even drive our own friggin cars? Turtle777 thinks it is all so perfect.
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Oct 22, 2013, 08:51 AM
 
1) No
2) maybe in another 50 years
It would be nice to take a break from driving on long trips, but I like to drive, and fast.

Maybe someday when special highways are built (enclosed, free from the elements) we'll see some of the options like higher speeds, sleeping, getting drunk, etc... After they get coffee makers and robot vacuums down solid first, ok.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 09:06 AM
 
People will have to get used cars doing what they don't want to do before they'll let them do the more intensive stuff. That means highway driving and parking. If they can get the parking in mall lots gimmick down pat, public consumption will be gravy, in the end.

Acceptance and perception will likely follow the usual route. By the end of out lives, we'll have a generation that will have lived with at least some of these features their entire lives, and will not be so skeptic and frightened of turning their control over to the car.

I too, enjoy driving, but my enjoyment doesn't supersede traffic and mortality problems. I'll be old when all that goes down anyway.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 10:22 AM
 
Autonomous valet parking FTW.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 10:40 AM
 
I think it's only a matter of time before autonomous vehicles replace taxi drivers completely. Call up a car on your phone, it re-routes from it's efficient roaming pattern, picks you up, takes you to your destination, continues on. This is how it worked in Rainbow's End, if anyone has read it.
     
Posting Junkie
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Oct 22, 2013, 12:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Demonhood View Post
I think it's only a matter of time before autonomous vehicles replace taxi drivers completely.
And these guys.



Autonomous trucks won't have a daily driving limit, no need to spend the night at the truck stop forcing the cargo to stop moving.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 12:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by iMOTOR View Post
The day will come when your only choice on a public road is fully autonomous mode.
Not in our lifetimes.

I would imagine that these cars would have a manual driving mode that would work as it does today, or for emergencies. There will always be people that enjoy driving the car themselves, but there are far too many practical applications for the autonomous vehicles to not think that they would be a pretty big deal once technologically and financially practical.
I don't like automatic transmissions either. If it doesn't have 3 pedals and a stick, I generally don't waste my time in it. I have a few cars with DCTs that are decent, but still aren't as engaging.
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Oct 22, 2013, 01:02 PM
 
I think a great place for autonomous vehicles would be in the service industry - delivering food, laundry, picking up trash. Start with that, then we'll talk about driving at highways speeds with passengers.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 02:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
...none of which really solves the urban sprawl, traffic congestion, fuel consumption, or smog problems associated with sprawl. Skeleton, you seem to be implying that robot vehicles will accelerate sprawl? Interesting.
I disagree with almost everything here.

Fuel consumption? Smog? You think these cars with floor-to-ceiling high-tech are going to run by making tiny explosions at the top of a cylinder?

Batteries my man. Batteries.

Much of traffic congestion is due to people stopping and starting. That won't happen on a fully autonomous highway, which as is mentioned, is what interstates will likely become. Add to that the ability of the cars to route themselves around congestion.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 03:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I disagree with almost everything here.

Fuel consumption? Smog? You think these cars with floor-to-ceiling high-tech are going to run by making tiny explosions at the top of a cylinder?

Batteries my man. Batteries.

Much of traffic congestion is due to people stopping and starting. That won't happen on a fully autonomous highway, which as is mentioned, is what interstates will likely become. Add to that the ability of the cars to route themselves around congestion.

I was also reading about this technology they have been working on in South Korea that will allow cars to charge themselves as they go on highways with this technology implemented. I'm not sure how it works, but I'll look it up...
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 03:04 PM
 
That sounds like it would need a massive infrastructure.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 03:12 PM
 
Giving control of that many vehicles to thousands of individual people on the roadways we are currently stuffed into is madness. I enjoy a nice backroad cruise as much as the next guy, but I would totally allow for a controlled freeway environment.

I envision the short term being a sort of hybrid system. The autonomous controls will take over anywhere in the vicinity of large metropolises and in the result of accidents or other free-way related backups. While on lesser roads and some of the more deserted freeways there would be no need to take control. Imagine a full gridlock on the highway due to nothing more than congestion. Now imagine the front row of cars stopped for a period long enough for the road ahead to clear, and each successive row of cars waiting their allotted time to follow. The traffic most common around here isn't due to road work or accidents, it's because there are too many cars for humans beings to pilot in the given space plain and simple.

Do I trust technology 100%? Hell no
Do I trust over-caffeinated sleep-deprived running-late maniacs 100%? Hell, I don't trust them 10%.

