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Thread: Self-driving cars

  1. #1

    Default Self-driving cars

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe...ticle23028260/

    Self-driving cars: Are they coming sooner than we think, are they still decades away, or is it just tech fantasy?

    If they come, what implications will they have for transportation, how we design our cities, etc.?

    I'll post my thoughts later (really just more questions,) .

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    I don't think I agree with just about any point that Cato makes in the entire article. And searching for his name, it's of absolutely no surprise to see numerous other articles where he rails against self-driving cars. For whatever reason, he's got some sort of a vendetta against driver-less cars. Personally, I think they're inevitable, however they may well still be a decade or two away while the technology is perfected. But ultimately it's not the technical aspects that will slow their adoption, it'll be legal/liability/regulatory. And just like cars in the early 20th century, society will adapt and we'll soon wonder how we got along without them.

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    ^^ They are already here to an extent. Cars with crash avoidance, parking assist, the kind of thing where the car takes over the controls, even if just for a moment, are self driving.

    The question becomes who is responsible when those systems are unable to process a situation and inadvertently maim or kill someone ? Or a system fails to deliver the promosed protection. I know the insurance industry is working on that right now, as there are a lot of questions along that vein
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    No thanks.

    But it does make sense for some, be them elderly, disable, unfit to drive etc.
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  5. #5

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    I think first off, we need to separate the three ideas that are all in some way, being called self-driving cars.

    Autonomous cars - Do not need a driver. The cars drive themselves. The family can play tiddlywinks or whatever while the car drives itself. Google has stated this as their mission, but is the only one publicly.
    Semi-autonomous cars - The cars drive themselves, but a driver needs to be alert and present.
    Smart tech cars - Elements of the car drive itself. 240GLT above outlined what this entails.

    It's fully autonomous cars that I find fascinating. The other two might have a cool factor, but I don't think they'll be gamechangers in any way.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    I don't think I agree with just about any point that Cato makes in the entire article. And searching for his name, it's of absolutely no surprise to see numerous other articles where he rails against self-driving cars. For whatever reason, he's got some sort of a vendetta against driver-less cars. Personally, I think they're inevitable, however they may well still be a decade or two away while the technology is perfected. But ultimately it's not the technical aspects that will slow their adoption, it'll be legal/liability/regulatory. And just like cars in the early 20th century, society will adapt and we'll soon wonder how we got along without them.
    Yeah, I agree, Cato did not support his argument very well, and he just seems to take it for granted that the car technology is too complicated for these companies. There are still known issues with self-driving cars (weather, parking garages, tunnels, uncontrolled conditions), but I personally would not bet against Google and Apple, and mostly likely Tesla, on working these out.

    The regulatory framework is interesting. Again, I think they'll work it out just because the main players have such deep pockets..

  7. #7

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    So all that said, here's my take on autonomous self-driving cars:

    Pros:
    - Will provide greater mobility options to more people, who for whatever reason, can't drive themselves.
    - will be far, far safer. Less accidents. Less tragedies. Less burden on emergency services and road congestion. Cheaper Insurance.
    - Will make cheaper public transportation options (think Uber + driverless cars, but using superior Apple/Google technology). People will take taxis much more as it will be the most cheapest and convenient way of getting around.
    - Cars could drop a person off and find a spot somewhere else. This means less space needed for parking.
    - Much cheaper costs for deliveries and commercial transportation. It opens up markets that don't currently exist. 'Home delivery' can mean having virtually anything delivered to your house at anytime.
    - For those who continue to own their own personal vehicles, more productive use of their commuting time. They can work, watch movies, sleep, play tiddlywinks, etc.
    - Smart technology in cars can communicate with smart city software to choose most efficient routes and speeds, minimizing fuel consumption and avoiding congestion.

    Cons:
    - The great city battles in this century are going to be about space. Single-occupancy vehicles that are autonomous, are still single-occupancy vehicles, clogging up an already strained road system.
    - With zero-occupancy vehicles on the roads with low-productive deliveries, it could mean even more strain. Imagine the increase in food deliveries, or even deliveries, for things like tylenol because a person doesn't feel like going out and getting it themselves (and they don't have to).

    Neutral:
    - I won't give this a positive/negative value, but if self-driving cars become a reality, imagine the disruption it will cause to our known transportation and retail services. Truck drivers and taxi drivers jobs will go extinct. Neighborhood grocery stores will close up shop as more people order their groceries to be delivered from larger warehouses.
    - Increased consumption. Again, there are positive and negatives. A craving for McDonalds becomes more easy to satisfy when you can send your car by itself to pick up the order for you.

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    Here's a lengthy piece on the subject:
    http://www.brookings.edu/research/pa...ars-villasenor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Eyes View Post
    So all that said, here's my take on autonomous self-driving cars:
    Good list. One thing you didn't mention is that autonomous, networked cars have the potential to massively increase the capacity of existing roads. It's entirely possible that once the technology is mature enough, that certain major roads or highways could be designated "autonomous only", where if you want to use them, you have to let the car drive itself. A dedicated roadway with only autonomous cars on it would operate far, far more efficiently than one with humans behind the wheel. Following distances could be significantly reduced, poor driving behaviors would be eliminated, traffic disruptions up ahead could be communicated to the vehicles far ahead of time, and speeds could potentially be increased.

  10. #10

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    I bet you could get almost the same boost in quality if you made drivers licances hard to get for people who suck at driving. That person who takes a full light cycle to turn. That person driving 30 in a 50 or 60 zone. That person who hesitates. With proper licencing of those people you could probably close to double the capacity of our roads as it is. Without the driverless aspect.

  11. #11

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    ^^ the increased speeds would be really interesting. Lights at intersections could be eliminated. At which point I don't think I'd want a windshield or any windows in my vehicle.

    Cross referencing a similar discussion here...

    Don't Fear Driverless Cars - Connect2Edmonton
    http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum...d.php?p=653865

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    The problem I see is that in order to realize most of the benefits, your roads have to made up completely of autonomous vehicles. Could that ever happen, given the number of vehicles already out there, and the cost associated with everyone getting a new one? How do you tell/force the person driving the sub-$1,000 car that they have to upgrade?
    They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gord Lacey View Post
    The problem I see is that in order to realize most of the benefits, your roads have to made up completely of autonomous vehicles. Could that ever happen, given the number of vehicles already out there, and the cost associated with everyone getting a new one? How do you tell/force the person driving the sub-$1,000 car that they have to upgrade?
    Like I said, it wouldn't necessarily need to be every road, but high capacity, congested ones. For example in Edmonton perhaps the Whitemud, Yellowhead, and Henday would be converted to autonomous only roads to significantly increase their capacity and reduce accidents. You could still get around in your clunker. As far as highways go, same thing with the QE2. You could still use 2A, 22, or other roads to travel, but if you want to use the quickest road, you'll have to have a car capable of autonomous, networked driving.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Himser View Post
    I bet you could get almost the same boost in quality if you made drivers licances hard to get for people who suck at driving. That person who takes a full light cycle to turn. That person driving 30 in a 50 or 60 zone. That person who hesitates. With proper licencing of those people you could probably close to double the capacity of our roads as it is. Without the driverless aspect.
    Based on your description, the person eliminated would be...YOU!

