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Autonomous Vehicles News and Discussions

Tesla autonomous vehicles self-driving cars passenger drones AVs Google Uber Autopilot driverless car self-driving truck

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#61
JCO

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Not a big surprise, there are already cars on the road with lane tracking and adaptive cruise control. With that much of highway driving could be done hands free. Add in the systems that allow for auto-parking and give it access to a GPS and all you need to do is choose your destination.


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#62
Yuli Ban

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Driverless Cars set to hit the UK in 2015 in Greenwich, Bristol, Coventry and Milton Keynes

Are we all really ready for this step in technology?



The four English locations picked to test driverless cars have been named.

Greenwich, in south-east London, and Bristol will each host a project of their own, while Coventry and Milton Keynes will share a third.

The decision was announced by the quango Innovate UK, after George Osborne's Autumn Statement.

The chancellor also announced an additional £9m in funding for the work, adding to the £10m that had been announced in July.

The businesses involved will add further funds.

 
_79491839_b572a1fe-5ec3-4d48-b381-bf1b87


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#63
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About time the UK spearheaded something!



#64
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The cars look terrible though.


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#65
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They look futuristic and cyberpunk, no wonder.


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#66
tierbook

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They look futuristic and cyberpunk, no wonder.

Going based off Sci-Fi I would say more dystopic than cyberpunk.



#67
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They look futuristic and cyberpunk, no wonder.

Going based off Sci-Fi I would say more dystopic than cyberpunk.

 

Going off common sense I would say more embarrassing to be caught driving one than dystopic.


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#68
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Isn't cyberpunk = dystopia?
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#69
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Woo Bristol! I'll be looking out for these



#70
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VERY COOL article about one of my favorite people in the world, The Oatmeal (an online comic) who wrote a comic about his experience testing a Google self-driving car: http://theoatmeal.co...elf_driving_car  

 

header.png

Last week, a friend and I got a sneak peek at Google's new self-driving cars. In addition to spending an afternoon cheating on my Intergalactic SpaceBoat of Light and Wonder, I got to chat with the engineers about the project.

1. Human beings are terrible drivers.

We drink. We doze. We text. In the US, 30,000 people die from automobile accidents every year.(Source) Traffic crashes are the primary cause of death worldwide for people aged 15-24, (Source) and during a crash, 40% of drivers never even hit the brakes.(Source) We’re flawed organisms, barreling around at high speeds in vessels covered in glass, metal, distraction, and death. This is one of Google’s "moonshots" -- to remove human error from a job which, for the past hundred years, has been entirely human.

2. Google self-driving cars are timid.

The car we rode in did not strike me as dangerous. It struck me as cautious. It drove slowly and deliberately, and I got the impression that it’s more likely to annoy other drivers than to harm them. Google can adjust the level of aggression in the software, and the self-driving prototypes currently tooling around Mountain View are throttled to act like nervous student drivers. 

In the early versions they tested on closed courses, the vehicles were programmed to be highly aggressive. Apparently during these aggression tests, which involved obstacles courses full of traffic cones and inflatable crash-test objects, there were a lot of screeching brakes and roaring engines and terrified interns. Although impractical on the open road, part of me wishes I could have experienced that version as well. 
prototype.png

3. They're cute.

Google's new fleet was intentionally designed to look adorable. Our brains are hardwired to treat inanimate (or animate) objects with greater care, caution, and reverence when they resemble a living thing. Psychological studies have been done whereby participants, when asked to harm an inanimate object, were less likely to hurt the object if it had a face. Participants in the study would happily bludgeon a potato with a hammer, unless you stuck some hair and a pair of eyeballs to the potato, at which point their moral compasses would obediently snap into place. 

By turning self-driving cars into an adorable Skynet Marshmallow Bumper Bots, Google hopes to spiritually disarm other drivers. I also suspect the cuteness is used to quell some of the road rage that might emerge from being stuck behind one of these things. They're intended as moderate-distance couriers, not open-road warriors, so their max speed is 25 miles per hour.

road_ready_small.jpg 
Google's next generation of self-driving cars are your Marshmallow Overlords.

4. It’s not done and it’s not perfect.

Some of the scenarios autonomous vehicles have the most trouble with are the scenarios human beings have the most trouble with, such as traversing four-way stops or handling a yellow light (do you brake suddenly, or floor it and run the light?). At one point during the trip, we were attempting to make a right turn onto a busy road. Everyone’s attention was directed to the left, waiting for an opening. When the road cleared and it was safe to turn right, the car didn’t budge. I thought this was a bug at first, but when I looked to my right there was a pedestrian standing very close to the curb, giving the awkward body language that he was planning on jaywalking. This was a very human interaction: the car was waiting for a further visual cue from the pedestrian to either stop or go, and the pedestrian waiting for a cue from the car. When the pedestrian didn’t move, the self-driving car gracefully took the lead, merged, and entered the roadway. 

