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Author Topic:   Self-Driving Cars
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3456
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006


Message 31 of 112 (767782)
09-01-2015 11:00 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by Tanypteryx
09-01-2015 10:03 PM


Re: Google Goes Bladeless, Plus Random Thoughts
Global warming is a machine plot.

Ahh. CyberRepublican.


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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 32 of 112 (767783)
09-02-2015 12:17 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Percy
09-01-2015 8:30 AM


Re: Google Goes Bladeless, Plus Random Thoughts
This means that self-driving cars have the potential to greatly increase travel times. Imagine driving cross country through empty wide-open spaces at 65 mph instead of 80 mph. The travel time for a trip with 400 highway miles would increase from 5 hours to 6 hours 9 minutes.

That's one way to look at the process. Another way to look at it is that there is a new opportunity to make some very productive use of the entire commute. You may have to travel an extra hour or so to get to Atlanta from Durham North Carolina, but you gain back five hours of useful time in the process. You could be programming or working on a presentation or report for work. Or you might be catching up on some much needed sleep. And you get a bit better gas mileage to boot.

The advantage of not having to drive becomes even more pronounced if some substantial portion of that 400 miles takes you through rush hour traffic during which you cannot drive as fast as the speed limit. Maybe having self driving cars might mean fewer traffic jams.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


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Replies to this message:
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Tangle
Member
Posts: 6182
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 2.0


Message 33 of 112 (767788)
09-02-2015 1:46 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by NoNukes
09-02-2015 12:17 AM


Re: Google Goes Bladeless, Plus Random Thoughts
NoNukes writes:

Maybe having self driving cars might mean fewer traffic jams.

I seem to remember something about queue theory that says that for a given amount of stuff moving through a given size aperture there's an optimum speed that gets the most stuff through. Too fast and the stuff backs up and causes waves right back down the line, which build to cause jams. Sometimes on a motorway (freeway) when there's a lot of traffic you come to a halt, then you move for a while, then you stop again - for no apparent reason. That's what's happening - possibly because three or four hours previously one lane was virtually closed by a slow moving truck.

If all the traffic is receiving messages from the road about 'smart' speeds and, more importantly, being forced to stick to them, in theory you get optimum flow.

You should also get reduced accidents too. No more dramatic lane changing, no lane hogging, no excessive speeding, no falling asleep at the wheel, no human error. It seems to me that it's accidents that cause most jams.

Can't do much about road works I guess though. Except your car would know about them in advance and avoid them if possible. Which would make traffic news items redundant.

No more driving tests or licences to lose. Drink driving returns!..it just keeps getting better....


Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif.

Life, don't talk to me about life - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


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Percy
Member
Posts: 17749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 34 of 112 (767791)
09-02-2015 7:50 AM
Reply to: Message 29 by AZPaul3
09-01-2015 8:59 PM


Re: Google Goes Bladeless, Plus Random Thoughts
Yes, precisely, well said, but I do have some pretty strong concerns in one area, and Cat Sci brought up the same issue:

Cat Sci writes:

Voice commands, not clunky touch-screens.

AZPaul3 writes:

"Hey, Lexus2! Take me to that Burger King we just passed." Have it your way.

I think correctly interpreting voice commands is still a ways off, further off than self-driving cars, and that we'll be stuck with touchscreens for a while. I guess it's a debatable point, but to my mind if it were close then we'd already be interacting with our smart phones via voice commands instead of punching away at teensy tiny buttons. Siri and Google Voice are examples of how primitive the technology is today.

I take it Lexus1 is the wife's car?

Yep! Why do you ask?

--Percy


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Percy
Member
Posts: 17749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 35 of 112 (767793)
09-02-2015 8:06 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by NoNukes
09-02-2015 12:17 AM


Re: Google Goes Bladeless, Plus Random Thoughts
NoNukes writes:

The advantage of not having to drive becomes even more pronounced if some substantial portion of that 400 miles takes you through rush hour traffic during which you cannot drive as fast as the speed limit. Maybe having self driving cars might mean fewer traffic jams.

I'm sure you're right, and it could be even better than this, with traffic jams becoming a thing of the past as automated route choosers direct cars away from traffic jams, as is already happening with GPS apps indicating roads with traffic jams. Automated route selection should mean that non-highways and non-main thoroughfares will see increased traffic.

Another factor reducing traffic, and I think others have already mentioned this, is more efficient use of the available space on roads and highways. There's no need for maintaining long stopping distances (headways) between vehicles when the reaction time is effectively zero. Of course, most people today drive too close, so the savings in road space of smaller headways will be less than ideal, but it should still be substantial.