    Seriously, automated cars are going to be very conservative. One of the problems they're having with them now is they follow the letter to the law and are TOO conservative, so sometimes get stuck at the left turn forever, don't gnudge their way through intersections, etc.

    Humans will never drive as well as automated cars will, for the same reason that if I asked you to do 50 math calculations mentally you'll likely make an error when your calculator won't.
    Last edited by Snake Eyes; 20-02-2015 at 09:57 AM.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gord Lacey View Post
    The problem I see is that in order to realize most of the benefits, your roads have to made up completely of autonomous vehicles. Could that ever happen, given the number of vehicles already out there, and the cost associated with everyone getting a new one? How do you tell/force the person driving the sub-$1,000 car that they have to upgrade?
    Like I said, it wouldn't necessarily need to be every road, but high capacity, congested ones. For example in Edmonton perhaps the Whitemud, Yellowhead, and Henday would be converted to autonomous only roads to significantly increase their capacity and reduce accidents. You could still get around in your clunker. As far as highways go, same thing with the QE2. You could still use 2A, 22, or other roads to travel, but if you want to use the quickest road, you'll have to have a car capable of autonomous, networked driving.
    I can picture something like BRT, but for automated cars. This is very distant future though. Personally, I thik the "wedge" into driverless tech will be taxis and public transit, and some would say it's already started with the driverless subway system in Vancouver.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Eyes View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Himser View Post
    I bet you could get almost the same boost in quality if you made drivers licances hard to get for people who suck at driving. That person who takes a full light cycle to turn. That person driving 30 in a 50 or 60 zone. That person who hesitates. With proper licencing of those people you could probably close to double the capacity of our roads as it is. Without the driverless aspect.
    Based on your description, the person eliminated would be...YOU!

    Seriously, automated cars are going to be very conservative. One of the problems they're having with them now is they follow the letter to the law and are TOO conservative, so sometimes get stuck at the left turn forever, don't gnudge their way through intersections, etc.

    Humans will never drive as well as automated cars will, for the same reason that if I asked you to do 50 math calculations mentally you'll likely make an error when your calculator won't.
    Haha nah id be in trouble because im a little too aggressive. If someone else hesitates I go.

    On that note. With those problems automates are having. I could cut them off. Go ahead of them etc. Never having to worry about what they do. They would always stop for you. I could see many people taking advantage of that.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Himser View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Eyes View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Himser View Post
    I bet you could get almost the same boost in quality if you made drivers licances hard to get for people who suck at driving. That person who takes a full light cycle to turn. That person driving 30 in a 50 or 60 zone. That person who hesitates. With proper licencing of those people you could probably close to double the capacity of our roads as it is. Without the driverless aspect.
    Based on your description, the person eliminated would be...YOU!

    Seriously, automated cars are going to be very conservative. One of the problems they're having with them now is they follow the letter to the law and are TOO conservative, so sometimes get stuck at the left turn forever, don't gnudge their way through intersections, etc.

    Humans will never drive as well as automated cars will, for the same reason that if I asked you to do 50 math calculations mentally you'll likely make an error when your calculator won't.
    Haha nah id be in trouble because im a little too aggressive. If someone else hesitates I go.

    On that note. With those problems automates are having. I could cut them off. Go ahead of them etc. Never having to worry about what they do. They would always stop for you. I could see many people taking advantage of that.
    It's a really good point. Automated cars will be more efficient IF they all play by the same rules. Always going the posted speed, leaving appropriate stopping distance, always zipper-merging, etc.

    Will human drivers learn to game them?

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Eyes View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Himser View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Eyes View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Himser View Post
    I bet you could get almost the same boost in quality if you made drivers licances hard to get for people who suck at driving. That person who takes a full light cycle to turn. That person driving 30 in a 50 or 60 zone. That person who hesitates. With proper licencing of those people you could probably close to double the capacity of our roads as it is. Without the driverless aspect.
    Based on your description, the person eliminated would be...YOU!

    Seriously, automated cars are going to be very conservative. One of the problems they're having with them now is they follow the letter to the law and are TOO conservative, so sometimes get stuck at the left turn forever, don't gnudge their way through intersections, etc.

    Humans will never drive as well as automated cars will, for the same reason that if I asked you to do 50 math calculations mentally you'll likely make an error when your calculator won't.
    Haha nah id be in trouble because im a little too aggressive. If someone else hesitates I go.

    On that note. With those problems automates are having. I could cut them off. Go ahead of them etc. Never having to worry about what they do. They would always stop for you. I could see many people taking advantage of that.
    It's a really good point. Automated cars will be more efficient IF they all play by the same rules. Always going the posted speed, leaving appropriate stopping distance, always zipper-merging, etc.

    Will human drivers learn to game them?
    Enough sensors on some roads and advances in vehicle sensors and risk detection and you won't need speed limits for the computer driven vehicle. In a transition phase some roads might require drivers to turn operation over to the computers to maximize speed and coordination. Then people would then gladly give up control to, say, get to Calgary in half the time.

  19. #19

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    The economics of privately owned self driving cars does not make sense

    I think you will see self driving transport trucks on the highways where there are huge savings in fuel, time (ability to drive cross country non-stop except for fuel) and eliminate the cost of the driver.

    IMHBO You will see this VV in public transportation long before even a 1% usage of driverless cars.

    http://trak.in/tags/business/2015/02...ransportation/

    http://metrino-prt.com/metrino-prt/
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 26-02-2015 at 09:45 PM.
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    The economics of privately owned self driving cars does not make sense
    Did you once think that about cruise control? I think it will just be option that starts getting added, all it needs is a few sensors (cars are already using radar and similar), and good software,

    I wonder how the computers will manage on snow and ice? Perhaps fine I guess (like stability control), not sure.

  21. #21

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    Cruise control was a cheap option even in the 1970's I remember my Dad buying it in his 76 Mercury. And my Dad was cheap.

    In 1974, AMC, GM, and Chrysler priced the option at $60 to $70, while Ford charged $103
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruise_control

    compared to...

    Google's robotic cars have about $150,000 in equipment including a $70,000 LIDAR system.[
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_driverless_car

    And only a few states allow testing of the technology.
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  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    The economics of privately owned self driving cars does not make sense

    I think you will see self driving transport trucks on the highways where there are huge savings in fuel, time (ability to drive cross country non-stop except for fuel) and eliminate the cost of the driver.

    IMHBO You will see this VV in public transportation long before even a 1% usage of driverless cars.

    http://trak.in/tags/business/2015/02...ransportation/

    http://metrino-prt.com/metrino-prt/
    Never make the mistake of thinking that economics drives all consumer choices.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Cruise control was a cheap option even in the 1970's I remember my Dad buying it in his 76 Mercury. And my Dad was cheap.

    In 1974, AMC, GM, and Chrysler priced the option at $60 to $70, while Ford charged $103
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruise_control

    compared to...