Freaky. 

intersection.png 

The cars use a mixture of 3D laser-mapping, GPS, and radar to analyze and interpret their surroundings, and the latest versions are fully electric with a range of about 100 miles. The radar is interesting because it allows the car to see through objects, rather than relying on line-of-sight. At one point during our drive the car recognized and halted for a cyclist who was concealed behind a row of hedges. 

Despite the advantages over a human being in certain scenarios, however, these cars still aren't ready for the real world. They can't drive in the snow or heavy rain, and there's a variety of complex situations they do not process well, such as passing through a construction zone. Google is hoping with enough logged miles and data, eventually the cars will be able to handle all of this as well (or better) than a human could.

5. I want this technology to succeed, like … yesterday.

I'm biased. Earlier this year my mom had a stroke. It damaged the visual cortex of her brain, and her vision was impaired to the point that she'll probably never drive again. This reduced her from a fully-functional, independent human being with a career and a buzzing social life into someone who is homebound, disabled, and powerless. 

When discussing self-driving cars, people tend to ask a lot of superficial questions: how much will these cars cost? Is this supposed to replace my car at home? Is this supposed to replace taxis or Uber? What if I need to use a drive-thru? 

They ignore the smarter questions. They ignore the fact that 45% of disabled people in the US still work. (Source: page 20) They ignore the fact that 95% of a car's lifetime is spent parked.(Source) They ignore how this technology could transform the lives of the elderly, or eradicate the need for parking lots or garages or gas stations. They dismiss the entire concept because they don't think a computer could ever be as good at merging on the freeway as they are. 

They ignore the great, big, beautiful picture staring them right in the face: that this technology could make our lives so much better.

end.png

6. It wasn’t an exhilarating ride, and that's a good thing.

Riding in a self-driving car is not the white-knuckled, cybernetic thrill ride one might expect. The car drives like a person, and after a few minutes you forget that you’re being driven autonomously. You forget that a robot is differentiating cars from pedestrians from mopeds from raccoons. You forget that millions of photons are being fired from a laser and interpreting, processing, and reacting to the hand signals of a cyclist. You forget that instead of an organic brain, which has had millions of years to evolve the cognitive ability to fumble its way through a four-way stop, you’re being piloted by an artificial one, which was birthed in less than a decade.

The unfortunate part of something this transformative is the inevitable, ardent stupidity which is going to erupt from the general public. Even if in a few years self-driving cars are proven to be ten times safer than human-operated cars, all it’s going to take is one tragic accident and the public is going to lose their minds. There will be outrage. There will be politicizing. There will be hashtags. 
It’s going to suck.

But I say to hell with the public. Let them spend their waking lives putt-putting around on a crowded interstate with all the other half-lucid orangutans on their cell phones. 

I say look at the bigger picture. All the self-driving cars currently on the road learn from one another, and each car now collectively possesses 40 years of driving experience. And this technology is still in its infancy. 

I say ignore the anecdotes, embrace the data. 

I’m ready for our army of Skynet Marshmallow Bumper Bots. 

I'm ready for the future. I'm ready for the marshmallows.



-The Oatmeal


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#71
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While I have been rather excited about self-driving cars for years now, they're almost certainly farther off than we think.  There are a lot more artificial intelligence hurdles to jump than most articles have reported on, but here's one that covers some of them.

 

http://www.slate.com...lly_happen.html

 

The main problem is that the current iterations rely too heavily on every road object being pre-mapped out, but in realistic driving conditions, new or unpredictable objects such as bad weather, potholes, temporary road cones and traffic lights, etc, would be blind to the navigation system.  This lack of ability to respond to unpredictability is not a small challenge and to a more limited extent is the same AI challenge computer scientists have been stymied by for decades.  I suspect we'll get heavily-assisted driving that will only require us to look at the road every few seconds within a decade or so, but fully-automated driving that allows you to completely look down and read while the car drives you?  We may be lucky if our grandkids get that.



#72
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i just hope disabled people can get them.


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#73
GenX

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While I have been rather excited about self-driving cars for years now, they're almost certainly farther off than we think.  There are a lot more artificial intelligence hurdles to jump than most articles have reported on, but here's one that covers some of them.

 

http://www.slate.com...lly_happen.html

 

The main problem is that the current iterations rely too heavily on every road object being pre-mapped out, but in realistic driving conditions, new or unpredictable objects such as bad weather, potholes, temporary road cones and traffic lights, etc, would be blind to the navigation system.  This lack of ability to respond to unpredictability is not a small challenge and to a more limited extent is the same AI challenge computer scientists have been stymied by for decades.  I suspect we'll get heavily-assisted driving that will only require us to look at the road every few seconds within a decade or so, but fully-automated driving that allows you to completely look down and read while the car drives you?  We may be lucky if our grandkids get that.

