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THE Self-Driving Car / Ridesharing Thread

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Self-Driving VW Golf

Unread postby Carlhole » Mon 03 Jul 2006, 13:20:25

I'd always thought that if you could just get cars to drive themselves, you could save alot of energy, make transportation more productive and eliminate alot of personal car-ownership. You could have a fleet of ever-cruising self-driving taxis ready to pick up passengers and rided them wherever they need to go. No parking problems, no parking lots. Cars could communicate with one another to minimize traffic congestion and whatnot. It would work pretty good in a large city in conjunction with other transportation solutions. It would be a fleet of transport robots.

[url=http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=393401&in_page_id=1770]The self-driving Golf that would give Herbie a run for its money
By RAY MASSEY, Daily Mail[/url]

Daily Mail wrote:It has proved one of the most endearing of cinematic legends - a loveable car with a mind of its own that can drive itself.

And for 40 years Herbie - or the 'Love Bug' - as the Volkswagen Beetle was dubbed in its first movie outing - has enthralled millions of families in a series of Hollywood sequels.

But now German car giant Volkswagen has turned fiction into reality by unveiling a fully automatic car which really can drive itself - and at speeds of up to 150mph.

It can weave with tyres screeching around tricky bends and chicanes, and through tightly coned off tracks - without any help or intervention from a human.
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Re: Self-Driving VW Golf

Unread postby NeoPeasant » Mon 03 Jul 2006, 14:12:43

Wow, we have gotten close to an average of one occupant per vehicle, but have never managed to get below one. Now we have the technology to do that! It's now possible to use our cars even less efficiently than we do now!
The battle to preserve our lifestyle has already been lost. The battle to preserve our lives is just beginning.
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Google Unveils Adorable Self-Driving Car Prototypes

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 28 May 2014, 18:52:41

Google Unveils Adorable Self-Driving Car Prototypes

Yesterday, Chris Urmson, director of Google’s Self-Driving Car Project, posted on the company’s official blog to reveal the new prototype for the self-driving car. A few things we know now: it works, people love it, and it’s ridiculously cute.

Urmson explains that the prototype was constructed as a two-seater that lacks a steering wheel or pedals. Why? Because they’re unnecessary:

“They won’t have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal… because they don’t need them. Our software and sensors do all the work. The vehicles will be very basic—we want to learn from them and adapt them as quickly as possible—but they will take you where you want to go at the push of a button. And that’s an important step toward improving road safety and transforming mobility for millions of people.”

These prototypes are able to “detect objects out to a distance of more than two football fields in all directions,” or a little over a tenth of a mile if that sounds more impressive. The self-driving car also has a top speed of 25 miles per hour, which is certainly a decision made with safety in mind. After all, if something goes wrong, you’d rather not be moving much faster than that, right?


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Re: Google Unveils Adorable Self-Driving Car Prototypes

Unread postby Beery1 » Wed 28 May 2014, 19:22:56

My bicycle has a top speed of 25mph too, but it doesn't use gasoline, it's also adorable, it keeps me fit, and the latest models cost only around $1000.

I'm just guessing here, but I reckon these self-driving cars cost a tiny bit more than that - probably even a lot more than the average sedan costs. I realize that if these things take off in a big way they'll make cycling much safer, since motorists won't be operating their vehicles incompetently (which they do a lot). But what do motorists get for all that extra money? They won't be able to pass me unsafely (or at all), they won't be able to run stop signs, heck, they won't even be able to overtake me to get to the next stop light, which they so love to do. It seems to me that all this car does is prevent motorists from breaking traffic laws - great for cyclists, but surely not much fun for motorists.

And sure, you can read a book, do some work, send tweets, text message your friends or catch up on some sleep while the self-driving car gets you to your destination, but you can do that on a bus. Actually, judging from some of the drivers I've seen, you can even do any of those things in a regular car.
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Re: Google Unveils Adorable Self-Driving Car Prototypes

Unread postby Graeme » Wed 28 May 2014, 20:06:23

Some of the questions people might like to know are answered here. Excerpt:

Why would you want a self-driving car?

These sensor-filled vehicles have been programmed to make driving decisions based on what's happening around them in real time, such as slowing down for jaywalking pedestrians, watching for cars that sneak out of hidden driveways and looking for cyclists making gestures that indicate a possible turn. The cars detect objects out to a distance of more than two football fields in all directions — making it more powerful than the human eye.

Without fallible humans behind the wheel, these cars could have a profound influence on improving road safety.

"The primary advantage here is that it could have a huge impact on safety," said Joshua Schank, of the Washington-based nonprofit Eno Center for Transportation. "People are not great at driving — 30,000 people die in car accidents each year. Machines can be much better than humans when it comes to driving; they don't drink or text and can think faster."

In addition to the potential for reducing crashes, self-driving cars could ease congestion, improve fuel economy, reduce parking needs and bring mobility to those who are unable to drive.
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Re: Google Unveils Adorable Self-Driving Car Prototypes

Unread postby Simon_R » Thu 29 May 2014, 02:43:54

Without fallible humans behind the wheel, these cars could have a profound influence on improving road safety.