    Google's robotic cars have about $150,000 in equipment including a $70,000 LIDAR system.[
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_driverless_car

    And only a few states allow testing of the technology.
    We're talking computers and software. Watch the prices plummet.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Cruise control was a cheap option even in the 1970's I remember my Dad buying it in his 76 Mercury. And my Dad was cheap.
    It cost a lot more than 100 dollars to develop. It's a bit like developing a brand new fighter jet, or a new phone OS, new technology today often involves millions of lines of computer software code, that's not cheap. It takes years, and a fortune to develop with thousands of programmers (something Google has, and now also reportedly Apple are involved). All those geeks hammering away at it under complex development road maps, but once developed, it takes a few minutes to download it, zero marginal cost to install (but ongoing bug fixes / enhancements).

    This technology will phase in, it is already, many autos now offer safety options that apply the brakes to avoid collision, move the steering to keep in lane, etc. Sure, the modern approach is to start new features as an expensive option (why not? Automakers want to recover the development cost), but eventually it filters down, and even becomes mandated (like stability control). I expect new features will keep being added to current systems, until we end up with something close to what Google has (but a lot cheaper in production, eg simpler sensors, perhaps radar not laser, etc.). Eventually full autonomy will be achieved.
    Last edited by moahunter; 28-02-2015 at 06:30 AM.

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    I wonder if they would swerve around potholes or just hit the big craters and wreck your undercarriage every few kilometres.

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbones View Post
    I wonder if they would swerve around potholes or just hit the big craters and wreck your undercarriage every few kilometres.
    I think you just stumbled onto the magic formula for success in selling SDVs, autocrars, roboV's or whatever marketing come up with.

    Pot Hole Avoidance (PHV) - will be a must have - everyone will want it!!! In the southern states the switch might get flipped so it could be called Rodent Attack Targeting (RAT)

    ...or given user control for Run Rabbits Over or Avoid Roadkill Rabbits (rROARr).
    Last edited by KC; 28-02-2015 at 08:56 AM.

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    I have swerved a few armadillos, they will bust your oil pan or an A frame and rip a wheel half off, like hitting a rock. Here lots of deer on the highway. Sonny Boy and I spotted a total of 17 deer going into town last night. Last year three deer bounded right in front of my truck on the highway. One lay dead and 2 made their way off the road. I had just under $6000 damage. It will be nice when I won't have to worry about such things anymore once I get my new SDV Silverado.

  28. #28

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    In terms of adoption of these vehicles, is it possible that people may not buy them but rent them.

    Cab companies might own all of these things. Think of how people used to buy Tapes and the DVD, albums, books etc. now they just stream or download everything. They rent/stream everything. Could this happen to the automobile? Like an electric utility or a Netflix like company comes along and offers you travel anytime and anywhere their franchise covers for a low fee.

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Cruise control was a cheap option even in the 1970's I remember my Dad buying it in his 76 Mercury. And my Dad was cheap.
    It cost a lot more than 100 dollars to develop. It's a bit like developing a brand new fighter jet, or a new phone OS, new technology today often involves millions of lines of computer software code, that's not cheap. It takes years, and a fortune to develop with thousands of programmers (something Google has, and now also reportedly Apple are involved). All those geeks hammering away at it under complex development road maps, but once developed, it takes a few minutes to download it, zero marginal cost to install (but ongoing bug fixes / enhancements).

    This technology will phase in, it is already, many autos now offer safety options that apply the brakes to avoid collision, move the steering to keep in lane, etc. Sure, the modern approach is to start new features as an expensive option (why not? Automakers want to recover the development cost), but eventually it filters down, and even becomes mandated (like stability control). I expect new features will keep being added to current systems, until we end up with something close to what Google has (but a lot cheaper in production, eg simpler sensors, perhaps radar not laser, etc.). Eventually full autonomy will be achieved.
    Not even a close comparison to cruise control.

    Cruise control did not take much of an effort and was availble in cars over 110 years ago. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilson-Pilcher

    The developments of "safety options that apply the brakes to avoid collision, move the steering to keep in lane" are very limited compared to the complex sensors and computing power required to drive a car autonomously. Even lane control is useless when there is even snow on the ground.

    A self driving car must account not only for stopping and steering but also must have GPS, 360 degree sensing of object around it and a host of other technologies that have been extremely difficult to develop. Just stepping out of your self driving car at the movie theater and expecting it to find a parking space on congested streets by itself is a whole quantum leap in technology compared to applying the brakes on a car that is approaching another car too fast.
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    Me, I don't want any of this stuff. I actually like to drive and be responsible for my own actions.
    Nisi Dominus Frustra

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    X 2!!

    That's why driving my old Volvo in the summer is such a joy. Even my new tacoma has too many interfering systems
    Parkdale

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    I have made a few remarks in this thread but none serious. My serious comment is take this crap and shove it. lol. I can't stand another human driving my car, let alone a computer that I mistrust all the way. It's totally whacked.

  33. #33

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    Today, I have been fighting with my Google Drive application that I uploaded 495 Files, 5 Folders, 257 MB but it refuses to show to the group on the other end, one small 4MB file folder and 4 other small files to my people at the other end.

    I am also fighting today with my Garmin GPS that keeps trying to reboot and thinks it is hooked to my computer when it is just plugged into the lighter socket. Also when I arrive by plane in another city and pull out my GPS, it cannot locate a satellite inside the airport car rental garage. I have to drive outdoors and wait several minutes until it locates itself.

    My wife's Ford Focus alternator light comes on occasionally and they have replaced the alternator when the electrical system failed in the middle of the intersection during rush hour. With the new parts the light still flickers and it has been road tested for 8 hours by a mechanic and it never even flickered once for him so they cannot do a diagnostic and figure out if it just a bad connection somewhere. My neighbours Audi has gone by my house on a flatbed truck at least 3 times since summer as they tray to fix a glitch with the computer.

    These driverless cars are so complex, what is the reaction if even 1% of 1% of millions of drivers have this issue with their car that refuses to budge in the middle of a traffic circle because a sensor got splashed with mud or stuck at the entrance of a Costco or your car decides that a tumbleweed is worth slamming on the brakes from 130km per hour and the 18 wheeler behind you careens into your car leaving you a quadriplegic.

    Look, at how successful Microsoft has been with with their new O/S or how many times during the life of the car do your want to pay for a new software upgrade, replace sensors and wait a week or more for a service guy to throw up his hands in disgust but still sends you a bill for $1200? How about the failure of a simple 57 cent part may have caused more than 150 deaths. Do you really trust GM to make a million super safe cars
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_General_Motors_recall




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    The irony of a PRT advocate claiming that autonomous cars are too complicated to ever be possible is absolutely hilarious.

  35. #35

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    There is a HUGE difference between a grade separated PRT system and a autonomous cars. PRT systems utilize a separated guideway that is free from having to deal with pedestrians, millions of route choices, other cars being driven in unpredictable fashion, road conditions etc.

    There are hundreds of well known automated people movers worldwide
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_mover

    PRT systems have worked successfully in in 100's of thousands of miles tests and the Morgantown system has operated since 1975 without a single injury. All using early 1970's computing power.

