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If cars could drive themselves, how many would we need?


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#51 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 23:22

The initial theme of this thread is self driving cars,, Though I doubt it will ever happen. 

In todays news a driver slavishly following his GPS turned up a trainline. Silly but happens far too often. Self driving cars will rely totally on GPS, any computer 'brain' in the car will still be controlled by GPS. Topography however changes by the hour, roadworks, simple accidents [ roads are often closed for hours for many reasons]  inclement conditions, making any real time upgrades near impossible. So either the car crashes, or more likely just grinds to a halt as it is effectivly lost. Which in turns cauuses chaos with all the other self drivers. The human brain is often very flawed but its ability [normally] to think for itself at least resolves the majority of these issues.

Watching air disaster shows on TV also scares me, planes get lost, planes do all sorts of silly things because of the computers, though the pilots often have a real problem deciphering the problem and or then taking control. And airspace has about one millionth of the traffic per km.

As for public transport? How many of you have met or ridden with bus drivers? Or almost worse cab drivers. Most scare the hell out of me. How they get a drivers liscence often defies any logic. And the number of them involved in accidents is very high.



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#52 Greg Locock

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Posted 25 April 2014 - 23:50

" Self driving cars will rely totally on GPS, any computer 'brain' in the car will still be controlled by GPS."

 

Sure that's where they'll get their sense of direction from, it is not how they drive down the road. That's the advantage of the evolutionary approach, once you've got a car that understands lane keeping and collision avoidance basically the only bit left to figure out is turnoffs. I agree that's a big challenge, it may even need Car2X where X is roadsigns in this case. That seems cheap and easy. Caar2Pedestrian is more important in SE Asia, fortunately the ubiquity of cell phones solves that, pedestrians in street markets can be detected via their phones, and their trajectories plotted. 



#53 Catalina Park

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Posted 26 April 2014 - 07:57

It beats me why they ever took the drivers out of elevators.

#54 saudoso

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 09:58

Since you mentioned elevators, removing their conuctors did nothing to the number of cars in use.



#55 275 GTB-4

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 11:03

Since you mentioned elevators, removing their conuctors did nothing to the number of cars in use.


But it did change their efficiency.

A driver would hold the car until a reasonable group was assembled then drop them off at their chosen floors. Nowadays you race up to an elevator only to find some "bad person" hides in the corner and slams the door in your face. Not to mention those who cannot resist pressing all the buttons before getting out...etc etc

#56 CSquared

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Posted 29 April 2014 - 19:26

Small update posted on Google's blog. They're at almost 700,000 autonomous miles now. http://googleblog.bl...riving-car.html



#57 gruntguru

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 05:30

Impressive. All the Wally's out there who think computers will never make safer drivers than humans better think again.



#58 Greg Locock

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 06:19

Um, I'm also on a forum where the libertarian gun nut philosophy is mainstream. Their attitude is that even if it is safer to have a robot driver, it is an infringement on their rights to insist on having one. At that point, even as a 53 year old male, it is hard not to go all  South Park at them. 



#59 gruntguru

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 07:18

I think the mandatory autonomous vehicle is a long way off - perhaps several decades after commercial availability. By then those nut-jobs will be dead and most folks will be living happily with autonomous EV's. (Thought I'd throw "EV" in to stir the pot a little further)



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#60 indigoid

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 08:24

Um, I'm also on a forum where the libertarian gun nut philosophy is mainstream. Their attitude is that even if it is safer to have a robot driver, it is an infringement on their rights to insist on having one. At that point, even as a 53 year old male, it is hard not to go all  South Park at them. 

 

I immediately thought of this: http://usatoday30.us...est-death_n.htm



#61 CSquared

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 20:57

Where'd this mandatory idea come from? I'd be against that, too, 'cuz I'm an enthusiast who likes to drive, but as far as I can tell it's not a real issue.



#62 275 GTB-4

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Posted 01 May 2014 - 23:06

Impressive. All the Wally's out there who think computers will never make safer drivers than humans better think again.


heee hee hee...



#63 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 00:11

So, roughly 200k in typical use and an additional 100k at peak demand.  Can anyone see how auto manufacturers are going to let go of 66% of their business without a fight?

