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Old 04-04-2015, 06:32 PM   #61
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Can't wait. Just made the 21 hour drive to Florida 3 weeks ago and it would be great to let the car do the driving. I would trust the computer more than DW, DS or DD to do the driving. And as mentioned, I would much rather have computers driving others' cars.
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Old 04-04-2015, 07:20 PM   #62
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What, you will have to program it?
Your destination, dude!

In all seriousness, this advancement could do wonders for many elder seniors who no longer are capable of driving, but if you are one of the many with cognitive failures it will sadly not be of much use.
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Old 04-04-2015, 07:56 PM   #63
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If and when robot cars are widely available, I suspect that road accidents will be reduced only if human driving is banned. Else, your robot car cannot prevent some guys in a Hummer from plowing into you. Just design cars with no steering wheel.

So, what if not everyone can afford these fancy-shmancy cars? You want to prevent poor people from being able to drive to work, to school? Ah, we can subsidize them, just like healthcare right now. Maybe it's cheaper to force people to take public transit.

Don't get me wrong. I am getting old enough that driving is becoming a chore, and I stopped looking at cars with excitement more than 2 decades ago. Right now, I would not recognize a Tesla if it drives by me. OK, I may notice the quietness. But back to robot cars, I am afraid it may take a bit longer than people anticipate.

How long ago was it that Toyota throttle "unintended acceleration" was blamed on the poor drivers? We talked about that a lot on this forum. Then, finally when the controller software was determined to be in error and Toyota was fined $1.2B, there was not much public coverage. I started a thread here (Toyota Fined $1.2B Over Faulty Pedals), but not too many people cared anymore. And it was just the throttle, for crying out loud.

It costs a lot of money to design and build autopilots for airplanes (avionics is a big part of the cost of airplanes), to test them and make them safe. The problem is more than having the software do the right thing in normal conditions. A fault-tolerant software must also recognize when one of its associated hardware or sensors has a failure or becomes flaky, and take proper corrective action. A robot car has to do a lot more, and I mean a lot, than the autoland autopilot I worked on 30 years ago.
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Old 04-04-2015, 08:09 PM   #64
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I forgot to comment on the article quoted in the OP.

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Originally Posted by harley View Post
There's an article in Wired about a car created by Delphi (the parts manufacturer) that just drove 99% of the way across the country autonomously, with human intervention only when they left the highways and drove in city traffic. This is Big: A Robo-Car Just Drove Across the Country.
Several projects have achieved similar objectives of autonomous driving on the freeway, back in the 1990s (20 years ago!). It is the city driving that is tough for the reasons I cited.

See: History of autonomous car - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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Old 04-04-2015, 08:14 PM   #65
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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.
True enuff. My Sheriff's Deputy buddy used to say they only needed on traffic law, a DWS (Driving While Stupid).
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Old 04-04-2015, 08:31 PM   #66
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Not that wild about a fully autonomous car, however, lane keeping assist is something I will look for in my next car. Honda seems to be there. There are YouTube video for both the Honda CRV and Acura. Also Mercedes also offer this feature.
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Old 04-04-2015, 08:41 PM   #67
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Ah, driver assistance is something that is easier, cheaper, and safer to achieve.

For safety, as a geezer before his time, I would not mind them putting in a speed governor to prevent drivers from exceeding the speed limit of the road they are traveling on. The speed limit info can be looked up from an onboard database using the car GPS location.

If the game is to reduce accidents, there are things we can do now. Why am I the only one who likes red light photos?
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Old 04-04-2015, 09:34 PM   #68
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For safety, as a geezer before his time, I would not mind them putting in a speed governor to prevent drivers from exceeding the speed limit of the road they are traveling on. The speed limit info can be looked up from an onboard database using the car GPS location.
No, thanks. There are too many times when exceeding the speed limit is safer than observing it (e.g. passing on a two-lane road: higher speed=less time on the other side of the yellow line). I've read some studies that lead me to believe that speeding is a relatively small factor in accidents--at least compared to popular perception. An interesting study on posted speed limits, real driving speeds, and accidents. Lower speed limits frequently caused higher accident rates (because most people drive a reasonable speed, and if the speed limit is too low, then the speed differential causes accidents. Speed differential is the more significant factor in accident causation. So, maybe your GPS-linked system could be just as effective if it sped up the slow drivers).

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If the game is to reduce accidents, there are things we can do now. Why am I the only one who likes red light photos?
I'm okay with them, too. And I don't even care if the municipalities make a lot of money with them. But I do care if they reduce the length of yellow lights in order to boost the take (which has occurred in some places).
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Old 04-04-2015, 09:59 PM   #69
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Heck, I'd be happy if people would just learn how to zipper merge in my hometown!
I'd love a car that would drive me to work and back, but wouldn't like to give up the controls most other times.
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:10 PM   #70
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Heck, I'd be happy if people would just learn how to zipper merge in my hometown!
I'd love a car that would drive me to work and back, but wouldn't like to give up the controls most other times.

If the damn thing insisted on driving me to work, I'd trade it post haste!

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Old 04-04-2015, 10:13 PM   #71
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Speaking of safety and GPS monitoring of speed, etc, one of our clients (Southwestern Energy specifically) put in speed monitoring devices (tiwi units) in the 1/2 to 3/4 ton trucks of their oilfield personnel. I happened to have spent a couple of days with those folks and saw first hand what a disaster these monitors turned out to be. Many GPS indicated speeds were wrong, and the voice warnings were enough to drive you batty.

tiwi™

Southwestern sold the asset package of wells and the new buyer opted to have all the tiwi units removed from the field vehicles as they showed no historical long term improvement in safety performance for the fleet and were very expensive to maintain.
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:19 PM   #72
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I am all for it. Computers are reliable now and I have never had one cra
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:40 PM   #73
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When I was a patrol officer that was the number one cause of accidents ... 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. ....
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Ah, driver assistance is something that is easier, cheaper, and safer to achieve. ...
And realistically, the assisted driving features will continue to develop, and we may not even notice when we get to 'autonomous' - it will happen step by step.