People suck at driving, the majority of people that is. They are overly aggressive, they go way too fast for the traffic and they have no concept of the forces at work while they swerve across 3 lanes to take an exit. I have the pleasure of a very short commute most of the time, so when I do travel on the highway it's not the everyday thing. I go about 75, middle lane if I can and just try and keep a buffer from every other car around me. When I see 4 cars stacked up each-other's asses going 85 miles per hour I have to shake my head.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 03:14 PM
 
Yeah, I was thinking afterwards that the idea itself implicitly means that there will be some sort of simultaneous fuel source revolution.

Re: urban sprawl: Skeleton's comments are essentially "it will not be so bad to live in the suburbs any more, because your vehicle will essentially be a moving office/entertainment room and commuting will not mean lost time out of your day".

He's right: and yes, that would logically mean more people willing to head to the suburbs and therefore more of them commuting and more (automated) vehicles on the roads. (I'm not sure I necessarily see any uptick in public transit from the suburbs, because isn't that essentially already "automated driving"?)

Anyways, after some thought I don't want to think about it any more....as people have said I bet another 50 years before this is actually viable for mass use.
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Oct 22, 2013, 03:17 PM
 
IIRC, it was Cecil Adams who explained the cause of congestion being "fear of flaming death".

That's pretty much the ticket right there. Autonomous vehicles have no fear. They will not stop... You Sarah Connor?
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 03:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Anyways, after some thought I don't want to think about it any more....as people have said I bet another 50 years before this is actually viable for mass use.

Nope. 2020 is the projection:

Autonomous car - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 05:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
I don't like automatic transmissions either. If it doesn't have 3 pedals and a stick, I generally don't waste my time in it. I have a few cars with DCTs that are decent, but still aren't as engaging.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 06:32 PM
 
I figure there will be a transitional period, but when it's shown that it's predominantly the humans crashing into the auto-autos, and not vice versa, there will be social engineering to force people into self-drivers. Things like speed cameras at every single intersection, insane insurance rates, etc.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 07:42 PM
 
Just think of the drunk driving possibilities.
     
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Oct 22, 2013, 10:39 PM
 
As I said before in the other thread, interstates and freeways are made for that sort of thing, but secondary roads will remain self-drive friendly (for at least as long as we're alive). Classic car enthusiasts will make sure of that.
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Oct 23, 2013, 12:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
As I said before in the other thread, interstates and freeways are made for that sort of thing, but secondary roads will remain self-drive friendly (for at least as long as we're alive). Classic car enthusiasts will make sure of that.
In rural environments, sure.
     
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Oct 23, 2013, 01:19 AM
 
Precisely. City driving sucks, anyway.
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Oct 23, 2013, 02:09 AM
 
In The Minority Report Tom Cruise got to jump from self-driving car to self-driving car when he was in the city, and drive himself in the country.
     
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Oct 23, 2013, 09:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by ShortcutToMoncton View Post
Yeah, I was thinking afterwards that the idea itself implicitly means that there will be some sort of simultaneous fuel source revolution.
They synergize some, but it's not integral IMO. Self-driving cars will gain significant fuel economy simply from driving like a relaxed human instead of what most actual human drivers are, even without any of the pie-in-the-sky ideas of extreme drafting and vacuum-sealed corridors.


Re: urban sprawl: Skeleton's comments are essentially "it will not be so bad to live in the suburbs any more, because your vehicle will essentially be a moving office/entertainment room and commuting will not mean lost time out of your day".

He's right: and yes, that would logically mean more people willing to head to the suburbs and therefore more of them commuting and more (automated) vehicles on the roads.
Yeah. Any enhancement of automobile technology will naturally lead to increased use of automobiles, that's the way it's always been. But there are two ways to solve a problem: you can make it happen less, or you can make it stop being a problem in the first place.


(I'm not sure I necessarily see any uptick in public transit from the suburbs, because isn't that essentially already "automated driving"?)
That's a stretch; the problem with public transit is the "public" part, not the "transit" part.


Anyways, after some thought I don't want to think about it any more....as people have said I bet another 50 years before this is actually viable for mass use.
I for one welcome our new self-driving overlords. I hope that all my future 4-wheeled purchases will be self-driving ones, so hopefully my current one lasts until that is an option. I give it about even odds that it makes it in time.
     
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Oct 23, 2013, 09:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
In The Minority Report Tom Cruise got to jump from self-driving car to self-driving car when he was in the city, and drive himself in the country.
In I, Robot Will Smith engaged manual driving mode much to the chagrin of his self-driving car.
     