 

Auto manufacturers' business is not measured in total cars on the road, it's measured in how many cars they sell each year.  You may need less of autonomous cars, but they'll be putting on a lot more miles per year, so they'll need to be replaced more often.  There two effects probably won't wash completely, I would imagine that the ratio of passenger-miles to car-miles would increase with autonomous cars, but it would be a less dramatic falloff in business than you make it sound.



#64 indigoid

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Posted 02 May 2014 - 08:11

Auto manufacturers' business is not measured in total cars on the road, it's measured in how many cars they sell each year.  You may need less of autonomous cars, but they'll be putting on a lot more miles per year, so they'll need to be replaced more often.  There two effects probably won't wash completely, I would imagine that the ratio of passenger-miles to car-miles would increase with autonomous cars, but it would be a less dramatic falloff in business than you make it sound.

 

 

I would like to see data on the cost of vehicle wear & tear for human drivers vs. robot drivers. I guess at this point the only party likely to have substantial body of data for robot drivers is Google. Will have a look over the weekend.



#65 gruntguru

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 05:58

I would wager my house on the robot driver.

 

After all it will be programmed by humans and the operating limits can be set to optimise the trade off between component lifing and vehicle performance. Wear and tear occurs primarily during infrequent extreme events - not during the normal operation that represents 99% of the vehicle's life. Tyres and brake pads are a good example - a slightly "more agressive" driver can easily halve the life of those items.



#66 indigoid

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 02:00

I would wager my house on the robot driver.

 

Oh I have no doubt of that at all.

 

Just wondering about the extent of the difference and how not having humans putting unnecessary wear on the cars might slow down sales.



#67 pdac

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 21:43

A lot of effort going into personal transport, but I would say that's way off being accepted generally. I am sure that the technology will be applied to goods vehicles and public transport first. I remember when the Victoria line was added to the London Underground system and the trains they introduced were capable of running driverless. As far as I am aware, they still don't run that way - and that's well over 40 years now.



#68 gruntguru

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 22:44

The cost/benefit is not as great for the large vehicles you mention. The benefit from eliminating a driver is low when he is highly productive ie driving dozens of passengers or thousands of kilos of freight. Add to that the higher risk - a system failure risks the lives of many passengers or high value freight. It is likely that vehicles in these categories will be developed to have autonomous capabilities while still retaining a human as a fail safe measure.



#69 275 GTB-4

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 23:33

I would wager my house on the robot driver.


are Batteries included with the Robot Driver ? :rolleyes:



#70 gruntguru

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 03:07

are Batteries included with the Robot Driver ? :rolleyes:

No batteries - he is coal-fired.



#71 mariner

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 08:52

here is a description of truck platooning to save fuel

 

 - a technology being tested to make long-distance lorry driving more fuel-efficient and less polluting.

Using wireless technology, the lead truck, operated by a trained driver, controls the convoy behind it. When he brakes, the other lorries brake automatically; when he steers, they steer, too.

Radar-based "adaptive cruise control" ensures all trucks are travelling at a consistently safe distance from each other.

 

As the vehicles shelter behind each other in the "road train", aerodynamic drag resistance is reduced leading to 15% fuel savings, advocates of the technology say.

"Platooning is definitely something we will be seeing on our roads in future," says Carl Johan Almqvist, traffic and product safety director for Volvo Trucks, a firm that has successfully tested the technology.


Jacob Sterling Maersk Line

"There may be challenges in terms of public acceptance and legislation, but these will be conquered as the potential in fuel savings is very interesting."

 

regardless of the technical issues such utter commitment by the proponents scares me. The Volvo truck guy is teling me I will have to overtake seven 50 ft trucks running nose to tail on rain swept freeway as they do 60 mph and are subject to unpredictable cross winds etc and just put up with it because its "green"

 

I love the word "successfully" tested. - to what confidence level ?



#72 Catalina Park

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:24

Imagine trying to get on a freeway on ramp when a platoon is coming through.



