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  1. #1
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    idea for a self-driving car ad

    1) a couple or family is talking in what seems to be a train compartment, as they watch a train pass by them through the trees outside the window

    2) zoom-out reveals they are not in a train at all, actually, but in one car within a series of cars lined up as close as the train cars they were watching. A parallel visual depiction of the car-chain and train establishes similarity between the two 'trains.'

    3) The driver says, 'ok, let's disengage," and we see the car change lanes while the rest of the car-chain adjusts to close the gap left.

    4) The driver tells the onboard computer, "let's go to the park," and the next scene is entering the park where the driver says, "switch to manual" and veers off onto a dirt road.

    The general idea is communicating that driverless cars can double as train-cars for highway travel.

    Do you think this potential of driverless cars would appeal to most people or unsettle them in some way? Why?

  2. #2
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Time will tell if most car owners like this. I doubt it, but who knows?

    But I see absolutely no place for bicycles in your scenario. Drafting in a 50 mph pace line of cars? Not bloody likely!


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    I thing a large number of commuters would like such a system. Picture many large cities now with their rivers of vehicles pouring in for the morning rush hour and out in the afternoon. Those drivers spend extra money on cup holders and sound systems to help them cope with the boredom of traffic.

    Being able to set your vehicle to go to work and take you home would be a boon.

    You could address the concerns of pedestrians and cyclists by separate roadways, a bit like Denmark. The added benefit would be the automated vehicle wouldn't get mad and jump onto the protected road way.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    I thing a large number of commuters would like such a system. Picture many large cities now with their rivers of vehicles pouring in for the morning rush hour and out in the afternoon. Those drivers spend extra money on cup holders and sound systems to help them cope with the boredom of traffic.

    Being able to set your vehicle to go to work and take you home would be a boon.

    You could address the concerns of pedestrians and cyclists by separate roadways, a bit like Denmark. The added benefit would be the automated vehicle wouldn't get mad and jump onto the protected road way.
    In computer traffic models, the multi-tasking commute thing didn't work very well.

    The bottom line was this: In every single test, self driving cars where calculated to create a comfortable, rail-like ride made congestion worse than it would have been in a baseline scenario with people behind every wheel.
    When driverless cars accelerated and decelerated in the style of light rail, the congestion deteriorated from 4 percent to 50 percent and the number of cars traveling through the intersection also fell between 4 percent and 21 percent. Going for high speed rail style of smoothness, those numbers got even worse: Delays increased from 36 percent to nearly 2,000 percent and intersection capacity fell between 18 percent and 53 percent.

    Read more:The pros and cons of a driverless future


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    In computer traffic models, the multi-tasking commute thing didn't work very well.
    Anything would be better than LA, San Diego, San Francisco and Sacramento morning traffic today. And on a bad day a computer won't shoot at you. Still the add the OP posted would be tempting I believe.
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    Time will tell if most car owners like this. I doubt it, but who knows?

    But I see absolutely no place for bicycles in your scenario. Drafting in a 50 mph pace line of cars? Not bloody likely!
    Oooh, I hadn't considered this benefit of self-driving cars. Time to get to work on the leg weight machine and get my sprint back, only a few more years until these things begin to roll around us.

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    I like the OP's idea. Another ad notion that pops into my mind is one depicting a conversation between two elderly people. One is upset that her children and grandchildren are nagging her to give up driving. The other says she went through the same thing and finally did it. The first is incredulous since the second showed up in a car that is parked right out front. Then cut to the second leaving in her self-driving car. Independence in old-age!

  8. #8
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    I think it's called a TAXI...
    He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts...for support rather than illumination. I do like my beer, so sometimes I do end up leaning on the lamp-post...

  9. #9
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    It's just me, but I don't see the benefit in introducing a "train" concept into the mix.

    Yes, I see that self-driven cars should be able to cluster to save time, speed and space, it seems to me that in use, this would be a fluid structure with cars attaching themselves and detaching themselves to a particular cluster at any given time.

