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Old 08-31-2013, 01:40 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
11,345 posts, read 16,705,526 times
Reputation: 13372

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
I like to drive, so a self-driving car does not appeal to me.

Still, that is the direction the world is going, like it or not. The gen Y'ers generally have little passion for driving, see cars in the same light as washing machines and will raise their kids likewise.

In another 15-20 years drivers will become as rare as manual transmissions today, and will probably thought of as something only old people do... if people are allowed to drive on public streets at all.

Give it another 50 years and drivers will be as rare as horse coachmen. Driving itself is doomed to become just a hobby.
Guess you're right.

According to USA Today, the proportion of cars sold with manual transmissions in the first quarter of 2012 is the highest since 2006. The take rate has been 6.5 percent, compared to 7.2 percent in 2006. In the intervening years, the number has dropped as low as 2.9 percent (in 2007).

Read more: Shift it yourself: Manual transmissions regaining popularity | Digital Trends
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Berwick, Penna.
16,215 posts, read 11,335,819 times
Reputation: 20828
Self-driving vehicles are like magnetically-levitated vehicles; a pretty piece of science-fantasy that probably is doable under closely-controlled conditions, but can't be adapted to a mass market save over a very long time horizon. Just so much fluff for the readership of Popular Science and the like.
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Old 08-31-2013, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,707 posts, read 103,185,348 times
Reputation: 29983
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
Self-driving vehicles are like magnetically-levitated vehicles; a pretty piece of science-fantasy that probably is doable under closely-controlled conditions, but can't be adapted to a mass market save over a very long time horizon. Just so much fluff for the readership of Popular Science and the like.
These systems are a lot closer to market-ready than you think. All of the pieces are already in place: cars with nav systems, cars that steer themselves, cars that accelerate and brake themselves as traffic conditions dictate, cars that detect lane position and correct lane departure... all that needed to be done was to integrate these systems and get them to work together. Which has already been done, and developers are now in the last stages where the systems are refined, fine-tuned, and deemed ready for consumer use. (Oh yeah, and get all the ancillary sensors and cameras and what-not packaged in an aesthetically acceptable manner.) Testers have already logged hundreds of thousands of autonomously driven miles -- on public roads no less, not just under "closely-controlled conditions."

___

Last edited by Drover; 08-31-2013 at 03:07 PM..
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Old 08-31-2013, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Ohio
2,801 posts, read 2,309,800 times
Reputation: 1654
With computer controlled "driverless" cars, accidents would be unheard of without a serious glitch, almost all "accidents" are caused by driver inattention or error. The computer would know when the traffic signal was going to change, would know the speed limit, would keep adequate distance between cars in the same lane, would know when there was traffic coming up and change speed or lanes accordingly, maybe even do a reroute if necessary. As with KITT there would be a bypass allowing a human to control the vehicle.


In the sixties we were taught about these cars we were going to have in the year 2000 ... Enter your destination and sit back.
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Old 08-31-2013, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,707 posts, read 103,185,348 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyMack View Post
With computer controlled "driverless" cars, accidents would be unheard of without a serious glitch, almost all "accidents" are caused by driver inattention or error. The computer would know when the traffic signal was going to change, would know the speed limit, would keep adequate distance between cars in the same lane, would know when there was traffic coming up and change speed or lanes accordingly, maybe even do a reroute if necessary. As with KITT there would be a bypass allowing a human to control the vehicle.


In the sixties we were taught about these cars we were going to have in the year 2000 ... Enter your destination and sit back.
By the looks of things, "set it and forget it" systems are still pretty well off. The first wave of systems coming online are likely to still require periodic driver intervention. But I'll still take it when it becomes available on cars I'm interested in and are in my price range.
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Old 08-31-2013, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Mountain Home, ID
1,956 posts, read 3,635,987 times
Reputation: 2435
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
Self-driving vehicles are like magnetically-levitated vehicles; a pretty piece of science-fantasy that probably is doable under closely-controlled conditions, but can't be adapted to a mass market save over a very long time horizon. Just so much fluff for the readership of Popular Science and the like.
Many auto manufacturers have been working on driverless cars for quite some time. Even Google has driverless vehicles. The main challenge at the moment is getting the costs down to the point where they can be mass produced and economy of scale can take over.

I'm a freelance writer and one of my clients builds some of the sensor units used in these vehicles, so I've done quite a bit of research on the subjects.
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Berwick, Penna.
16,215 posts, read 11,335,819 times
Reputation: 20828
As originally envisioned back around 1970, the Washington Metro system was not expected to require motormen (engineers); but a couple of accidents, at least one of them involving fatalities, within the early years soon proved that the job involved too many problems of spontaneous origin, and too wide a range of them, to allow for complete automation. it's worth noting that DC Metro selects all candidates for motormen from among experienced bus operators.

I have no doubt that the prospects for driverless operation of smaller vehicles serving limited venues will continue to expand, but the highway system overall has a near-infinite number of settings, and such a wide variation of operating conditions, that I expect progress to be both restricted in scope, and slower than anticipated.
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Old 09-03-2013, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,554 posts, read 86,977,099 times
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I already have a driverless car. My wife drives. That does not reduce my anxiety or my attention level one bit, and I still have to keep my eyes on the road, constantly vigilant and prepared to take emergency evasive action.

