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Self-driving cars for retirees
Old 10-13-2014, 01:30 PM   #1
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Self-driving cars for retirees

Why Self-Driving Cars Will Change Retirement - WSJ - WSJ

They're saying even people in their 50s would benefit?

If it's limited to retirement communities, the utility is pretty limited.

If we're decades away, it's moot for most of us already in retirement.
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Old 10-13-2014, 01:49 PM   #2
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I was just wondering - if you're in a self-driving car and are drunk does that constitute DWI? In MD the law defining "driving" includes the phrase "...in actual physical control..." so perhaps not. Self driving cars could also be a good thing for those with suspended/revoked driver's licenses.

Lots of legal stuff to get squared away before they see wide use though. As usual, the products will be ready before the law is.
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:00 PM   #3
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One of the benefits of self-driving cars is that they would communicate with each other and optimize traffic flows, so you wouldn't have traffic jams.

But it will take a long time for enough self-driving cars to make up the cars out on the road to use this kind of optimization.
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:17 PM   #4
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One of the benefits of self-driving cars is that they would communicate with each other and optimize traffic flows, so you wouldn't have traffic jams.

But it will take a long time for enough self-driving cars to make up the cars out on the road to use this kind of optimization.
My business idea of about 3 years ago, was a fleet of self driving uber cars for folks who had lost their license. The marketing pitch was two pronged going after the 50 and 60 year olds, who are pleading with their parent to stop driving and also a separate campaign for the 80 year old on why it would be fun to ride in robocar.

My latest update on Tesla, "use data from other Teslas to update traffic condition (in addition to the data supply by the city/county) and propose alternative routes." So its been happening for a couple months, but the number of Tesla is still quite small.
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:19 PM   #5
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I wonder what a true lbymer will say when he is asked to trade his 12 year old Civic for a self driving car?

Ha
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:38 PM   #6
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I was just wondering - if you're in a self-driving car and are drunk does that constitute DWI? In MD the law defining "driving" includes the phrase "...in actual physical control..." so perhaps not. Self driving cars could also be a good thing for those with suspended/revoked driver's licenses.

Lots of legal stuff to get squared away before they see wide use though. As usual, the products will be ready before the law is.
I agree, lots of legal stuff, what does a DUI mean with this rendition of technology. I'd hope the technology was so great, no person(s) had to go through the horror of an intoxicated driver.. I think I am being Pollyanna in my hopes. We can always dream.
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:40 PM   #7
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What developers of the self-driving car have done so far is amazing. Still, I would not hold my breath to see one for sale. The remaining obstacles are really tough, and I mean technical ones, not just legal ramifications. Nah! I am willing to bet I will die before seeing it in everyday use.
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Walt34 View Post
I was just wondering - if you're in a self-driving car and are drunk does that constitute DWI? In MD the law defining "driving" includes the phrase "...in actual physical control..." so perhaps not. Self driving cars could also be a good thing for those with suspended/revoked driver's licenses.

Lots of legal stuff to get squared away before they see wide use though. As usual, the products will be ready before the law is.
If the car is driving itself, and the gasoline has 10% ethanol blended into it, that makes the car's BAC (well, fuel alcohol component or FAC) well over the legal limit.
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:46 PM   #9
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I am willing to bet I will die before seeing it in everyday use.
I wouldn't go that far and I'm 64 now. But agreed it is going to be quite a while, 10 years at soonest, maybe 20, almost certain by 30 years out.

But my crystal ball is just as cracked and smokey as the rest of them.
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Old 10-13-2014, 03:00 PM   #10
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For all the reliability and responsiveness that a computer-driven system has over humans, there are situations where the human cognitive ability is not yet duplicated, and I do not know if they know a way to implement it. For example, the radar and the camera on the car will detect that there is an obstacle on the road, but a human will also recognize that it is a cardboard box and can be run over instead of braking hard to risk a rear-end collision.

A human driver knows when he is flagged down in an emergency. Does the camera system? Can a computer vision system understand hand gestures by the road construction crew? There are many situational problems like the above.
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Old 10-13-2014, 03:02 PM   #11
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I wonder what a true lbymer will say when he is asked to trade his 12 year old Civic for a self driving car?

Ha
That's what it would take, to produce self-driving cars which would run under $30k out the door before mass adoption.

Maybe more like $22k.


Musk said self-driving cars in 5 years but he may have been alluding to $100k cars.
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Old 10-13-2014, 03:04 PM   #12
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I've been following this topic for a few years now, and I'm thinking the timing may work out pretty well for DW and me. We're 59 and 61 and and figure we'll have no problems driving for quite a few more years. But, by the time we're hitting 75-80, I think the technology will be here and readily available and we will likely be ready to turn over control to a bot. Everything I read about this is guessing that the self-driving cars will be here earlier than most people think.


