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Old 04-04-2015, 12:29 PM   #41
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Im still mad they moved the headlight dimmer switch from the floorboard to the steering column.
Yea! And where the hell did the choke and spark advance lever go to?
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:36 PM   #42
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Yea! And where the hell did the choke and spark advance lever go to?

I never had the privilege of that experience! That floor dimmer switch gave my left foot something to do.
If you had a teenager and didn't want them to drive, buy them a 3 speed on the column and they have to find reverse to get out of the driveway. That was a pure adventure back in the day.


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Old 04-04-2015, 12:38 PM   #43
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....The big advantage for a lot of situations is that the car no longer needs to be parked within walking distance of where the occupants are going--it can drive itself to a highly-efficient parking structure. Give it a few minutes notice and it will drive back to pick people up. ....
So all people can get out at the door and their car will pick them up at the door... we'll no longer need handicapped spaces or endure the jerks who park in a handicapped space without handicapped tags.
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:54 PM   #44
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I am eager for self driving cars (and taxi's and delivery vans and long haul trucks) to become the preferred way to get around. Probably impacts almost every business in the world, so it's going to be disruptive. Even air travel will see impact as long drives in a comfortable self driving entertainment palace will beat being crammed into a cattle car for all but the longest trips. It certainly will have impact on city planning and the utility (or lack of usefulness) of mass transit projects that are going to go into service more than 5-10 years from now.

I do think that everyone involved is vastly underestimating the difficulty of getting the self driving vehicles to operate correctly in less common situations such as road construction or incorrect signage. Also, there are vast problems with how to react to deliberate misuse, attacks, or active attempts disrupt that don't seem to have been given near enough consideration. If stopping all highway traffic is a easy as putting a traffic code on a highway that a self-driving car won't run over, then expect lots of disruptions.

I'm thoroughly skeptical that we will see these issues worked out in the next 5 years. But as I'm aging and anticipating a time when I can no longer drive myself and will need to rely on public transportation and hired cars, I eagerly hope the age of the autonomous self driving vehicle does arrive soon. I'm strongly in favor of doing whatever we can to get error-prone humans out of the business of driving and hopefully lower the death toll of traffic accidents.
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Old 04-04-2015, 01:04 PM   #45
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One of the most interesting changes that can be made with self-driving cars is the way intersections are managed. Traffic signals are a mechanism well suited to inattentive humans with their slow response times. With fully automated vehicles, an intersection can be treated as little more than an N-way yield, probably with a 'Hold' button just to make pedestrians and bicyclists feel better.

Here's the math-intensive version: http://scl.hanyang.ac.kr/scl/databas...apers/0291.pdf

And here is a simulation run using an intersection 'slot reservation' algorithm:


And for fun, here an an ad-hoc implementation running on organic processors in India:
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Old 04-04-2015, 01:09 PM   #46
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I find the development of self-driving cars very interesting. In my career, I have worked on the development of an autopilot with automatic landing capability for an airliner jet, and I say that a self-driving robot car is a much tougher job.

Driving a car along a determined path is piece of cake for a computer: accelerating, steering, braking can be done by an elementary piece of software. The much much harder part is duplicating human cognizance and vision.

The experimental Google car has a myriad of sensors: sonar, stereo cameras, Lidar (laser radar), etc... And then, you need AI software to make sense of the measurements. It is easy to say that if a collision is not avoidable, a self-driving car should avoid hitting a human being compared to inanimate objects, but how does a computer recognize a kid on a bicycle, or assume that there is a baby in a stroller? Needs some really clever software.

And then, just for everyday's driving, a robot car must know to drop its passengers at the entrance of the supermarket, then go find an empty slot to park. It will need to recognize a fire hydrant to not park in front of it, nor a driveway. It needs to read traffic signs, parking limitations, etc... It needs to read the color of the curb. Can it follow directions given by hand signals from a road construction crew? These things are easy for humans, but software for these tasks is tough to write!

The sensors must also be fairly reliable, because if they fail it would be a disaster. Autopilots for commercial airliners are triplex or quadruplex, so that if one component fails, the aircraft will not crash. For cars, it is permissible for the computer to recognize that a sensor has failed, and refuse to drive. But if that happens too often, people will get stranded.

