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Old 10-12-13, 08:08 PM   #26
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The technology can be overridden by a motorist ignoring the commands. I heard of cyclist that was killed just the other day by a driver that was passing too close. They won't have technology in cars' to be aware on any side of the vehicle. Also, The technology will certainly not be put in big rigs n' dump trucks. Technology is moot.
OK, Chris -- go back and read the title line to this thread; it says "DRIVERLESS CARS", not "HI-TECH-ASSIST TO DRIVER CARS". If the driver is not involved, as implied by the title, then how is the driver going to "simply ignore commands"? What YOU are describing is already been passed BY with automatic braking -- Toyota, Infiniti, Mitsubishi, Volvo, ALL have it in place. The CAR brakes for hazards the driver doesn't see. So how is the driver going to override what the car is automatically doing without the driver being involved AT ALL?

Since I'm sure there's going to be a manual override feature built in -- just like with airlines' autopilot -- there will also likely be a limit feature built in so, for instance, if the driver overrides the auto-drive say, DAILY, the whole car will lock out. Just SHUT DOWN. A way to ensure that it isn't being used capriciously.

I will REITERATE -- a DRIVERLESS car will all but totally ELIMINATE road rage; computers don't get impatient or pissed at slower-moving objects in front of them. A cyclist would get hit by a driverless car when the programming goes apestick.
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Old 10-12-13, 08:13 PM   #27
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OK, Chris -- go back and read the title line to this thread; it says "DRIVERLESS CARS", not "HI-TECH-ASSIST TO DRIVER CARS". If the driver is not involved, as implied by the title, then how is the driver going to "simply ignore commands"? What YOU are describing is already been passed BY with automatic braking -- Toyota, Infiniti, Mitsubishi, Volvo, ALL have it in place. The CAR brakes for hazards the driver doesn't see. So how is the driver going to override what the car is automatically doing without the driver being involved AT ALL?

Since I'm sure there's going to be a manual override feature built in -- just like with airlines' autopilot -- there will also likely be a limit feature built in so, for instance, if the driver overrides the auto-drive say, DAILY, the whole car will lock out. Just SHUT DOWN. A way to ensure that it isn't being used capriciously.

I will REITERATE -- a DRIVERLESS car will all but totally ELIMINATE road rage; computers don't get impatient or pissed at slower-moving objects in front of them. A cyclist would get hit by a driverless car when the programming goes apestick.
Didn't you see/read 2001: A Space Odyssey when you were a kid? One of these cars is sure to end up with HAL.
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Old 10-12-13, 09:02 PM   #28
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Didn't you see/read 2001: A Space Odyssey when you were a kid? One of these cars is sure to end up with HAL.
HAL was screwed up by his programmers. Essentially he was programmed not to lie to his crew but also ordered to keep the monolith secret from them. The cognitive dissonance drove him insane; killing them allowed him to fulfill both objectives. Also notable that HAL murdered the crew within the Discovery, and no one on the outside of the ship was harmed. So no cyclist would be in danger.
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Old 10-12-13, 09:39 PM   #29
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Here's something else to chew on: certainly, driverless cars aren't going to replace all existing driver cars at once. Common sense dictates that the driverless cars are going to obey traffic laws. So, how do you think remaining drivers who are not using this technology are going to respond to that, considering that speeding is the norm? I've seen enough that I can say exactly what will happen: drivers are going to get pissed, and pass the robot cars. That means *more* dangerous driving, not less. I can see it now:

Guy 1: Yeah man, I saw one of those driverless cars on the way in today! That thing was only doing 30 on street X! It was ridiculous! So I gunned it and passed that SOB!

Guy 2: Yeah, those cars suck! Who would want a robot driving their car all slow like that! I'll keep my 1996 Camaro, thank you very much!

The real world: It's a lot different than controlled testing.
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Old 10-12-13, 10:00 PM   #30
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Here's something else to chew on: certainly, driverless cars aren't going to replace all existing driver cars at once. Common sense dictates that the driverless cars are going to obey traffic laws. So, how do you think remaining drivers who are not using this technology are going to respond to that, considering that speeding is the norm? I've seen enough that I can say exactly what will happen: drivers are going to get pissed, and pass the robot cars. That means *more* dangerous driving, not less. I can see it now:

Guy 1: Yeah man, I saw one of those driverless cars on the way in today! That thing was only doing 30 on street X! It was ridiculous! So I gunned it and passed that SOB!

Guy 2: Yeah, those cars suck! Who would want a robot driving their car all slow like that! I'll keep my 1996 Camaro, thank you very much!

The real world: It's a lot different than controlled testing.
I disagree. Once there are a significant number of driverless cars, I think legal driving will quickly become the norm. I strongly suspect that many motorists speed because of a perception that they are "holding up" the person behind them. When the car behind them isn't tailgating, then that will take the pressure off and they'll slow down. As an added benefit, cops will have no problem seeing who the sociopaths are and can write tickets to the nonconformers until they change their scofflaw ways.