    "Since the system's completion in 1975, technology for such systems has advanced considerably, while the control equipment for the Morgantown PRT has changed very little. The control room is said to resemble a NASA mission control room from the 1970s, though the underlying electronics are more modern. Despite these factors, the overall availability of service (98%) exceeds the original design specification of 96.5% availability."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morgant..._Rapid_Transit


    Cabinentaxi was a true PRT system with GRT capabilities a that used multiple sizes of vehicles, bidirectional guideways and less than two second headway capabilities in a system that I bet most Edmontonians would find to be practical and efficient to use on a regular basis

    Cabinentaxi technology logged over 400,000 vehicle-miles between 1975 and 1978 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cabinentaxi

    The Advanced Transit Association (ATRA) has provided this definition of Personal Rapid Transit (PRT):
    • Direct origin-to-destination service with no need to transfer or stop at intermediate stations.
    • Small vehicles available for the exclusive use of an individual or small group traveling together by choice.
    • Service available on demand by the user rather than on fixed schedules.
    • Fully automated vehicles (no human drivers) which can be available for use 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    • Vehicles captive to a guideway that is reserved for their exclusive use.
    • Small (narrow and light) guideways are usually elevated but also can be at or near ground level or underground.
    • Vehicles able to use all guideways and stations on a fully connected PRT network.
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    Complexity is a matter of degree. No question that autonomous cars are complex, and indeed more complex than PRT. But as technology continues to improve, it's silly to claim that any particular problem of complexity will NEVER be able to be addressed, no matter what. In my view, autonomous cars take some of the best elements of PRT and private passenger cars and combine them, the biggest of which is the pre-existing road infrastructure. Even if they are a more difficult problem to solve. Whereas PRT will never make economic sense because of the massive investment required in parallel infrastructure that can't be used for anything else. That limits PRT systems to extremely limited environments, like campuses, airports and the like.

  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Complexity is a matter of degree. No question that autonomous cars are complex, and indeed more complex than PRT. But as technology continues to improve, it's silly to claim that any particular problem of complexity will NEVER be able to be addressed, no matter what. In my view, autonomous cars take some of the best elements of PRT and private passenger cars and combine them, the biggest of which is the pre-existing road infrastructure. Even if they are a more difficult problem to solve. Whereas PRT will never make economic sense because of the massive investment required in parallel infrastructure that can't be used for anything else. That limits PRT systems to extremely limited environments, like campuses, airports and the like.
    Do not lie about what I stated. I never stated that automated cars will NEVER work. I did not use the word never, only you use the word as a hammer to try to make a weak point. One of the reasons that PRT systems and automated people movers are mostly found on campuses and airports is because those are private institutions where low cost transit is the priority whereas in public transit, the unions and bureaucrats that want to protect their interests and are not accountable to the transit user. If municipalities were in control of other forms of transit, we would still have elevator car operators.

    Quaint but redundant.

    On the other hand, you make unsubstantiated claims that PRT will never make economic sense when there are dozens of peer reviewed papers stating that they would.
    http://www.ultraglobalprt.com/about-us/library/papers/

    http://www.bgr.in/news/the-future-is...-metrino-pods/

    http://trak.in/tags/business/2015/02...ransportation/

    BTW, are you suggesting that LRT also will never make economic sense because of the massive investment required in parallel infrastructure that can't be used for anything else?

    If you would stop using absolutes, it would be helpful
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 05-03-2015 at 11:10 AM.
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    You're adorable.

  39. #39

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    You are absolutely right this time...
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  40. #40

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    When I was a kid, I had a remote control car givien to me by some family who had travelled through Singapore. It had a wire that lead to the joystick (showing my age), a bit like those electric lawn mowers. That's what I think of PRT - its basically a wire to guide the car. Robocars will acheive the same benefits, without the wire. And, most of the complexity is just software, once its figured out, it will be much cheaper than all those wires / guiderails everywhere. It was a good idea for its time, but a technological dead end.
    Last edited by moahunter; 05-03-2015 at 12:42 PM.

  41. #41

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    Saw this article in my RSS feeds.

    http://consumerist.com/2015/03/05/st...united-states/

    That looks like... Groat!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    Do not lie about what I stated. I never stated that automated cars will NEVER work. I did not use the word never, only you use the word as a hammer to try to make a weak point.
    What exactly was I to take away from your post #33 then? Not to mention your previous posts discussing cruise controls with moahunter? That autonomous cars ARE possible, but that they will forever be too faulty or dangerous for mass adoption? Or that they ARE possible, will initially be dangerous/faulty, and will improve over time as the technology matures? What exactly was the point you were trying to make with silly cartoons, then? Reading further up thread, all I can see is that you argue that they won't make economic sense because they'll be too expensive, which is a laughably bad argument akin to the apocryphal Thomas Watson quote about IBM only seeing a market for 5 mainframe computers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_...amous_misquote). I mean sure, the prototypes will be expensive. Google is spending who knows how much on them. But the same can be said for nearly every new innovation. Over time, mass adoption and production reduces the cost, and things that were once considered exotic and too expensive to be attainable suddenly become mundane and ubiquitous.

    So if you aren't saying they'll never be workable, what exactly are you saying? That they'll forever be unsafe/unreliable? Or that they'll forever be uneconomic? Or what, exactly?

    As far as PRT goes, if they were such a slam dunk, we would have seen them adopted on a large scale somewhere. There are hundreds of crowded urban municipalities on the planet, many of them not in the thrall of unions and bureaucrats, that would have given them a go if they would make sense. Think Singapore, or Hong Kong, where authoritarian "executives" could easily have gone ahead with PRT if they felt it was a far better alternative or supplement to traditional private passenger vehicles and mass transit. Yet it hasn't happened anywhere but extremely specialized locations, despite being a twinkle in the eye of countless people over the years. I wonder why? Couldn't be that the system is fundamentally unworkable on a large scale?

    Nah, must be a conspiracy to keep a good idea down.
    Last edited by Marcel Petrin; 05-03-2015 at 03:02 PM.

  43. #43

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    ^ WOW, such venom!!!

    Man you jump to hasty conclusions, hyperbole, cognitive distortions

    Gas savings are not a big economic advantage for most commuters. You save maybe $10 a week but have to fork out more on buying the car and maintaining it?

    Read my post #19. Just because I caution the difficulties of a huge paradigm shift in technology and transportation does not mean that I am against it or that it won't happen, I just state that it will be much more difficult and with a lot of issues including legal responsibilities in the litigious world we live in. Look, they can't even get a Google car to navigate a snowy street, barely a wet one.


    I remember all the plans in the 60's that said by the late 70's we would have bases on the moon.



    What happened? 40 year later, no one even has even put up an outhouse...

    By now we all should be taking Segways, flying cars and work in paperless offices.

    All it takes to change technology is a one of these...



    Technology sometimes just does not take off as expected. Just look at PRT.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 05-03-2015 at 05:43 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    ^ WOW, such venom!!!
    I don't really think that there was much venom in my post at all. Let's not forget that you started the festivities by outright accusing me of "lying" about what you said, when the fact is you seem unable to make a concrete point about the topic and just bounce from one weak argument to the next.