--Percy


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ringo
Member
Posts: 15412
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 36 of 112 (767818)
09-02-2015 12:29 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by NoNukes
09-02-2015 12:17 AM


Re: Google Goes Bladeless, Plus Random Thoughts
NoNukes writes:

Maybe having self driving cars might mean fewer traffic jams.


You won't even need to stop at intersections. The traffic in both directions will be neatly spaced so that you can cross another vehicle's path, missing it by inches.

You may want shutters on the windows so you don't have to see that.


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Replies to this message:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 17749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 37 of 112 (767823)
09-02-2015 1:35 PM
Reply to: Message 36 by ringo
09-02-2015 12:29 PM


Re: Google Goes Bladeless, Plus Random Thoughts
ringo writes:

You won't even need to stop at intersections. The traffic in both directions will be neatly spaced so that you can cross another vehicle's path, missing it by inches.

Earlier in the thread I suggested that possibly stop signs, yield signs, traffic lights and even overpasses might be rendered unnecessary.

I wonder if anyone has run traffic simulations for self driving cars. Is the efficient use of road space improved so much that even multilane roads become unnecessary? Certainly there's no way to pack cars more densely than this:

But with more efficient use of roadway space combined with automated routing maybe it never gets to this point.

--Percy


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Jon
Inactive Member


Message 38 of 112 (767858)
09-02-2015 6:45 PM
Reply to: Message 37 by Percy
09-02-2015 1:35 PM


Re: Google Goes Bladeless, Plus Random Thoughts
But with more efficient use of roadway space combined with automated routing maybe it never gets to this point.

But it does. Because more efficient use of roadway space and easier-to-use vehicles both make travel by car more attractive, and so more people do it; and the evidence tells us that the increase in people doing it offsets the gains in efficiency, which is why L.A. has mile-wide freeways that still clog with traffic every afternoon.

In the right picture is a street of cars, in front of which are standing their occupants. On the left is the single bus into which they all could easily fit. The horrible inefficiency of individual automobile travel is made very apparent by such illustrations. Add to this the facts, such as, when you are sitting in your car all alone, you're less than 5% of the load being movedthe rest is car, and it's really hard to see how a company like Google, serious about making money, could be getting behind what is obviously such a bad idea.

Individual cars are the worst way to get people from one place to another, self-driving or otherwise. I think anyone developing technology meant to 'improve' individuals' driving experiences is betting on a losing horse.

Self-operated trollies (on tracks) are the best approach for now; even if we let them run on petroleum. The trolly just moves and stops where it's told to stop. If you want to get off at the next stop, hit the button by your seat and it will automatically stopyou get off and push the button on the door and send it on its way. If you are at the stop and want to get on, just push the button and it will stop for you. You wouldn't even need an operator, just a law-enforcement officer to maintain order and ensure the trolly isn't taking off too soon, etc.

Like this you don't even need roads.

Imagine how much smaller our cities could be if there weren't a parking lot between every building!


Love your enemies!

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Replies to this message:
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NoNukes
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 39 of 112 (767874)
09-02-2015 10:32 PM
Reply to: Message 38 by Jon
09-02-2015 6:45 PM


Re: Google Goes Bladeless, Plus Random Thoughts
and it's really hard to see how a company like Google, serious about making money, could be getting behind what is obviously such a bad idea.

What you are calling a bad idea that a money maker should not be involved in has historically been a huge market in which automakers around the world participate and derive enormous financial gains. There is in fact a huge demand for personal transportation systems that are convenient while being horribly expensive and inefficient, and which might even lead vast numbers of us to early graves.

The public transportation system in my area is substandard. I cannot rely on it to get me around downtown or to the next major city and back in less than 2-3 hours. I cannot rely at. all to get me anywhere after about 11:00 pm or before 7 am. By contrast, a car, self driving or not gets me to my destination on my schedule (or that of my clients), runs as late or as early as I choose, and goes everywhere I want to go.

Until the need for that convenience goes away, there is a market for inefficient, timely transportation that goes from point A to point B on a personal schedule.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


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 Message 38 by Jon, posted 09-02-2015 6:45 PM Jon has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 15412
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


(1)
Message 40 of 112 (767907)
09-03-2015 11:40 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Jon
09-02-2015 6:45 PM


Re: Google Goes Bladeless, Plus Random Thoughts
Jon writes:

Self-operated trollies (on tracks) are the best approach for now;


Far from being the "best approach", putting in a whole new infrastructure (tracks) would not even be on the table for most jurisdictions.
This message is a reply to:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 17749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 41 of 112 (768811)
09-14-2015 8:23 AM


Google Weighing Sale of Self-Driving Cars
In the news today: Google moves towards self-driving car sales

The article says they'll be limited to 25 mph. I assume they'll be able to go faster when under manual control.