I can't prove that it will work that way, it's just my opinion. However, I have lived where the local cops had a zero-tolerance policy towards traffic law enforcement and people did adapt very quickly. Even people who came from notoriously lawless-driving locales adjusted, usually before they even got cited. Let's check back in on this in fifteen years and see who was right.
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Old 10-12-13, 10:04 PM   #31
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One more thing: This article waxes on about how the amount of cars on the road could increase with this technology. Excuse me, not going to happen. Certainly not for any kind of long term, and it's for a singular simple reason: the fuel needed to do that is rapidly becoming scarce. The recent "boom" of shale oil is just a temporary stopgap at best - shale oil supplies are depleted much more rapidly than coventional wells. The cost of all this alternative oil extraction is much higher, and if anything is clear by now it's that people are on the whole far too much into debt to really be able to pay for all of this.

But wait, you say! Hold your horses! Electric cars are the solution! They will save the Earth!

The notion that we could afford the gargantuan expense of more expensive electric cars en masse (read: enormous, expensive battery packs) is just ludicrous. How is a nation increasingly populated by Walmart shoppers and Walmart workers - where expense is mitigated by whoring off manufacturing overseas - going to buy Chevy Volts? Answer: they won't.

This article is just another example of the technophilia and techno-narcissism that has so thoroughly pervaded our culture. Any sane realistic outlook involves fewer cars being around, not more. Any time I read anything contrary, my eyes glaze over. That being said, I don't doubt that driverless cars are coming. Some of them. What I do very much doubt is that this will be a panacea or anything like one.
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Old 10-12-13, 10:07 PM   #32
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I think the worriers are over reacting. Technology is one thing, buyer acceptance another thing entirely. Odds are this technology will be introduced piecemeal, with user override available. Expect things like crash avoidance to gain acceptance fastest, along with improved navigation, blind spot monitoring, and things like lane management and traction control systems.

As pointed out, the bias in the technology will be to safety, so on crowded roads folks will be at a disadvantage compared to aggressive drivers. I don't imagine a computer controlled car shoulder running on a backed up freeway, nor racing up the center lane to pass, than shooting for the exit, or fighting with NYC taxi drivers when merging at lane restrictions.

So what we will see are things that prevent dooring, make up for inattentive drivers, see bikes at greater distance and pass more safely, see us when visibility is bad, and better judge our speed to prevent right hooks and left crosses.

Am I expecting a magic, crash free world out on the roads? Of course not, but I do expect a reduction in the number of crashes caused by poor visibility, judgement, or inattentiveness. Given the number of cyclists because of these, more computer systems can only be good.
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Old 10-13-13, 08:17 AM   #33
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A bit OT perhaps, but I wonder how these computerized systems will work/respond with motorcycle lane splitting in CA? For those that don't know, you can ride the line between continuous lanes of traffic if the traffic is moving slower than 15 mph, and you can ride the line between lanes of stopped cars up to the head of the line at stoplights and stop signs. Having lived and ridden motorcycles for many years in CA, it's one of my favorite things about CA. I often availed myself of this privilege.

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Old 10-13-13, 10:13 AM   #34
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I disagree. Once there are a significant number of driverless cars, I think legal driving will quickly become the norm.
I really hope you're right. I mostly drive strictly to the law and it's sometimes surprising how driving the speed limit for a short distance like 2 miles can result in me having a lineup of 40 or more cars behind me. That doesn't happen unless pretty much everyone is speeding.
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Old 10-13-13, 10:18 AM   #35
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A bit OT perhaps, but I wonder how these computerized systems will work/respond with motorcycle lane splitting in CA?
Probably better than the humans do.
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Old 10-13-13, 11:10 AM   #36
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The bigger question is: does it matter? People are already totally irresponsible. Even in my walkable community, there's plenty of drivers zooming around with total disregard for the people that are walking. There's every reason to believe that this technology will only increase that. Does anyone really believe "operators" will be paying attention in driverless cars when they already aren't paying attention as drivers? To me, it doesn't matter much if the ultimate responsibility lies with the operator. This technology is going to result in more inattentiveness, and the sad existing "deterrents" for reckless driving (primarily read as: it's clearly more OK to kill someone with a car than with any other means) just aren't effective. If they were, distracted driving wouldn't be the pandemic that it is.

Call me paranoid, but this scares the hell out of me. Do any of you truly relish the thought of a car that isn't under human control coming up behind you? I sure as hell don't. Too bad the post-peak driving dropoff isn't steeper. At least trends in the younger folks (more affinity with city living, less desire for driving) are encouraging.
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I agree with you.