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT
    Technology sometimes just does not take off as expected. Just look at PRT.
    That's certainly true, and it's entirely possible that it takes longer than many of the experts expect for autonomous cars to come to fruition and become widely adopted. But whether it takes 10 years or 30, it will happen eventually. The ever growing power of computing will see to that, as we're starting to hit the back half of the chess board: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheat_...the_chessboard

    Things like moon bases, flying cars etc. are primarily limited by physics and materials engineering. It takes a massive amount of energy to launch a load to the moon, and no technology that we currently possess or are likely to in the near to mid future will change that. Things like rocket power, material strength vs weight ratios, battery capacity and so on are all increasing linearly. Computing power is a totally different ball game. And that's ultimately what is going to allow things like autonomous cars to happen. Betting against it is not going to be easy money.
    Last edited by Marcel Petrin; 06-03-2015 at 08:55 AM.

  45. #45

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    Self-driving cars in theory sound nice.

    But we already have self-driving vehicles. They're called trains.

    What if a self-driving vehicle suddenly malfunctions and crashes into a group of kids crossing the street?

    I think Ford's "park-assist" is about as close as we'll come.

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    I agree. It's ludicrous.

  47. #47

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    To understand why self-driving cars will evolve and eventually prevail one has to get out of the mindset that they will be designed to operate like cars do now, but just without a driver.

    For example, watch this simulation how driverless cars could navigate an intersection: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4pbAI40dK0A

    I'll pre-empt criticism of the simulation: imagine if you showed someone in the 1800's today's modern expressway system and what they would have said then.

    As for the nostalgia and romance of driving your own car, I am sometimes one of those people, I love long drives, but I also see my car as a tool and not an extension of my personality. For the millenials, even less so. As roads get more crowded, commutes get more stressful, today's younger generations aren't buying into the same bullcrap older generations bought into.

  48. #48

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    Driverless cars cannot navigate snow covered streets.

    I highly doubt that even park assist will work on snow covered parking spots.





    UPDATE 1/17/14: After 68 days in the shop, Ford finally decided to buy my car back!!


    How to Use the Ford Active ParkAssist Feature: 14 Steps
    http://www.wikihow.com/Use-the-Ford-...Assist-Feature

    ONLY 14 steps...


    http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/m...-required.html
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  49. #49

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    ^

    You think that's insurmountable? Likely they just haven't begun publicly announced development for adverse conditions since they haveb't perfected it under perfect conditions.

  50. #50

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    Not insurmountable. Just may take decades to be practical and affordable.

    Meanwhile...

    Self driving automated transit in snow.
    source Photo by Alan M.

    Heathrow airport
    source



    Source
    Cabinentaxi video (1972, YouTube) Hamburg deployment study Cabintaxi in snow, showing mergepoint

    source


    Now, don't get me wrong.

    Even some PRT technology is too complex in my opinion. ULTra PRT's are the closest to self driving cars and they use a complex sensor technology. I much prefer the simpler Vectus or the Cabinentaxi system that used 1970's technology. With a guideway, the basic technology is accelerating, stopping and switching direction. Much easier to design and far fewer issues.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 14-03-2015 at 10:20 AM.
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  51. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Not insurmountable. Just may take decades to be practical and affordable.
    I assume you are talking about how long it will take to install PRT tracks before it would <bold>

    Can you and Marcel take this PRT discussion to the PRT thread(s)

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    Makes a snarky comment about PRT, then complains that PRT discussion is in the wrong thread.

    Makes sense.

  53. #53

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    *pats Marcel on the head* there, there. it will be okay. Everything is okay.

  54. #54

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    Google wants self-driving cars by 2020: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-31931914

    The director of Google's self-drive car project has revealed his motivation for ensuring that the technology is standard on roads within five years.

    Chris Urmson told delegates at the Ted (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference that his eldest son was 11-years-old and due to take his driving test in "four and a half years".

    "My team are committed to making sure that doesn't happen," he said.

  55. #55

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    I wouldn't be surprised if Google lobbies for this...

    Sobriety tests in all new cars might prevent most drunk driving deaths | Reuters
    BY LISA RAPAPORT, Mar 19, 2015

    "Then, they estimated the numbers of deaths and injuries that could be prevented in the first year that all new cars sold had screening systems, and assumed it would take 15 years for older models to be replaced with new vehicles.

    Over the 15-year implementation period, interlocks may eliminate about $343 billion in costs from fatalities and injuries related to drunk driving, the researchers estimate. Assuming the device costs $400 per vehicle and is 100 percent accurate, the interlock would pay for itself after three years by way of avoided injury costs.

    "The technology is at this point pretty strong, and when implemented at a population level will be negligible in terms of the sticker price of a car," said Jacob Nelson, director of traffic safety advocacy and research for AAA. To be widely adopted, it will need to be a rapid test that's reliable and doesn't inconvenience drivers, added Nelson, who wasn't involved in the study."

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/...0MF2J920150319
    Last edited by KC; 22-03-2015 at 06:10 AM.

  56. #56

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    So how will Edmonton's urban architecture/transportation/infrastructure design in a world of self-driving cars?

  57. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    So how will Edmonton's urban architecture/transportation/infrastructure design in a world of self-driving cars?

    Not. Self driving cars do not work on snow covered streets.

    http://www.autoinsurancecenter.com/t...iving-cars.htm
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  58. #58

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    There's a lot of obstacles to overcome, off the top of my head:

    1. Changes in speed limit
    2. Autonomous Cars - how is it going to cope with construction? Is it going to run me off a bridge that's under construction like my GPS system
    3. Winter driving...always fun. Are we going to teach it unsafe driving that's only allowed and expected on icy roads (step on the gas if you see the light turn yellow) cause stopping = tailspin

    And maybe I've been watching too much sci-fi but I don't want someone to hack my car system and use me as their remote controlled vehicle.

  59. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    So how will Edmonton's urban architecture/transportation/infrastructure design in a world of self-driving cars?

    Not. Self driving cars do not work on snow covered streets.

    http://www.autoinsurancecenter.com/t...iving-cars.htm
    Not now they don't.

    My first computer didn't work on snow covered streets either - even though it was a portable.


    Before the PC: Remembering Kaypro and Osborne Computers
    http://www.quepublishing.com/article...aspx?p=2176003

  60. #60

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    Non sequitur
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  61. #61

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    A lot of things do work in the snow, like ABS and stability control, I expect it won't take much for the software to be written to deal with these weather conditions, probably more accuratley than humans deal with them. Its not like humans can see black ice either, but a computer will react way faster to it once encountered / traction loss.

  62. #62

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    So your robot car decides to drive 110km on a black ice covered highway because it does not sense the condition and when it has to stop, it can't and wraps itself around a pole. You go to the morgue to go see your teen age child.

    I would rather be in control and be a defensive driver that can rationalize that the road is slick and possibly black ice and drive at a reasonable speed based upon my experience and observable conditions.

    Your faith in technology that cannot even find a lane covered in ice or snow is boundless.
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  63. #63

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    ^

    Once self-driving cars hit the market, they'll be overwhelmingly safer than human-controlled cars. By then, they'll have driven millions of error-free miles in all conditions. They won't suffer from fatigue, impatience, aggression, over confidence, lack of confience, or distraction. The risk from the odd glitch that happens now and then because there's an stampede of elephants on unicycles riding down the highway during a hailstorm, will be far outweighed by the mitigated risk from human error. When an old lady drives down the freeway the wrong way, we will shake our heads and do nothing. When a self-driving car glitches out, there'll be a massive investigation and inquiry to ensure it doesn't happen again in a similar situation.