#73 peteringram

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 12:10

would be beneficial for mankind then.. :clap:



#74 BRG

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 18:31

A lot of effort going into personal transport, but I would say that's way off being accepted generally. I am sure that the technology will be applied to goods vehicles and public transport first. I remember when the Victoria line was added to the London Underground system and the trains they introduced were capable of running driverless. As far as I am aware, they still don't run that way - and that's well over 40 years now.

Another triumph for the likes of the late unlamented Bob Crow.  There is much muttering about driverless tube trains but no movement, and yet the entire Docklands Light Railway network is driverless and has been from day one.  



#75 gruntguru

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 22:44

here is a description of truck platooning to save fuel

Sounds like rail to me.



#76 Greg Locock

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 23:13

These run from Geelong to the north of melbourne on a mix of freeways and highways through suburbs and open country

 

http://www.hankstruc...ord_triples.jpg

 

ford_triples.jpg

 

So far as I know they don't cause any more trouble than B twins.

 

Whereas overtaking these on an undivided two lane requires some forethought

 

https://upload.wikim...Road_Train2.jpg

 

800px-Road_Train2.jpg


Edited by Greg Locock, 13 May 2014 - 23:14.


#77 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:53

Yeah, that's what I wondered myself.  Why not just connect the trucks into a train, since they all have the same point A and point B anyway, wouldn't that be a more robust connection?  I can see platooning being a game changer, as it would increase the road capacity without paving over any more of nature, but I would think the most beneficial application would be in drafting various Joe Blows you happen to share a segment of the road with along the way.



#78 gruntguru

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 02:24

The fuel saving is great but the big payoff is reducing the number of drivers.



#79 275 GTB-4

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Posted 14 May 2014 - 06:15

These run from Geelong to the north of melbourne on a mix of freeways and highways through suburbs and open country
 
So far as I know they don't cause any more trouble than B twins.
 
Whereas overtaking these on an undivided two lane requires some forethought


Tiddlers! :wave:

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#80 Greg Locock

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 02:20

And yet mining is where robot trucks are already making inroads. BHP run a small fleet already.



#81 indigoid

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Posted 15 May 2014 - 04:06

Another triumph for the likes of the late unlamented Bob Crow.  There is much muttering about driverless tube trains but no movement, and yet the entire Docklands Light Railway network is driverless and has been from day one.  

 

One of Kuala Lumpur's major rail networks is driverless too. Works well.



#82 CSquared

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Posted 28 May 2014 - 19:34

So now they're making an entire car, and it has no steering wheel or pedals. http://googleblog.bl...lf-driving.html



#83 imaginesix

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 06:32

Um, I'm also on a forum where the libertarian gun nut philosophy is mainstream. Their attitude is that even if it is safer to have a robot driver, it is an infringement on their rights to insist on having one. At that point, even as a 53 year old male, it is hard not to go all  South Park at them. 

I'd pay to see that from you!



#84 Dmitriy_Guller

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 11:19

So now they're making an entire car, and it has no steering wheel or pedals. http://googleblog.bl...lf-driving.html

Good, cars without any kinds of drivers, even stand-by ones, are the real breakthrough.



#85 gruntguru

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 22:40

Eliminate drivers - eliminate accidents.



#86 imaginesix

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Posted 30 May 2014 - 00:09

Good, cars without any kinds of drivers, even stand-by ones, are the real breakthrough.

Sure but that will only happen in stages over decades. This Google car is just a showpiece to illustrate the benefits of (eventually) going driverless. It will never be sold.



#87 indigoid

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Posted 31 May 2014 - 05:00

So now they're making an entire car, and it has no steering wheel or pedals. http://googleblog.bl...lf-driving.html

 

Yes. While other folks are naysaying or delaying the inevitable or just talking about it, Google are Actually Doing It.

 

I doubt the number of decades required will be more than 1.5

 

I have been watching with great interest the reaction of the Victorian and New South Wales governments to the appearance of Uber. I am so, so glad someone is finally challenging the fat, lazy, anti-competitive and arrogant incumbent taxi industry. And Uber have stated that their eventual goal is to provide driverless vehicles.


Edited by indigoid, 31 May 2014 - 05:03.