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Then we'll need electric monks to believe things for us!

FWIW, even the autonomous cars that are in testing now are fully able to recognize pedestrians and cyclists. They use LIDAR and RADAR both I think. The Google cars have driven something like a million or two miles and the only incident they've been involved with was when some other driver hit one. VW and Mercedes both have cars that can navigate European cities which certainly have plenty of cyclists for hours on end without any issues.

I would ride on the road with autonomous vehicles over human drivers gladly.
And I agree with you.

Let's revisit this thread in ten years and see who's right!

Loser buys the beer!

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Old 10-13-13, 11:18 AM   #37
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Car ads crow about the driving experience: The thrill of great handling at speed, the growl of the exhaust, the expectation of owning the road (with their product, of course). So who do you think will buy a self-driving car? Eliminate the "fun" of being behind the wheel and you alienate a huge proportion of car buyers.

Folks that don't want to drive can already:

Take a cab or a bus
Carpool with someone who wants to drive
Use your chauffeur
Walk
Cycle
Stay home

Another observation about cabs: I bet in a lot of cases the cost of ownership for a self-driving car will be more than taking a cab when needed.
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Old 10-13-13, 11:34 AM   #38
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Car ads crow about the driving experience: The thrill of great handling at speed, the growl of the exhaust, the expectation of owning the road (with their product, of course). So who do you think will buy a self-driving car? Eliminate the "fun" of being behind the wheel and you alienate a huge proportion of car buyers.

Folks that don't want to drive can already:

Take a cab or a bus
Carpool with someone who wants to drive
Use your chauffeur
Walk
Cycle
Stay home

Another observation about cabs: I bet in a lot of cases the cost of ownership for a self-driving car will be more than taking a cab when needed.
The car ads are selling the sizzle... reality is something quite different and often consists of this...



Where is the thrill of handling at speed in the above picture? Bear in mind that if you are in any large city in the world, this is what you face.

Now if you live way out in the country somewhere, maybe you can experience that mythical "thrill of driving."
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Old 10-13-13, 11:39 AM   #39
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The car ads are selling the sizzle... reality is something quite different and often consists of this...



Where is the thrill of handling at speed in the above picture? Bear in mind that if you are in any large city in the world, this is what you face.

Now if you live way out in the country somewhere, maybe you can experience that mythical "thrill of driving."
Yep, that's reality. Makes you wonder why most people fall for the "freedom of the open road" sales pitch.
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Old 10-13-13, 11:43 AM   #40
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Car ads crow about the driving experience: The thrill of great handling at speed, the growl of the exhaust, the expectation of owning the road (with their product, of course). So who do you think will buy a self-driving car? Eliminate the "fun" of being behind the wheel and you alienate a huge proportion of car buyers.

Folks that don't want to drive can already:

Take a cab or a bus
Carpool with someone who wants to drive
Use your chauffeur
Walk
Cycle
Stay home

Another observation about cabs: I bet in a lot of cases the cost of ownership for a self-driving car will be more than taking a cab when needed.
My mother, who is 84 and no longer driving, was stunned when I suggested I might buy her a new car for her 94th birthday. "Oh, I can't drive!", she said. My reply was, "You won't have to."

As our baby boomers age a car that drives itself will have an increasing attraction. And the younger generation is evidently far less interested in owning an automobile than any generation since the Model T first appeared on a roadway.

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/...y-cars/255001/

Advertisers may currently push for "the driving experience" but advertising is determined by what sells cars and that advertising could easily shift to the "sit back and leave the driving to us" campaign of the automotive future.

As far as cost, the private automobile consumes much of the average person's income as it is, which is one reason why younger people are less and less inclined to own a car. It's possible the driverless automobile may be something less individually owned and maintained and more like Zipcar or a shared car program.

My guess is there will be mileage based plans or hourly plans but you're right, it may be that far fewer of us will actually own our own automobile especially as the gap between rich and poor in the US continues to widen.
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Old 10-13-13, 11:43 AM   #41
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Car ads crow about the driving experience: The thrill of great handling at speed, the growl of the exhaust, the expectation of owning the road (with their product, of course). So who do you think will buy a self-driving car? Eliminate the "fun" of being behind the wheel and you alienate a huge proportion of car buyers.

Folks that don't want to drive can already:

Take a cab or a bus
Carpool with someone who wants to drive
Use your chauffeur
Walk
Cycle
Stay home

Another observation about cabs: I bet in a lot of cases the cost of ownership for a self-driving car will be more than taking a cab when needed.
The ad campaigns will likely change to emphasize how having a self-driving car makes you just like the 1% folks who have chauffeurs. That will create demand among the sheeple.