    I think that people will want to assume that their car is going just where they want it to.

    I think that the selling points for driverless cars is that they allow more time to spend with others in the car, or on the phone, or accomplishing other tasks, or just starting out the windows without the mental wear and tear of having to drive in traffic.

    I note that in recent commercials on YouTube, the Chevy Traverse is being positioned as a mobile hotspot.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  10. #10
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    It's just me, but I don't see the benefit in introducing a "train" concept into the mix.

    Yes, I see that self-driven cars should be able to cluster to save time, speed and space, it seems to me that in use, this would be a fluid structure with cars attaching themselves and detaching themselves to a particular cluster at any given time.

    I think that people will want to assume that their car is going just where they want it to.

    I think that the selling points for driverless cars is that they allow more time to spend with others in the car, or on the phone, or accomplishing other tasks, or just starting out the windows without the mental wear and tear of having to drive in traffic.

    I note that in recent commercials on YouTube, the Chevy Traverse is being positioned as a mobile hotspot.
    Yes, but again the problem is that you can't have both the ability to multi-task in a smoothly driven car, and the ability to reduce congestion and travel times in an aggressively driven car. One or the other, but not both.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    But I see absolutely no place for bicycles in your scenario. Drafting in a 50 mph pace line of cars? Not bloody likely!
    A 50mph pace line of cars uses less lane-per-vehicle than independently-operated vehicles. Also, without air rushing in and out of the lanes, there would be less noise and gusts to annoy and endanger cyclists in the other lane or on a parallel cycling path.

    Quote Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
    I like the OP's idea. Another ad notion that pops into my mind is one depicting a conversation between two elderly people. One is upset that her children and grandchildren are nagging her to give up driving. The other says she went through the same thing and finally did it. The first is incredulous since the second showed up in a car that is parked right out front. Then cut to the second leaving in her self-driving car. Independence in old-age!
    Great point! Travel-independence for blind people was an initial selling point, but the elderly are a much larger demographic.

    Quote Originally Posted by 350htrr View Post
    I think it's called a TAXI...
    Taxis can't manage a 50mph pace line unless they're driven by NASCAR racers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    It's just me, but I don't see the benefit in introducing a "train" concept into the mix.
    Because a pace line of automated cars gets the same wind-drag reduction of a train but a single passenger compartment (car) can disengage from the chain and drive off on its own without stopping the whole train, as is necessary with Amtrak's autotrain.

    Yes, I see that self-driven cars should be able to cluster to save time, speed and space,
    And wind-drag. Air has to be displaced by each car separately when cars fail to draft each other. If cars pace each other close enough, the air displaced by the front vehicle just stays outside the chain.

  12. #12
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    Driverless cars can't be bought at any price. Seems pointless to advertise such a product.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    In computer traffic models, the multi-tasking commute thing didn't work very well.
    Not surprising since they were trying to simulate the smoothness of a rail system with no intersections by a fleet of self-driving cars in a city environment with numerous intersections, driveways, etc. which all call for deceleration/acceleration cycles. But I don't remember anyone claiming that the self-driving car ride would magically eliminate the stop&go nature of city traffic. Nor do passengers in today's cars (or buses, when not too crowded) find it all that hard to do some multi-tasking on their laptops/tablets/etc. In an urban setting I'd expect self-driving cars to accelerate and decelerate just about as much as cars do today - but without the need for the human(s) on board to be involved which would leave them free to do other tasks while also increasing safety by having a car controller that's never distracted/sleepy/angry.

    OTOH, for long car drives, such as SF to LA on I-5, the self-driving car could approach the smoothness of rail travel. And frankly, although I voted in favor of the rail project years ago, I now question whether it will be supplanted by self-driving cars. Sure the HSR project would offer greater speed, but overall travel time and convenience might well be better with self-driving cars that take me door-to-door and let me use the time productively and/or for entertainment.

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