    Some people will always be irrational about it. Like the people who choose to drive a car instead of fly in an airplane under a misguided belief they are safer when they drive, despite being overwhelmingly statistically safer in the latter option.
    Last edited by Snake Eyes; 16-04-2015 at 12:53 PM.

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  65. #65

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    So your robot car decides to drive 110km on a black ice covered highway because it does not sense the condition and when it has to stop, it can't and wraps itself around a pole. You go to the morgue to go see your teen age child.

    I would rather be in control and be a defensive driver that can rationalize that the road is slick and possibly black ice and drive at a reasonable speed based upon my experience and observable conditions.

    Your faith in technology that cannot even find a lane covered in ice or snow is boundless.
    Some minds aren't so bound by today's realities.

    Slippery surface? Ice detector warns drivers in advance -- ScienceDaily

    January 23, 2013
    Source:
    Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT)
    Summary:
    New technology makes driving on black ice safer. Engineers have developed an automatic slipperiness detection system for cars. Thanks to the system, vehicles are warned in advance of a road's actual slipperiness. If the road becomes slippery, other vehicles arriving in the area will also be warned immediately.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases...0123094122.htm

  66. #66

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Non sequitur
    Inferential sequitur

  67. #67

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Eyes View Post
    ^

    Once self-driving cars hit the market, they'll be overwhelmingly safer than human-controlled cars. By then, they'll have driven millions of error-free miles in all conditions. They won't suffer from fatigue, impatience, aggression, over confidence, lack of confidence, or distraction. The risk from the odd glitch that happens now and then because there's an stampede of elephants on unicycles riding down the highway during a hailstorm, will be far outweighed by the mitigated risk from human error. When an old lady drives down the freeway the wrong way, we will shake our heads and do nothing. When a self-driving car glitches out, there'll be a massive investigation and inquiry to ensure it doesn't happen again in a similar situation.

    Some people will always be irrational about it. Like the people who choose to drive a car instead of fly in an airplane under a misguided belief they are safer when they drive, despite being overwhelmingly statistically safer in the latter option.
    Great debate until you painted the other side as irrational and suggest "stampede of elephants on unicycles riding down the highway during a hailstorm," is the only thing that would be a glitch.

    Talked with my neighbour last night. He has a new car, a Lexus ES 350. I asked "What happened to your Audi A6?" He said that "In 14 months, it spent over 9 weeks in the shop. and I just wanted to get rid of it."

    Why was it is the shop so long? According to my neighbour, mostly computer and sensor related issues that they could not solve. They replaced the main computer 3 times, replaced the engine management system, replaced transmission sensors, engine sensors, wiring harnesses, fuel sensors and took apart the transmission twice and could not solve the problems. The GPS system was also faulty as well as weird things like alternator light would come on without even having the key in the ignition or the security system would refuse to open the doors. He had it towed more times than he could count.

    He bought the Lexus because it was an excellent reliability record.

    I asked him what he thought of self driving cars and airplanes.
    He said that he hopes they are not built by Audi.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 17-04-2015 at 07:27 AM.
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    Audi's reputation lives on.

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    ^ Audis are wonderful drivers cars, but they are brutal when it comes to maintenance and repairs. Always have been
    Parkdale

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    Personally I can't stand the steering in every Audi I've ever driven, other than the R8 of course. So light and mushy, it's gross. I've never personally owned one, but my dad and brother have had more than a few. For pure driving pleasure, BMW's blow them away. But Audi's definitely have better interiors, although it seems like all the audio/nav controls work the exact opposite of what you'd intuitively expect them to, if only to differentiate themselves from BMW. Annoying.

    Quality wise, Audi's rep is pretty bad, but I sometimes wonder if that's more because there's only one dealer in Edmonton that has well earned it's reputation. At least with BMW's there's a semblance of competition, although I'm not really a big fan of either of them either.

  71. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by 240GLT View Post
    ^ Audis are wonderful drivers cars, but they are brutal when it comes to maintenance and repairs. Always have been
    Volkswagen's pretty sister but same bad DNA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    Personally I can't stand the steering in every Audi I've ever driven, other than the R8 of course. So light and mushy, it's gross. I've never personally owned one, but my dad and brother have had more than a few. For pure driving pleasure, BMW's blow them away. But Audi's definitely have better interiors, although it seems like all the audio/nav controls work the exact opposite of what you'd intuitively expect them to, if only to differentiate themselves from BMW. Annoying.

    Quality wise, Audi's rep is pretty bad, but I sometimes wonder if that's more because there's only one dealer in Edmonton that has well earned it's reputation. At least with BMW's there's a semblance of competition, although I'm not really a big fan of either of them either.
    No, Audi's bad rep extends well beyond Edmonton. My Dad owned one in BC and I've known piles of people who have owned them in other places, same verdict. The old 5000 that I drove in high school had the same problems that people are still reporting (bad fuel systems, electronics, transmissions)

    I love how Audi's handle personally. I've nver driven a "sporty" BMW, but have driven plenty of their luxo-liners (735, 850, M5) and love how they feel too
    Parkdale

  73. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Snake Eyes View Post
    ^

    Once self-driving cars hit the market, they'll be overwhelmingly safer than human-controlled cars. By then, they'll have driven millions of error-free miles in all conditions. They won't suffer from fatigue, impatience, aggression, over confidence, lack of confidence, or distraction. The risk from the odd glitch that happens now and then because there's an stampede of elephants on unicycles riding down the highway during a hailstorm, will be far outweighed by the mitigated risk from human error. When an old lady drives down the freeway the wrong way, we will shake our heads and do nothing. When a self-driving car glitches out, there'll be a massive investigation and inquiry to ensure it doesn't happen again in a similar situation.

    Some people will always be irrational about it. Like the people who choose to drive a car instead of fly in an airplane under a misguided belief they are safer when they drive, despite being overwhelmingly statistically safer in the latter option.
    Great debate until you painted the other side as irrational and suggest "stampede of elephants on unicycles riding down the highway during a hailstorm," is the only thing that would be a glitch.

    Talked with my neighbour last night. He has a new car, a Lexus ES 350. I asked "What happened to your Audi A6?" He said that "In 14 months, it spent over 9 weeks in the shop. and I just wanted to get rid of it."

    Why was it is the shop so long? According to my neighbour, mostly computer and sensor related issues that they could not solve. They replaced the main computer 3 times, replaced the engine management system, replaced transmission sensors, engine sensors, wiring harnesses, fuel sensors and took apart the transmission twice and could not solve the problems. The GPS system was also faulty as well as weird things like alternator light would come on without even having the key in the ignition or the security system would refuse to open the doors. He had it towed more times than he could count.

    He bought the Lexus because it was an excellent reliability record.

    I asked him what he thought of self driving cars and airplanes.
    He said that he hopes they are not built by Audi.
    People love their Audis and VWs but dispise the VW servicing. You just don't hear people buying Lexus having anywhere near the problems. It's like Apple vs. MSFt.