I am confused isn't it fallible humans that programmed the machine ?
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Re: Google Unveils Adorable Self-Driving Car Prototypes

Unread postby Quinny » Thu 29 May 2014, 04:55:07

+1

Probably like the ones who designed the unbeatable 'derivatives'!
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Re: Google Unveils Adorable Self-Driving Car Prototypes

Unread postby Beery1 » Thu 29 May 2014, 04:58:57

Simon_R wrote:
Without fallible humans behind the wheel, these cars could have a profound influence on improving road safety.


I am confused isn't it fallible humans that programmed the machine ?


When it says "Without fallible humans behind the wheel" the article is being kind. What it means is "Without grossly incompetent drivers behind the wheel". While motorists are often grossly incompetent (due to the poor state of driver education), car designers usually know what they're doing.
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Re: Google Unveils Adorable Self-Driving Car Prototypes

Unread postby Simon_R » Thu 29 May 2014, 05:19:07

Hi Beery

Yep, you are of course correct, but working in IT, I always get a chuckle out of stories like this.

lets hope the software wasn't outsourced to a certain 3rd world country.
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Re: Google Unveils Adorable Self-Driving Car Prototypes

Unread postby Paulo1 » Thu 29 May 2014, 08:25:37

A few questions:

Will people be able to ride in them and drink beer? That could be a selling feature.

Will the dumb phone tweakers be able to text in them?

Does anyone besides me out there think we would be better off crashing society right now and see all these techno bullshit products disappear?

Don't people want to do anything for themselves anymore?

Finally, who thinks up these stupid projects, anyway?

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Re: Google Unveils Adorable Self-Driving Car Prototypes

Unread postby EdwinSm » Thu 29 May 2014, 09:13:21

Sometimes the journalistic write-ups leave a lot to be desired! The article I read talked about "no steering wheel, not pedals, but ONLY an on-off button" - taking that at face value then there is not way to communicate with the car to tell it where to go...got in and the car decides where you should go. 8O

But maybe that is reasonable, as Google has far more information about us (far more than the American government), so maybe they know better than us were we want to go :badgrin:
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Re: Google Unveils Adorable Self-Driving Car Prototypes

Unread postby AgentR11 » Thu 29 May 2014, 09:58:12

Simon_R wrote:
Without fallible humans behind the wheel, these cars could have a profound influence on improving road safety.
I am confused isn't it fallible humans that programmed the machine ?


I R programmer. I am infallible.
Anything that might make you think otherwise is simply a feature that is more sophisticated than your meager intellect can comprehend.

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Re: Google Unveils Adorable Self-Driving Car Prototypes

Unread postby Keith_McClary » Thu 29 May 2014, 11:53:42

Simon_R wrote:Hi Beery

Yep, you are of course correct, but working in IT, I always get a chuckle out of stories like this.
Amusing rant, mostly about security:
It’s hard to explain to regular people how much technology barely works, how much the infrastructure of our lives is held together by the IT equivalent of baling wire.

Computers, and computing, are broken.
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Re: Google Unveils Adorable Self-Driving Car Prototypes

Unread postby efarmer » Thu 29 May 2014, 15:29:50

Will it keep track of everywhere you go so it can suggest places where you can stop and buy goods and services? Will it be able to change the route you take from point A to B to insure that your path is optimized for exposure to it's advertising clients? Can I buy a suction cup mounted steering wheel to hold onto so I don't look like human spam in a mobile can? Can it get hijacked by scripts to where it just takes off without me and tries to drive to Russia? If I don't buy enough from the sponsors, will it make me ride all the way to work in reverse?

Will it use a Microsoft OS so that it asks me several times before it turns off, or moves? "Moving can be hazardous for occupants of motor vehicles, are you sure you want to move?"

Will the Google insignia change everyday to something really cool and timely but that still says, "Google"?
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Re: Google Unveils Adorable Self-Driving Car Prototypes

Unread postby efarmer » Thu 29 May 2014, 15:53:11

If I get in a real outrageous wreck or a tornado happens when I am riding around will the video automatically post to Youtube?

Do I have to refer to the occupants of other types of vehicles as a bunch of obsolete Yahoos?

If I wear my Google Glass when driving, can it make it look as if I am driving a big Harley down a highway in Dakota, instead of being a nerd in a moverbot?
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Re: Google Unveils Adorable Self-Driving Car Prototypes

Unread postby efarmer » Thu 29 May 2014, 16:06:11

If you have a wreck but the vehicle is still drivable, does it run in
a crippled "Bing" mode until it is fixed again?
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Re: Google Unveils Adorable Self-Driving Car Prototypes

Unread postby pstarr » Thu 29 May 2014, 16:40:47

More, efarmer. MORE lol
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Re: Google Unveils Adorable Self-Driving Car Prototypes

Unread postby efarmer » Thu 29 May 2014, 17:41:33

You know that guy who washes your windshield at stop lights and then wants a dollar which he signifies by holding up 1 of his fingers?

When you decline in the Google car he then just puts the bucket over
your navigation pod atop the vehicle, smiles and looks back at you
and holds up 3 fingers.
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Re: Google Unveils Adorable Self-Driving Car Prototypes

Unread postby efarmer » Thu 29 May 2014, 18:31:35

What a teen date annihilator. No back seat, 25MPH max, and with Parental Controls the damn thing just pulls a "U" turn and heads home on you at 11PM.
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Re: Google Unveils Adorable Self-Driving Car Prototypes

Unread postby efarmer » Thu 29 May 2014, 18:45:08

Last observation on this topic:

Why no Chrome?
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