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Driverless car for old people
Old 05-28-2014, 06:03 PM   #1
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Driverless car for old people

I've been reading about Google's new driverless car (no steering wheel, no accelerator or brake pedals) currently under development...and how it is targeted for "old people".

The future of Google’s driverless car is old people

This can be a real game changer as we age...and if we no longer have to worry about losing our independence when we are no longer able to drive safely.

omni
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Old 05-28-2014, 06:22 PM   #2
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Heck, I'm not old yet and I can't wait! I don't like to drive and hope these catch on.
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:19 PM   #3
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I would have guessed sooner, but here's one considered opinion on when. Like many new technologies it often takes decades to fully develop AND reach a price the 99% will/can pay. (PV solar, EV's, etc.)
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When will sales of autonomous cars outnumber those of conventional cars? IHS expects this tipping point to occur by 2050. By then, IHS says the majority of vehicles sold and those in use are likely to be autonomous, with conventional vehicles becoming increasingly rare.
Will You Ever Be Able To Afford A Self-Driving Car? | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
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Old 05-28-2014, 07:35 PM   #4
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Autonomous cars were proposed way back in 1930s, and demonstrated in some forms ever since. In the 1990s, the Germans demonstrated cars traveling up to 109 mi/hr on the Autobahn. In the late 1990s, a USDOT-sponsored project did a demonstration in San Diego. However, various technical and legal details remain to be solved before the autonomous cars can be released to the public.

See: Autonomous car - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:25 PM   #5
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I'd like an autonomous RV right now. I'm looking forward to the car in the future, but I can wait for it.
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Old 05-28-2014, 11:59 PM   #6
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I like the idea of driverless cars and am eager to see all the benefits from them, and their soon to follow cousins: driverless taxis and freight shipments. But I'm not sure how comfortable I would be in a fully automatic car with NO controls. What happens if a prankster puts a traffic cone in front of my car. Am I stuck until I get out and move the thing? I've certainly driven regular cars when they encountered some kind of mechanical failure and I had to act to safely recover. If a car with no controls fails, what chances do I have to do anything about it?
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:02 AM   #7
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And pilotless aircraft
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:07 AM   #8
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... If a car with no controls fails, what chances do I have to do anything about it?
No, these things will never fail. Mechanically and electronically. Software and hardware. Trust us. Sit back and relax. It's all taken care and thought of.
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Old 05-29-2014, 12:18 AM   #9
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Gotta be better than trusting humans who are more distracted while driving these days than ever before.

I really believe it will happen within 20 years for sure. Technology, infrastructure and regulation can all be solved. The real key is people wanting it or not, in other words will there be a business model. I believe Smartphones is the game changer we have needed. Why? Because people are willing to give up control of driving to automation IF in return they get to interact the whole travel time with their preferred info communication social network device.

It's all the benefit of mass transit without all the poor customer experience of mass transit!
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Old 05-29-2014, 05:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
I've been reading about Google's new driverless car (no steering wheel, no accelerator or brake pedals) currently under development...and how it is targeted for "old people".

The future of Google’s driverless car is old people

This can be a real game changer as we age...and if we no longer have to worry about losing our independence when we are no longer able to drive safely.

omni
Interesting article. Thanks for posting it. Having been through the "you shouldn't be driving" thing three times (Aunt, Dad, Mom) and seen how it effects people, this really could be a game changer.
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Old 05-29-2014, 06:29 AM   #11
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I thought these vehicles require sensors placed in the road bed. If that is the case, I am not holding my breath for widespread availability. Unless the sensors can easily be plugged into existing roads from a harvester like thing towed behind their street cams. If they can do that, we will all want to move to the west coast when we loose our ability to drive. If the vehicles don't require sensors, how the hell do they stay in the right lane? And what do you do if there is a GPS error?
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:07 AM   #12
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The new autonomous cars use GPS and street maps for navigation, but also sensors such as Lidar (Laser Radar) and cameras in computer vision to "see" the environment around them. The scanning thing on top of Google's demo prototype is a Lidar costing $70K.

Computer-vision guided cars were demonstrated quite a few years ago. See the Wikipedia I cited earlier. But in everyday life, there's more to it than just seeing obstacles, pedestrians, and other cars. Can the computer read temporary street signs directing traffic around construction zones, or understand human gestures such as a cop directing traffic? Can it understand or interpret the intention of other drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists? This is AI stuff!
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:12 AM   #13
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The new autonomous cars use GPS and street maps for navigation, but also sensors such as Lidar (Laser Radar) and cameras in computer vision to "see" the environment around them.

Computer-vision guided cars were demonstrated quite a few years ago. See the Wikipedia I cited earlier. But in everyday life, there's more to it than just seeing obstacles, pedestrians, and other cars. Can the computer read temporary street signs directing traffic around construction zones, or understand human gestures such as a cop directing traffic? Can it understand the intention of other drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists? This is AI stuff!
I just read an article in this morning's paper that makes clear I was mistaken thinking that road sensors are needed. It will be interesting to see how sophisticated these things can become in the next decade or two. Maybe they will be around for our twilight years.
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Old 05-29-2014, 08:17 AM   #14
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As the article cited by Midpack pointed out, it will be a few decades before it's available.

Even Google admits that there remains many problems to be solved. So, people should not get too excited and hold their breath.
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:01 AM   #15
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No steering wheel or brake pedal for overriding the software brings new meaning to the software terms "the program has crashed", "blue screen of death", and "fatal software error".
I plan to wait for the 2nd release before I buy.
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:08 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by omni550 View Post
I've been reading about Google's new driverless car (no steering wheel, no accelerator or brake pedals) currently under development...and how it is targeted for "old people".
Old people? What about drinking people! Go out, get hammered and then have Google drive you home safely!
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:36 AM   #17
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As I get older, I think I would prefer a very much enhanced mass transit system to a driverless car. The latter is technically a great idea, and probably lots of fun for those developing it, but such a car could be hard for some older people to accept without any concern.

On the other hand, it would be really neat if small buses or vans went up and down each of the major streets here every five minutes, with benches everywhere for waiting. Honestly I would ditch my car right now if that was the case, especially if they were free for those over a certain age or if I could buy an annual pass for unlimited bus riding.
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:50 AM   #18
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I love it! Bring back streetcars!

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On the other hand, it would be really neat if small buses or vans went up and down each of the major streets here every five minutes, with benches everywhere for waiting. Honestly I would ditch my car right now if that was the case, especially if they were free for those over a certain age or if I could buy an annual pass for unlimited bus riding.
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:52 AM   #19
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I love it! Bring back streetcars!

Amethyst
You got it!! That would be terrific, IMO.
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Old 05-29-2014, 04:24 PM   #20
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I'll stick with subways and streetcars (augmented by occasional taxi). When the time come, I plan to move back into the city and give up the keys. In my area, car accidents are disproportionately involve teenagers and elderly. I refuse to be one of those older dudes who won't give up the car and ends up killing off the local population.
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