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Old 09-22-12, 07:17 AM   #1
hotbike
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Sag Wagon of the Future: a Self-Driving Car!

http://www.webpronews.com/self-drivi...s-ieee-2012-09

A thought occurred to me just a little while ago; When Self-Driving Cars become common, wouldn't it be great to have one as a Sag Wagon?

You could have your own car or van accompany you while you ride your Bicycle, without the need to find a volunteer to drive it!

It would be perfect for drafting, perhaps with a spoiler on the rear of a mini-van you could draft at speeds in excess of 55MPH...

You could ride alone of with a group, Bicycle Touring would become more popular again, and the ride could go on on short notice.

You could cheat a little and get in the van with your bike for those Interstate Highway River crossings.

-----

I actually had something slightly different in mind: A self propelled , self-driving Caisson, maybe one meter wide, two meters long, and 85 centimeters high.

A Caisson was a device which was used for the support of field artillery , I thought it would be a good word to describe my concept vehicle:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limbers_and_caissons

I thought I'd just share this idea, maybe some of you have a similar idea, or you might have a suggestion. Suggest an improvement.

Okay, I'm putting out two possible scenarios, 1) a self-driving minivan as a sag wagon, so you could go anywhere on a solo / supported tour, anytime you like,
or 2) something the size of a garden tractor that would be driverless, with a generator and supplies onboard.

My original idea, back in 1986, was to have an Electric Bike as an escort for my Racing Bike. Well, no volunteers were interested in driving the Electric Bike. If there was some sort of self driving vehicle that I could draft behind, I would be very happy.

PS- Don't tell me it would be too expensive. The price would be bound to come down after a while.
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Old 09-22-12, 07:49 AM   #2
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good to see new ideas, but-

Why complicate life. Just get on your bike and ride.
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Old 09-22-12, 08:14 AM   #3
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Why complicate life. Just get on your bike and ride.
Did I mention I live on Long Island? And I would like to ride to , say , Vermont, for instance? And neither the Throgs Neck Bridge Nor the Whitestone Bridge has a Bike Lane?

Even to get across Long Island Sound, to Connecticut ....

I could take the Bike onboard a train, but the train schedules are impractical to plan a ride around. The Trains don't allow bikes during rush hour, the Trains don't allow bikes on Holidays anymore, the Trains don't run at night between 11:00PM and 5:00 AM , and between 2:00 AM and 9:30 AM in the other direction. And Transferring from LIRR to NJT is easy, they have concourses in the same station, Penn. But to transfer to Metro North Railroad requires riding through midtown traffic from Penn station to Grand Central Terminal, and it would be easy to get hit by a taxicab on that ride.
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Old 09-22-12, 09:12 AM   #4
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Several engineering schools, Google and DARPA are on that.. ..
1st it will be weaponized.

you pay for it but it will be war tool.
NB Wright brothers first sales pitch was to the Army.

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-22-12 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 09-22-12, 11:59 AM   #5
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The thought of bringing a self driving van on a bike tour makes me cringe.
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Old 09-22-12, 12:51 PM   #6
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As far as your point about the tunnels is concerned you could just drive a car through them, park it, and then go on your way. Compared to wanting some space age tech to drive the car for you, it might be cheaper to buy a house on the other side of the bridges a bit. But what you can imagine often comes true eventually. Which raise the question of who will be the first cyclist on tour to be run over by his own car.
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Old 09-22-12, 01:51 PM   #7
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Seems like a great idea but I don't it won't happen in our life time. Self driving cars might but first they will be very expensive in the first few years and I will bet that there will be laws that say the car will still need a "driver" for several years after they come to be,
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Old 09-22-12, 04:32 PM   #8
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Why not equip it with a cooking robot?

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Old 09-22-12, 11:56 PM   #9
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Not to rain on the thought, but with the car tagging along, you then have to pay full fee for campsites. No hiker/biker discounts.

Also have to find a parking space when stopping for meals.

Have to pay for gas and toll roads.
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Old 09-23-12, 12:57 AM   #10
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As far as your point about the tunnels is concerned you could just drive a car through them, park it, and then go on your way. Compared to wanting some space age tech to drive the car for you, it might be cheaper to buy a house on the other side of the bridges a bit. But what you can imagine often comes true eventually. Which raise the question of who will be the first cyclist on tour to be run over by his own car.
It doesn't take a self-driving car for that to happen. We've had a couple of instances of folks locally who have managed to run themselves over with their own cars and a quick Google search turns up videos of people doing it. Granted, these people aren't touring, but any time you mix inattentive people and deadly machines there are predictable results.
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Old 09-23-12, 03:29 AM   #11
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why waste good technology?

just drive your freakin' car, and let the self-riding bicycle tag along behind.
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Old 09-23-12, 12:36 PM   #12
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As far as your point about the tunnels is concerned you could just drive a car through them, park it, and then go on your way. Compared to wanting some space age tech to drive the car for you, it might be cheaper to buy a house on the other side of the bridges a bit. But what you can imagine often comes true eventually. Which raise the question of who will be the first cyclist on tour to be run over by his own car.
You have made the best argument *against* the self-driving sag-wagon- Yes, it would be cheaper to buy a house in Vermont, than what the vehicle would cost.
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Old 09-23-12, 12:57 PM   #13
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Seems like a great idea but I don't it won't happen in our life time. Self driving cars might but first they will be very expensive in the first few years and I will bet that there will be laws that say the car will still need a "driver" for several years after they come to be,
From what I hear, self-driving cars will appear in our lifetime. The Army wants self-driving tanks, DARPA developed the technology, and now Google has some self driving cars, which use GPS and Google Maps...

What might happen though, could be a bad crash, killing innocent people, and thereby getting self driving cars banned.

I hope the self driving car utilizes several means of guidance, with fail-safes; e.g.: GPS, Radar, Infra Red cameras, Googles databank of Street View images, a good old fashioned magnetic North compass, video cameras - wireless with an actual human at the other end, to take control when all else fails. Let's add an Altimeter to that list. One idea is to put magnets in the pavement , with a magnetometer underneath the car to follow them- but I thought of a better idea, RFID chips in the pavement, each with a sequential number, and an RFID reader under the car , to verify the location of the car.

Self Driving cars will not be as much fun as you think. The cars will NOT be allowed to go faster than the speed limit. If a motorist is stuck behind a self-driving car, that's going to be tough ____.

I can tell you about a Light Rail System in New Jersey , they (New Jersey Transit, NJT) replaced the old fashioned trolleys with modern Light Rail Vehicles. The old Trolleys took 12 (Twelve) minutes to complete the trip. The new LRV's, with their automatic block signals and automatic train stop, take 45 (Forty-Five) minutes for the same trip. (Newark City Subway, #7 line).

I think GPS will be expanded to include monitoring of traffic lights. It will become more like Railroad style Central Traffic Control (CTC). You know a train can get a red light, and the light can stay red for two, three, four hours or more?

Self driving cars will make the roads safer. Drunks will not be able to drive. Maybe more people will take up Cycling, since a car has no advantage (in speed) over a bicycle when the speed limits are strictly enforced.
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