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Old 10-13-2014, 03:37 PM   #13
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As has been mentioned, for the foreseeable future, this has to 'assisted' driving. There are too many things that will still need human intervention.

And while things like blind spot warnings, and braking if you get too close to the guy ahead of you are good things, people will just stop paying attention, and when the car calls out for human assistance, the human won't be aware of the situation because he hasn't been paying attention.

I think they will need a retina scan device, to monitor that you really are watching the road. And if it notices that your eyes aren't tracking objects, and aren't scanning around, it could say "Bob, are you getting sleepy?" and then, "Bob, you need to pay attention." And then "Bob, do I need to pull over right now? I mean it!".

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Old 10-13-2014, 04:23 PM   #14
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To function effectively, smart cars have to be affordable in an era when huge numbers of drivers can barely afford a used "dumb" car. If most people are still driving "dumb" cars, how can the "smart" cars communicate with them? Somehow, people have to crave a "smart" car the way they gravitated to "smart" phones (which even the poorest consider a necessity nowadays).

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Old 10-13-2014, 05:06 PM   #15
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I think they will need a retina scan device, to monitor that you really are watching the road. And if it notices that your eyes aren't tracking objects, and aren't scanning around, it could say "Bob, are you getting sleepy?" and then, "Bob, you need to pay attention." And then "Bob, do I need to pull over right now? I mean it!".
No retina scanner yet, but...

ATTENTION ASSIST
Keeping an eye on you: Early warning for driver drowsiness.
Even in the most exciting vehicle, a long journey can bring about driver fatigue. An industry first, ATTENTION ASSIST takes note of over 70 parameters in the first minutes of a drive to get to know your unique driving style. As your journey continues, it can detect certain steering corrections that suggest the onset of drowsiness. It then considers a wide array of other factors, from crosswinds and road smoothness to how often you're interacting with the vehicle's controls and switches. If it all adds up to driver fatigue, ATTENTION ASSIST sounds an alert encouraging you to stop for a rest
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:18 PM   #16
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As has been mentioned, for the foreseeable future, this has to 'assisted' driving. There are too many things that will still need human intervention.
I think you're quite right on this, and that the true "self-driving car" will come about in stages and increments of assisting the driver until, like autopilots of some current advanced airliners that are capable in theory of doing the entire flight without a pilot if nothing breaks and nothing unplanned for happens, the car driver becomes more a monitor of systems than an actual driver.

The truly autonomous car is likely several decades away.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:35 PM   #17
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It's been suggested that one of the incentives for Google is that the passengers of a self-driving car is a captive audience for more ads.

In fact, it sounds like the tech companies are aiming for total autonomous cars while some govt. agencies are requiring human override capabilities, which obviously adds costs.

I think you're going to have people staring at their devices in these cars or dozing off.
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Old 10-13-2014, 06:10 PM   #18
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I wonder what a true lbymer will say when he is asked to trade his 12 year old Civic for a self driving car?

Ha
You don't need a car. You just need to know how to push a button on a cellphone or maybe a watch, since smartphones are confusing to seniors. The car comes to your door, you tell it where you want to go and it drops you off.

Since roughly 2/3 of the cost of taxi is driver pay and benefits, you can cut the price of taxi ride by at least that much. You then build 2 person cars like Google has made without controls. Make them electric vehicle, buy an extra battery pack so they can be hot swapped in 90 seconds like Tesla has demonstrated. Your operating cost would in the neighborhood of $.02/mile for the small cars in most areas of the country.

You charge $3 flat rate for a ride to anyplace within 10 miles, (competitive with a bus fair) and $.15/mile beyond 10 miles. I am not sure a senior would want a car he could not drive given the robocar taxi alternative.

The technology for this is pretty much available now. The challenge is societal and regulatory one.

As for the need for human intervention. Given that we humans manage to kill 30K people a year and injuring many times that (down considerable from the 50K a couple of decades ago), I see no need to lets us control multi ton weapons, with our rather limited training. The humans need the ability to stop the vehicle but this is it.
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Old 10-13-2014, 06:27 PM   #19
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Cars do kill a lot of people. Or should I say drivers kill. If and when self-driving cars become practical (we are not there yet), saving lives requires ruling out all human driving. Else, the jerks on the streets can and will drive even more aggressively as the robot cars drive more defensively and will yield to them. Driving will be restricted to people with the specific needs and functions that require it, such as law enforcers, emergency responders, etc...

In my later years, will I be able to go to the back of my motorhome to take a nap, while it drives itself to the next scenic location? As I said, I doubt if that will happen.
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Old 08-19-2016, 10:53 AM   #20
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I heard a Uber will begin employing self-driving cars in Philly in the next few weeks. The future is here.
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