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Oct 23, 2013, 10:09 AM
 
I don't trust self-driving cars not to become self-aware and try to drive me into the river (name that dr who episode, darned if I can remember).

I prefer my transport of the future to be individual transport pods, or dematerialization.
     
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Oct 23, 2013, 10:22 AM
 
How about automaton vehicles? They could be wind-up or rubber band powered, and feature whimsical themes.
     
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Oct 23, 2013, 10:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
I don't trust self-driving cars not to become self-aware and try to drive me into the river (name that dr who episode, darned if I can remember).

I prefer my transport of the future to be individual transport pods, or dematerialization.
Crazy way to travel, spreading a man's molecules all over the universe. I saw what happened to the admiral's prized beagle.
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Oct 23, 2013, 10:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
I don't trust self-driving cars not to become self-aware and try to drive me into the river (name that dr who episode, darned if I can remember).

I prefer my transport of the future to be individual transport pods, or dematerialization.

Do you think your trust could be earned over time? Do you trust having somebody fly you when you aren't in control of what is going on? How much automation is there in a modern flight, anybody know?
     
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Oct 23, 2013, 11:11 PM
 
As the crash in California ?last year? shows the autopilot basically handles all of it.
     
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Oct 24, 2013, 12:39 AM
 
If drivers had as much training and experience as commercial pilots, we'd have virtually no accidents at all.
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Oct 24, 2013, 07:40 AM
 
Ha, ha ha, ha ha ha, ha ha ha ha
     
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Oct 24, 2013, 08:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
If drivers had as much training and experience as commercial pilots, we'd have virtually no accidents at all.
On PPRUNE there were quite a few comments about the automation and how commercial airline pilots are no longer 'in control' after the Asiana crash in SF.

========================

I have a fairly shitty commute, distance wise its 30km but it takes at a minimum 45 mins due to traffic. Since its the school holidays at the moment, there are fewer on the roads. So people drive faster, so more accidents. Of course the French drive like idiots but thats for another thread.

I've tested quite a few cars/MPVs recently. Most have had some sort of parking gimmick. I know how to park : you stop when you hit something. They also had stuff for the blind spots, crossing the white lines, stopping you sleeping, auto braking when too close etc. Too much stuff that can go wrong IMHO.

I doubt we'll have autonomous cars for a while. By the time we can have them, we'll have less people having to commute (more people will probably be able to work from home).
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Oct 24, 2013, 08:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Do you think your trust could be earned over time? Do you trust having somebody fly you when you aren't in control of what is going on? How much automation is there in a modern flight, anybody know?
In commercial airlines? Lots. The pilot takes off and lands. Yes, if there's a storm warning, they change the autopilot settings to go around the storm.

There's a Youtube vid of a Lufthansa A380 landing at SF. The Air traffic controller tells them to turn this way and that way before final : all of the direction changes are done via the autopilot.
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Oct 24, 2013, 08:55 PM
 
     
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Oct 24, 2013, 09:28 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Do you think your trust could be earned over time? Do you trust having somebody fly you when you aren't in control of what is going on? How much automation is there in a modern flight, anybody know?
The airways are not as crowded as the highways, and there are much fewer obstacles to crash into. I trust a plane on autopilot, because there are two people pilots there to take over, the same way I trust the subway drivers.

I recently had a bad experience with an electronic parking brake. I prefer the older manual kind, that is clearly on or off.
     
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Oct 24, 2013, 09:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by andi*pandi View Post
The airways are not as crowded as the highways, and there are much fewer obstacles to crash into. I trust a plane on autopilot, because there are two people pilots there to take over, the same way I trust the subway drivers.

I recently had a bad experience with an electronic parking brake. I prefer the older manual kind, that is clearly on or off.

Fewer obstacles to crash into, are you crazy? Maybe on a clear day, but there are many days where there are lots of clouds in the sky.
     
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Oct 24, 2013, 10:03 PM
 
That was a joke... Do I hear crickets?
     
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Oct 25, 2013, 01:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by el chupacabra View Post
They aren't accepting pre-orders, but they are looking for venture capital. I'm not sure what I'd pay for a vehicle that worked like the one in the animation. Probably a lot.
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Oct 26, 2013, 02:10 PM
 
I just heard someone mention the idea they'll use insurance pricing to push people to self-driving.

I buy that.
     
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Oct 26, 2013, 02:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
I just heard someone mention the idea they'll use insurance pricing to push people to self-driving.

I buy that.

Anticipating that self-driving will be safer or less safe than autonomous driving in both short and long terms?
     
 
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