So, I would love to have a robot car as I do not enjoy driving that much, but I do not think it will happen soon. It would be nice if I could climb onto my RV, and give directions: "Go to Kalaloch campground. Find a slot with an ocean view to park. Wake me up when you are there".

When these robot cars are available, I am afraid that you will not see less idiots on the road. These cars will be more expensive because of all the high-tech hardware, and not all people can afford them. In fact, the idiotic drivers will take advantage of the robot cars and drive even more agressively as the robot cars will be defensive and yield to them. Driving on the wrong side of the road? No problem, as robot cars will swerve to yield.
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Old 04-04-2015, 01:17 PM   #47
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My wife is eagerly looking forward to them; she doesn't trust other people's decision-making skills while driving (or otherwise ;-) )... I'm sure how the self driving vehicles will stop people from hitting your car...

Me, I never use cruise control... not sure how I feel about handing over the wheel.
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Old 04-04-2015, 02:32 PM   #48
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Hard for me to see this happening soon as it seems clear they can't even get the infotainment systems to work satisfactorily.


Quote:
it can drive itself to a highly-efficient parking structure.
Or maybe just tell it to circle the block until you're ready to be picked up
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Old 04-04-2015, 03:35 PM   #49
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When these robot cars are available, I am afraid that you will not see less idiots on the road. These cars will be more expensive because of all the high-tech hardware, and not all people can afford them. In fact, the idiotic drivers will take advantage of the robot cars and drive even more aggressively as the robot cars will be defensive and yield to them. Driving on the wrong side of the road? No problem, as robot cars will swerve to yield.
I was going to post something like this but NW did it for me. We can dream and visualize a world of everyone in self driving cars and all is good. That's not going to be the case for a long time, maybe a very long time. With the price of even basic cars (no frills) getting near $20K, it's going to be the Rich that will be able to afford these self driving cars. What are the hoards of lower class humans going to drive?...probably used Hondas and old minivans that run on 87 octane.

And the Rich generally want high-end cars as a fashion statement. BTW, the Ferrari dealer near us is sold out and only taking orders. You really think Ferrari is going to roll over on this and supply large jelly bean-like cars full of computers and sensors - not happening!

Me, I wouldn't buy a self driving car as I like driving too much. Plus, as good as technology is, I wouldn't trust the computers and sensors to keep me protected from a disaster when the car is driving itself.
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Old 04-04-2015, 03:44 PM   #50
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What happens when a car breaks down. Does it just block the road or will it know to pull off?
God help us if Microsoft develops the software for these cars!
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Old 04-04-2015, 03:46 PM   #51
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One of the great joys of life, is meeting at the light with that 21 year old, driving his GTO with the mag wheels... A little nod, and a smile, and I leave him in the dust with my '96 Caddy STS.

Local transit service here is anywhere in 3 counties...$1, and no tipping.

Life is good!
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Old 04-04-2015, 03:49 PM   #52
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I enjoy driving and had 'fun' cars like RX-7, Supra, MR2, GS300, IS300 & GS350. However, wouldn't mind it in heavy traffic or if I was really sleepy.
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Old 04-04-2015, 04:00 PM   #53
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One of the great joys of life, is meeting at the light with that 21 year old, driving his GTO with the mag wheels... A little nod, and a smile, and I leave him in the dust with my '96 Caddy STS.
I think the kid and the GTO was letting you have a free one!
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Old 04-04-2015, 04:15 PM   #54
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In the US alone, automotive deaths are in the 30 and 40 thousands a year. For ages 5-34 they are the leading cause of death. We spend billions on medical research to reduce all the other top causes of death. While car makers do devote research efforts to make cars safer, they devote a lot more efforts to make cars "fun" and attractive to buyers. We have an entire cottage industry in every major city to fly overhead every weekday and report which major roads are blocked by accidents. We routinely report the deaths of celebrities in car accidents, but there are so many that we don't even report every local fatality in prominent media. It's too common to be news.

