driverless cars

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Denian Arcoleo
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driverless cars

Postby Denian Arcoleo » Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:45 pm

They're clearly pushing this. But can anyone explain what the actual purpose or reason for driverless cars is?

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Re: driverless cars

Postby pmiklitz » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:00 pm

I'm assuming the ultimate aim is to replace human drivers in the logistics or public transport sector to save on staff costs?

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Re: driverless cars

Postby khayes » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:24 pm

What could possibly go wrong :D


Re: driverless cars

Postby FJ25 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:27 pm

There are loads of reasons... fewer accidents, less congestion, less need for city centre car parking (your car will drop you off and pick you up)...

I'm also looking forward to the day I can summon my car from the pub using an app and have it take me straight home with no need to mess about with cabs, whether I'm over the limit or not.

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Re: driverless cars

Postby astro64 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:45 pm

People with disabilities.

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Re: driverless cars

Postby Adam » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:04 pm

Don't forget about productivity. You can read, work, whatever while the car drives you to your destination.

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Re: driverless cars

Postby Michael.N. » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:36 pm

They make perfect sense, unless you actually like driving. I never have, which is why I haven't been behind the wheel of a car for a decade or so.
Potentially they could put an awful lot of people out of work. Nothing new there.
Apart from reading and productivity I suppose you could practice that new etude. The possibilities are endless but I'll stop at that.

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Re: driverless cars

Postby dng » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:40 pm

it's the very first step of robotizing human life... I am not sure for how long but human on earth may not have to go shopping or grow their own food... robots will deliver a sealed wrapped meal package at the door...

ugly.... very very ugly...

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Re: driverless cars

Postby Hotsoup » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:42 pm

For me, they can't come soon enough. I don't like driving and my daily commute to and from work feels like a giant waste of time, not to mention a little bit stressful.

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Re: driverless cars

Postby Kenbobpdx » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:44 pm

No idea, Denian. I don't see them working out too well as long as they have to share the road with humans. We are simply too unpredictable behind the wheel.
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Re: driverless cars

Postby Andrew Pohlman » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:59 pm

khayes wrote:What could possibly go wrong :D
I trust computer piloted vehicles far more than I trust human drivers.

I've followed this for decades as it has developed in Silicon Valley by some of the smartest people on the planet. The developers took the "expert system" approach, and are building in all the best stuff. Like fuel efficiency, safety, logistical efficiency, convenience. Critical systems are redundant like in spacecraft.

There are ethical questions pertaining to Asimov's 3 Robot Laws. For example, how do you code a decision making tree that can decide who lives and who dies in an emergency situation? And if different vehicles have different decision trees, which one is acted upon ? How will the public weigh in on all that? This is why Bart Selman of Cornell University stated that self driving cars will be 10X safer than humans drivers in 3 years, and 100X in 10 years.

Self driving cars won't drive when/where it is unsafe to do so, unlike human drivers. The cooperate on the road, unlike human drivers. The don't get fatigued, unlike human drivers. They can't go brain dead in a panic, unlike human drivers. They are not susceptible to road rage, unlike human drivers. Their basal driving skills are built up from the best science and experiences of the best human drivers and are devoid of ego, unlike human drivers.

Will people die in self-driving car accidents? Yes; that is inevitable. But the death toll will be radically decreased compared to human drivers. I, for one, can't wait to buy one of these as it represents far less risk than driving myself.
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Re: driverless cars

Postby simonm » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:03 pm

Andrew Pohlman wrote:I've followed this for decades as it has developed in Silicon Valley by some of the smartest people on the planet. The developers took the "expert system" approach, and are building in all the best stuff. Like fuel efficiency, safety, logistical efficiency, convenience. ….

The "best stuff" from the point of view of Silicon Valley (Google et al) is the change of the ownership model. Self-driving cars will be the norm in the not distant future. The implication is that private ownership of cars will vanish or at least shrink to insignificance. It makes no sense to spend time and effort on parking if you can hop in a vehicle at will that will take you where you want to go whenever you want to.

What this means is that the conventional car industry is fighting for its existence. There has been a marketing dichotomy between the concepts of "luxurious, effortless, travel" versus the "freedom" and "exhilaration" of driving yourself. Self driving cars throw a spanner into this paradigm. The silicon valley concept has forced the conventional manufacturers into trying to re-invent themselves for a future where most vehicles will be self driving taxis. Google has spawned a lot of the technology, while Über has popularized the marketing model albeit with drivers for the moment.

The ownership model is in any case unsustainable as the world population grows at 100+ million people per year. If every one drives and has a personal car, the world will be covered with ever more roads. Shared vehicles are more efficient. One person pods would use less space. Average speed would go up as one of the main causes of snarl ups is someone accelerating too hard and then having to brake hard which causes everyone behind him to brake hard as well, sometimes stretching back miles, something which an automated "intelligent" system would eliminate.

Implicit is a complete restructuring of the generation of wealth and the concentration of wealth. Maybe we can say hyper concentration of wealth in the hands of the tax agnostics. Amazon has wiped out the bulk of the book retail and distribution industry and has used its logistics to deliver all sorts of goods. It has now moved stealthily into food in a big way which will have the same effect on supermarket chains that these same chains had on the mon and pop shops of the past. In 3-5 years even chains as big as Walmart will have a struggle on their hands. Amazon, google and company have the grossly unfair advantage that they are completely tax agnostic unlike their competitors who, while doing their best to "optimize" their tax, nevertheless remain tax participants to a greater or lessor extent.

What I have never seen is an economic discussion of where this goes. Jobs eliminated, or downgraded by technology, population increasing and wealth hyper-concentrated: where do the hyper-concentrated companies get their customers from in such a scenario? If you have no control over where you food comes from and must compete for a "mac-job" how does enough "money" go round to keep the whole thing moving.

The only thing I can be sure of is that the average employee today has no conception of what the economic, political world will look like in 20 years time. The difference between a future distopia and a future utopia might as well rest on the wings of a butterfly. Self-driving cars are in the meantime a given. Whether we will be allowed to drive at all in 20 years is still an open question but that a prohibition will come eventually is evident.

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Re: driverless cars

Postby Adam » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:07 pm

Michael.N. wrote:Apart from reading and productivity I suppose you could practice that new etude. The possibilities are endless but I'll stop at that.

Now there's an idea ... then of course you might have to leave the guitar in the car, which is usually a no-no.

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Re: driverless cars

Postby markodarko » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:35 pm

So Glassynails doesn't have to park in order to practice his guitar, of course!
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Re: driverless cars

Postby Dofpic » Wed Nov 23, 2016 12:59 am

I just ordered a new MS from Tesla that once fully tested has all the hardware to be fully autonomous. Probably a year out from that. Cant wait to take some long trips out west and in Canada. I intend to to use it primarily on the highway for long trips.
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