 

Tesla is coming out with a car that is 90% self-driving next year, so once that technology trickles down to regular cars, we should have affordable cars with limited self-driving capability in 3 - 5 years.  I'll totally settle for that, if I can turn on the autopilot when I get on the freeway and let my car drive itself for four hours until I get to Vegas that would be awesome.


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#74
EnigmaticClarity

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While I have been rather excited about self-driving cars for years now, they're almost certainly farther off than we think.  There are a lot more artificial intelligence hurdles to jump than most articles have reported on, but here's one that covers some of them.

 

http://www.slate.com...lly_happen.html

 

The main problem is that the current iterations rely too heavily on every road object being pre-mapped out, but in realistic driving conditions, new or unpredictable objects such as bad weather, potholes, temporary road cones and traffic lights, etc, would be blind to the navigation system.  This lack of ability to respond to unpredictability is not a small challenge and to a more limited extent is the same AI challenge computer scientists have been stymied by for decades.  I suspect we'll get heavily-assisted driving that will only require us to look at the road every few seconds within a decade or so, but fully-automated driving that allows you to completely look down and read while the car drives you?  We may be lucky if our grandkids get that.

 

Tesla is coming out with a car that is 90% self-driving next year, so once that technology trickles down to regular cars, we should have affordable cars with limited self-driving capability in 3 - 5 years.  I'll totally settle for that, if I can turn on the autopilot when I get on the freeway and let my car drive itself for four hours until I get to Vegas that would be awesome.

 

 

 

I bet you still have to keep your eyes almost constantly on the road or risk an accident.  If that's the case, I'm still a captive audience so I would likely take control back to get to where I'm going as fast as I can.  If I don't have to look at the road and can do something else, I'm completely fine with the car going the speed limit--or even under it.  If I'm free to read, nap, or whatever, I could usually care less how long the trip takes, but if I'm not free, I'll want to get involved to make the drive as short as possible.



#75
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I would expect the most straightforward idea would be to have driverless cars limited to motorway/interstate use only, at least at first.

 

Example, you set off from your home in the morning in manual mode, drive through town in manual, pull onto the interstate and the car signals that it is taking over the driving. From then on the car joins the interstate at interstate speeds (much higher than today as human error is what causes traffic jams and slow moving traffic), your only input from then on is to indicate, once you make the indication the car accepts the command and switches lanes when safe, or pulls off the interstate if you indicated to. Once off the interstate the car signals that you need to take over and it returns to manual control.

 

If no user input is recognised the car stops in a dedicated safe zone on the sliproad to avoid accident.


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#76
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Pretty cool self-driving prototype that Mercedes has at the CES show.  This is more or less what I pictured, with front seats that swivel around, and doors that open opposite of each other.  However, I think the self-driving car of the future will be a little bit bigger then this, more like a Scion Xb or something like that.

 

ces-2015mercedes-benz-f015-luxury.jpg?w=


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#77
Ru1138

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http://nextbigfuture...y-barriers.html

 

Google says its self driving cars should be on public roads within five years without having to drive through a thicket of regulatory red tape.

Speaking at a conference in Detroit, the chief of the software giant’s autonomous-car project, Chris Urmson, indicated widespread auto industry concern about regulation of self-driving cars is overblown. The onus, he said, is on developers of these vehicles to tackle safety challenges and work to boost public acceptance.

 

 


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#78
Yuli Ban

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#79
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Self-driving cars could generate billions in revenue: U.S. study

 

Self-driving cars could generate billions of dollars a year in revenue from mobile internet services and products, even if occupants spend only a fraction of their free time on the web, according to a new study by McKinsey & Company.

The study, released Thursday, also projects that widespread adoption of self-driving cars could lead to a 90 percent reduction in U.S. vehicle crashes, with a potential savings of nearly $200 billion a year from significantly fewer injuries and deaths.

In addition, the McKinsey study warns of several risks to established companies, including vehicle manufacturers, dealers and even insurance companies.

McKinsey projects that future owners of self-driving cars could save up to 50 minutes a day, some of which is likely to be spent surfing the web.

 

That's made me think— could this offset the chaos caused by the mass unemployment, or will it lead to an even greater disparity?


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#80
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It also made me wonder if this is the reason Google is pioneering self-driving technology - more web time, more revenue.

 

 

Oh wait a minute... all the other wonderful things Google is doing for us... no it can't be... all just for more ad revenue!

 

Google is more evil than we suspect!


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Tesla, autonomous vehicles, self-driving cars, passenger drones, AVs, Google, Uber, Autopilot, driverless car, self-driving truck

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