--Percy


    
Percy
Member
Posts: 17749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 42 of 112 (772386)
11-13-2015 8:12 AM


Apparently Google is Serious about 25 mph
Reported in today's Washington Post: Google self-driving car pulled over for going too slow.

The Google vehicle was going 24 mph on a road marked 35 mph.

Where I live there are many roads marked 35 mph. I'd estimate that less than 5% of vehicles travel under 35 mph, 10% go 35 mph, 60% go 40 mph, 20% go 45 mph, and the rest go whatever the road will take.

How many cars actually go under 25 mph on roads marked 35 mph? Well, ignoring the occasional tractor and slowing due to construction, obstacles and weather conditions, I'd say none. Since the opportunities to use self driving features that only operate at 25 mph and lower seem minuscule (traffic jams, driveways, some residential streets, etc.), what is Google thinking? I wouldn't myself be interested in such a car.

There's still something I'm curious about, and I think I've asked this before. I'm in my garage in my self-driving car, I give it the destination, and off we go out the three quarters of a mile of residential street to the main road. Ahead I see some neighbors on a walk and I want the car to stop next to them. Will it be able to do this? Yes? No? Sometimes? Sort of?

One can imagine the car being able to follow an instruction to stop at the next set of people, but if there are several sets of neighbors walking and not necessarily on the same side of the road (happens all the time on nice days), and I want to talk to one of them, how do I even tell the car where to stop. If my daughter were driving I could say, "Oh, there's Jane, stop a minute, I need to tell her something." What do I tell the car? I guess the easiest thing is just to revert to manual control.

--Percy


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ringo
Member
Posts: 15412
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


(2)
Message 43 of 112 (772393)
11-13-2015 11:06 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by Percy
11-13-2015 8:12 AM


Re: Apparently Google is Serious about 25 mph
Percy writes:

Well, ignoring the occasional tractor and slowing due to construction, obstacles and weather conditions, I'd say none. Since the opportunities to use self driving features that only operate at 25 mph and lower seem minuscule (traffic jams, driveways, some residential streets, etc.), what is Google thinking?


Decades ago, an engineering professor at our local university was developing a self-driving tractor, with a positioning system similar to GPS. Since it could work 24-7, the equipment it pulled could be much smaller, with corresponding lower costs for the farmer.

If anything, I'd say there's more potential for self-driving in commercial and industrial vehicles, not less. After all, cars are still successfully marketed as "fun to drive".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Percy, posted 11-13-2015 8:12 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3456
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006


(1)
Message 44 of 112 (772401)
11-13-2015 12:46 PM
Reply to: Message 42 by Percy
11-13-2015 8:12 AM


Re: Apparently Google is Serious about 25 mph
I should hope Google is serious about the 25 mph. California law limits their vehicles to that speed and it certainly wouldn't do Google any good to be caught speeding.

These are R&D test vehicles. Are you assuming that 5 - 10 years from now their production units will be so limited? I wouldn't think so.

Ahead I see some neighbors on a walk and I want the car to stop next to them. Will it be able to do this? Yes? No? Sometimes? Sort of?

That's really not important in an R&D test vehicle. Google has a lot of more important things to do with the car right now. Wait for the production models and ask then. And even if the eventual answer is no, is that going to control your buying decision? I would think $150,000 in computer and LIDAR costs above the cost of the car would be more of a concern. Definitely gotta have wifi ... and a 16" monitor. How about AC and the power package? Heated seats?

Edited by AZPaul3, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by Percy, posted 11-13-2015 8:12 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
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Percy
Member
Posts: 17749
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 45 of 112 (772407)
11-13-2015 2:08 PM
Reply to: Message 44 by AZPaul3
11-13-2015 12:46 PM


Re: Apparently Google is Serious about 25 mph
AZPaul3 writes:

I should hope Google is serious about the 25 mph. California law limits their vehicles to that speed...

I hadn't heard this before and wasn't able to confirm it. I did find this: Self-driving cars now legal in California. But it doesn't mention speed limits. I think it may be a limit Google is imposing on its new car that it designed itself, this one:

Not the older Lexus version:

Ahead I see some neighbors on a walk and I want the car to stop next to them. Will it be able to do this? Yes? No? Sometimes? Sort of?

That's really not important in an R&D test vehicle.

Right. I was thinking about the future, not wondering about the current Google prototype. How, exactly, are they going to solve these niggling little problems which are actually huge when it comes to delivering a successful product. If a self-driving car can safely get you all the way to grandma's and back but can't figure out where you want it to stop halfway down the driveway ("Next to the bicycle lying on the grass, you self-driving dolt!"), will that be good enough? Just wondering.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
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