Elevators are driverless, but still require a big red emergency button. What will a future driverless car do when an occupant mashes the red emergency button?

Will the driverlesd car still have manual over-ride, or will they be like elevators, and have only a limited range of routes and destinations? If I take my driverless car on a camping trip, and I want to drive down a logging road missing fatal stumps, will there be a way to do that? Will my driverless car still be able to find the correct exit out of a crowded sports stadium parking lot after a game, and be able to merge into exit lanes with all the other driverless cars? How will driverless cars know what to do when they come to a road construction traffic jam and move to alternate lanes and follow flaggers instructions?

If driverless cars do have manual overrides, what is the point of a driverless car, except as a curiosity, since an owner will still need to know how to "drive" in every situation including challenging ones, but will never acquire any experience or driving judgment or handling skills for doing so. Either that, or you will be restricted to going only to a limited set of destinations, which, pretty well defeats the whole purpose of having your own car in the first place. They will simply become public transportation modules operating on inflexible slot-car routes.

Do you really want your body to be hurled through unknown geography at a mile a minute by something that is no more reliable than a cell phone or Google Search or the self-checkout lanes at WalMart?

Politically, by the way (for another forum), there are a couple of issues that need to be addressed. One, will driverless cars become one more plank in the march toward elimination of liberty to go where you want and do as you please? And two, will public transportation evolve to such personal modules, replacing present mass transit, thus further marginalizing the demographic that cannot afford to buy their own driverless car?

Last edited by jtur88; 09-03-2013 at 08:54 AM..
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Old 09-03-2013, 09:56 AM
 
837 posts, read 2,083,166 times
Reputation: 441
The biggest hurdle (beyond economics) is the societal transition from automated vs. manual driving.
  • I still see old rusty cars from the 80's and 90's being driven today; you can't force those people to buy a new car, let alone buy a car that drives itself.
  • You'll also have spirited drivers who want to cling to self-driving, and they'll zoom down highways amist automated drivers. I am a "Gen Y'er" (as referenced in someone else's post) and I love driving.
  • It will take a lot of convincing to get the general public to trust their lives with technology (even though tech is most likely safer than allowing for human judgment when it comes to split-second reaction times, lane safety, etc.).

What I CAN see happen is that designated lanes, roads, or highways will become automated-only. Much like EZPass here on the east coast of the U.S., manual drivers will have to stay within a particular and limited lane or highway. However, I can't see a truly 100% automated society for quite some time.
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Old 09-03-2013, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Mountain Home, ID
1,956 posts, read 3,635,987 times
Reputation: 2435
Quote:
Originally Posted by jtur88 View Post
I already have a driverless car. My wife drives. That does not reduce my anxiety or my attention level one bit, and I still have to keep my eyes on the road, constantly vigilant and prepared to take emergency evasive action.

Elevators are driverless, but still require a big red emergency button. What will a future driverless car do when an occupant mashes the red emergency button?

Will the driverlesd car still have manual over-ride, or will they be like elevators, and have only a limited range of routes and destinations? If I take my driverless car on a camping trip, and I want to drive down a logging road missing fatal stumps, will there be a way to do that? Will my driverless car still be able to find the correct exit out of a crowded sports stadium parking lot after a game, and be able to merge into exit lanes with all the other driverless cars? How will driverless cars know what to do when they come to a road construction traffic jam and move to alternate lanes and follow flaggers instructions?

If driverless cars do have manual overrides, what is the point of a driverless car, except as a curiosity, since an owner will still need to know how to "drive" in every situation including challenging ones, but will never acquire any experience or driving judgment or handling skills for doing so. Either that, or you will be restricted to going only to a limited set of destinations, which, pretty well defeats the whole purpose of having your own car in the first place. They will simply become public transportation modules operating on inflexible slot-car routes.

Do you really want your body to be hurled through unknown geography at a mile a minute by something that is no more reliable than a cell phone or Google Search or the self-checkout lanes at WalMart?

Politically, by the way (for another forum), there are a couple of issues that need to be addressed. One, will driverless cars become one more plank in the march toward elimination of liberty to go where you want and do as you please? And two, will public transportation evolve to such personal modules, replacing present mass transit, thus further marginalizing the demographic that cannot afford to buy their own driverless car?
Before you go off on a bunch of reactionary "what-if" scenarios, how about do some actual research? No one is talking about totally autonomous driving. Someone is still sitting in the driver's seat at all times. There will be times when people will need to guide the vehicle. Perhaps even the majority of the time at first. As for knowing how to drive, I know how to swim. Does that mean I have to spend every minute on the water swimming so I don't drown if I fall in?

Driverless cars will not operate in a vacuum. Car-to-car communication is a huge part of the technology. For example, the driverless car in front telling all the other cars in the vicinity "I'm getting ready to slow down and turn left." or "I'm taking the next exit." And yes, driverless cars can already navigate exit lanes.

And seriously, if your wife is driving what are YOU going to do to take "emergency evasive action"? Reach over and grab the steering wheel? That sounds perfectly safe.
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