    So you have a great point. The future driverless car market will instantly be filled with the lower cost, lower reliability crap from makers of substandard products. As with public behavior (swearing, spitting, littering, etc.) people often shift society's expectations towards the lowest common denominator, and everyone has to live with the consequences, and that would be a real problem when it comes to automated vehicles.

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    HumanS put a man on the moon in the 70's im pretty sure we can make self driving cars in the next few decades.

    Thinking otherwise shows an alarming ignorance of technology.

    Hell there are cars that can already do cross country freeway drives unaided. Adaptive cruise and lane monitoring is also already in cars

    As for cars dealing with the unexpected, the solution is for all cars to talk to each other using short range comms sending telemetry data.
    be offended! figure out why later...

  75. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post

    Great debate until you painted the other side as irrational and suggest "stampede of elephants on unicycles riding down the highway during a hailstorm," is the only thing that would be a glitch.
    I didn't suggest that the could be the only glitch, I picked a ridiculous example to suggest it's absolutely impossible to plan for everything. The airline industry is incredibly safe, yet there exists people who still have an irrational fear of flying; and also, despite that incredibly safe record, after many decades there is still the very rare glitch or breakdown in protocol that causes major incidents. That was the point I was trying to make.

    Of course the self-driving car industry isn't just going to arrive tomorrow and everyone sell their cars off and pick up a self-driving. But let's flashback to about 1985, barely a generation ago, and imagine we were having a conversation then that 98% of the population would have a computer at their hands by 2015 and be using it from everything to their jobs, for their tvs, their phones, using a completely brand new language -- you would be mocking kids Atari systems. Where are we going to be 30 years from now?
    Last edited by Snake Eyes; 19-04-2015 at 08:01 PM.

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    Where are we going to be 30 years from now?
    Compact Discs will be all the rage

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    Laser discs
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  78. #78

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    Dumb terminals all hooked up to a cloud, sorry, "mainframe" computer. Or, is it, terminally dumb users...

  79. #79

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    ]
    Where are we going to be 30 years from now?
    No robot cars. We will just teleport ourselves from place to place. We will also just move things by just using our minds. I fact I was raking the lawn yesterday using my mind while watching sports on TV. My wife said that I missed spot along the hedge. Dam beta version glitch.

    I have a magazine front 1963 that predicted what the world would belike in the year 2000, 37 years from then. The guy was amazingly accurate in predicting that you would be able to check the sex and health of a baby on the womb, if your $75 watch broke you would just throw it away because it would be cheaper than repairing it and that every home would have a computer terminal hooked up to something like the Library of Congress whee you could get information about anything. If you asked about bomb making or insurection, you might get a visit from the authorities.

    What he got wrong was that in the year 2000, you would go out to work in the morning and in your driveway was your car. You would turn it on and it would levitate 6 feet and automatically drive you to work.
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  80. #80

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    There is massive money and corporate muscle behind the push for driverless cars. In the long run, I think it would be a bad bet to bet against them.

  81. #81

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    Two great books but decades apart.



    Will robocars make it a trilogy series?
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  82. #82

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    Cars have become incredibly safer in the last few decades, thanks to in part, people like Ralph Nader. What has not changed is the human factor (which is getting worse, if anything).

    Again, when granny goes up the freeway the wrong way and causes an accident, we all shrug our shoulders. When a self-driving car eventually glitches out and causes an accident, the media will lose their minds and Google/Tesla/Nissan will go in overdrive to fix it.

  83. #83

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    It is interesting though, that we don't yet have self-driving planes, trains and ships. I'd guess that these would be easier to implement.

    We do have self parking cars. Has the market accepted those?

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    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    It is interesting though, that we don't yet have self-driving planes, trains and ships. I'd guess that these would be easier to implement.
    They were.

    The first automated trains were in 1967. Ships and planes have had very sophisticated autopilots for a long time as well.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  85. #85

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    We used to have elevator operators. We have had automated elevators for decades.
    Autopilot was developed to allow airplanes to fly a plane on a straight and level course on long flights has been around for nearly a century.
    We have had automated autonomous airplanes since 1918.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kettering_Bug
    The Kettering Bug, a successful implementation of the Sperry autopilot in the world’s first cruise missile in 1918.
    Automating an elevator, ship or airplane is one thing where the mode is either on a guide way or the interaction with other vehicles is limited. Adding a million dollars of sensors and computers to a huge ship or expensive airplane does not translate easily to a Chevy Cobalt where GM shaves pennies even knowing that a faulty ignition switch has killed people. We all know that driving a car requires many more decisions and interactions with a complex system of roads, alleys, parking stalls, other vehicles, pedestrians etc.

    Not too many pedestrians or cyclists found in the Atlantic at sea level or 40,000 feet or icy roads and 80 year old grannies who refuse to buy a robot car.


    A story of the dangers of not manning the controls.
    ONE MORE BIT OF AVIATION HISTORY
    Lawrence Sperry was known as quite a ladies’ man and had a penchant for wild parties — he was single, handsome and wealthy, a potent combination. Even there, his autopilot had a role — and one day in November 1916 he demonstrated his trust in the system when he took a married socialite, Mrs. Waldo Polk, for a training flight offshore near Babylon, New York. Turning over the controls to his autopilot, the two proceeded to engage in something of an aerial tryst. Mrs. Polk’s husband was away in France volunteering for France as an ambulance driver during the war, leaving her “unattended” and, with the wealthy Lawrence Sperry close at hand, she decided to take up flying lessons.
    The day didn’t end well when Sperry accidentally bumped the gyro platform while “involved” with Mrs. Polk. The seaplane then flew a descending curve dictated by the misaligned gyro instead of staying on course. It crashed into the waters of the bay. Luckily, two duck hunters were nearby and paddled over to rescue the naked pair. Initially, Sperry maintained that the force of impact had ripped off their clothes. However, his reputation as something of a playboy lead one tabloid to run the more accurate headline, “AERIAL PETTING – ENDS IN WETTING”. Later, Sperry would confide to a friend that the story was accurate. Mrs. Polk ultimately qualified for her pilot certificate — without any further autopilot incidents.
    Last edited by Edmonton PRT; 21-04-2015 at 07:23 AM.
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  86. #86

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    ^ & ^^ So self-driving cars may never come to be in the purest form. Like planes, ships, etc. will pilots still be needed? Evolutionary change, not revolutionary change?

  87. #87

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    Google has stated they want a completely autonomous driverless car, no human driver needed. The other major players are more tempered and in the near-future are envisioning semi-autonomous cars across the spectrum of what semi-autonomous could mean. On the smallest end, they of course already exist with features like cruise control and park assist.

    There are a few advantages of developing driverless cars that I can see. There are far more cars than planes or trains. The life-cycle of cars is much shorter than the other vehicles. There are far more auto-related collisions and fatalities. There's a psychological factor -- once people start to trust their driverless cars, they'll be more likely to trust other driverless modes like planes. Finally, if you think of your time as labour, with a car,you have one person transporting 1-4 person, or at most a few thousand in cargo; whereas with trains and planes, you have a couple of people transporting dozens or hundreds of people, or millions in cargo.
    Last edited by Snake Eyes; 21-04-2015 at 10:36 AM.