But I'm also concerned that the more the car watches out for you, the less attention people will pay - so back to Walt34's point...

What I hope to see is a camera/detector monitoring the driver's eye movement. If the driver isn't paying attention to things, some alarms activate, and finally, the car pulls itself over.

From what I've read, there are times a human will have to make the decision, even the best computers can't figure some of this stuff that has been mentioned. So make sure the human is still paying attention (maybe an exception for special hazard free, smart-car only stretches of the highway).

-ERD50


Quote:
For safety, as a geezer before his time, I would not mind them putting in a speed governor to prevent drivers from exceeding the speed limit of the road they are traveling on. The speed limit info can be looked up from an onboard database using the car GPS location.

If the game is to reduce accidents, there are things we can do now. Why am I the only one who likes red light photos?
Agreed, and I don't get all the angst over the red light cameras either. Better to collect money from people breaking the law than to raise taxes on everyone. Free the police do the less routine stuff.

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Old 04-04-2015, 10:45 PM   #74
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If the game is to reduce accidents, there are things we can do now. Why am I the only one who likes red light photos?
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I'm okay with them, too. And I don't even care if the municipalities make a lot of money with them. But I do care if they reduce the length of yellow lights in order to boost the take (which has occurred in some places).
IF! they reduced accidents, I might buy into them. However, all they've done is change the type of accidents into read-enders, often resulting in an increase in the overall number of red light related accidents. When added to the quotas included in the contracts with the private companies that supply and administer the cameras, resulting in situations like shortening the yellows, it turns what might have been a good idea into a typical bureaucratic fubar. I vote no.
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:49 PM   #75
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IF! they reduced accidents, I might buy into them. However, all they've done is change the type of accidents into read-enders, often resulting in an increase in the overall number of red light related accidents. When added to the quotas included in the contracts with the private companies that supply and administer the cameras, resulting in situations like shortening the yellows, it turns what might have been a good idea into a typical bureaucratic fubar. I vote no.
Red light cameras were removed in total from our town of 100,000. Seems like the politicians who signed the contract for them forgot to have the mandatory studies done to justify the locations of the cameras.
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Old 04-04-2015, 11:26 PM   #76
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I can see cases where a strict adherence to speed limits can cause problems. But a computer can be programmed to allow exceedance for a short time, but not for minute-long stretches. And to avoid cutting power while our drag racer is trying to pass, the computer can make an aural warning before actually doing it.

I know, I know. Before long they will figure out how to disable that limit.

So, any big brother watching function has to be external to the car. I feel fairly strongly about red light photos due to personal experience. My wife once got her car totaled by a guy running the red light in a pickup. Thank goodness she was not hurt. I will not go into details here, except that we had reasons to believe he did it on purpose so that he could sue for money, and he did. There was no witness, so my wife was automatically at fault, and he collected.

Another time, a woman ran the red light while I was waiting to make a left turn. The light was already red for a second or two, but as I observed that she made no attempt to slow down, I waited, and saw her driving right by the nose of my car. Again, I wish there were a cop there.

And I have seen quite a few blatant red light runners as described above, except that I was not in imminent danger.

So, tell me again why it's not OK to catch red light runners. I think they should be caned, and publicly too, please.

PS. I would even help contribute to the public fund, if they let me be the caner. I will pay up to $100 per stroke, but the cane must be of my choice.
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Old 04-05-2015, 12:24 AM   #77
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Ah, driver assistance is something that is easier, cheaper, and safer to achieve.
Interesting, because I think such features are far more dangerous than a full self driving car - which still has a lot of problems before it can be safe. Aside from a few isolated instances, such as cruise control that only regulates speed or the self parking feature that makes a parallel parking into a space directly behind and right of the current position, the halfway driving assist such as lane following invites driver inattention but expects the driver to be ready to assume full control at any instant. Even a one second lag before the driver takes over could be disastrous. It seems too difficult to expect drivers who already have problems with keeping attention on the road to maintain hypervigilence when the auto features are actually driving. Instead their attention is likely far away as they only semi-drive and are unlikely to snap back to full control exactly when needed every time.
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Old 04-05-2015, 06:45 AM   #78
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IF! they reduced accidents, I might buy into them. However, all they've done is change the type of accidents into read-enders, often resulting in an increase in the overall number of red light related accidents. When added to the quotas included in the contracts with the private companies that supply and administer the cameras, resulting in situations like shortening the yellows, it turns what might have been a good idea into a typical bureaucratic fubar. I vote no.

They reduce accidents overall in our area where there are cameras. Timing requirements for traffic lights are set by my state's Department of Transportation not the company installing the camera. When people know that there is a camera at the intersection, they slow down when approaching the light which reduces running the light or getting rear ended. You are suppose to slow down when approaching a traffic light, anyway, not speed up as most people do. If you slow down when approaching the light and not slam on your brakes, the person behind you has no choice but to slow down too.
Oops, forgot this was about self driving vehicles and not traffic cameras.
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Old 04-05-2015, 08:27 AM   #79
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I am all for it. Computers are reliable now and I have never had one cra

Now where's <ctrl><alt><del>?
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Old 04-05-2015, 08:33 AM   #80
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How about removing LEOs from sneaky-assed "speed trap" duties, another primarily revenue-raising activity, IMV, and posting them at traffic signals?

Seems to me running a red light is more dangerous than driving 40 in a 35 zone...
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