As to cabs: I suspect the largest cost of a cab ride is the salary of the driver. Take that out of the equation and cab rides will likely become quite cheap relative to today. This could well lead to a dramatic decline in car ownership as fleets of cabs can be called on a smart phone.
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Old 10-13-13, 11:43 AM   #42
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The car ads are selling the sizzle... reality is something quite different and often consists of this...

...

Now if you live way out in the country somewhere, maybe you can experience that mythical "thrill of driving."
This is hyperbole, but when's the last time you saw a car ad that even mentioned driving?

All car ads talk about these days is the new "technology" in the cars. And by technology they don't mean better transmissions, improved suspensions, or engine modifications.

No they're talking about all the integrated electronic gadgets built in, and the internet connection. So apparently folks in marketing realize that folks aren't into driving any more. A car is now just a way to ferry themselves, their kids and their stuff from one place to another. So they're selling all the toys to help fill up or make use of all the dead time that people spend in their cars.

Let's be real, people aren't driving anymore anyway. They're filling up the car time doing other important stuff like swapping recipes with their aunts via cell phones. So since they don't want to give up any of their valuable time to the task of driving, we're better off relieving them of it entirely.
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Old 10-13-13, 11:53 AM   #43
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The ad campaigns will likely change to emphasize how having a self-driving car makes you just like the 1% folks who have chauffeurs. That will create demand among the sheeple.

As to cabs: I suspect the largest cost of a cab ride is the salary of the driver. Take that out of the equation and cab rides will likely become quite cheap relative to today. This could well lead to a dramatic decline in car ownership as fleets of cabs can be called on a smart phone.

You have clearly articulated what I think the future of car "ownership" will be.

I think those who are either freaking out about the driverless cars or pronouncing them DOA will be buying you and I a beer in 10 years if they take my bet. My question is will we bike to the bar or get a ride in a driverless car?
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Old 10-13-13, 12:01 PM   #44
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The car ads are selling the sizzle... reality is something quite different and often consists of this...



Where is the thrill of handling at speed in the above picture? Bear in mind that if you are in any large city in the world, this is what you face.

Now if you live way out in the country somewhere, maybe you can experience that mythical "thrill of driving."
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Yep, that's reality. Makes you wonder why most people fall for the "freedom of the open road" sales pitch.
It might surprise you that some people can make decisions based on their own version of reality, and actually distinguish between the pitch of an advertisement and sober truth.

IMO making judgements about "reality" based on a personal response to the salesman's pitch is silly.
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Old 10-13-13, 01:37 PM   #45
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This is hyperbole, but when's the last time you saw a car ad that even mentioned driving?

All car ads talk about these days is the new "technology" in the cars. And by technology they don't mean better transmissions, improved suspensions, or engine modifications.

No they're talking about all the integrated electronic gadgets built in, and the internet connection. So apparently folks in marketing realize that folks aren't into driving any more. A car is now just a way to ferry themselves, their kids and their stuff from one place to another. So they're selling all the toys to help fill up or make use of all the dead time that people spend in their cars.

Let's be real, people aren't driving anymore anyway. They're filling up the car time doing other important stuff like swapping recipes with their aunts via cell phones. So since they don't want to give up any of their valuable time to the task of driving, we're better off relieving them of it entirely.
Well there is at least one car company that uses the slogan "the ultimate driving machine..." So they certainly mention driving... and of course there are still copious ads that show cars on empty streets except for the featured car.
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Old 10-13-13, 03:08 PM   #46
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I think where autonomous cars will take off first is in the city, specifically with zipcar type services. You will pull out your smartphone and say you want to depart your current location in 10 minutes and go to X. A car will be dispatched and will pick you up there. You would be able to say "I have 4 friends with me so send a minivan" or "I need a pickup" when you're going to the home improvement store for lumber.

Owning a car is really kind of a pain in the ass if all you want is transportation. Buying an SUV because one day in 5 you are the driver in your carpool is wasteful the rest of the time.

Also by synchronizing the cars with the lights and each other, traffic flow could be vastly smoothed out.
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Old 10-13-13, 03:32 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Probably better than the humans do. (deal with legal lane splitting)
I image they have the potential to do so, but they'd have to be programmed to respond correctly in these scenarios. In my experience, humans do fine, but they do err on occasion.
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Old 10-13-13, 04:29 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Plenty of 'em around already; look in any opened garage and there should be one or two.
The up side of that is when those garages' owners become broke the riderless bikes can be freed to live at your place.
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Old 10-13-13, 04:31 PM   #49
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I'd still rather meet George Jetson.

Oh wait...he sleeps in while his flying car drives him to work.
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Old 10-13-13, 07:52 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
Didn't you see/read 2001: A Space Odyssey when you were a kid? One of these cars is sure to end up with HAL.
LOL --yes, I DID! The book was better........ Although that always-dispassionate HAL voice gave me the creeps.
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