  88. #88

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    Automating long haul trucking even just between cities to truck terminals make more economic sense because of shortages in the truck driving industry and the cost of drivers. There is much less benefit saving Granny from driving because there is no cost savings as people are not paid to drive to the mall or companies will not gain more work hours from their staff as they commute to work. Nick & Sally office worker will talk on their cell phones and play video games while commuting, not doing spread sheets.
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  89. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edmonton PRT View Post
    Automating long haul trucking even just between cities to truck terminals make more economic sense because of shortages in the truck driving industry and the cost of drivers. There is much less benefit saving Granny from driving because there is no cost savings as people are not paid to drive to the mall or companies will not gain more work hours from their staff as they commute to work. Nick & Sally office worker will talk on their cell phones and play video games while commuting, not doing spread sheets.
    Ahh but the older people will jump at the chance to cut their insurance costs while maintaining their independence. ( A loss of a drivers license is a major blow to many seniors.). Parents of teens footing high insurance bills and worrying about their children drinking and driving, etc. will also embrace the technology.

    Highway speeds could be upped in a world of driverless cars. Commute times reduced as systems coordinate vehicle speeds and routes and eliminate the need for vehicle traffic lights.

    Inside travel pods people may work, or play with their electronics, or sleep, etc. People may even save on hotel rooms on vacations by travelling at night, sleeping all, the way to their next destination like on a cruise ship. You could buy goods on the way to a destination and an Amazon drone could drop them through your sunroof as you travel. No more need to stop at McDonald's or Starbucks anymore as flying saucers will serve you. Communication, processing speed, predictability, consistency and standardization can do wonders to coordinate previously complex systems. (And we already have vast process control technology experience from automated factories.)
    Last edited by KC; 21-04-2015 at 11:48 AM.

  90. #90

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    ^^

    Technology for driverless cars and driverless trucks is not mutually exclusive. I'm sure once the technology becomes proven transport companies will be salivating at the potential. Even if they need a driver to accompany the goods, the increase in mileage and reduced insurance risks would make it worth it.

    Also, they are already using driverless trucks in the mining operations in Australia. http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30084997

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    The Rise of Automated Cars Will Kill Thousands of Jobs Beyond Driving
    ...
    In the world that Google envisions, robotic cars will be concentrated into fleets. Maintenance, repair, insurance, and fueling would likewise be centralized. Untold thousands of small businesses, and the jobs associated with them, would evaporate. To get a sense of just how many jobs might be at risk, consider that, in Los Angeles alone, about 10,000 people work in car washes.
    http://gizmodo.com/the-rise-of-autom...d-n-1702689348

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    Would these maintenance, repair, fueling etc shops not require humans?

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    ^The point, I think (the article doesn't show well on my computer), is there will be a lot less accidents, so there won't be a need for as many pannelbeaters, insurance will become less important / costly, etc. Also, if we get to the point where cars can fully control themselves, perhaps we won't need dozen's of repair shops, it could just be one massive one that all cars drive to? It would pehaps need people still, but there would be economies of scale.

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    It is rather mindboggling to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^The point, I think (the article doesn't show well on my computer), is there will be a lot less accidents, so there won't be a need for as many pannelbeaters, insurance will become less important / costly, etc. Also, if we get to the point where cars can fully control themselves, perhaps we won't need dozen's of repair shops, it could just be one massive one that all cars drive to? It would pehaps need people still, but there would be economies of scale.
    You completely missed the point. The point was that in future, if self-driving cars become widespread, there's a good possibility that they will become almost a public utility, with shared ownership. There's little reason for every household to own 1 or 2 cars which sit idle 90-95% of the time. For the overall economy that's probably a good thing, as it's not overly productive to have tens of millions of surplus vehicles that mostly sit idle. But it could see a massive fall off in vehicle production, maintenance, and repairs.

    That sort of eventuality is a long, long, LONG ways off though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmodo article
    If the individual-ownership model for cars ultimately falls, the impact on broad swathes of the economy and job market would be extraordinary. Think of all the car dealers, independent repair shops, and gas stations within a few miles of your home. Their existence is all tied directly to the fact that automobile ownership is widely distributed.

    In the world that Google envisions, robotic cars will be concentrated into fleets. Maintenance, repair, insurance, and fueling would likewise be centralized. Untold thousands of small businesses, and the jobs associated with them, would evaporate. To get a sense of just how many jobs might be at risk, consider that, in Los Angeles alone, about 10,000 people work in car washes.
    Last edited by Marcel Petrin; 08-05-2015 at 11:38 AM.

  97. #97

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    The social consequences of Robotic automation is something we have not really grasped as a society yet. So far, it has served us well, only replacing the most menial tasks and freeing up human capital for higher order tasks. However we've only seen the tip of the iceberg, and more and more, jobs we think can only be performed by people will be able to be automated. That includes even doctors, lawyers, journalists, even computer programmers and the people who build the robots. Learning to catch up with consequences of automation may end up being the biggest challenge and legacy of the late 21st century.

  98. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel Petrin View Post
    You completely missed the point. The point was that in future, if self-driving cars become widespread, there's a good possibility that they will become almost a public utility, with shared ownership. There's little reason for every household to own 1 or 2 cars which sit idle 90-95% of the time.
    As noted, I couldn't read the article. I think that's not going to happen / is ridiculous. People aren't going to stop liking their cars because they don't have to drive them. People are still going to want a car with an interior and exterior style that suits them, I don't think most people wanna use shared vehicles that other peoples teenagers are having sex in.

  99. #99

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    Self driving cars and trucks may be a good idea but there are issues that they cannot resolve.

    Last night I was driving on the 401 hwy in Ontario and I noticed a semi with a clear plastic about 12 feet long and 8 ft wide flapping behind the trailer. As I got closer I noticed a strap with the metal buckle striking the pavement and flying wildly behind the trailer, sometimes bouncing into the left lane.

    I passed the track, pulled in front, hit the flashers and signaled him to pull over. How would you pull over a robo truck with a dangerous condition?

    I was in Manhattan the week before and there they have traffic cops directing traffic. Will robo cars be able to read hand signals and go as directed through red lights?


    http://stock-clip.com/video-footage/traffic+cops/4

    I was on Keele street in T.O. on wednesday and in heavy traffic a fire truck came up the opposite direction on the road to get around jammed traffic. Drivers pulled mostly to the right and a few to the left to make way for the fire truck. How would Robo cars react? Just stop in the middle of the lane?
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  100. #100

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    Self-driving car slams into man while testing its ‘pedestrian detection’ feature
    Ollie McAteer for Metro.co.uk Wednesday 27 May 2015


    Bit awkward for Volvo.
    One of their new self-driving cars was testing a ‘pedestrian detection’ feature when it rammed into someone.
    The XC60 is seen reversing in a Dominican Republic car park.
    It then accelerates forwards and smashes into a bloke with his hands in his pockets who put too much trust in the machine.


    http://metro.co.uk/2015/05/27/self-d...ature-5216867/

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