https://www.yahoo.com/music/s/bob-bu...194156511.html

If self driving vehicles deliver on their promise to significantly reduce this carnage, then I eagerly await them. I was probably never going to buy a Ferrari or Lamborghini and see how fast I could drive them, even on a track, anyway. But I'd be very happy if aggressive, drunk, or overly immortal entitled drivers in big SUVs could no longer cut me off at dangerous speeds. I'll happily trade my ability to zip satisfyingly around corners under my own direction for an overstuffed chair, good reading material (maybe even internet browsing e-r forum) while my car safely drives me where I want to go. Cannot come too soon for me, except for my concerns about problems not yet solved.
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Old 04-04-2015, 04:37 PM   #55
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In the US alone, automotive deaths are in the 30 and 40 thousands a year. For ages 5-34 they are the leading cause of death. We spend billions on medical research to reduce all the other top causes of death. While car makers do devote research efforts to make cars safer, they devote a lot more efforts to make cars "fun" and attractive to buyers. We have an entire cottage industry in every major city to fly overhead every weekday and report which major roads are blocked by accidents. We routinely report the deaths of celebrities in car accidents, but there are so many that we don't even report every local fatality in prominent media. It's too common to be news.

https://www.yahoo.com/music/s/bob-bu...194156511.html

If self driving vehicles deliver on their promise to significantly reduce this carnage, then I eagerly await them. I was probably never going to buy a Ferrari or Lamborghini and see how fast I could drive them, even on a track, anyway. But I'd be very happy if aggressive, drunk, or overly immortal entitled drivers in big SUVs could no longer cut me off at dangerous speeds. I'll happily trade my ability to zip satisfyingly around corners under my own direction for an overstuffed chair, good reading material (maybe even internet browsing e-r forum) while my car safely drives me where I want to go. Cannot come too soon for me, except for my concerns about problems not yet solved.
I agree with your concern for safety, and also believe that self driving cars can help reduce traffic accidents (unless of course the electronics fail or the drunk driver T bones the self driving car). I would feel better if places that serve alcohol price in a cab ride home for those who are going to get loaded. But that's another topic.

The trouble with trying to minimize accidents is really that there are a lot of people out there that are stupid or just don't pay attention to what's going on around them, and not everybody will be driving these futuristic high priced self driving cars.
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Old 04-04-2015, 05:00 PM   #56
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Here is hoping by the time I really need a self driving car (which should be long after they perfect them both mechanically and legally), I will still have the mental capacity to be able to PROGRAM the darn thing to actually go where I want it to go!
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Old 04-04-2015, 05:15 PM   #57
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Here is hoping by the time I really need a self driving car (which should be long after they perfect them both mechanically and legally), I will still have the mental capacity to be able to PROGRAM the darn thing to actually go where I want it to go!
What, you will have to program it? And we have a nation full of people that can barely figure out how to turn on their computer or install a virus scanner!
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Old 04-04-2015, 05:25 PM   #58
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What happens when a car breaks down. Does it just block the road or will it know to pull off?
God help us if Microsoft develops the software for these cars!

My Tesla continually monitors itself and if something is wrong, I'll get a call from the Tesla service center. So presumably self driving cars will more aware of when something bad is about to happen and go to service center where robots will fix them..
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Old 04-04-2015, 05:38 PM   #59
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The trouble with trying to minimize accidents is really that there are a lot of people out there that are stupid or just don't pay attention to what's going on around them...
When I was a patrol officer that was the number one cause of accidents. No specific violation like speeding, DWI, or red lights (although those certainly contribute to the total) caused more than plain old simply not paying attention.

MD does have a statute on that - "Failure to pay full time and attention to driving" - but of course it is impossible to tell if someone is zoned out just by looking at them through a car window. Unless like one idiot who had a book propped up on the steering wheel on the interstate. And when I wrote him the ticket he had the audacity to whine "But I wasn't speeding!"

Some people will never get it.
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Old 04-04-2015, 06:15 PM   #60
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I hate to drive.

But given how little confidence I have in the reliability of computers, I have NO interest in trusting a computer to drive any car I occupy.

We had a Prius, which is significantly dependent on its computer(s). When the battery started to go bad, and the voltage was off, the computer essentially lost its mind.
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